| Emails are
being sent out that look just like eBay, Paypal, Yahoo and other official
notifications, but are actually scams from third parties to get access to your
credit cards. The emails request people to verify their credit card or other
account information, including account login, using a link embedded within the
email. These links in the emails often go to third party web sites that are
designed by scammers to get your user ID's and passwords by scaring you into
giving them your account login information.
replying to such emails, you may be giving the scammers complete access to your
The scam emails titles include: Paypal
security measures, PayPal Account Notification for your email address here),
PayPal Account Security Measures [#05836170], Dear PayPal Customer, eBay
Billing Update, Account Update, and Account verification.
The simplest way to determine if such emails are
fraud is to look at the greeting line in the emails. PayPal and eBay both
address their customers with their full name, and the scam emails use a generic
greeting. As such, legitimate emails will begin with, for example, "Dear (your
first and last name here)." The fraud emails usually begin with generic
greetings such as "Dear Paypal Member," "Dear eBay Member" or even "Dear (your
email address here)." It is, however, possible for the scammers to use your
actual name, but we do not have any reports of that at this time.
Reports of such abuse, for example, should be made to
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting http://abuse.yahoo.com. The
email header should be included in your abuse reports but are not required.
Headers are requested because they do help catch the people behind the illegal
Fred Taub, Executive Director of Boycott Watch
advised people not to click on any link in such emails. "If you want to verify
your online account information, it is safest to carefully type the site name
in your browser yourself, and use the links within the web site rather than
using the links provided in such emails. This will make sure your browser is
not redirected to a criminal's web site that just records your account
information and allows them to take your money."
scammers get your account information, they may use it to buy items and have
you pay for it, or just outright take your money. If you accidentally fall for
such scams and realize you made a mistake, you should immediately manually type
in the name of the site into your browser, log into your actual account, and
then change your password. All such illegal activity should also be reported to
PayPal, eBay and even your local law enforcement agency. Police departments
have been known to prosecute eBay scams and other online crimes.