Dougal Campbell's geek ramblings

WordPress, web development, and world domination.

Friggin Fraudsters

I have gotten several spams recently, both in my personal email and at my work address, from someone trying to scam PayPal accounts. The text of the message looks like this:

Dear PayPal member,

We regret to inform you that your account is about to be expired in next five business days. To avoid suspension of your account you have to reactivate it by providing us with your personal information.

To update your personal profile and continue using PayPal services you have to run the attached application to this email. Just run it and follow the instructions.

IMPORTANT! If you ignore this alert, your account will be suspended in next five business days and you will not be able to use PayPal anymore.

Thank you for using PayPal.

oggohnah

Of course, the little “oggohnah” bit at the end was random, and was different in each copy of the message that I received — a classic tip-off for spam. And it contained an attachment which our anti-virus system on our email servers caught and quarantined.

IMPORTANT TIPS: No right-minded company or service is ever going to send you an attachment in order to update your account information. They are going to ask you to visit their web site. And when you do visit their web site, you shouldn’t do it by clicking on a link in the email. You should manually type the known address into your browser, or use a bookmark that you’ve saved in the past. And watch out for emails that tell you what link to go to, and be sure that it’s the real deal. Registering a domain name similar to the real one and putting up an official-looking web site is child’s play, and is a technique that fraudsters have used for years.

This applies to just about any service on the Internet where you enter personal information. Make sure you are dealing with the real thing before you enter any passwords or personal information.

About Dougal Campbell

Dougal is a web developer, and a "Developer Emeritus" for the WordPress platform. When he's not coding PHP, Perl, CSS, JavaScript, or whatnot, he spends time with his wife, three children, a dog, and a cat in their Atlanta area home.
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5 Responses to Friggin Fraudsters

  1. Annette Crawford says:

    Found this website while trying to find out where to renew my tags in Coffee County. Thought the Dougal saga to be very amusing.

    I also was bitten by the PayPal scam. I did open the attachment (which I now realize was stupid) but when it was opened the scamsters had the nerve to ask people for their credit card numbers along with their PIN numbers just in case they had problems with the financial institution. Banks don’t even ask for PIN numbers.

    I contacted Pay Pal and they asked that I forward them the email that I had received. The email address I sent it to was http://www.spoof@paypal.com. A copy of the response I got from PayPal is shown below…

    Thank you for bringing this incident of suspicious activity to our
    attention. It can be confirmed that the email you have received was NOT sent to you by PayPal. Below are some of the warning signs to suggest this email was not from PayPal:

    1. The email addresses the user as “Dear PayPal Member”. All emails that are sent from PayPal will address the user by their First and Last name
    2. The email requests that you run an attachment. All emails that are sent from PayPal will never request that our users download any files or run any attachments.
    3. The email states that “your account will be suspended within five
    business days if you ignore this alert”. PayPal will never ask for account information, your email address or your password, unless you are logged into your PayPal account or when you are logging into
    https://www.paypal.com

    If you are concerned that your computer has been infected by this virus, downloaded the file, or entered your account information into the pop-up attachment, please respond to this email.

    We appreciate your concern and thank you for making PayPal the most trusted online payment service.

    Sincerely,

    The PayPal Team

  2. louise says:

    The site home.myway.com/ keeps coming up on my screen all the time. I have requested I do not want it….still comes up….Stops me accessing other sites I want to….has anyone heard of this site? Please how can I get rid of it ? Nothing works ? There is a tapping sound when I go to enter on my key board, this is not very nice.
    Many thanks,
    Louise

  3. Dougal says:

    Louise, I tried to email you, but my message bounced. Hopefully, you’ll come back and see this.

    Try a program called Ad-aware. This will help clean up spyware and parasite programs that have made their way into your computer.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I want to get rid of home.myway.com

  5. I have tried to get removed from Paypal’s since the day I signed up for it. I don’t trust it and will never use it, So if you somehow know how to get me off your listing, please do so. I have had two more messages today July 17th, 2005 that tell me someone else has been trying to use it. Please cancel me from your listing ASAP.

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