Net Xpress: Beware! Another PayPal e-mail phishing scam is circulating

November 15, 2004|SHEILA J. CLARK

Beware of another PayPal e-mail phishing scam that is currently circulating. This time around, the e-mail has a subject of "Confirmation." The e-mail comes from The body of the e-mail reads as follows:

Congratulations! PayPal has successfully charged $175 to your credit card. Your order tracking number is A866DEC0, and your item will be shipped within three business days.

To see details please click this link.

DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE VIA EMAIL! This email is being sent by an automated message system and the reply will not be received.

Thank you for using PayPal.

First off, the rule of thumb is to never click on a link given in this type of e-mail. It will most likely send you to an unknown Web site and subject your system to possible security dangers.


While this e-mail appears to look legitimate, it is not. Some instant signs that the e-mail is bogus include the fact that PayPal always addresses its members by their name. Also, PayPal payment receipt always includes the e-mail address of the person who you paid in the subject and body copy of the e-mail. A real PayPal payment notice also includes detailed information of the transaction as well as a link to the auction item (if the purchase was from an auction) along with shipping information. PayPal also includes how the transaction will appear on your credit card bill.

There are three quick questions you can ask yourself when receiving one of these e-mails: Am I a PayPal user? Phishers send these e-mails out to anyone and everyone just hoping someone really is a PayPal user. Secondly, if you are a PayPal user, ask: Did I purchase anything recently via PayPal. And lastly: Is this the e-mail address assigned to your PayPal account?

With an answer of no to any of these questions, the best thing to do then is to simply delete it. You might even run a virus scan just to be on the safe side as well.

MSN Live online events

Nov. 15: Opera tenor Andrea Bocelli chats at 5 p.m.; R&B trio Destiny's Child chats at 8 p.m.

Nov. 17: Recording artist Talib Kweli chats at 7 p.m.

Voice over IP (VoIP) update

Great news in VoIP land: The FCC has ruled that states don't have the authority to regulate VoIP services. This ruling will prevent VoIP users from being charged excessive taxes and it will offer more phone service choices for consumers. Learn more or view the FCC ruling (opens as a pdf).

Net buzzz

The wait is over: Firefox 1.0 has finally been released. This alternative browser is getting a lot of attention because of its great features, such as built-in popup blocking, tabbed browsing, ease of downloading files, quick setup and stellar security and privacy tools. Learn more or download a copy.

Google Search has been embedded in the Linspire operating system. The new feature is called Hot Words and it will allow Linspire users to click and search any word on their Web page or e-mail message. Learn more.

Net key

Phishing is the act of sending an e-mail for the purpose of retrieving personal data, such as credit card and Social Security numbers, passwords and account numbers, from an unexpectant recipient.

E-mail me at; fax me at (859) 236-9566; or write me snail-mail at The Advocate-Messenger, P.O. Box 149, Danville, KY 40423-0149.

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