PayPal warning as Britons targeted by fraudulent email and text messages – stay alert

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PayPal is a payment system which assists customers in making transactions in a safe and easy way. The service is available online and many people can make important and everyday payments through the service. However, unfortunately the prevalence of the payment method is the latest platform to be exploited by fraudsters.

Britons have reported receiving both fraudulent emails and text messages, which could be potentially dangerous. 

The email many people have received purports to be from the official PayPal Support service, however, there is a warning sign to bear in mind.

The correspondence reads: “We need your help resolving an issue with your PayPal account.

“Until you help us to resolve this issue, we’ve temporarily limited what you can do with your account.

“Once you have updated your account records, your information will be confirmed and your account will start to work as normal once again.”

It then prompts Britons to click a link to ‘log-in’ to PayPal, however this is fraudulent.

It is likely the link will lead to a phishing website, which seeks to harvest the personal and sensitive information of unsuspecting individuals.

A similar approach has been reported, however, this time through text messages Britons have recently received – described as smishing.

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The text message also tells Britons their account has been limited due to security reasons, and they will need to update their details.

Clicking the link contained within is once again a very dangerous endeavour, as it could prove costly.

Scams of this kind cost Britons millions of pounds each year, and so it is important to pay attention to avoid becoming the next victim. 

There are, however, a number of ways to spot bogus correspondence which have been recommended by anti-fraud experts in the past.

If an email or text contains spelling or grammatical errors, it is usually the first sign the message is not from a legitimate source.

Britons are also encouraged to check the email address of the sender to see if it looks like it is from a genuine source.

In addition, such correspondence will never ask people to hand over personal or sensitive information, and so should be deleted. 

Several Britons took to Twitter to recount their close brushes with the scam.

One wrote: “I got a text sent to me yesterday, purporting to come from PayPal.

“I called PayPal who confirmed it was a scam, and also learnt that if PayPal send you a text, the number would be 62226.”

Another said: “I have just received a text from an unknown number saying my account has been limited due to unusual activity. I take it this is a scam?”

And a third person stated: “PayPal, I just got a text which I know is a scam, but you need to promote awareness.

“It said ‘To avoid suspension you need to accept our new terms and conditions. Please visit: user-terms8126.com’. I have not clicked it, but it is as dodgy as they come.”

PayPal Support has responded to the concerns of customers online, urging them to take further action.

It has said that in order for people to confirm whether the correspondence is fake or legitimate they should send a direct message to PayPal with their email address.

They should also provide a short description about the situation they need assistance with.

It has also reported instances of scam texts to the relevant body within PayPal for further action to be taken.

Those who believe they have been a victim of a scam are encouraged to report this to Action Fraud, the national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre. 

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