This article has been created in order to explain what is the PayPal e-mail scam and how to remove any malware, using PayPal to scam you.
A new wave of PayPal scam messages has been detected by security researchers. The messages are one of the many variations of PayPal scams out there and their end goals vary from getting you to open a malicious e-mail attachment towards getting you to write your Credit Card details on a fake PayPal web page, which resembles the real deal. Many people have been reported to have had their information stolen from PayPal related scams and they are become more widespread and of different types as we have tracked them over time. If you believe that your information has been stolen or your computer has been infected as a result of a PayPal scam e-mail, we advise that you read the following article to learn how to remove any malware that may reside on your computer and how to make sure that you stop such e-mails in the future as well.
|Name||PayPal Scams and Malware|
|Type||Phishing, PUP, malware|
|Short Description||Fake PayPal e-mails that aim to trick you into either getting scammed out of your funds or into downloading a malicious e-mail attachments.|
|Symptoms||Very well disguised fake PayPal messages, pretending to be the real deal.|
|Distribution Method||Via spoof or disposable e-mails.|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss PayPal Scams and Malware.|
PayPal E-Mail Malware and Scams – What Types Are There
There many forms of these e-mails spreading out there and they all aim at two things – malware infection or information theft. Either way, they are very difficult to detect and users should be really careful when it comes to such e-mails. One of the main targets of those e-mails are users who already have PayPal accounts. We have detected a recent campaign which directly threatens you that your account has been compromised and if you do not enter your financial information, the account may be permanently closed. The fake message looks like the following:
Sender: Pay Pal
Topic: Unusual sign-in activity
We detected something unusual about a recent sign-in to the PayPaI account ..Sign-in detailsCountry/region: HondurasIP address: 126.96.36.199Date: 5/25/2018Platform: iOSBrowser: SafariPlease go to your recent activity page to let us know whether or not this was you. If this wasn’t you, we’ll help you secure your account. If this was you, we’ll trust similar activity in the future.Review recent activityTo opt out or change where you receive security notifications, click here.
The e-mail guesses correctly the type of device used by the recipient and goes as far as to get the victim to visit a fake x(dot)co website, which is basically a URL shortener type of link. It may lead victims into entering their financial infromation, similar to the recent GDPR scams that have been spreading. The e-mail’s end goal might just be to get you to input your credit card details, which does not make sense unless your credit card has actually expired:
In addition to such e-mails there are other types of PayPal-related scams that even go as far as to use the PayPal’s official logo In order to scare victims that they have made an expensive purchase or PayPal transaction. The e-mails may appear like the image below displays, faking a fake “You’ve got money” type of message:
These types of messages aim to lead the user to a fake landing web page which contains a text with images and other type of objects. However, these landing pages also have a surprise for the victim – a malicious e-mail attachment, whose primary purpose is to cause an infection using a malicious script by getting victims to click the “Enable Content” or “Enable Editing” buttons, which results in the malware actually being able to trigger it’s script and drop the virus files also known as payload on the victim’s computer. Visually these activities appear somewhat like the following:
PayPal Scam Virus – Detection and Purpose
By now you may have guessed the main purposes of these scamming messages, but let’s review them briefly:
- To scam you out of your personal information.
- To steal financial data by tricking you into entering it.
- To get you to call a fake tech support number, pretending that there is a problem with your account.
- To infect your computer with malware.
According to to experts in the security field, there are several tips that you can follow in order to prevent such e-mails from appearing in the future as well:
1 – Do not look at the display name of the sender only, but always check if the e-mail address is official.
2 – Read the e-mail carefully and always look but don’t click on them.
3 – Always check for mistakes, since offical PayPal e-mails do not have any spelling mistakes in them.
4 – Analyze the situation carefully and check the URL by right clicking and copying it without opening it or simply seeing if it is a paypal.com one. If not, then do a cross-reference check if the e-mail is legitimate.
5 – Don’t give away any personal information if requested, since this is done only once upon registration.
6 – Be careful of any urgent or threatening language in the subject line.
7 – Review the signature of the e-mail and compare it to legitimate e-mail addresses.
8 – Never trust anything you see at first glance before doing a checkup.
How to Remove Any PayPal Related Malware and Protect Yourself from Such Scam E-mails
In case you have opened a fake e-mail attachment as a result of a malware infection with GDPR-related viruses on your PC, you will need to seriously check it out first. This can be done with the aid of an advanced anti-malware software, as many researchers advise users who do not know if their computer has been compromised or not. Such program aims to automatically make sure to secure your PC by detecting any intrusive software on your computer.
Automatically scan your computer to see if it has been compromised as a result of PayPal scam e-mails:
In order to protect yourself manually from such PayPal phishing e-mails in the future, we do recommend to learn how to do that by reading the related article underneath:
Furthermore, when it comes to checking if an e-mail attachment is legitimate or fake, you can also use the free service ZipeZip to which you can simply forward the e-mails, soon after which you will receive an reply, telling you whether or not the attachment is legitimate or fake. More information on how to use this free service can be found in the guide below: