I got a Paypal scam email. This one caught my eye because the scammers did a better than usual job of trying to look legitimate. The email had the right look: it had the right corporate colours, and the right graphics. It didn’t look immediately out of place, as many of them do.
That is, until you read it. The copy was loaded with grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors. Here it is for your enjoyment.
Notice of Update Your Information
We have faced some problems with your account Please update the account within week .If you do not update will be Limited.
To Update your account, just confirm your informations.(It only takes a minute.)
Click the link below to open a secure browser window.
Confirm that you’re the owner of the account, and then follow the instructions.
Relog in your account now
I guess if you’re a scammer, you just can’t easily go out and hire a proper copywriter or translator without raising a few eyebrows. Cousin Leo with his 2 years of middle school English will do just fine.
Here’s my tip on how to avoid all scams and phishing schemes.
- Always be skeptical. If it were truly important, your bank would not contact you this way.
- Have a quick look at the Reply-to email. Chances are it’s not from the standard corporate email. An example of this would be firstname.lastname@example.org instead of email@example.com. Ebay will have control of all emails that use the firstname.lastname@example.org domain name. But www.ebaysupport.info might be owned by anyone.
- Never click on any links in the email. If you have business relationships that are internet only (Ebay, affiliate products, Google products, domain registrars), you can check your account but log in the usual way by going into your browser, typing in the proper URL, and signing in. If there’s a problem, you should have a message waiting for you in an inbox or be able to see it easily.
- Fact check on snopes.com. This site is excellent for demystifying scams, urban legends, fake warnings etc. In fact, before you forward any email that tells you how to protect yourself from fake cops, cancer-causing foods, check with snopes first.
It’s truly sad that there are people out there who choose to deceive and steal. But it’s sadder if we get taken in by them. Healthy skepticism is a-ok in my books.