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How to Spot a Fake PayPal E-Mail

Part of the PayPal For Dummies Cheat Sheet

People around the world know that PayPal is a service that helps people transfer money online. And crooks try to make use of PayPal’s instantly recognizable name in an effort to scam money from unsuspecting customers. Pay attention to the following list so that you’re not taken in by these unscrupulous spammers.

A PayPal e-mail might be a fraud if

  • You get an e-mail addressed to “Dear PayPal Member” instead of to you by name.

  • The e-mail contains an attachment.

  • You’re asked for your username, password, or other personal information.

  • The e-mail contains a link that does not take you to the PayPal Web site.

  • The subject of the e-mail is “PayPal Random Account Verification,” or something similar.

  • The e-mail has not been sent to the e-mail account you use as your PayPal account.

  • The e-mail states that "PayPal" is offering to deposit funds into your account.

  • The PayPal logo image looks fuzzy, pixelated, or slightly different from the logo on the PayPal Web site.

  • The body of the e-mail has odd-looking formatting, like everything centered, multiple fonts used throughout, and strange paragraph spacing.

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