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Email scam aims to swipe PayPal users' credit card details

Just send them to the Russian Mafia...

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PayPal scam artists are getting more ambitious, and less subtle, in their attempts to hoodwink gullible punters.

A bogus email doing the rounds this week asks punter not only for their PayPal login but their bank account and credit card details. The email, which might appear authentic at first sight, tries to hoodwink punters that they need to send this data as part of a supposed security check.

Yeah, right.

Users of the online payment service are invited the email to click a button and submit their confidential financial details to a Russian Web site. The site is currently unavailable, hopefully never to surface again.

Of course, scams involving bogus emails posing as official security checks from either PayPal or auction site eBay (examples here and here) are nothing new. However the widespread nature of the latest scam, which was forwarded to us by five Reg readers yesterday alone, and its pernicious nature merits a mention.

If you get an email along the lines of the one below then on no account take it seriously. ®

</type>X-Persona: <myemail>
Return-Path: <6r2a36@foothillnet.com>
Received: from 12.227.172.29 (12-227-172-29.client.attbi.com [12.227.172.29])
by backup.presbury.com (8.12.8/8.12.5) with SMTP id h25GhVpI007763
for <myemailaddress@bigwig.net>; Wed, 5 Mar 2003 16:43:33 GMT
Date: Wed, 05 Mar 2003 12:53:09 -0600
From: info@paypal.com
To: myemailaddress@whatever.net
Subject: Your PayPal account is Limited.
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/html; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.08 [en] (X11; U; UnixWare 5 i386)
Message-ID: 235573@paypal.com

Dear PayPal Customer

PayPal is currently performing regular maintenance of our security measures. Your account has been randomly selected for this maintenance, and placed on Limited Access status. Protecting the security of your PayPal account is our primary concern, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
To restore your account to its regular status, you must confirm your email address by logging in to your PayPal account using the form below:
Top of Form
Email Address:

Password:

Bank Account

Enter Bank Account #:

Credit Card

Enter Credit Card #:

Exp. date :

[LOG IN BUTTON - DELETED]

This notification expires March 31, 2003

Thanks for using PayPal!

This PayPal notification was sent to your mailbox. Your PayPal account is set up to receive the PayPal Periodical newsletter and product updates when you create your account. To modify your notification preferences and unsubscribe, go to https://www.paypal.com/PREFS-NOTI and log in to your account. Changes to your preferences may take several days to be reflected in our mailings. Replies to this email will not be processed.

If you previously asked to be excluded from Providian product offerings and solicitations, they apologize for this e-mail. Every effort was made to ensure that you were excluded from this e-mail. If you do not wish to receive promotional e-mail from Providian, go to http://removeme.providian.com/.

Copyright(c) 2002 PayPal Inc. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners.</type>

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