PayPal users warned of scam

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Security experts are warning online shoppers to be on their guard, with a new scam email doing the rounds.

Users of PayPal are being targeted by a fake email purporting to be from the online payments company and suggesting that somebody has been using their account without their knowledge.

"Log into your PayPal account as soon as possible," the email reads. "We may ask you to confirm information you provided when you created your account to make sure you're the account holder. We'll then ask you to Confirm your password and security questions."

There's a link at the bottom apparently leading to the PayPal site - but instead taking the victim to a fake PayPal log-in site which then collects the user's details.

The scam is a slightly different version of another PayPal phishing scam that's been doing the rounds, claiming that the user's account is about to expire. Again, users are asked to log in through a link and hand over their security data.

"All of the information you supply on the fake website can be collected by cybercriminals and used to hijack your PayPal account and conduct fraudulent transactions," warns the Team Discovery web development agency.

"They can also make purchases using your credit card. And, if they have collected enough of your personal and financial information, they may be able to steal your identity as well."

PayPal says that, like other financial organisations, it won't ever send out emails asking for your full name, account password, or answers to your PayPal security questions. Nor will it request your bank account number, debit or credit card number.

It's usually possible to spot that the email's a fraud fairly easily, as the sender is usually a Hotmail or Gmail address, rather than coming from a PayPal address.

You should always check the URL at the top of the browser: it should show up as The 's' in 'https' means the website is secure, as does the padlock symbol next to it.

"If you think you've received a phishing email, forward it to and then delete the fake email from your mailbox," says PayPal.

"If you've responded to a fraudulent email and believe your PayPal account may now have been accessed, you should report the unauthorised access immediately."

You can do that here.

Victims of scams and fraud
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Victims of scams and fraud
Susan Tollefsen, Britain's oldest first time mother, was scammed out of £160,000 by a fraudster she met on an online dating site. A man claiming to be an Italian gold and diamond dealer told her he was in the middle of a land deal but couldn't access cash. Tollefsen felt sorry for him and started wiring him money, eventually selling her jewellery, her flat and borrowing £32,000 from friends to give him. Read the full story here.
In March 2015 an American woman who was only identified as 'Sarah' went on the popular US television programme the Dr Phil Show to reveal she had sent $1.4 million to a man that she had never met. Although she was certain she wasn't being scammed, her cousin made her go on the programme because she was convinced it was a scam. Find out more about the story here.
Maggie Surridge employed Lee Slocombe to lay a £350 deck in her garden in March 2015. However Slocombe used a combination of lies to scam Surridge out of thousands of pounds. He told Surridge that the front and back walls were dangerous and needed rebuilding and also conned her into building a porch, all for the cost of £8,500. Read the full story here.
It's not just individuals who can be the victims of scams, big corporations can also fall foul of these fraudulent practices. In 2015 Claire Dunleavy repeatedly used a 7p 'reduced' sticker to get significant amounts of money off her shopping at an Asda store in Burslem, ending up with her paying just £15.66 for a shop that should have cost £69.02. Read the full story here.
Sylvia Kneller, 76, was conned out of £200,000 over the space of 56 years thanks to scam mail. The pensioner became addicted to responding to the fraudsters, convinced that she would one day win a fortune. Ms Kneller would receive letters claiming she had won large sums of money but she needed to send processing fees to claim her prize. Learn about the full story here
Leslie Jubb, 103, became Britain's oldest scam victim in August last year when he was conned out of £60,000 after being sent an endless stream of catalogues promising prizes in return for purchasing overpriced goods. The extent of this con was discovered when Mr Jubb temporarily moved into a care home and his family discovered what he had lost. Find out more about this story here
Stephen Cox won more than £100,000 on the National Lottery in 2003 but has been left with nothing after falling victim to two conmen. The 63-year-old was pressured into handing over £60,000 to the men who told him his roof needed fixing. They walked him into banks and building societies persuading him to part with £80,000 of cash while doing no work in return. See the full story here
Last year the Metropolitan Police released CCTV footage of a woman who had £250 stolen at a cash machine in Dagenham. The scam involved two men distracting the woman at the machine, pressing the button for £250 then taking the money and running away. Read about the full story here.
Rebecca Ferguson shot to fame as a runner up on the X-Factor in 2010 but fell victim to a scam artist last year when someone she had believed to be a friend conned her out of £43,000. Rachel Taylor befriended the singer in 2012 and claimed to be a qualified accountant, so Ferguson allowed her to look after her finances. Instead of doing this Taylor stole £43,000 from the Liverpudlian singer. Read more here
When Rebecca Lewis discovered her fiance had started a relationship with a woman he met online she packed her bags to leave. But that didn't stop her checking out the mystery woman, Rebecca quickly realised Paul Rusher's new love was actually part of a romance scam. She told Paul just before he sent the scammers £2,000 which was supposed to bring his new girlfriend to England. Find the full story here.

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