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Spoof emails and other holiday scams
Posted on Tuesday, December 09, 2003 @ 22:17:19 CST by kguske
SecurityIf you've ever used eBay or PayPal, you've probably received a spoof email, asking you to verify your account, preferably with a debit card linked to your checking account. These scams are frequently used near the holidays, and they're getting better. Here's how to spot them, and how to avoid them.Spoof emails look something like this:

We are currently performing regular maintenance of our security measures. Your account has been randomly selected for this maintenance, and you will now be taken through a series of identity verification pages.

To complete the verification process as a PayPal Member you must provide us with a debit card issued by your primary checking account. Don't worry, your debit card will not be charged! Protecting the security of your PayPal account is our primary concern, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

You must click the link below and enter your informations on the following page to confirm your identity.

Click here to complete the verification process

Thank you for using PayPal! The PayPal Team

They often include the very graphics used by the company (in this case, PayPal). In the past, these spoof scams were employed by international thieves, whose lack of English skills was obvious in their poorly written emails.

Now, the scams were cleverly and flawless written to appear as real communications from companies we trust.

How can you spot a spoof email? Checkout this article.

The best way to avoid them is to use spam tools and have a healthy mistrust for any email or person that requests your personal information (social security number, bank account, etc.). Why do they need to know?

If by chance you click on a link in a spoof email, you can quickly identify that the site isn't real by looking at the web address - does it have the format or is it something like ?

The smartest thing to do is close your browser immediately. You should also run your virus checker and spyware detection tool to make sure you didn't inadvertantly install malicious software on your computer. Check the downloads section on this website to find some great free tools to help you protect your computer. But remember - your own suspicions are often the best way to protect yourself.
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