More often than not I get paid for my copyediting and proofreading via Paypal. Today I got a notice from their Account Review department, which I reproduce here:

We recently noticed one or more attempts to log in to your PayPal account from a foreign IP address.

If you recently accessed your account while traveling, the unusual log in attempts may have been initiated by you. However if you are the rightful holder of the account,click on the link below to log into the account and follow the instructions.

[I've intentionally omitted the link.]

If you choose not to complete the request, you give us no choice but to suspend your account temporary.

It takes at least 72 hours for the investigation in this case and we strongly recommend you to verify your account at that time.

If you received this notice and you are not the authorized account holder, please be aware that it is in violation of PayPal policy to represent oneself as an other PayPal user.Such action may also be in violation of local, national, and/or international law. PayPal is committed to assist law enforcement with any inquires related attempts to missapropriate personal information with the intent to commit fraud or theft. Information will be provided at the request or law enforcement agencies to ensure that perpetrators are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Thanks for your patience as we work together to protect your account.

PayPal Account Review Department.>>

I gave it a quick glance and decided that Paypal probably wouldn't send out email with "log in" "account,click" "we strongly recommend you to verify your account" "as an other PayPal user" "inquires related attempts to missapropriate " or "will be provided at the request or law enforcement agencies."

The link provided sent me to a page which requested all of my personal info, including SSN and credit card nos.
What makes this noteworthy is that the phishers managed to duplicate the Paypal website almost exactly. An easy trap to fall into.

As Sgt. Esterhaus used to say, "Let's be careful out there."

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That's more forceful than the Paypal notices I was getting, Bill. I'm also getting phishing notices labeled as Amazon. I forwarded them to Amazon via the URL I've been using for years, and they assured me it wasn't them. They are investigating.
I got this as well - when I went to the PayPal site via the link it looked pretty damned good, and showed it to my IT Director and he showed that it was a scam-site

Writer beware

Any reputable business will never send you an email with a login link embedded in it. I've gotten dozens of fake Amazon emails about orders I supposedly had, account problems, etc. Fortunately I've worked enough retail to know a scam when I see one.

Never give out info unless you brought yourself to the site intentionally, with the purpose of making a purchase or checking a balance or whatever. And don't just assume that because they're on the web, they're a reputable business.
I have received similar pseudo-Paypal messages. I always forward them to "," so that the Paypal security folks can track them down.

Whether they do or not, I couldn't say.
I get at least a dozen of these per day from a variety of e-mail addresses. I just Spam folder them and move on.

My personal favorite scam is the one that duplicates the IRS site and says, "Dear Tax Payer, you are owed a refund of $68.43. Please click here and fill out the form to get your refund. Right....
I like to send these guys all my spam for a few weeks, just so they don't get lonely.
Of course, all the correct observations about not clicking on log-in links, checking the IPs, etc, notwithstanding, in my case they might have gotten away with something if they'd been savvy enough to hire a good COPYEDITOR.
Use Thunderbird or any other email client that has inbuilt anti-phishing handling:

"Thunderbird protects you from email scams which try to trick users into handing over personal and confidential information by indicating when a message is a potential phishing attempt. As a second line of defense, Thunderbird warns you when you click on a link which appears to be taking you to a different Web site than the one indicated by the URL in the message."

You still need to be personally vigilant and sceptical - but that sort of functionality helps.
I get one of these every time I use PayPal (and I wonder how they manage to find out who's using it!). I get them "from eBay" every time I use eBay, too. I forward them all to or and then delete them.
Any email that has a generic, "Dear User," salutation, instead of accurately addressing you by name, is a scam. When Paypal and ebay contact you, or your bank or the IRS or any legitimate business for that matter, they address you by your name. Be especially leery of emails that contain a dire warning, followed by a threat with a very short time limit. They're just trying to scare you into giving up your information so they can steal your identity, empty your bank account and run all your charge cards up to their maximum limits.

Delete, delete, delete. Do not click!
I've received that message and I don't even have a paypal account.

I've also receoeve what looks like legitimate requests from my bank ... and they ain't legit.

Yep, be careful out there.


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