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PHISHING - PayPal 'We've temporarily limited your account ' Email


Message purporting to be from PayPal claims that the company needs your help resolving an issue with your account and asks you to open an attached file and follow the instructions.

Paypal phishing
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Brief Analysis

The message is not from PayPal. It is a phishing scam designed to trick you into providing a large amount of personal and financial information to cybercriminals. If you receive this message, do not open any attachments or click any links that it contains.


Subject: Reference Number: PP-015-834-508-341
We need your help resolving an issue with your account :
To give us time to work together on this, we've temporarily limited what you can do with your account until the issue is resolved.
We understand it may be frustrating not to have full access to your PayPal account. we want to work with you to get your account back to normal as quickly as possible.
What's the problem ?
It's been a little while since you used your account. for reasons relating to the safe use of the PayPal service we need some more information about your account.
Reference Number: PP-015-834-508-341
It's usually quite straight forward to take care of these things. most of the time, we just need some more information about your account! or latest transactions.
1.         Download the attached document and open it in a browser window secure.
2.         Confirm that you are the account holder and follow the instructions
Yours sincerely,

Detailed Analysis

'PayPal' Email Asks For Help Resolving Account Issue

According to this email, which purports to be from online payment service PayPal, the company needs your help to resolve an issue with your account.

The email advises that your PayPal account will be limited until you open an attached file and follow instructions to confirm that you are the account holder.

Email is Not From PayPal - Phishing Scam

However, the email is certainly not from PayPal. Instead, it is a phishing scam designed to steal your personal and financial information. Opening the attachment as instructed will load a fake PayPal login web page in your browser. The page is designed to look like a genuine PayPal login. Once you enter your login details, you will then be taken to further web forms.

The first form asks for name, and contact details as well as your birthdate and mother's maiden name. The second form asks for all of your credit card details.

After you submit the requested information, you will be taken to yet another fake page that informs you that the confirmation process has been successful and account access has been restored.

But, alas, scammers will now be able to collect all of your information, hijack your PayPal account and use your credit card for fraudulent transactions. They may also gain enough personal and financial information to steal your identity.

PayPal phishing scams are very common. This one is a little more sophisticated than some other versions. Nevertheless, it has some telling giveaways that quickly identify it as a scam attempt.

Firstly, it uses a generic greeting. Legitimate PayPal messages will always address you by name. Secondly, the supposed update form comes as an attached file and is not secure. PayPal will never ask customers to provide account information by opening an attached file.

Always login to your PayPal account by entering the address into your browser's address bar. You can report phishing emails via the email address listed on the PayPal website.

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Last updated: October 23, 2014
First published: October 23, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen
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