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  1. #1

    Angry PayPal did not inform about scam!!!!

    Online payment service PayPal hit by scam

    As Reported here:,74687,00.html
    SEPTEMBER 27, 2002

    During the past two weeks, online payment service PayPal Inc. has been targeted by scam artists trying to get the personal information of its users, including credit card data, user names and passwords.
    On Sept. 16, an unsophisticated scam e-mail, slugged "PayPal Verification," was sent requesting users to log into their PayPal accounts "asap" to confirm they were still active users of the service.

    The e-mail said:

    "We are now requesting the password to the e-mail address you signed up to PayPal with. This is so our systems can confirm the confirmation e-mails off PayPal stay in your account because there has been a rise in the amount of fraudsters getting access to users e-mail addresses and deleting the Paypal confirmations. This is to protect you and ourselves. PayPal will use this information for fraud protection only."

    The e-mail went on to say PayPal would use the information for fraud protection only and was part of the Mountain View, Calif.-based company's new annual process to screen out inactive accounts.

    Recipients were then given a link that seemed to go to PayPal's secure site, but was actually a fake.

    Then on Sept. 25, another, more sophisticated e-mail, slugged "URGENT: PayPal System Problems" arrived in some users' in-boxes.

    That message, which arrived as an HTML e-mail set up to resemble PayPal's Web site, said:

    "Today we had some trouble with one of our computer systems. While the trouble appears to be minor, we are not taking any chances. We decided to take the troubled system offline and replace it with a new system. Unfortunately this caused us to lose some member data. Please follow the link below and log into your account to make sure your information is not affected. Account balances have not been affected."

    The hackers even offered unsuspecting users their next two transfers at no charge.

    The URL listed in the e-mail took users to an official-looking site that asked for their personal data, including user name, password and credit card information.

    PayPal spokeswoman Julie Anderson said the company hasn't had a problem with its site and said spoof sites are very commonplace. She said the scam artists probably got hold of a database and sent messages to thousands of people hoping to hit some PayPal account holders.

    "[These scams] happen often, and they happen often to successful Web sites like eBay, PayPal and other financial services sites," Anderson said. "Fortunately, we know from experience that PayPal users are for the most part savvy enough not to fall for them. But in the end, if they do, they are certainly not liable for any losses."

    A "whois" search on the URL used in the scam shows that it was registered on Sept. 10 by Confinity Inc., in Palo Alto, Calif. However, Confinity, which originally developed the technology used by PayPal, no longer exists, and the telephone number listed has been disconnected.

    As soon as PayPal learned of the scam, Anderson said, it contacted the Internet service provider and asked it to take down the spoof sites. That has been done.

    Anderson said PayPal also notified the appropriate law enforcement agencies, including the FBI. However, she said, PayPal didn't move to notify its 18 million users of the problem.

    Russ Cooper, a security consultant at TruSecure Corp. in Herndon, Va., said PayPal should take steps to alert its users to the scam. He said he was appalled that the company relied on users to determine that the e-mails they got were bogus.

    Charles Kolodgy, an analyst at IDC in Framingham, Mass., agreed, saying most people respond to e-mails without thinking about their veracity. He said vendors handling sensitive data should consider using technology that would allow users to determine whether an e-mail has been sent by that vendor and not a scammer.

    Such technology, he said, could include a signature key that would be confirmed by a trusted site, special cookie files or a unique password that could be accessed only by the user and the vendor.

    Although PayPal has a security center on its site -- complete with tips for users, including a warning that they never share their PayPal password with anyone -- the company should think about putting that information, as well as a message about this scam, in a more visible position on its home page, Kolodgy said.
    L. James Prevo - President/Owner
    Prevo Network, LLC -
    Est. 1999 - Month to Month Billing!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Those have been going on for quite some time. Which is why PayPal always includes in their correspondence:

    "Protect Your Account Info
    Make sure you never provide your password to fraudulent websites.

    A genuine PayPal link will always begin with

    Remember to check your browser's Address/URL Bar to be sure you are on the real PayPal site.

    If the URL does not begin with, you are not on a PayPal page.

    For more information on protecting yourself from fraud, please see the Security Center.

    Protect Your Password
    You should never give your PayPal password to anyone.
    There is no best host. There is only the host that's best for you.

  4. #4
    My PayPal got hacked into the other day and $1400 was sent. I was very pissed and cancelled my account. The charges were reversed so no money lost, but still it's annoying. And no I didn't reply to one of those emails.
    Marc Immediato ([email protected] )
    AIM: immediat0
    IRC: Genix on EFnet; TheGenix on DALnet

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    UK - Liverpool
    I agree with SWR, i get something like this every day, in one form or another.

    Just dont do daft stuff like give your password out.

    Genix, if i were you id change your password on everything else, id imagine they got into your paypal account by knowing a password to something else that uses the same password as your paypal account, and also check your machine for security.

    afaik PayPal locks you out if you get the password wrong too many times (paypaldamon, can you verify this?)

    my paypal account is different to every other password i use. - Fast Professional UK Web Hosting

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Tacoma, Washington
    I remember seeing that scam mentioned on another forum a few months ago, so yes, it's not a very new one (probably a new instance of it though).

    Greg Moore
    Former Webhost... now, just a guy.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    whatever .. it is a scary thought ... indeed individual user has got to be careful himself ... but , when sites like PAYPAL goes down under hackers ... i just wonder... the client base of paypal being such huge , there is a lot of money at stake | mailto: [email protected] | ASP.NET-MS SQL-Cold Fusion hosting| Cheap domain registration | MSN : [email protected] |

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2001


    I can't discuss the number of attempts that can made before an account is locked for the wrong password.

    Email scams are very prolific on the net (eBay and PayPal users are often targets). Users do need to utilize some discretion when receiving an unsolicited email appearing to come from any company. I can actually post several examples if it helps...

    Common themes:

    a) PayPal's database has dropped such-and-such information
    b) your account will be terminated unless you do xyz

    I highly recommend that users do not use the same email/password combinations used at another site.

    PayPal has not been hacked.
    PayPal Consumer Relations

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