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Phishing for Your Money Using Phony PayPal E-Mails, Scam Targets Mississippians

JACKSON, Miss.–If you get an e-mail saying it’s from PayPal and a transaction has been declined and they need your info updated now, take a really close look at it. It is likely an old scam that’s recently been put back into use by crooks trying to get your money.

Atty. Gen. Jim Hood’s office said this weekend that they’ve gotten reports of those e-mails and that the e-mail contains a link for you to follow that’ll give you an area to provide your info. Don’t do it.

Hood’s office said that there are some signs that the -email is a scam that you need to look for.

First, it creates a false sense of urgency by indicating a transaction has been declined.  Second, it contains grammatical errors, which indicate that the email was crafted by a foreign scam artist.  Third, it contains a link to a separate website, which in turn will ask for personal information.  These types of scams are commonly referred to as “phishing.”

“Our investigators have confirmed that this is in fact a scam,” said Hood.  “These brazen scam artists will seek out any victims, even those at a law enforcement agency, to try and obtain personal information. If you follow the links and provide your personal or account information, you will be opening the door to become a victim of identity theft.”

Most updated browsers will block these links, but consumers should be cautious in clicking any links in unsolicited emails.  PayPal representatives confirmed that they will never contact customers in this manner.  If you do have a PayPal account and receive a similar email, don’t click on the link and don’t submit any personal information via email.  Instead, go to PayPal.com and use your secure login to verify any account activity.

“Although this scam has been around for quite some time, it continues to try and lure victims.  Education and awareness are a consumer’s best defenses,” said Hood.

If you do receive a phishing email, forward the email to the business purporting to send it so that they can be aware their good name is being used in a phishing attempt.  If you have provided information in response to a phishing scam, contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-281-4418.

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