Real Life Email Scam Example

'Tis the season for email scams. Actually they happen every day of the year but I thought it would be a good time show an actual one that happened today. To me. 

I opened my email today and found this.

Knowing that I had not ordered such a phone and that I dont know anyone from Rockville, I first thought that a mistake had been made. Then knowing that such things are sometimes not a mistake but a way to get more inform from me by encouraging me to click on link that will ask me for more info so I checked the email address this invoice was sent from, often a quick way of checking the validy of an email. 

Thinking that  is not really Paypal I did two things next.

First I checked my PayPal account and discovered no such transaction had taken place. This made me happy because then the likely hood of someone compromising my account was greatly reduced.

Next I followed the recommendations PayPal had for dealing with such emails.


"Suspicious emails

Phishing and spoof emails aim to obtain your secure information, passwords, or account numbers. These emails use deceptive means to try and trick you, like forging the sender’s address. Often, they ask for the reader to reply, call a phone number, or click on a weblink to steal personal information. If you receive a suspicious email, FORWARD it to Our security experts can take a look to determine if it's a fake. If it is, we'll get the source of the email shut down as quickly as possible. Reporting these emails helps protect yourself and everyone else, too."

So I forwarded the email to ( do not cut and paste, just forward) and received this response.


Dear jason brazier,

Thanks for letting us know about the suspicious email you received. 
We'll investigate it, and may contact you with additional details. If 
you haven't done so already, delete the email from your inbox. If you 
clicked on any links or downloaded any attachments within the suspicious
email or website, log into your PayPal account and view your account 
activity.  If you see any unauthorized transactions, go to the 
Resolution Center to report it. It's also a good idea to change your 

Additional Information & Help

Learn more about fake emails and spoof by visiting our Help Center. 
Click Help & Contact on any page and then search for "fake emails" and 
"spoof". You can also find help on changing your password and viewing 
your account activity in the Help Center.  

Thanks for being a PayPal customer,
PayPal Security


So I deleted the email and moved with my day.  I know some of you are wondering "Why didn't you just delete it to start with ?" Mostly because I was concerned that someone had accessed my PayPal account and wanted to be sure the login was still safe. Finally, if it helps to alert the security team at PayPal why not. Maybe they will actually track down the server or email account and close it down. While I have very little belief that it will lead to any kind of arrest of a scamming operation it never hurts to add a little help if you can.  I hope this blog post has given you  a few tips to share with others and  may your weekend is full of true and happy emails.


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