Scammers have come up with a cunning new way to cheat people out of their hard-earned cash.
It’s happening through PayPal and just in time for Black Friday and Christmas.
And the worst thing is that it uses real emails to fool you.
Experts have likened it to the nasty love scams where attackers abuse the system to scam you.
The scammers use PayPal’s money request service, which is designed to transfer cash when you owe a buddy, and they can poke you.
There’s also a notes section so the requester can say what they’re requesting money for – for example, the round of pints they bought you last night.
Scammers saw a way to use this to connect with people.
As Sophos experts reveal, they can send a random request to your account.
This means you will receive a real email from PayPal to get your attention.
In the notification area, they present themselves as a company with a toll-free number.
Here they hope you call the number to ask why a request was made.
During that call, they will use their powers of persuasion to get money out of you in other ways.
“The crooks simply found a way to abuse PayPal’s free money request service to generate emails that genuinely come from PayPal, contain genuine PayPal links, and use the message field in the request to send you an official-looking email opportunity to contact them directly,” explains Sophos expert Paul Ducklin.
“Just like a romance scammer who keeps you at arm’s length on a dating site and then convinces you to switch to direct messaging where the dating site can no longer monitor or regulate your interactions.”
Requests for money are meant for individuals, not businesses – so if you see one behaving like some sort of receipt, that should be an instant red flag.
If you get one, there’s nothing you can do and you won’t lose any money.
But it is better if you report the fake request to PayPal so that the offending account will be investigated, closed and you prevent anyone from falling for it in the future.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9748921/paypal-scam-email-request-money/ Urgent Black Friday 2022 warning for all buyers who have a PayPal account