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With the holiday purchasing season in full swing, expect to see a rise in PayPal phishing attacks. The bad guys know that there is a high likelihood of increased PayPal use. As we get closer to Christmas, the need for timely orders will increase. This will probably result in a lot more of the phishing attacks that claim you will not be able to access your PayPal account, or there is a security problem.
If you use PayPal you might want to check out their security center and take their phishing test at https://www.paypal.com/fightphishing. They even get four out of 5 answers correct. They incorrectly asserted that “Phishing is a form of fraud designed specifically to steal your identity.” Phishing can be about identity theft, but contrary to their claims, it isn’t always about identity theft… sometimes the crook just wants your money or your online gaming account, etc.
The other four questions in the quiz you should be able to get right, and if you don’t, then you need the education!
It is best never to use a link in email to access your PayPal account, even though PayPal ignorantly does include links in their legitimate emails, never use a link in an email about your PayPal account. It is a really simple rule to follow and keeps you from clicking on the links in PayPal phishing attacks as well.
Director of Technical Education
Author ESET Research, ESET