8 Tips for Spotting Fake eBay and Paypal Spoof Emails

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This Guide outlines 8 'red flags' eBay and Paypal users can examine to determine if an email is spoof.

1. Legitimate eBay and Paypal emails have your full first and last name. caveat- there are Paypal emails that have your first/last name (it is unclear how scammers obtain this information) but these emails may be spoofs.  If the email says 'dear eBay member', 'dear Paypal user', 'dear member', or 'dear ____' (___ will be your email address), it is likely spoof.

2. eBay and Paypal will never request you enter to sensitive personal information such as a User ID, password or bank account number by clicking on a link or completing a form within the email.  Should your account be compromised or need to be verified, eBay and Paypal will request you to verify personal information over the telephone and/or via facsimile.

3. Check 'My Messages' on eBay. If you receive an email that looks like it is from eBay about a problem with your account registration, credit card, or other issue and the message is not in My Messages, it is spoof. I have yet to see/hear of any case where a legitimate eBay mail has not gone to My Messages.

4. Click 'view full headers' once you are in the body of the header (this button is often in the upper right hand corner of most email providers), on your email and usually you will find a non-eBay/non-Paypal URL.
5. Hover over the link in the email.  Legitimate eBay and Paypal addresses have .ebay.com' immediately before the first "/".  Also, look for 'https' and the legitimate eBay/Paypal addy. If it's not there (most likely it is not), it is likely spoof.

6. Watch the grammar and punctuation. If there are extra spaces between words, poor grammar (for ex., Note: If this is the second time you RECEIVE this notice), improper punctuation (for ex., commas used where periods should be used), etc. it is likely spoof.

7. There is no 'ebay member verification procedure' and there are no 'security verification procedures' done through email by either eBay or Paypal.  If by chance your account was hacked/needed to be verified for some other reason, the verification procedure would be done over the telephone/via fax.

8. Check out the "From" field of an email.  If the "From" field has a non eBay/Paypal address, it is likely spoof.  However, please note that the "From" field of an email can easily be altered and is not always a reliable indicator of the true origin of the email.

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