Staying away from Phishing
It's likely that the links provided in the Email are fake also. They may bring you to a "mock-up" version of some companies website. I remember sometime this year they made a fake Yahoo! website. It'll trick you into submitted personal information such as your name, address, and even your credit card number. One way is looking at the address. It is common sense to know that if a website is trying to mimik another company, it's fake. For example, Yaho.com is not the same as Yahoo.com (although Yahoo! owns Yaho.com). Sometimes it's easy to know that this Email is phishing. Look at this screenshot from my Gmail:
I don't even have a PayPal account. Luckily, Gmail has a built-in AntiPhishing protection system is it will remove any links in the Email to protect you. Since Gmail has such a great spam filter, this Email didn't even reach my Inbox. But you want to know how to protect yourselve? Here's how:
- Look for a personal greeting of some sort. Most companies will only address you by your full name and not just as "User" or "Member".
- Never, and I mean NEVER give out your personal information over Email. Sometimes you don't know who might read it. If the Email looks like it is really from the company, visit the companies website and look for some form of contact. If you need to, call them or Email them with the Email address they provide. Companies shouldn't even be asking for personal information over Email anyways!
- Do NOT download any of the attachments in the Email unless you are 120% sure it's safe and you know it's from someone you know (like close friends or family). Trust no one.
If you need a AntiPhishing tool, I suggest the Netcraft Toolbar (works with both Firefox and Internet Explorer. Microsoft also has an AntiPhishing toolbar for Internet Explorer and there's a built-in AntiPhishing program in Internet Explorer 7.