Sometimes it’s really easy to spot a fake, whether it’s a designer knock-off or an email from PayPal.
It’s a bit of a giveaway when you notice things like:
- poor or messy formatting in the email;
- a logo that’s not quite right;
- and poor use of English.
Other times however, the fake can be quite convincing.
While I probably can’t help you work out if that designer label bag is authentic, I do know how to tell if an email from PayPal is the real deal.
4 Things to Check when you get an Email from Paypal
1 – The Sender’s Address
First check to see if the address shown matches the sender. In one fake PayPal email doing the rounds, while the sender might say firstname.lastname@example.org, the actual address looks more like this: <email@example.com>. While cyber crooks can imitate the sender’s name, they can’t change the originating email address.
2 – The Salutation
On their website, PayPal clearly states that they always personalise the greeting in their emails.
So if your email starts with something generic like “Dear PayPal User”, “Dear Sir”, or “Greetings Dear Client”, it’s not authentic.
3 – Is there an Attachment?
It’s quite simple – if there is an attachment to the email, it’s not from PayPal.
4 – Always Check Links Before Clicking
Never blindly click a link in an email – even if it seems to be from your partner, your mum, or your best friend.
To check a link, hover over it so that it reveals the actual web address it will take you to. If you do not recognise or trust the address, this is a major red flag.
PayPal wants You to Feel Safe
Their success depends on users feeling safe; so while they do send emails occasionally, they have made it quite clear that these will never ask you to click a link or hit reply. If PayPal does need information from you, they will direct you to go to the website and login to your account.
And if you’ve received an email from PayPal which is NOT genuine? Best to just ignore and delete it, or forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org so they can alert and protect other users.