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Warning: Be Wary of Email from Paypal or Ebay

Published February 2, 2005 in TECHNOLOGY
By Ryan Parsons | None
War of the Worlds Click the image for the full size. Sorry for the profanity, but I hate these people. And YES, this login was accepted.
I have been getting so much email fraud from people that say they are Paypal or Ebay lately, that I knew it was time to post and warn others. Do not believe all the email supposedly from Paypal or Ebay, even if it does offer links that 'seem' to take you to their site.

Fake Paypal and Ebay Email Notices

If you have been getting a lot of emails lately claiming they are from Paypal or Ebay, each saying that your account has been compromised or you need to update your information, think again for using any of the supplied links. These links are almost always fake. Here is a sample letter I got from someone who claimed to be Paypal:


In response for your PayPal account security we have to report that your password may be is compromised. Your account is marked for too many successful logins last week (January, 23-30, 2005). It is more interesting that the hostnames are form different countries:

United States (
Canada (
Sweden (
Russia (

Your account is limited for security reasons.

Follow the link to make sure you are on a secure PayPal page and login with currently password. Please authorize your account information before February 05, 2005.

Thank you for using PayPal
The PayPal Team

Ok, I am going to point out a couple problems here; problems that will also exist in a fraudulent letter supposedly from Ebay. First, neither the subject nor the heading of the email mentions my name. It only mentions my email address, the same address that this fraudulent letter came to. Both Ebay and Paypal have your entire names in their database. If they were to write you, they would call you by your entire name. Second, notice that the domain in the link is only an IP address, hiding the real domain that you will be sent to. However, the people who send these fake emails have now figured out how to trick the link.

By sending an HTML email to your address, the person can hide the link [such as the one above] and have it read something like Do not be fooled, put your mouse over the link and see where it really sends you [probably something like above].

I'm not gonna lie, but the people who do this are pretty smart and can fool anyone who is not paying attention. By clicking on the supplied link, you will be taken to a page that is IDENTICAL to the login form either Ebay or Paypal would offer you [*the Ebay fraud asks you to immediately insert your credit card number to verify it with 'their' records]. The image above represents one of these fake forms, notice that the details are perfect. I purposely inserted a login that was wrong, but HARK, it accepts the info and immediately asks for me to verify my credit information... by giving them my credit information. Check out the image below...

War of the Worlds Click the image for the full size. This is part of the page that I get after puting in a phony account name. All they want is your credit info.

That's all that's to it! You give them that information and then they just wait to go on a spree with it. So, do not believe anything that comes to you from Ebay or Paypal! If you do receive something that you think is legit, manually go to the site that the email came from and sign in; do NOT use the link provided. If there is something you really need to do, you should be alerted upon login.

While both Ebay and Paypal have warnings against these fraudulent letters, they barely do anything to really alert their members. Well, hopefully after reading this article, you will now look out for these types of emails [i am currently getting about three a day].
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Ryan Parsons
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