Martin Lewis advises caller who lost £8,000 through a scam
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PayPal is a payment service used by millions of people right across the UK for instant transfers and payments – creating ease for users. The service is likely to be particularly useful amid the ongoing lockdown, with online transactions significantly rising during this time. Cybercriminals, however, have taken advantage of these circumstances in an attempt to scam Britons out of their hard-earned cash.
Numerous people have reported receiving a scam text which informs them their account has been limited for safety reasons.
The message urges Britons to visit a “secure link” where they can supposedly regain access to their PayPal account.
The scam text message reads: “PayPal: We have limited your account due to safety concerns. Please visit https://paypal-user-id938.com.”
This, however, is a phishing scam which is intended to harvest the personal details of Britons without their knowledge.
Websites such as those contained within this text message are often designed to look similar to the official, legitimate landing page of PayPal, but are in fact a sophisticated ruse.
When people are prompted to enter account details, this information can be stolen by fraudsters who will go on to use it for nefarious purposes.
This could involve Britons having their identity stolen or their bank account wiped of funds – understandably devastating consequences for those who fall victim to such a scam.
Several people have therefore offered their thoughts, opinions and warnings to help keep others safe.
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One person wrote: “I think it’s easy to feel immune to phishing, but in general we can get comfortable and be too trusting or unassuming, especially when its something like a PayPal scam.
“That’s honestly scary, no one wants their account locked! This text gave me a mini heart attack at first!”
Another said: “Getting loads of scam texts later – such as we have limited your PayPal account, click this link. Some poor person will fall for this, for sure.”
A third person warned: “Beware of a PayPal scam that is using text messages as the targeted platform.
“Claims that there had been fraudulent activity on your account and asks to call a number.
“Upon further investigation, the number is not associated with PayPal customer service.”
And a fourth urged people to be vigilant when it comes to any type of message they receive.
They stated: “Let’s be careful out there people! Don’t click links just delete or report.
“Text, email, telephone calls even letters. Ask yourself – Expected? Genuine? If in doubt, contact using details YOU know!”
PayPal has issued guidance to help Britons tackle the matter, as many have unfortunately been targeted with this kind of correspondence.
If someone believes they have received a suspicious email or text message, or have been directed to a fake website, they can report the issue to [email protected] or 7726 for further investigation.
After the message is sent, PayPal has urged Britons to delete it from their inbox as a priority.
Those who have clicked any links or downloaded attachments should check their transactions and change their password to secure themselves.
They may also wish to report the issue to Action Fraud or their banking provider to try to resolve the issue.
Messages from the official PayPal will never ask for sensitive information such as a password or credit card number.
They will also not contain any attachments or ask people to download anything to their device.
Generally, individuals are urged not to click on any links they receive in unexpected text messages, and always check URLs on the websites they visit.
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