Friday, June 23, 2006

Something Phishey

An email arrived in my personal inbox the other day.

Now, I have several email addresses. One that I use for "signing in'' to various sites, and is more or less ''available'' to the internet. This one receives it's fair share of spam, which is cleverly shunted into the ''Junk'' file by Thunderbird, and I rarely see it.

This email arrived at the inbox of an address that I only use for private or official business, as it has my name on it, receives very little traffic and even less spam.

Dear PayPal Member,

This email confirms that you have paid INPHONIC ( $239.95 USD using PayPal.

This credit card transaction will appear on your bill as "PAYPAL INPHONIC*".

PayPal Shopping Cart Contents
Quantity: 1
Total: $219.95 USD

Cart Subtotal: $219.95 USD
Shipping Charge: $20.00 USD
Cart Total: $239.95 USD

Shipping Information

Shipping Info: Richard McElroy
202 N Magnolia Dr.
Saco, ME 04072
United States
Address Status: Unconfirmed

If you haven't authorized this charge, click the link below to cancel the payment and get a full refund.

Dispute Transaction [active link in email]

Thank you for using PayPal!
The PayPal Team

Please do not reply to this e-mail. Mail sent to this address cannot be answered. For assistance, log in to your PayPal account and choose the "Help" link in the footer of any page.
PayPal Email ID PPxxx [real number in email]
Now, I haven't had any dealings with Paypal whatsoever, so immediately contacted my bank to ask if the transaction had been recorded. They say no (I also check transactions daily via netbank), so instructed them to flag my Credit card A/c, and inform me if there are any transactions involving Paypal or US dollars.

Very clever, but needless to say that i didn't click on any active links.

Very curious indeed.

Update 29-July-06: This site has valuable information regarding the various email spoofs and scams. DoShelp


Anne Johnson said...

That was an attempt at identity theft, and you did absolutely the right thing, Davo. However, someone now has your personal email with your name on it, etc., so if it isn't too much of a hassle you might want to tweak your address a little bit.

I wonder if it has anything to do with your new computer? Have you got all the anti-virus stuff on there?

Davo said...

Yup, have AVG anti-virus, now. Used to have Trend micro Pc-cillin, but the guy at the computer shop recommended AVG Free .. buuut who knows how effective any of them are.

Have had a look at the PayPal ''help'' page and they say that any email from them does not use "Dear PayPal member", and have forwarded the email to their "spoof" centre for verification.

Still, it looks very 'authentic'. The only thing that 'alerted' me was the fact that have never had any occasion to use PayPal, though if I recall correctly, may have created a PayPal account some years ago .. but doubt if I would have used this particular email address. The problem now, is that I can't remember the email address or password that I might have used.

Have also had several emails purporting to come from my Bank, but can spot those by subtle errors in grammar.
(aaah, the value of a literate education .. heh.)