Fake Email’s – A Scam That Doesn’t Go Away

Since the invention of email, there have been bad guys trying to trick others into giving up personal information. The fact that in the 25+ years since the start of the internet, as we know it, the trend continues. That just means that there are still people out there falling for these types of scams. Some of the emails are so poorly done, that its obvious, but that’s not always the case. The more professional bad guys take time and care in putting together their scams, and some of the scams are so good that they could fool most people.  The following are just a sample of some recently received fake emails

  • PayPal – Identity Issue

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If you check the PayPal Security Information page, you will find the following

Questions PayPal will never ask you in an email.

To help you better identify fake emails, we follow strict rules. We will never ask for the following personal information in email:

  • Credit and debit card numbers
  • Bank account numbers
  • Driver’s license numbers
  • Email addresses
  • Passwords
  • Your full name

  • Discover – Your Account Information Updated

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If you look at the links on this fake Discover email, you will find that they all show as link shorted addresses. Short Link services may be convenient but they are also a great way to hide the real address you are being sent to. If you are ever confronted by a short link and you want to verify it before clicking, you can use services like LongURL to verify the link. In the case of the fake Discover email, the LongURL service shows me that one of the links in the email takes me to a site that definitely has nothing to do with Discover.

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When it comes to any online account, if you get any email or any other social media message, the best thing to do is open a web browser, manually type the address of the company and sign in to the page you typed, don’t use a link as that link will probably redirect you to places you don’t want to go. If you are still not sure, call the companies support line and let them know about the message you received. If it’s a real message they will be able to confirm it.


  • American Express – Verify Your Request

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Finally, we have American Express and their concern about a change to my User ID, and of course them wanting to confirm my details. The links on the screen do say AmericanExpress.com but if you look closing at the link itself, the page it will take you to is just a number.

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What these guys couldn’t afford to pay $10 for an actual website name, to at least seem like they are trying. No company with a reputation will just send you a link to an IP address (at least I’ve never come across one who has).


So as always, even if the message looks good, always be skeptical and NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER EVER EVER EVER give out your personal information based on a message received via email or social media. As listed by PayPal (but it holds true for all companies). No company will ever ask you the following via an email or social media message

  • Credit and debit card numbers
  • Bank account numbers
  • Driver’s license numbers
  • Email addresses
  • Passwords
  • Your full name
  • Mothers Maiden Name
  • Social Security Number
  • Home Address

If you do get a fake email, you should just delete it.

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