You receive so many emails every day that it's often impossible to spot the phonies. Like most people, you scroll through dozens of emails, deleting the ones you don't need, and clicking on ones from people and companies you recognize.
One of those companies may be PayPal. It doesn't have a perfect record when it comes to being honest with its subscribers, as we told you earlier this year, but it's a reputable company. So, you probably wouldn't think twice about opening a PayPal email.
That's probably especially true when the subject line says something like, "Your account has been limited until we hear from you." (See email below.)
Of course, if you're a regular Komando.com reader, you know you should never click on links inside email messages, unless you are 100% sure you can trust the person or company who sent it.
Too often, those links are phishing scams. Scammers who want to steal your personal information will trick you into clicking over to their website. It'll look like a legitimate page for PayPal (or another company), so you'll input your personal information and account numbers. Don't do it.
The email below, which was sent to Kim Komando's email address, has several red flags. Read through the email to see if you can spot those warning signs.
Note: Keep reading after you've read the PayPal email (above).
Did you spot the obvious warning signs in this PayPal email to Kim Komando? For starters, if you scroll down to who sent the email, you'll spot two big red flags: 1) PayPal is a U.S. company; you wouldn't be receiving emails from its office in Luxemburg. 2) PayPal's copyright in this email is 2012, not 2015.
Other red flags? How about: 3) Sentences ending in two periods, not one; 4) Grammatical errors like this sentence, "To get Security into your PayPal account ..."; 5) More grammatical errors like, "Before log in your account will be Confirmed ..."
To protect yourself against phishing scams, there are a few things you can do. Call the company that supposedly sent you the email. PayPal, for instance, will direct you to a link on its site, where you can send the phishing email. Never click on email links, unless a family member or co-worker tells you they're sending you one.
Most important, always make sure you keep your online identity and your digital devices protected. Visit the Komando Security Center for tips to protect yourself, including suggestions for free anti-virus software.