There's a scary new phishing scam stealing Social Security numbers that's popping up in email boxes like yours. But this scam is so well done that you may not realize it's a scam. Here's how it works.
Cybercriminals are counting on people like you to open up your email and click on hyperlinks or attachments. Don't do that, unless you're 100 percent sure who sent it to you.
The scammers create emails that look like they're coming from well-known companies. In this new attack, those emails look like they're coming from the digital financial company PayPal. (Do you know how to spot phishing scam red flags? Click here to find out.)
Their email has an alarming message telling you that your account has been frozen. You have "limited access" to your account.
The only way to get full access to your account is to update your personal information with PayPal. Rest assured, it's not PayPal emailing you. To be sure it's not, call PayPal's customer support department.
In the scammer's email, they include an HTML attachment. If you were to click on it, it redirects you to a malicious site where they collect your personal information, including your SSN, home address, your credit card information, your phone number and your mother's maiden name.
In other words, they're stealing your ID so they can use it to make purchases and steal your money.