Saturday, 10 May 2008

Fake links in emails etc

If you have arrived here from the Purple Coo Common Room post "Interesting website", you have obviously clicked on one of the links I gave in that post.

Chez nous we have had several spoof PayPal emails, with the subject line along the lines of "Problem with your account", "Account temporarily suspended" and "Security alert on your account!". I spotted them as fakes because one of the things one of the emails asked me to do is to click on the link they give to activate my account, ostensibly to verify the credibility of the email they have sent; however, when I hovered the cursor over the link, I saw a completely different address in the Preview Pane status line - see the image below:

All they have done, which is what I did in my Common Room post, is type an 'apparent' link, or make a 'button' link, with the 'actual' link being to somewhere completely different to where you think you'll be going if you click on it. Bad grammar and misuse of Capital letters in the body of the email message is also a clue.

If you DO get an email purporting to come from Paypal that you think might not be from them, the address to forward it to for verification is: They will get back to you to say whether it is bona fide or not.