Sadly, there are a lot of people that will try and hijack your identity online these days. Online scams come in many forms, but personalised emails are getting harder and harder to work out as you will see in this example.

My wife and I are pretty switched on when it comes to scams. Fortunately for us we are able to pick up when something isn’t right. If you aren’t concentrating on what you are doing though, you might just be putting your data or personal identity at risk!

The provider in this example is PayPal. These scammers make use of the widely known organisations that provide services world-wide as there is more chance that you will open them when you know who they are.

PayPal emails

Scam email representing PayPal
Real email from PayPal

These images show you just how intricate the detail is in trying to deceive you. They have really taken time to craft the layout of the email to make it look very close to the real emails you get. But there are a few important things that make it stand out if you don’t get a lot of them to recognise it yourself:

  • There is a secondary logo on the page – not necessarily a giveaway, but the original only has the one.
  • There is a changing in the wording – ‘Seller’ becomes ‘Merchant’
  • There are no shipping details – hey, if you ordered a product doesn’t it have to come to our address??
  • The payment summary area is slightly different – once again not obvious, but at a glance looks pretty normal

Lastly in the image below is the kicker. When you get url’s in emails you can hover over them to see where they are actually going to take you. If it’s a URL like this, you would expect the link to be the same as the text itself, but in this case it is going to take you to an entirely different page (x5ser.com). I didn’t click on this, just deleted the email, but the deception is there.

Please be careful with emails you get, you should know if it’s something that you have ordered or paid for, but if you aren’t sure the extra thirty seconds to check the email will be worth it!

For more information on scams, Scamwatch is a website by the ACCC that has information on a lot of scams currently being used, and a place to report new ones if you think you need to. You can visit Scamwatch by clicking here.