PAYPAL users are being warned of a new email scam that installs a computer-crippling virus on your Windows PC.
The inbox message pretends to come from “[email protected]” with the subject “PayPal account warning” and a Microsoft Word doc attachment that covertly plants the malicious software (malware) on your desktop.
PayPal witnessed 7.6billion payment transactions in 2017 alone, up 24 percent over the previous year
But it’s actually from “[email protected]”, which is a “look-a-like”, typo-riddled website domain designed to trick and confuse victims, according to My Online Security.
“Greetings, dear Client! We noticed a lot of frauds performed by machinations with online services of the accounts of our clients,” reads the fraudulent email.
“Attackers obtain access to accounts by stealing login data and passwords,” it states, adding “this may be very dangerous for your funds and our reputation, so we are asking you to perform some actions, in order to prevent fraud.”.
It continues “To protect your funds, verify please your account data. It will let us approve your post address and personal data. Also we strongly recommend to keep passwords and login data, in the safe place.
“To make your account information verified, please fill and send the next form via e-mail or via post.”
The message signs off with the following warning, alerting you to take immediate action: “if you will not react on this notification, we will be forced to temporarily block your online services until you won’t verify your account information”.
Needless to say, you should treat this message – or any message that comes with external website links and attachments, for that matter – with the utmost suspicion.
If you do get an email warning you about fraudulent activity, like this scam message, just head straight to the source by manually entering the site’s address and following the company’s help and support guides.
Luckily, Microsoft Word versions from 2010 onward automatically open emails downloaded from the web or email in “protected view” that stops any malware from rampaging through your PC.
But the cyber-criminals behind this scam go one step further by encouraging victims to enable macros or enable editing on the Word doc to let you view the content.
Do not follow their advice.
My Online Security also suggests switching to a recent version of Word, if you haven’t already, as older versions are more vulnerable to malware.
The good news for Mac, iPhone and Android users is that the virus is currently limited to Windows computers.