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FBI Warns of E-Mail Scam Touting PayPal Class-Action Suit

The FBI is warning Internet users to be on the lookout for a new phishing scam that urges recipients to update their credit card and account information in order to receive funds from a PayPal class-action settlement.

According the FBI, the scam e-mail message includes convincing elements, such as a litigation case number from a United States District Court in California. It also links to a secure Web site address where recipients can view a copy of the settlement agreement and includes a statement that says PayPal will contact people who do not submit their information by March 31 in order to forward them a check in the mail.

The class-action suit it mentions is indeed real, but this e-mail is a scam. The official site for the real class-action settlement is here. That site also contains the entire text of the phishing e-mail message. If you get an e-mail about the suit, do the safe thing and throw it away. If you think you're eligible to participate in the real class action, go to the Web link provided in the preceding sentence.

Many phishing sites are easy to spot, but others are fairly well done and convincing. One excellent tool I cannot recommend enough is Netcraft's anti-phishing toolbar (works for IE and Firefox), which warns you when you're about to visit a phishing site and provides lots of data about any site you visit.

By Brian Krebs  |  December 1, 2005; 11:37 AM ET
Categories:  Latest Warnings , Safety Tips  
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