Rose Parade

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Saturday, July 29, 2006

No, YOUR account access is limited!

So, I get this email supposedly from Paypal (service@paypal.com), entitled "Your account access is limited". It contains the following drama: PayPal is constantly working to ensure security by regularly screening the accounts in our system. We recently reviewed your account, and we need more information to help us provide you with secure service. Until we can collect this information, your access to sensitive account features will be limited or terminated. We would like to restore your access as soon as possible, and we apologize for the inconvenience. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Why is my account access limited? Your account access has been limited for the following reason(s): July 29, 2006: We have reason to believe that your account was accessed by a third party. Because protecting the security of your account is our primary concern, we have limited access to sensitive PayPal account features. We understand that this may be an inconvenience but please understand that this temporary limitation is for your protection. (Your case ID for this reason is PP-121-601-924.) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- How can I restore my account access? Please visit the Resolution Center and complete the "Steps to Remove Limitations and Update your Account." Completing all of the checklist items will automatically restore your account access. Now, click on that link and here is the domain name: http://www.terre-et-olivier.fr. Hmm, doesn't look like Paypal to me. Except that whoever they are, they have done a scarily good job of mimicking Paypal's website. I can almost see how people would fall for it. Luckily, I'm smarter than the average bear, especially when people are asking for my username and password on accounts attached to my credit cards. Call it the cynic in me. But I go to Paypal's site, the real one, scroll down to the bottom of the homepage, click on Security Center, which includes instructions on how to "protect yourself from fraudulent emails". So, as instructed, I forward the offending email to spoof@paypal.com. I'm quickly rewarded with an email from Paypal (the real one): We can confirm that the email you received was not sent by PayPal. Any website which may be linked to this email is not authorized or used by PayPal. Our fraud prevention team is working to disable any website linked to this email. In the meantime, please do not enter any information into this website. In case you were unfortunate enough to fall for something like this, Paypal also provided some helpful hints on minimizing the damage: If you have already done so, you should immediately log into your PayPal account and change your password, as well as your security questions and answers. We also recommend that you contact your bank and credit card company immediately. Please follow the instructions below to report an unauthorized transaction associated with your PayPal account: If you are able to log into your PayPal account: 1. Log in to your account at https://www.paypal.com 2. Select the "Resolution Center" subtab. 3. Click "Open a dispute." 4. Select "Unauthorized transaction," then click "Continue." 5. Enter or select the transaction ID for the transaction you would like to dispute, then click "Continue." 6. Complete the report for Unauthorized Use on a PayPal Account, then click "Continue." 7. Confirm that the claim is correct, then click "Submit." If you cannot log in to your account, follow the instructions below to report an unauthorized transaction associated with your PayPal account: 1. Go to https://www.paypal.com/ 2. Click on the "Security Center" link located at the bottom of any page. 3. Under the "Report a Problem" column, click on "UnauthorizedTransaction." 4. Click "Continue" under "Unable to log in?" 5. Confirm that the transaction in question is unauthorized then click "Continue." 6. Complete the report for Unauthorized Use on a PayPal Account, then click "Preview." 7. Confirm that the claim is correct, then click "Submit." 8. Confirm your account ownership by entering the financial information requested, then click "Continue." Lastly, we recommend taking a few steps to protect yourself from identity theft: 1. Download the SafetyBar, a toolbar for Outlook and Outlook Express, which identifies known spoof emails. 2. Get eBay Toolbar with Account Guard which warns you when you're on a potentially fraudulent (spoof) Web site. 3. Sign up for Equifax Credit Alerts for PayPal Users, a program thatprovides an early warning detection system in the event of identity theft. Find out more by visiting the PayPal Identity Protection Center at www.paypal.com/idprotection. 4. Frequently monitor your PayPal account for suspicious activity. For additional tips please visit the PayPal Security Center at https://www.paypal.com/security. Of course, after that, the gleeful smartass aspect of my personality and judgement took over, prompting me to go back to the offending email and click "Reply". This was the message I sent: Congratulations! This email has been forwarded to spoof@paypal.com! Have a great day! Because I just really hate it when people try to fuck with me.

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