PayPal website: Fraudsters rely on the widespread use of the payment service
Photo: Silas Stein / dpa
Has your PayPal account paid for something on a gambling site?
But I can supposedly still stop the payment if I log into my account right now via this link?
Such a blessing in disguise, one might think – if the e-mail weren't forged.
The consumer protection portal »Watchlist Internet« warns that anyone who is currently receiving such an e-mail or a similar e-mail should not believe the message and should never click on any links in it.
Behind the message were criminals trying to steal their PayPal account credentials and credit card details from users.
"We have received a request to make a deposit in an online gambling shop using the card linked to your PayPal account," says the fake news, for example, which often contains spelling and punctuation errors.
Definitely not a real PayPal web address
With the current scam, the victims are directed to an alleged PayPal page, which is quite well faked, but can be recognized as a fake by the Internet address (URL) if you pay attention: "payphelpcenter370172755.info" is clearly not a real PayPal URL.
In general, anyone who is unsure about messages that suggest account closures or dubious transactions should calmly log into the account in question and check there.
It is advisable to type the Internet address into the browser by hand or to access the page via a search engine.
In the account itself, it can usually be quickly clarified that the claims made in the e-mail are fictitious.
Anyone who fell for the scammers this time and disclosed their data on their phishing sites should change their PayPal password directly and inform their bank about the credit card.
It is also advisable to activate PayPal's two-factor authentication via a special app, not just via your own cell phone number.
PayPal provides setup instructions here.
If any amounts have already been debited, you should try to have them retrieved from the bank.
If the financial damage caused cannot be reversed, the only option is to report it to the police.