Recently, Kingston Police have become aware of a scam in which cybercriminals are taking advantage of PayPal to steal users’ personal or financial information.
According to a media release, the scammers use an urgent phishing email to inform PayPal users that a recent payment did not complete. Because of the popularity of the online payment platform, and the legitimate-looking phone number provided to call for assistance, cybercriminals are often able to fool users into following their directions.
“In this scam, cybercriminals send you a phishing email saying that one of your PayPal payments didn’t process and that you need to act fast,” Kingston Police said. “The email contains a phone number allegedly from PayPal, prompting you to call. This phone call appears legitimate, but it’s actually from cybercriminals spoofing PayPal. If you call this number, cybercriminals can trick you into giving away your personal or financial information.”
Police provided the following tips below to help the public stay safe from similar scams:
- Be cautious when giving your financial information to someone over the phone. Instead, avoid using phone numbers provided in emails and navigate to the organization’s official website.
- Be suspicious of emails that contain a sense of urgency. Cybercriminals use a sense of urgency as an attempt to catch you off guard and get you to click or act impulsively.
- Remember that this type of attack isn’t exclusive to PayPal. Cybercriminals could use this technique to impersonate any organization in any country.
Anyone who has been the victim of this, or any, scam is asked to contact Kingston Police by completing an online report or by calling 613-549-4660, and to also contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by calling 1-888-495-8501.