Watch for PayPal and Amazon scam attempts

Published 7:00 am Thursday, January 5, 2017

Attempts to scam people from their hard-earned cash continue.

But, Internet users can take comfort in the fact that the same methods used in years past are still being employed, and as such the same tell tale signs of a scam apply.

The most recent scams reported by the Attorney General’s Office are aimed at users of Amazon and PayPal.

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Both attempts aim to obtain private information that would allow the scammer to obtain your username and password, thereby allowing them to purchase items or possibly steal your identity, the release states.

As always, look for poor grammar in emails of any type requesting your personal information. Another sign the email could be a scam attempt is if the web address is misspelled.

As in the case with the PayPal scam, the release states that the web address has PayPal spelled incorrectly.  If the user clicks on that link, they are taken to a website that looks very similar to the true PayPal website, except the scammer is actually trying to obtain the user’s personal information.

Amazon users are being targeted as well. The release states that the emails are sent in an effort to trick users into installing malicious software capable of stealing personal information or trick the user into providing that information. Again, these emails often contain a number of typos and grammatical errors. Other attempts may entail an email concerning an order that was not placed by the user.

By detecting whether these emails are authentic before clicking on any links or downloading any software inadvertently, you can protect yourself and your identity.

If the authenticity of any email is in question, instead of clicking on or copying and pasting the link in the email, start a new browser session and visit the actual site in question to login safely.

One last tip, when purchasing items from an online retailer,  look for “https:” at the beginning of the address in the address bar at the top of the screen. The “s” at the end means the site employs security technology.