Con artists have been emailing fake payment confirmations claiming to be from PayPal that contain links that, if clicked, allow them to install malicious malware.

If you have a PayPal account, the BBB says to not allow this phishing scam fool you.

Phishing scams look like legitimate emails, and they are getting more sophisticated every day. What these con artists are really after is your banking and financial information. And they won’t mind destroying your computer to get it.

How the Scam Works:

You get an email claiming to be from PayPal. The message informs you that you have recently sent a payment to your PayPal account.

Since the payment will sound foreign to you, there is an option to ‘cancel the order’ if the transaction wasn’t made by you. By clicking that button, you are allowing the scam artist complete access to your computer and all the files and information stored on it.

Paula Fleming, spokesperson for the BBB Serving Eastern MA, ME, RI & VT says,

“Allowing a scammer to access your computer can open you up to the risk of identity theft. Scam artists can install malware that records passwords or hunts for personal information, such as bank account numbers, on your computer.”

Protect Yourself from Phishing Emails:

Call before you click: If something sounds suspicious, confirm it by calling the company or checking the company website. Type the URL directly into your browser or do a web search. DON'T click on any links in unexpected messages.

Look for misspellings: Look out for spelling and grammar mistakes when dealing with a suspicious-looking email claiming to come from well-known companies. Additionally, check the copyright at the bottom of the email - if it looks even slightly different, then it is most likely a fake.

Be cautious of generic emails. Scammers try to cast a wide net by including little or no specific information in their fake emails. Always be wary of messages that don't contain your name, last digits of your account number or other personalized information.

Check out more BBB Tips: Many phishing scams use similar techniques; click here for more advice on how to avoid these scams.

An example of a phishing email impersonating PayPal may look like this:

Learn more about how to spot fake emails from PayPal by visiting PayPal’s Online Help Center.

If you suspect you've received a fake email confirmation from PayPal, forward the email to and report the scam to BBB Scam Tracker.

For more information visit the Better Business Bureau website at

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