Scam Alert: Negative Balance Account


I received this email the other day from a scammer spoofing PayPal. The email indicates there is an error in my account and asks that I submit a form (that is attached) to clear up the problem.  If you’ve received a similar email, DO NOT OPEN THE ATTACHMENT!  This scam is designed to steal to your passwords and then your account really could have a negative balance.

Whenever you get an email from a source that looks official, don’t use the links in the email. Instead, go to your browser, type in the site (in this case PayPal), and log in that way.

Below is a copy of the email with my notes in red.

PayPal <>

To: (My address isn’t in the to field which suggests a bulk mailing)

Subject: Negative Balance Account

(The email isn’t personalized to me. If there is an issue with MY account, you think they’d include my name or other personal information).

During our regularly scheduled account maintenance and verification procedure we have detected a slight error in your PayPal account.

This might be due to the following reasons:

1. A recent change in your personal information (ie. change of address, email address)

2. An inability to accurately verify your selected option of payment due to an internal error within our systems.

We have attached a form to this email. Please download the form and follow the instructions on your screen. NOTE: The form needs to be opened in a modern browser which has javascript enabled (ex: Internet Explorer, Firefox ,Netscape) (This attachment will steal your passwords. First red flag is that a form should be a document not a htm file. Second, an htm file wouldn’t need to be downloaded.)

Please understand that this is a security measure intended to help protect you and your account.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

If you choose to ignore our request, you leave us no choice but to temporary suspend your account. (This is a threat to make you follow through. Ignore it!)

PayPal Account Review Department.

Please do not reply to this e-mail. Mail sent to this address are not monitored.
For assistance, log in to your PayPal account and choose the “Help” link in the footer of any page.

Remember!!! If you ever get email from PayPal or any other place that you have an online account (eBay, Amazon, your bank, etc), that includes a link or attachment, don’t click on it. All these sites will have any information you need to know if you log in to your account by opening your browser, typing in the URL of the site and logging in there.

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  2. Christina says

    I received numerous emails from paypal like this, and I do not have an account at all with them. Forward the email to Their Security Dept. will investigate. It is a phishing email.

    1. LTruex says

      Hi Christina, Thanks for your comment. I get emails like this as well…from banks I don’t belong to at times. Thanks again.

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