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PayPal has a fraud problem


At first glance, the email looks like a textbook phishing attempt. Subject line: “Invoice from Help those affected by the California Wildfires. Body text: “‘Help those affected by the California Wildfires’ sent you an invoice for $35.00 USD.” A button in the email reads “View and Pay Invoice.” Who in their right mind would click that?

In fact, the email really is from PayPal ( and there really is an invoice waiting for you in your PayPal dashboard. The transfer is already pending, even if you never clicked that dreaded button.

I should know: It happened to me this weekend. I was able to resolve it easily enough but, being a reporter by training, decided to put on my journalist hat and try to understand why this is happening, or at least what PayPal is doing about it.


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