Do people really fall for this?


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Here's an e-mail I just received:

Notification of Limited Account Access

Dear Michael Sims ,

PayPal Resolution Center: Your account is limited.

Why is my account access limited?

As part of our security measures, we regularly screen activity in the PayPal system. During a recent screening, we noticed an issue regarding your account:

Our system detected unusual number of invalid logging attempts on you account from these blacklist ip address.

How can I restore my account access?

For your protection, we have limited access to your account until additional security measures can be completed. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. In order to assist us with this security measure, we ask that you send us a photocopy or scan documents listed below and return them via email to :

- A clear copy of your Passport or Photographic Drivers Licence or I.D. Card (both sides).

- A clear copy of both sides of the credit/debit card on your Paypal profile.

- A clear copy of a recent bank statement or utility bill on which your name and address are clearly visible - less than 3 months old.

Completing all of the checklist items will automatically restore your account access

Thank you for using PayPal!


Please do not reply to this email. This mailbox is not monitored and you will not receive a response. For assistance, log in to your PayPal account and click the Help link located in the top right corner of any PayPal page.

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Do people really fall for this?

Sadly, pathetically...yes.

Since I have a few brain cells remaining, I know how to hover my mouse over the link and see a web address that is just slightly less fishy than a Nigerian bank offer. I get one of these things a week, it seems like, and I always laugh and say, "Fuck you!" as I delete it.

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I once almost got caught with a spam email. With our business we use Google AdWords for advertising and one morning I had an email alerting me that the credit card listed on the account wasn't working and for me to log on and enter a valid card....(this had actually happened before, when I had to cancel a credit card).. anyway I clicked the link in the email to fix the problem and just as the page was loading up (perfect copy of AdWords of course) the penny dropped and I remembered that any email asking for details always tells me to log on to their page and change things. A legit email notification will never ask you to click a link.

So yeah, after that, I can see how they get people. I clicked the link out of panic, wanting to make sure my ad's started showing again as quickly as possible. If it wasn't for the fact that I actually stopped and thought for a millisecond who knows how dumb I would look now.

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