How to spot fraudulent emails?

Fraudulent emails, also known as “phishing” emails, try to trick you into revealing sensitive information like passwords or bank details. They often contain links to fake or “spoof" websites in an attempt to steal your information. They may even ask you to call a fake customer service number.

Tips to spot a fake email:

  • They usually begin with a generic greeting like “Hello, PayPal member”. A real PayPal email will always address you by your first and last name, or the business name on your PayPal account.
  • The email tries to create a sense of urgency or panic. For example, it may threaten that your account will be suspended if you don’t respond immediately.
  • It asks for sensitive financial or personal information. Authentic PayPal emails will never ask you for your bank details, card details, your PayPal password etc.
  • It contains hyperlinks to fake websites. Always ensure that the website address in your address bar begins with The 's' in ‘https’ means the website is secure. Even if it contains the word "PayPal", it may not be an authentic PayPal webpage.
  • It includes an attachment or a software update to install on your computer. 
  • It states you’ve received money, but it won’t appear in your PayPal account until you ship the item and provide a tracking number. Before you ship anything, log in to your PayPal account and check that you were actually paid. If you’ve been paid, you’ll see the payment in your PayPal account.
Receiving a fraudulent email doesn't mean that your PayPal account has been compromised though. If you suspect an email is fraudulent, don’t reply to it and don’t click any links or open any attachments. Simply forward the email to us at and then delete it.

If you replied to a suspicious email and provided your PayPal password, or entered it on a suspicious webpage, we advise changing your PayPal password. If you provided sensitive financial details, you should inform your bank. Check your PayPal account Activity for payments you don't recognise. If you notice any payments that you didn't make, report them to us. If you can’t log in to your PayPal account and you believe that unauthorised payments have been made from your account, please call our Customer Service.