By now, most of you know that I preach computer safety and think that everyone that owns a computer should be careful with suspicious emails. Yesterday, I stopped in to see my neighbor Salvador and thank him for edging my front yard (he really didn't have to do that.) His wife sent me upstairs to see him. As I got up there, Sal was typing in his credit card information on a "PayPal" account. I asked him, "Setting up a new account? I thought you had one already." He said he did but he got an email saying that the account may have been compromised. He had already logged in with his username and password, given his social security number and was about to give his credit card information. I stopped him just in time.
If you take your mouse and hover over a link in an email, you will see where it is sending you. (That isn't easy to fake unless they took over that company's domain name.) Usually it will say where it is taking you at the bottom of your screen. In Sal's case, it was http://hometown.aol.de/janice2233 and these places can look very authentic. Take a look. This is how genuinely scary spam can be. PayPal works in coordination with your credit card or bank account. If Janice2233 had jumped on Sal's mistake sooner, they could have changed his password and made purchases of nearly $5,000 using one-day delivery service to a generic address. Thankfully, I changed his password immediately and the only thing to worry about is that someone out there has his name, possibly his address and social security number. Protect yourself folks.