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How to spot fake emails like the "Your PayPal Account Is Temporarily Limited" email

Also Known As: Your PayPal Account Is Temporarily Limited phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What kind of email is "Your PayPal Account Is Temporarily Limited"?

After examining this email, we concluded that it is a fake letter from PayPal regarding account status. It is sent by scammers who aim to trick recipients into providing sensitive information. This email contains a link that opens a phishing website (a fake PayPal page asking to provide login credentials).

Your PayPal Account Is Temporarily Limited phishing email

More about the "Your PayPal Account Is Temporarily Limited" phishing email

This email claims that the recipient's PayPal account is temporarily limited due to its questionable use. It states that the recipient must provide more information to be able to receive and send payments and withdraw funds. It instructs the recipient to log in to the PayPal account via the provided link to perform the required tasks.

Clicking the "Log In to PayPal" button in this email opens a fake PayPal login website. Scammers use this page to trick visitors into entering their email or mobile number and password (PayPal account login credentials). Usually, stolen PayPal accounts are used to withdraw money and make purchases, or they are sold to third parties.

Threat Summary:
Name Your PayPal Account Is Temporarily Limited Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim PayPal account is temporarily limited
Disguise Letter from PayPal
Related Domain waispot[.]es
Detection Names (waispot[.]es) Combo Cleaner (Phishing), CRDF (Malicious), Emsisoft (Phishing), CRDF (Malicious), Kaspersky (Phishing), Sophos (Phishing), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address 104.21.93.245
Symptoms Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of the computer.
Distribution methods Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Similar emails in general

As a rule, scammers behind such emails pretend to be legitimate companies (or other entities). Their emails often contain real logos, contact information, etc. They also include a link to a phishing page. Typically, scammers aim to extract sensitive information such as login credentials, credit card details, ID card information, etc.

Examples of phishing emails are "PayPal - Your Order Is Already Processed Email Scam", "Request To Terminate/Disable Your Email Scam", and "DHL e-Shipping Invoice Email Scam". Another way to use email for malicious purposes is to deliver malware.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Threat actors deliver malware via email by sending letters containing malicious attachments or website links. In both cases, cybercriminals attempt to trick users into executing malware (opening a malicious file). The most commonly used files to distribute malware are MS Office, PDF, and other documents, executables, archive files like ZIP, RAR, ISO files, and JavaScript files.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Make sure it is safe to open links or files received via email. Remember that emails used to deliver malware usually are irrelevant to their recipients and sent from unknown or suspicious addresses. Also, do not trust advertisements appearing on questionable websites. Download applications and files only from official websites or stores.

Keep the operating system and installed software up to date. Never use third-party activation or updating tools. If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Appearance of the "Your PayPal Account Is Temporarily Limited" email (GIF):

your paypal account is temporarily limited email scam appearance

Text presented in the "Your PayPal Account Is Temporarily Limited" email letter:

Subject: Verify your PayPal account information


Dear Client ,

 

PayPal
 
Your PayPal account is

temporarily limited.

 

- We recently asked you to take action on your account and we don't seem to have received the required response.
Why is your account limited?
We noticed that you've been using your PayPal account in a questionable manner. To understand this better, we need more information from you.

 

We've also temporarily limited certain features in your PayPal account.
Currently, you won't be able to:

 

Receive payments , Send payments ,
Withdraw funds.

 

What should you do?

 

Log in to your PayPal account and perform the required tasks.
Log In to PayPal

 

Copyright 1999-2022 PayPal. All rights reserved.

 

Consumer advisory - PayPal Pte. Ltd., the holder of PayPal's stored value facility, does not require the approval of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Users are advised to read the terms and conditions carefully.

 

PayPal PPC001652:1.5:c063d1b4b43cc

Screenshot of the phishing website (fake PayPal page):

your paypal account is temporarily limited email scam phishing page

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
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Quick menu:

Types of malicious emails:

Phishing email icon Phishing Emails

Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.

Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.

After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.

Email-virus icon Emails with Malicious Attachments

Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.

In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.

If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.

While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.

Sextortion email icon Sextortion Emails

This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.

To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.

How to spot a malicious email?

While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:

  • Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
  • Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
  • Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
  • Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.

To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows

Example of a spam email:

Example of an email spam

What to do if you fell for an email scam?

  • If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
  • If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
  • If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
  • If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
  • Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why did I receive this email?

This letter was received by all those whose email addresses the scammers behind this phishing campaign have. Typically, phishing emails are not personal.

I have provided my personal information when tricked by this email, what should I do?

Change the passwords on all your online accounts and contact PayPal immediately.

I have downloaded and opened a malicious file attached an email, is my computer infected?

Not all malicious files infect computers immediately after they are opened. If you have opened an executable file, your computer may already be infected. However, MS Office documents cannot infect computers until macros commands are enabled, archive files cannot cause damage without opening their contents, etc.

I have read the email but did not open the attachment, is my computer infected?

Reading and opening emails is harmless. Computers cannot be infected without opening links or attachments in emails used to deliver malware.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections that were present in email attachment?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and remove almost all malware. Computers infected with high-end malware must be scanned using a full scan option. This type of malware can be hiding deep in the operating system.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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