How to avoid falling for scams like "PayPal Crypto Purchase Invoice"

Also Known As: PayPal Crypto Purchase Invoice phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What kind of scam is "PayPal Crypto Purchase Invoice"?

We have examined the email and determined that it is a phishing email intended to steal personal information and (or) money from unsuspecting individuals. This scam email is disguised as a notification from PayPal regarding an invoice. Recipients should ignore this email.

PayPal Crypto Purchase Invoice email spam campaign

More about the "PayPal Crypto Purchase Invoice" scam email

As we mentioned in the introduction, this phishing email impersonates PayPal and appears to be an invoice notification. It includes a fake invoice number (AXCU8YNDWB) and claims that payment is due upon receipt. The email requests a payment of $699 in Bitcoin (BTC). It also provides a phone number for inquiries.

This email is likely an attempt by scammers to steal money, personal information, or deceive recipients into contacting them. Typically, such scams involve requesting for credit card details, ID card information, login credentials, or other information that may be used to steal identities, hijack online accounts, make unauthorized purchases, etc.

Moreover, if recipients call/contact the scammers via the number provided in the email, scammers might try to install malware on their devices through malicious links or files provided during the communication, further compromising their security and privacy. Additionally, scammers may request recipients to pay for fake services or products.

Thus, recipients should ignore emails like the one described in this article to avoid being scammed and safeguard their financial and personal information. It is crucial to be careful and refrain from engaging with suspicious communications, especially when they involve requests for payment or sensitive data.

Threat Summary:
Name PayPal Crypto Purchase Invoice Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim The recipients are required to pay a sum of $699 in the form of Bitcoins.
Provided Number +1 818 937 4012
Disguise Invoice from PayPal
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 scam emails in general

Overall, such emails commonly impersonate reputable organizations or other entities, use urgent language, and request for payments or sensitive information. They often contain links to phishing websites where individuals are requested to provide personal information. Also, links and files in such emails can lead to computer infections.

Examples of similar emails are "Invoice Request", "Switch To New Server", and "Agreement Update".

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Threat actors usually distribute malware through email by including malicious attachments (such as executables, PDFs, archives, MS Office documents, or scripts) or links in their messages. Computer infections occur when recipients open these attachments or perform additional actions (e.g., enabling macros/editing upon opening infected documents or running files extracted from archives).

Additionally, malware can be triggered by opening files obtained from untrustworthy or compromised websites or through drive-by downloads.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Exercise caution when handling irrelevant emails containing links or attachments, especially if they originate from unfamiliar sources. Obtain applications and files from reputable sources like official websites and app stores. Steer clear of clicking on dubious advertisements, buttons, or pop-ups on unofficial websites.

Avoid using cracked (pirated) software or tools designed to bypass the activation of licensed software. Keep your operating system, software, and security software updated, and run regular scans on your computer using the installed security tool. If you have already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "PayPal Crypto Purchase Invoice" email letter:


Dear -
Date: Wed, 24 Apr 2024 16:12:09 +0000
Payment Terms: Due on receipt

Amount Due: $699 (BTC equivalent)

Please ensure timely payment. Thank you!

For any inquiries, contact us:
Phone: +1 818 937 4012

Bill To (email)
Description Quantity Unit Price Amount
Bitcoin Purchase 0.01000000 BTC $699 $699

Note to Recipients
Thanks for your Business
Subtotal $699

Total: $699 (BTC equivalent)

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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?

Cybercriminals commonly distribute phishing emails to numerous email addresses, hoping that some recipients will fall victim to their scheme. They acquire email addresses through methods like data breaches, phishing pages, and public databases.

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

If you have disclosed banking or credit card details, contact your bank or credit card company immediately. Also, change passwords for accounts that may have been compromised, (e.g., email, banking, social media, or other online accounts).

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

The probability of your computer being infected depends on the type of file you opened. Opening executable files such as .exe files presents a higher risk of malware infection, whereas document files entail a lower risk.

I have sent cryptocurrency to the address presented in such email, can I get my money back?

Cryptocurrency transactions cannot be reversed or canceled without the consent of the recipient. Thus, cryptocurrency sent to scammers cannot be retrieved.

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

Simply opening an email poses no threat. Computers can be infected upon clicking on links within the email or opening attached files.

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

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and remove nearly all known malware. Running a full system scan is essential to ensure thorough detection and removal, as high-end malware tends to be hidden deep in the 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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