Share article:
Share article:

Warning: Scammers targetting PayPal customers in Belgium

© Bench Accounting via Unsplash

The online payment platform PayPal has warned users in France and Belgium of a new scam by which crooks try to harvest your personal and financial details using a fake email.

The technique is known as phishing, and involves criminals posing as a trusted entity like a company in order to gain your trust and convince you to hand over details that will then allow them to crack your financial accounts.

Typically, that takes the form of an email explaining some catastrophic breakdown, and asking you to follow a link where you are asked to provide crucial details such as email password, account password or bank details.

The phishing email looks official, with a PayPal logo, and reads as follows (but in French):

Your account is the subject of suspicious transactions. We have temporarily restricted your account due to this suspicious activity until the issue is resolved. If you have not authorised this transaction, please dispute the transaction as soon as possible by clicking the button below.”

Standard practice for the scammers is first of all to sow the seeds of panic in the mind of the recipient, knowing that a panic reaction immediately makes the recipient less wary of possible risk. The message concludes by suggesting an easy solution: click on a link and all will be well.

Of course the recipient disputes the transaction listed, as it has been invented by the thieves and never took place. But once they have visited the link concerned, they are vulnerable to other kinds of fraud, including the installation of malware.

Despite appearances, there is one way to check if the email is really from PayPal or from fraudsters: the headers will reveal that the mail is coming from an @skynet address.

PayPal warns recipients that it always sends communications to customers from an @paypal address, and certainly not from Skynet – an old domain owned by Proximus.

The platform advises recipients to report the email to the authorities via safeonweb.be, then delete it.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Duvel celebrates 150th anniversary with special brew in commemorative bottle
Belgium’s Duvel Moortgat Brewery is celebrating its 150th anniversary with the release of a special brew in a commemorative bottle shaped like its ...
Pollution scandal: 3M to show emissions don’t pose risk or halt production
Flanders has ordered American company 3M, involved in a pollution scandal in Antwerp, to prove that emissions linked to its production activities do ...
The Netherlands fears a greater rise in sea levels than forecast
Sea levels could rise by up to two metres by 2100 on the Dutch coastline – far more than previously forecast – according to an announcement from the ...
The Smurfs return to Belgian TV with the first new show since 1989
A new Smurfs show is bringing the characters of Belgium's second-most-famous comic franchise back to the small screen with their first new series, 30 ...
Almost half of Belgian subsidies from EU left unused
Belgium left almost half (49%) of its subsidies allocated by the European Union between 2013 and 2020 unused, the equivalent of around €1.375 ...
Visitors to embark on Orient Express adventure at Brussels exhibition
An exhibition dedicated to the Orient Express – the train that was the scene for many novels, including Agatha Christie's – allows visitors to ...
Offers for fake Covid Safe Tickets circulating on social media
As the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) becomes mandatory in many places across Belgium, offers for forgeries are increasingly circulating on social media. ...
Belgium in Brief: Feeling Good/ Pandemic Law
Yesterday I said I was writing a newsletter I didn't want to write again. Today I'm writing another one ahead of a meeting that wasn't supposed ...
Eating less meat won’t actually help much with Flemish CO2 emissions
When it comes to the ways in which ordinary people can help to reduce CO2 emissions, eating less meat is often touted as an important solution. ...
At least one in seven coronavirus patients suffers from long-term Covid
Six months after becoming infected with the coronavirus, at least one in seven people still show symptoms connected to the infection, varying from ...
Operation Sky ECC: Major arrests and another large scale operation
A major operation took place last night in Belgium as a result of Operation Sky ECC, the name given to an investigation into organised crime that ...
On this day in Brussels: An entrepreneurial journey begins
The Rue Dansaert was just beginning to become trendy when Alain Coumont opened his first bakery here on 26 October 1990. He started by baking big ...