What would you do if you got an email from PayPal saying it is billing you hundreds of dollars for a camera that you never ordered?
That's what happened to a Warren County, Ohio woman -- and it should be a warning to everyone.
Living in the country, Kerry Frazee depends on her dogs Buckeye and Toughie for protection. But they weren't able to protect her from a suspicious email that popped up on her phone.
"The email was from PayPal. It just said, 'Thank you for your purchase,'" she said.
However, Frazee didn't recall making any purchase.
"I clicked on it, and it said I bought a GoPro from eBay, with eBay's little logo, and it said to cancel your purchase, click here."
She didn't want her account billed $171, so she decided to report a fraudulent purchase.
"It said 'click here, and login to PayPal, if this was not your order,'" she said. "So I did."
What happens when you click
"It directed me to another page, where it wanted me to enter more information, an address, phone number, things like that," Frazee said. "And I said well, this doesn't look right."
Frazee had been lured by a slick email scam. It implied that if she didn't cancel the transaction, someone would be getting an expensive camera on her dime.
But had she inspected the email carefully she might have found a strange return address, and a URL with nonsensical lettering that was certainly no from PayPal.
When she logged into the real PayPal, she realized nothing was wrong.
While it appears Frazee dodged a bullet, she is now changing all her passwords just in case the scammers grabbed them from her phone.
Next time, she'll be a lot more careful.
"That email was so slick," Frazee said. "Because I watch (WCPO) all the time, and I should know better."
How to protect yourself
If you get an email from PayPal, eBay, Amazon or your bank about a purchase you didn't make, it's easy to panic, and click the first link you see.
But don't do it.
Instead, log into the company the way you normally do, and see if there was any unusual activity, so you don't waste your money.
“Don't Waste Your Money” is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. (“Scripps”).
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