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PayPal Doesn’t Really Need You to Unlock Your Account

Earlier this week, a local North Alabama resident received an email claiming to be from PayPal stating her account had been temporarily locked. The original email included a live link under the “Unlock your account” statement. The scam email is displayed below with the live link removed for security purposes.

How can you tell that this is a fake email? First, it is vague. It does not state who specifically the email is from or why the account has been locked but only leads the consumer to a button that reads “Unlock your account”. Clicking the link will either download malicious code on your computer, or take you to a website that will try to steal your personally identifiable information from you.  Best practice: access your documents directly from

PayPal Phishing Email

PayPal offers the following tips to combat phishing attempts:

  • “Any email from PayPal will address you by your first and last name or your business name in the body of the email.
  • We will never address you as “Dear valued customer” or “Dear buyer”.
  • An email from PayPal won’t ask you to send sensitive information like your password, bank account, or credit card. If information is required to confirm or maintain your account, you will be asked to visit to log into your account securely.”

PayPal advises users to immediately report suspicious emails by forwarding the entire phishing email to

For more tips from PayPal, please visit Suspicious Activity Tips

Source: BBB of North Alabama and PayPal

To report a scam, go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, go to