Oh, a PayPal account warning that WASN’T spam. What are the chances?

I received the following recently and, as the content and layout all looked exactly like social engineering emails I see quite regularly, was just about to delete it as part of my regular Junk Mail clean-up when I noticed the tell-tale signs were missing or wrong.


  1. The email was addressed to me personally – that’s very rare for spam.
  2. All the URLs actually went to legitimate PayPal web pages – usually there’s one that doesn’t and that’s the one spammers want you to click.
  3. The content was in good English.

So I logged on to PayPal’s website and was pleased (in a strange way) to see that EU regulations required me to answer one question.

I’m glad I check my Junk Mail messages before purging them – I don’t get too many and once in a while something spam-like turns up that you really need to read.


From: service@paypal.co.uk [mailto:service@paypal.co.uk]
Sent: 29 December 2011 02:27
To: {{my email address}}
Subject: We noticed an issue with your account



We need your help



Dear John Breakwell,


We need your help resolving an issue with your PayPal account.


What’s the problem?


Please provide the necessary information by 12/02/2012. If we don’t receive the information in time, we are required by law to limit access to your account. When PayPal limits an account, your funds may be held until we’ve confirmed your identification as per the User Agreement.


Reference Number: {{You don’t need to see this}}


How you can help


It’s usually quite straightforward to take care of these things. Most of the time, we just need some more information about your account or latest transactions.


Please log in to your account and go to the Resolution Centre to find out what you need to do. If we don’t hear from you by 12/02/2012, we may limit what you can do with your account until the issue is resolved.


Yours sincerely,




Help Centre:


Safety Advice:



Please do not reply to this email because we are not monitoring this inbox.

To get in touch with us, log in to your account and click “Contact Us” at the bottom of any page.


Copyright © 2011 PayPal. All rights reserved.


PayPal (Europe) S.à r.l. et Cie, S.C.A.

Société en Commandite par Actions

Registered office: 22-24 Boulevard Royal, L-2449 Luxemburg RCS Luxemburg B 118 349


PayPal Email ID {{You probably don’t need to see this either}}

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