I've always considered myself intelligent, internet savvy, and even street smart. After last week, I am reconsidering all three of those preconceived notions.  

I looked at my phone to find an email from PayPal stating that someone had requested a payment of $798.77. I didn't recognize the name, but I also knew that this was probably a fake email, so instead of clicking the link, I opened my PayPal app. Much to my surprise, the request was real.  

Just because someone requests money doesn't mean it's a legitimate claim. This could be someone requesting money from the wrong person by accident or someone trying to see if you'll take the bait and send them money. I'm smarter than this, so I called the customer service phone number that said I should contact if I didn't know the person requesting the money.

I didn't notice that the full name of the person requesting money was, "John Sxxxh. If you don't know this person, call customer service at 1-888-284-1xx6 to report this claim as fraudulent."

When I called the number, the customer service representative said he would send me a text with a code to clear out the fraudulent claim. I got a text from PayPal and read him the code. He politely thanked me and said he would send me an email with a link to a report I needed to file.

Once I received this email, I clicked on the link that took me to the portal to report fraudulent claims. When I clicked on the website, it quickly downloaded software onto my computer. He hung up, and I immediately knew I had been had.

The code I read to him was the code from PayPal to reset my password. He needed it to change my password so that only he could access my account and send himself money. I literally helped him rob me and also allowed him access to all of my personal information on my computer.

As it turns out, scammers don't only scam the elderly; they can also scam someone who I used to think was pretty smart and savvy about this kind of stuff.  

Be careful. These clever scammers are targeting Idaho PayPal users like you.

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Gallery Credit: Kyle Matthews

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