Paypal class action eMail
In these days of e-mail scams, hoaxes and spoofs, its very difficult to trust emails from anyone who wishes to part with a lot of money. Remember the Nigerian e-mail scam and how it fooled a lot of gullible people or the hoax mails from banks or PayPal.
These hoaxes played on...
- People's fears by cautioning them about a security policy update that required them to send personal information.
- or people's greed by offering them vast amounts of money in exchange for a small initial investment on their part.
What people do not know is that they can avoid getting fooled in this manner by carrying a few elementary checks on the Internet.
- The simplest way is to cut 'n paste the subejct of the email they've received in the search box of our favourite search engine. More often than not you'll come across a search result that leads you to a page which has more information on whether that email you received was a hoax or genuine (These emails are, almost always, discussed on online forums.)
- Another method is to go to the official website of the organization that the email has purportedly come from. Once there, find out a contact email address and forward the e-mail you've received to that address asking them to confirm if the e-mail is genuine.
- The best way is to go to the Urban Legends Reference Page and search if there is any information available there. Usually, you'll find reliable information there stating if the e-mail is genuine or a hoax.
This morning, when I checked my inbox, I found an e-mail from PayPal. It was titled, "Notice of Pendency of Class Action and Proposed Settlement". It referred to a class action suit against PayPal (Case No. 02 1227 JF PVT, pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose) which alleged that PayPal had violated the federal Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) by not disclosing to its customers, dispute resolution procedures. As a result, any PayPal members who had joined the service between Oct 1999 and Jan 2004 were entitled to Injunctive and Monetary Relief and should go to https://www.paypal.com/settlement/ (which is redirected to http://www.settlement4onlinepayments.com/).
I was naturally suspicious about this e-mail. So I 'Googled' for it and found vague references to it on various online forums. Most of these forums indicated that this was a genuine case and I also got a link to a news item about the PayPal class action suit. To be doubly sure that this was not a case of someone using the class action suit to scam PayPal customers, I went to the PayPal site (which is https://www.paypal.com ... please note the https) and found a helpful e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org). I forwarded the e-mail, I had received, to this address asking them to advise if it was genuine. To my surprise, in just about a couple of minutes, I received a reply from them (obviously an autoresponder)... the contents of which read...
Thank you for contacting PayPal.
Thank you for bringing the "Notice of Pendency of Class Action and Proposed Settlement¨ email to our attention. We can confirm that PayPal sent this email. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.
Straight from the horse's mouth! Now that settled the matter for me. :-)
In case you're not still convinced and want to be triply sure... have a look at this.