A couple of posts ago, I talked about how easy it is to tell whether an e-mail you are getting is for real or a hoax. Just highlight and copy a hunk of text from the message and paste it into Google. A couple of days ago, I received the message pasted below. My first thought was that I was going to be spending some time trying to figure out who had charged something to my account.

I saved myself quite a bit of time and frustration by taking a couple of seconds to simply practice what I preach. The text I chose to highlight and copy was the “Transcation ID”–which was “2LC956793J776333Y.” Pasted that string into Google gave me a whole page of hits , each one making it obvious that the whole thing was not only a hoax, but a phishing scheme. What the culprit wanted was for me to click on a certain link as quickly as possible to “report” the false charge to PayPals. The result would have been I would have been asked for information that would then have resulted in identity theft.

Dear PayPal Member,
This email confirms that you have sent an eBay payment of $43.78 USD to
andrew2091 <mailto:[email protected]&YY=24663&order=down&sort=date&pos=0&view=a&amp;head=f> @aol.com <mailto:[email protected]&YY=24663&order=down&sort=date&pos=0&view=a&head=f> for an eBay item.
Payment Details
Amount: $43.78 USD
Transaction ID: 2LC956793J776333Y
Subject: Digimax 130
If you haven’t authorized this charge ,click the link below to dispute transaction
and get full refund
Dispute transaction (Encrypted Link )
*SSL connection:
PayPal automatically encrypts your confidential information
in transit from your computer to ours using the Secure
Sockets Layer protocol (SSL) with an encryption key length
of 128-bits (the highest level commercially available)
Item Information
eBay User ID: scratchandgnaw2
Andrew Harrell’s UNCONFIRMED Address
Andrew Harrell
211 David St.
Springtown, TX 76082
United States
Important Note: Edward Harrell has provided an Unconfirmed Address. If
you are planning on shipping items to Edward Harrell, please check the
TransactioYn Details page of this payment to find out whether you will
be covered by the PayPal Seller Protection Policy.
This payment was sent using your bank account.
By using your bank account to send money, you just:
– Paid easily and securely
– Sent money faster than writing and mailing paper checks
– Paid instantly — your purchase won’t show up on bills at the end of
the month.
Thanks for using your bank account!
Thank you for using PayPal!
The PayPal Team
PayPal Email ID PP127