The email is entitled “Unusual activity occurred on your account,” and the text:
Your PayPal account has been temporarily locked. We’ve detected a new login on your account. Please login and verify your identity to unlock your PayPal account.
Followed by a handy big blue verify button, there’s a related issue in the PayPal forums.
The big concern is this email comes in every time I initiate a PayPal transaction, the spoof arrives in the mailbox a few hours later. This implies they have 24/7 watchbots on the line from the email address to the PayPal site, a trend that doesn’t look like going away any time soon for this site, or others, unfortunately.
An item of interest is copying any text in the email to Windows clipboard gets something like a hex dump:
The string between Pay and Pal is repeated through the email as some kind of continuation placeholder hidden in the HTML.
The link you provided suggests it could/most likely be a phishing (they call it spoofing) email from scammers, which coincidentally arrived around the same time as using PayPal. It is worth noting the email subject line you have posted is similar to one which has been flagged by PayPal as one used in phishing emails.
Never click on links in emails (or text messages) because if it is a phishing email, it will direct you to a website that looks like PayPal, but has been set up by criminals with the sole purpose to collect login information so that a PalPal account can be used by them for criminal purposes.
If you clicked on the link in the email, strongly suggest you login to PayPal using the PalPal URL or app and change your password immediately.
If PayPal sent the email there would be a message within PalPal confirming the contents of the email. If your account was locked for some reason, this would be confirmed by being unable to login to your PalPal account. If a PayPal account is locked, this website explains what needs to be done:
Good idea to set up two factor authentication as well. But as phb says, always access your accounts from links you have set up yourself in your bookmarks.
NEVER click on the button or hyperlink in an email. First, click or hold your mouse over the ‘sender’ information in the header. This will open out to show the full sender’s email address. It will usually expose the fake emails as they are often from gmail accounts. Secondly…. Always go directly to the relevant website using your own bookmarks, or type in the web address yourself to see if you account is truely blocked.
Set up 2 factor Authentification and as others have posted previously, only use your browsers bookmarks to go to Paypal.
I once had my PayPal account hacked, my username and password for PayPal was on a long list of data stolen from a website I had previously used.
I become aware when I quickly noticed an unusual transaction on my Steam account for a small amount, they could not help because I had previously authorised Steam to use PayPal as an approved payment.
I couldn’t log into my PayPal account be cause the user name and password had been changed.
So I called PayPal and told them about what was going on, after being thoroughly grilled and answering about 10 - 20 questions that only I would know the answer to, PayPal finally acknowledged that I was the true owner of the account.
What followed was astounding, the hacker had upgraded my account, changed my user name, password, email address, delivery address and virtually every aspect of my account that they could change.
It took a long 30 minutes for me and PayPal to thoroughly scrutinise every possible thing in my account and reverse the changes and setup a new user name and much stronger password.
They were able to do this because at the time I did not have a mobile phone and was not using 2 factor Authentification.
I now have a mobile phone and have setup 2 Factor Authentification.
If I try make a PayPal transaction I automatically get a security code sent to my mobile phone which must be approved quickly or the transaction is rejected.
2 Factor Authentification is a must have these days.
I have found that a good VPN generally stops a lot of these scams. Some still get by the VPN. Choice has a good review on VPN. Preferable a paid one, not a “free” version, as one does not get all the protection.
Totally agree with AussieRagdoll’s answer