PayPal scams are very similar to bank scams. The typical PayPal scam comes in the form of an email which appears to be from PayPal, but is not. It has the right format, the right fonts, the right colors, the right logos, and it looks like an official PayPal email.
Let me reiterate. It is not from PayPal. One way you can tell is that it does not contain your name, exactly as it was given in your PayPal account. PayPal always uses that information in all communication with you.
If you don't have a PayPal account, you'll delete this, and not give it another thought. But if you do have a PayPal account, this email will freak you out, until you realize it's not from PayPal. After all, your credit card (and possibly your bank account) is tied to this account. If someone can access it, they can bankrupt you!
What's really going on here? The link in the email does not take you to the PayPal site. Instead, it takes you to a site which looks like (but is not) the PayPal site. Here you will be asked to login to your account. Once you do so, you have given the scammer your PayPal login information, and they can access your account.
Ironic, isn't it? You were freaked out about someone accessing your account (which wasn't happening) but because you gave your login info, now someone can access your account.
How do you avoid getting suckered by this? Simple. Never click the web link in an email. You know the web address for PayPal. Just type it in manually.
PayPal Scam Sample
Unauthorized access to your PayPal account!
We recently noticed more attempts to log in to your PayPal account from a foreign IP address.
If you accessed your account while traveling, the unusual log in attempts may have been initiated by you. However, if you are the rightfull holder of the account, please visit Paypal as soon as possible to verify your identity:
Click here to verify your account
You can also verify your account by logging into your PayPal account at https://www.paypal.com/us/. If you choose to ignore our request, you leave us no choise but to temporaly suspend your account.
We ask that you allow at least 72 hours for the case to be investigated and we strongly recommend to verify your account in that time.
Thank you for using PayPal!
The PayPal Team
Please do not reply to this email. This mailbox is not monitored and you will not receive a response. For assistance, log in to your PayPal account and choose the Help link located in the top right corner of any PayPal page.
To receive email notifications in plain text instead of HTML, update your preferences here.
PayPal Email ID PP468