Online person-to-person payments operator PayPal has been the target of a seasonal e-mail scam which invited customers to reveal credit card details at a fictional Web site.
An unknown number of PayPal customers received an e-mail earlier this week inviting them to update their account details on a secure site in return for a $5 credit.
The poorly-worded mail began: "Season's Greetings Valued PayPal Customer; As the New Year approaches and as we all get ready to move a year ahead, PayPal would like to give you a $5 credit to your account! All you have to do to claim your $5 gift from us is update your information on our secure Pay Pal site by January 1st, 2002. A year brings a lot of changes, by updating your information with us you will allow for us to continue providing you and our valued customer service with excellent service and in the meantime, keep our records straight!"
The unsecured site to which users were directed, www.paypal-secure.com, is registered to a fictitious company called PayPal Secure, at 1 First Ave, Paypal, SE 123 456, CK. It has since been removed by the Web host.
PayPal.com does not say how many customers received the e-mail or fell victim to the scam. The company says that it regularly warns users not to share personal and financial information with people, businesses, and/or Web sites with which they are not familiar.