PayPal is the online payments site that many people use nowadays because it's convenient and allows for hassle-free and instant money transfers. Its popularity has also inspired cyber criminals to think up spam and scams that try to take advantage of gullible users--so that they can help themselves to their existing PayPal accounts in the process. Talk about sneaky.
This type of scam used to be easy to identify because they were peppered with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors all throughout. It looks like scammers took a course in English 101, though, because they're churning out better-sounding emails, making it highly likely that more people will fall for it.
An example of this scam is provided by Webroot:
It has come to our attention that your PayPal® account information needs to be updated as part of our continuing commitment to protect your account and to reduce the instance of fraud on our website. However, failure to update your records will result in account suspension. Please update your records before June 12, 2012.
This particular email begins with 'Dear Costumer,' so that's a telltale sign that something's fishy with the message. Also, most PayPal emails actually address the user by their complete name, as registered, so that's another thing to watch out for.
The link included in the email redirects to a phishing web page that looks like PayPal's login page, with shopping ads and a Verisign logo. Submitting your login information will send your details straight to the scammers' inbox, so if you did fall for it, then report it right away to PayPal and change your password as soon as possible.
The best way to spot scam emails is to look at the tiny details, from the subject, to the dates specified in the email, to how they address you. If something seems off, then what you've got their is mostly a scam.