Fraudulent E-mail Warning – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Fraudulent E-mail Warning

The Office of Information Technology would like to alert the campus community that there have been a number of fraudulent e-mails appearing to originate from PayPal in the recent days. This has been a worldwide problem; there have been many destined for the HWS campus. Often these e-mails warn you of pending expiration of your PayPal account and may provide links or programs to run which will allow you to update your information.

Please simply delete these messages, do not reply or run attachment files. DOIT is working to ensure our spam database and our scanners remove the attachments and eventually block the offending messages as quickly as possible.

PayPal has provided the following information to remain safe with PayPal: (also available at

Protect Yourself from Fraudulent E-mails and Web sites

At PayPal, protecting your account's security is our top priority. Recently, PayPal members have reported suspicious-looking e-mails and fake Web sites. These e-mails are not from PayPal and responding to them may put your account at risk. Please protect your PayPal account by paying close attention to the e-mails you receive and the Web sites you visit.

Please use the following tips to stay safe with PayPal:

Safe Log In: To log in to your PayPal account or access the PayPal website, open a new web browser (e.g., Internet Explorer or Netscape) and type in the following:

Greeting: E-mails from PayPal will address you by your first and last name or the business name associated with your PayPal account. Fraudulent e-mails often include the salutation “Dear PayPal User” or “Dear PayPal Member”.

E-mail Attachments: PayPal emails will never ask you to download an attachment or a software program. Attachments contained in fraudulent e-mails often contain viruses that may harm your computer or compromise your PayPal account.

Request for Personal Information: If we require information from you, we will notify you in an e-mail and request that you enter the information only after you have safely and securely logged in to your PayPal account.

Often, fraudulent e-mails will request details such as your full name, account password, credit card number, bank account, PIN number, Social Security Number, or mother's maiden name.

If you think that you have received a fraudulent e-mail (or fake Web site), please forward the e-mail (or URL address) to and then delete the e-mail from your mailbox. Never click any links or attachments in a suspicious email.

To learn more about protecting your PayPal account, please review our Security Tips.

Please feel free to contact HWS DOIT via the helpdesk at ext. 4357 if you have any questions or concerns regarding this or other problems.