| | | Effective PR


This spam-scam is remarkable. It's as if the sender thinks that by throwing everything at the wall, something will stick. But for the even slightly alert, it fails before the target even opens it.

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It's headed "Thanks for shopping"

It claims to be from PayPal Billing - with the address grant5978gol@gmail.com

But it's got information (albeit wrong) that suggests at least some knowledge of our company.

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It's clever. It's simple. It's even got a personal identifier in it (not that that's clever - and it demonstrates that it's scam - for reasons we aren't going to explain in public)

Many people will click on this. They shouldn't.

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Seriously: if there is a way to stuff up, it seems as if FinTech giant PayPal is working hard to implement it. Here's the "Virtual Agent." Remember: this is, at its heart, a tech company.

"Need more help?" says the PayPal page. Another quality control failure....

In or about 2003, I closed our publishing company's account with PayPal because they kept blocking the account. At the time, PayPal wasn't the enormous global powerhouse that it has become. It was, essentially, a bunch of nerds for whom compliance and risk management was a nuisance. When electronic money started to exercise the US government's collective mind, PayPal found that it needed some risk management processes. They didn't do it properly. Then, later, when PayPal expanded into Europe, it migrated our account to its EU operations and put money laundering, etc. risk and compliance in Dublin where they set up systems that were not only rubbish but sent out letters referring to non-existent legislation. But now, a piece of essential third party produced software is pushing us towards at least opening, even if we don't use it, a PayPal account. How hard can it be? Surely they have learned something in...

It's that time again: PayPal spam-scam time. But even by the standards of badly constructed spam-scams, this one is bad. So bad it's funny and so bad that anyone who falls victim to it may just be too stupid to live. But the bigger danger is that it's not a phishing scam but a way of placing malware on victims' computers and if that happens they are being human not stupid.

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There's a lot of buzz about Person to Person Payments (sometimes called P2PP) but are they just a fad that don't add much to the old ways?

Google has announced that its Checkout service is to be abandoned as of 20 November 2013. It's focussing on payments for non-physical goods and shipping other providers off to third parties, signalling a surrender to PayPal and Amazon Payments. It's another example of Google building a product and orphaning users.What's worse - it's gonna cost you. Google has developed what amounts to a corporate social responsibility product that is a huge benefit to, especially, very small businesses. Now, having encouraged reliance on it, it's kicking them in the most tender region.

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