A couple weeks ago I was sitting at McDonald’s with my family for a birthday party. I’m not sure why I chose this particular time to check my emails on my phone, but for whatever reason, I’m glad I did.

One email struck me as slightly odd. It was a confirmation email from PayPal. That’s weird. I hadn’t used PayPal for anything recently. It was entirely possible that my husband had bought something off of eBay or some metal detecting website. I opened the email to see what it could possibly be.

As I started skimming through it, the first thing that popped out at me was the fact that my payment was in euros. What the heck did he buy that involved euros? Than I noticed that the purchase was for some photo prints, and that those photos were being shipped to someone I didn’t know in New Milton, Hampshire. Either my husband had a British girlfriend I knew nothing about or this was a scam. That’s when I noticed the link in the email. “Cancel Orders Now?” Since I spend day in and day out dealing with debit and credit card fraud, I had a feeling that I knew where this link would lead. My guess was it was going to take me to a fake PayPal site. Sure enough; the web address was not PayPal.

I took a couple screenshots on my phone and deleted the email. I wasn’t too concerned since I hadn’t entered in any information, but just to be safe I decided that I would log into the legit PayPal site on a different device and change my password. I don’t use PayPal that often so I decided to delete my debit card and account information just for good measure.

Doing research later on that night I discovered that this was a pretty common scam. I found other instances of people receiving the same email. The exact same email. Same name, address and purchase.

I ended the day feeling pretty good about myself. I hadn’t fallen victim to some scam. My money (what little I had) was safe and all was well. At least, that’s what I thought. But that’s another story.