Google users searched for answers about a Kathleen Ryan PayPal scam money request or invoice email.
Kathleen Ryan/Facebook

On June 17, 2024, Google users searched online for the four words “Kathleen Ryan PayPal scam.” The users’ searches referenced a fraudulent phishing email in the form of an invoice or money request. The email’s “from” address appeared as “service@paypal.com.” The inclusion of this email address possibly fooled some recipients into wrongly believing the message had legitimacy.

The Kathleen Ryan PayPal Scam

A search of Facebook and X for a PayPal scam under the name of Kathleen Ryan initially displayed zero helpful results. However, a Facebook search narrowed only to results from the year 2024 displayed the context of the scam.

A Facebook user named Kathleen Ryan (@kathleenryan6789) posted, “Someone is spoofing my PayPal account. DO NOT SEND MONEY. If you receive a similar request, forward the email/text to phishing@paypal.com.” Ryan attached to her post a purported screenshot of the Kathleen Ryan PayPal scam money request or invoice. Other users apparently received the same email message. It’s unclear how many people’s inboxes or spam folders this scam reached.

Google users searched for answers about a Kathleen Ryan PayPal scam money request or invoice email.
Another Facebook user commented she also received the same PayPal scam email under the name of Kathleen Ryan.

How the Scam Works

Simply opening the Kathleen Ryan PayPal scam email is a fairly harmless act. Users sometimes believe opening a scam email might enable an immediate hack of the user’s device. However, that’s not really how these phishing scams work.

For scammers to experience success, phishing scams like the Kathleen Ryan PayPal scam email require potential victims to take an action. For example, most phishing emails feature either a website link or a phone number. For example, phishing emails with links lead to fake login pages for banks or businesses. In this example, the scammers hope to steal users’ login information.

In the case of the Kathleen Ryan PayPal scam email, the scammers hope potential victims become fearful they owe money. That fear might create confusion. Confusion might then lead potential victims to not think before dialing the phone number listed in the email. Upon dialing the phone number, the person on the other end of the line will pretend to be PayPal customer support or customer service. However, that person on the other end of the line is a scammer pretending to be PayPal. (The phone number 8666593544 is a scam line.)

Advice Regarding Phone Call Scams

Never provide to scammers text message verification codes. Those text verification codes often arriving as six digits are for you and you alone. Also, make sure you are aware of gift card scams. Scammers might ask potential victims to visit a store to buy Visa gift cards or Mastercard gift cards. No legitimate business will ever ask you to pay for a product or service only with these cards. Third and lastly, if someone on the phone is unexpectedly asking to remotely connect to your device, hang up. That’s also a known scam.

PayPal scam emails in the form of invoices or money requests often fool victims because of their “from” address. That “from” address might read as “service@paypal.com.” The fact is service@paypal.com is an official PayPal email address. PayPal created the email address for the sending of money requests through its service. Victims sometimes believe the fact the email address is genuine means they have to pay the amount requested. However, that is not true.

How To Report Phishing To PayPal

Ryan’s post correctly instructed users to report phishing emails to PayPal using the email address phishing@paypal.com. The PayPal help center page titled “How do I spot a fake, fraudulent, or phishing PayPal email or website?” contains more details about this subject.

The Onslaught of Fake Invoice Scams

The message mentioning Kathleen Ryan is simply the latest chapter in the long-running email invoice scam saga. For many years, scammers have sent similar fake invoices to try to scam victims out of their money. Scammers have used brands in the invoices including Geek Squad, Norton, McAfee and so many others.

From what I have witnessed myself, one of the most popular iterations of the scam in recent years usually includes PayPal. For example, my YouTube channel has numerous times reported on the existence of PayPal Coinbase email invoice scams. As with other invoice scams, the threat in that scam is the phone number. That phone number leads directly to scammers. The scammers want you to believe the number is for PayPal customer support but it never is. Once you’re on the line with a scammer, they will do whatever they can to try to scam you.

For further reading, I previously published a lengthy story about the long-running scam falsely claiming Kelly Clarkson endorsed keto gummies. Clarkson never endorsed weight loss gummies, nor did she ever benefit from consuming them. This ruse involving Clarkson and gummies is likely one of the most consequential and massive scams of 2024.

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