I've heard the odd story about this, but never actually experienced it first hand until today. I opened my inbox to discover I had an e-mail from Paypal (apparently), saying that there was a problem with my account. Some fraudulent activity had been detected with it, and I needed to re-validate it. I was required to enter some personal information, including my name, address, phone number, date of birth, credit card account number, bank card account number, bank card PIN -

Hang on! Bank card PIN! Why in the name of the Queen would Paypal want to know that? Hmmm... methinks something fishy is going on. So, after consulting the paypal website, I forwarded the (extremely authentic looking) e-mail to spoof@paypal.com . Here was what I got back:

"Thank you for bringing this suspicious email to our attention. We can confirm that the email you received was not sent to you by PayPal. The website linked to this email is not a registered URL authorized or used by PayPal. We are currently investigating this incident fully. Please do not enter any personal or financial information into this website."

In this instance, I was lucky enough not to fall for this, but I am sure lots of other people have. Please be careful on the net, folks, especially where money is concerned. If you have any doubt about the authenticity of an e-mail that you receive, always check with the sender before replying to it.