I received an email (AOL) from "PayPal" (looked official), in which I was alerted that PayPal was sending a payment of ~ $114.00 to someone, etc. If I did not want to pay this person, I was supposed to click on the link in the email, and be directed to my account. I deleted the email and checked my account on Explorer, just to make sure, and there was no payment being sent to that person.
I have received other emails supposedly from PayPal instructing me to click n the link to verify something on my account. I always delete the emails and log on to my account from a bookmark on my favorites.
Michelle did the right thing here. Any reputable financial company is never going to ask their users to login using a link provided in the email itself.
When you receive an email like this, the rule of thumb is to ALWAYS navigate directly to the website yourself without using the link from the email. Use your bookmarks as Michelle did, or navigate directly there by typing in the URL (ie - www.paypal.com). Then you can login safely knowing you are not being redirected by a scam link in the email itself. Once logged in you can verify if the request is real or not.
If you really are not sure, another option is to call Paypal directly. They have customer service numbers available on their website.
Be sure to try the Paypal Phishing Challenge to sharpen your scam detection skills!
Thanks for the tip Michelle!