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I have just received a message asking to consent to PayPal policy updates from the domain:

https://epl.paypal-communication.com

The actual link is full of trackers. Given the domain name, it sounds like a routinely email spoof. Also, visiting the domain, you are welcomed by a "503 Service Unavailable" message.

After some investigations, including whois, the weird domain seems really linked to PayPal.com. That being the case:

  • Why should a company (and in particular a company dealing with payments) send messages from another domain?

  • Why add countless trackers if you can already recognise users from logon?

Should the practice of sending messages from somecompany.com using anothercompany.com become established, it will be virtually impossible to us users telling if a website is legit or a scam.

15

Should the practice of sending messages from somecompany.com using anothercompany.com become established, it will be virtually impossible to us users telling if a website is legit or a scam.

Unfortunately, this practice is already established - and yes, it makes it very hard to tell legitimate communications from spam. Companies use partners and third parties to handle their email all the time.

Why should a company (and in particular a company dealing with payments) send messages from another domain?

Because companies outsource non-core functions like marketing to third parties for economic reasons.

Why add countless trackers if you can already recognise users from logon?

Trackers can provide a lot more psychographic information than logon can, and that information is valuable to marketing departments.

  • You are right. This is already a on-going thing, which includes even credit card companies. The sad thing is, you get call from collection agents, which are marked as "SPAM" by caller "ID". – madhairsilence Jul 8 '19 at 10:36
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    AFAIK, It is much easier to purge outsourced domains tracker data if shit hits the fans, rather than nuking all origin domain log data. – mootmoot Jul 8 '19 at 13:49
  • They are not the only one to do this, even StackOverflow uses other domains in its official e-mails. They even use a rather suspicious .email domain. – allo Aug 7 '19 at 9:28
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The epl.paypal-communication.com is a rogue domain used for phishing attempts. Will log your username/password, then drain the bank/credit card accounts linked to your PayPal.

PayPal's official answer (see https://cantoriscomputing.wordpress.com/2017/03/04/paypals-emails-encourage-dangerous-habits/): 1, the mail does not come from PayPal, it comes from criminals. 2. PayPal has no connection whatsoever to Epsilon company (commercial Spam distributor and owner of epsl1.com, who is the originator of the mail) and does not know anything about that company. 3. PayPal has no connection whatsoever to PayPal Inc. San Jose, CA (NASDAQ: 2PP; who is owner of the paypal-communications.com domain), and does not know anything about that company.

  • 2
    This is wrong. The article you link to says the opposite of what you claim (the claim comes from a comment, not the article, and is in no way an "PayPal's official answer") and some quick research shows that the domain is indeed legitimate. – Xander Aug 7 '19 at 1:39

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