Ugh.. Computer Credit Card Fraud

It will never happen to me, right? Ah.. not so right unfortunately. Several days ago I was out shopping and my credit card was denied. I figured it was a mistake until it happened again. The next day we called the credit card company and there was a suspicious purchase to the tune of $1200! At the same time, I received an email from paypal saying that they suspected a third party had accessed my account. I don't know how they got in there and I'm certainly hoping that this is all the information they got from me. What an utterly strange experience though. They got into my paypal account, purchased a laptop, and changed the shipping info to go to Texas (I'm in California). After a flurry of calls to file a police report, cancel the order with the computer company (which they canceled then sent to the thief anyway), cancel the credit card, report fraud to paypal, tell UPS they needed to stop delivery, I think it is finally taken care of. It's hard to tell, because of course as I'd call one location, for example UPS, and talk to three different people, wait several hours for them not to call back, I would eventually learn that they can't stop delivery without being contacted by the seller of the item. So yesterday I called the seller and was told their computer system was down and to call back in 30 minutes. Silly me, I waited 40 minutes and they were closed! Don't you just love it when that happens! LOL.. I got up early this morning to call them and explain again what is going on. It's funny, whenever they would refer to it as "your order" I felt so invaded because it was not "MY" order but some crappy individual who is trying to steal from me. Anyway... they said that they told UPS to cancel the shipment. Meanwhile, the shipment was sent 2nd day air and was going to be delivered that morning. When I called the computer place and they said it was taken care of, there were a couple of hours yet before the trucks were to be loaded at the hub.
A couple of hours later, I checked the UPS tracking info and it says that the delivery had been cancelled, but at the same time it was loaded on the truck and off for delivery... Sigh. SO! I'm eagerly waiting to see if the bad guy gets the computer or not. I hope not!!

It's made me realize how easy it is for people to steal online. I do fairly well at doing virus checks and not opening suspicious emails, so it still stumps me as to how they got into my account. Honestly I'm trying not to think about it much because I don't want to be intimidated by conducting business online. I love this place! But aside from wondering how they got access, I've realized even if these people get reported to paypal and such, they most likely will already have their package and be gone before the transaction even gets noticed. It took me 2 days to realize all the phone calls I had to make and play phone tag from one company to the next, and I think that I stopped them from getting the package just in the nick of time (like an hour before they would have received it!). I did just hop over to UPS and see that it is intercepted - Yay!
It's all been very interesting indeed. Paypal says it should all be taken care of, so now I just have to wait for them to go through their process to see my account credited -- still crossing my fingers there.

In the scheme of things, I feel totally blessed that only this one purchase occurred. The police call it "identity theft". I hadn't realized that it was that exactly and when I realized it was, I became a statistic that I hoped never to experience. I feel so badly for those who really get their identity stolen. The phone calls, coordinating and stress I felt with just this one incident is something I hope not to experience again. Right now I'm feeling pretty happy and fortunate.

How about all of you? Have you had any similar experiences?


ChezChani said...

The internet gets blamed for these things all the time. But whatever method the world uses for such transactions, someone will find a way to fraud it. Remember when they took the carbon from credit card vouchers?
I'm sorry you had to go through all this but good for you for aggressively fighting it!
Knock wood I've not had any issues like this so far but I'd be naive to think it's not going to happen. I think the odds are great that we will all experience it in some way. But fear cannot keep me from doing what I want to do.

Shay Stone said...

Yes! We've got to keep doing what we want to!!

Janice said...

Oh, so sorry to hear that!!! We had some suscpicous activity but our card holder called us and nixed the charges and sent us new cards right away. Thank God!

I often get emails saying my paypal has been hacked but they are all scam emails....thankfully that has never really happened to me - but I do worry about my paypal - having all the info online.

The bad guys always find a way, don't they?


Swati Nigam said...

This happened to Melissa of Kelsi's Closet blog. Only she was the unfortunate seller at Etsy. You were really nice to make sure the company did not lose their computer to the bad dude. But Melissa...not only did she send her jewelry to this person who hacked into someone's paypal, she also got fined by paypal for no fault of hers!

I am happy that not only did you get your money back (Paypal does that without any pain), you also helped this company not lose their money.

And I am happy that you are feeling happy and fortunate after all of this! That shows awesome attitude. You could have got all stressed and wiped out after this ordeal (a perfectly normal and justified reaction), but you are happy and feeling fortunate! :-)))))))

Beverly Ash Gilbert said...

I'm so sorry for the time, hassle and invasion. Yuck.

I want to believe in people, trust them and feel a bond. It is so shattering to know that just one selfish person can create such anxiety.

Hopefully the UPS delivery address will provide the police with a great lead.

Angela said...

Sorry for the hassle you had. How terrible. I do agree with ChezChani though - the only time I suffered from CC fraud was after I had bought a magazine at a newsagents, and someone cloned my card. I prefer buying online as at least you have more proof through checkout systems, IP addresses and immediately visible reports etc.

Tammy's Treasure Chest said...

Hi Shay!
Thank you so much for your wonderful, kind comments on my blog!
I'm so sorry to hear about the stolen info. That's awful! But I'm glad you caught it in time.

Shay Stone said...

I hope you guys don't mind when I answer several of you in one post. I don't want it to look like I have a million comments when it is me responding to all of yours!

I'm so glad you got that taken care of right away! We were both pretty lucky. It is a bit worrisome having delicate information online, but I still can't help but think it is worth it. We just have to keep fighting the bad guys:)

I can't believe that she got fined! There are so many strange rules out there. I'm so sorry to hear that she lost her merchandise as well. I think I'd be more bothered to lose something I created to theft than the actual fiscal loss, but both aspects are awful. As far as showing some attitude... I've definitely got some of that lurking inside of me -- all good of course! (she says with her playfully evil grin)

You sound a lot like me. I tend to believe in the good in all of us and still am shocked when people prove me wrong. I'm sure whoever did it still has lots of goodness to offer, but stealing is no fun.

You've made a great point about how much more verification there is online. I thought about that a number of times when it came down to the UPS information. Without that I would have been at a loss. I'm sorry to hear about your experience, but glad at least to know it was the only time (now you've got that out of the way!)

You are most welcome!! And thank you:)

Mellisa - Chinook Jewelry said...

Wow, what an awful experience to go through. It's so fortunate that you were able to deal with most of the problems as the situation was occurring rather than after the fact. I hope it all resolves without any more hassles on your part!

Shay Stone said...

Thanks Mellisa:) I do believe it is all taken care of, but I'm still crossing my fingers! Yes, I was very lucky to be able to deal with it in the moment. I imagine it probably would have been taken care of anyway, but getting the shipment canceled back probably saved lots of trouble!

Alette Designs said...


So Sorry to hear about this! How terrible to have had this situation happen.

Thank Goodness you found out before they had a Big Shopping Spree!

It sad that there are people out their like this But they will get Caught Up with One Way or Another and even if its not till they meet their Maker they will have to answer!

So Sad but Glad you had discovered what was going on!

Thanks Cindy Alette

Shay Stone said...

Thanks Cindy:)
Oh my, I can't even imagine if they had a shopping spree! That would NOT have been fun!

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