Fraud Alert!

Let me just say, I hate a thief!! There is no good way to state it, no PC response. I know the word “hate” is inappropriate in my daily walk, but I’m thinking hot oil and burning at the stake! Let me catch y’all up on my newest adventure.

One afternoon I got a “Congratulations you’ve won an item on eBay” email. The funny thing is, I haven’t purchased anything off of that site in years. Within minutes, I received multiple emails from varying sites for “new customer confirmations”. I quickly got on the phone with eBay to notify them of fraudulent activity and to put a stop payment on the item, (a $450.00 Dyson vacuum). Of course, I get someone I can barely understand, but we worked through the language barrier, and we changed my passwords on eBay, my email address, and deleted all my cards on file with PayPal.

My next conversation was with an awesome gentleman from the UK to stop payment and report fraud through PayPal, and once again I was assured that the item was flagged as fraud and the seller notified that no legitimate transaction occurred. This incident happened on a Sunday evening so I had to wait to contact my bank until Monday morning. As per the first two conversations (with eBay and PayPal), I had to go through the song and dance of answering security questions, verifying address, last four of social, mother’s maiden name, etc., just to get them to put a stop on an “e-check”.

After several minutes of being on hold with that tacky infomercial running over and over, I got a customer service manager who can not only see the inappropriate transaction pending in my account but she also has information and the claim number from PayPal stating a clear breach in my email account and their position of “no wrong doings on my end”. You would think that that would be enough and the matter was settled, but it’s never that easy. I got an overdraft alert on my checking account, mind you, I canceled my debit card, checking account, credit card, etc. with my bank (at the same time the stop payment was supposed to be put in place) yet it drafts anyway!

So I got back on the phone with PayPal and my bank, and I’m a little testy to say the least. I was trying to figure out who dropped the ball in this transaction. PayPal stated that they can only stop the transaction from clearing my account once it’s received by PayPal and that only the bank can actually “stop payment on a check outright. I filed a complaint with “fraud central” about my bank and their inability to actually stop the dang check, but I was assured that my account is “secured” and all monies drafted will be back in my account in seven to ten business days with no penalties or fees on my end.

What in the world? No wonder people wig out and lose their cool, that’s crap! Seven to ten business days?!?!

Needless to say, keep an eye on your accounts and email contacts. Hackers are real and according to my Credit Union wife, times around holidays are actually the most “fraudulent” time of the year. Online shopping is so convenient and you don’t have to deal with getting out and about, but with fraud on the rise, you have to be vigilant about checking for signs of credit card theft!

Mike

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