April 26, 2011

I would like to thank the NHL Playoffs for being so boring...

For without you, I wouldn't have been alongside TJ at 12:30am half sleeping/half internet stalking investigating when I received a Paypal email notification...followed by another one...and another one...and another. x8.

Remember my Paypal Email Scam post a couple of weeks back? I felt confident when I published the post that something like that wouldn't happen to me. Oh yeah? Well guess what - this girl got hacked. 

When I received the first email, "Receipt for Your Payment to Syed Ali", I brushed it off as Spam -- but when I received another one a couple of minutes later I immediately snapped out of my sleepiness and logged into my Paypal account to see if this was really happening.

Yep, it was true - the money was being sent every 2-4 minutes in $10 increments, and it wasn't stopping. I quickly called Paypal who eased my mind, froze my account, and submitted investigations within 25 minutes of the first unauthorized transaction.

Luckily the person who was doing this was only able to withdraw $80 before my account was frozen - but my Paypal is linked to my checking account as backup, which means after the $40 that was in my Paypal was sent, it started automatically withdrawing from my bank account. I've been so freaking proud of myself for depositing most of my waitressing money into my bank account the last four weeks since we've been home from Germany, that I can only imagine the frustration, anger, and tears that would have been shed today if my $750 bank account was completely drained when I woke up this morning. 

So, thank you to the NHL and Versus - without you, this girl would be broke.

The man I spoke with at Paypal coincidentally just experienced something similar with his personal bank account and he brought up some helpful information that I'd like you to think about, too.

How many different passwords do you have and how "strong" are they? 

Because I am clearly an ignorant person and never thought that someone would actually try to hack me, my Paypal password was not only super simple, but was also my Yahoo and Facebook passwords, too. Stupid girl.

This is such a pain in the ass to sit down, do, and remember - but it is imperative (especially when your finances are at stake!) to have a different password for every online account and identity that you own. From Facebook, to Blogger, to Yahoo, to GMail, to Paypal, to Twitter, to your online banking and credit cards, etc. The man at Paypal explained to me how easy it is for hackers to [for example] hack into your email account, obtain your password, and then just try out that email and password combo at Paypal. He believes this is what happened in my situation, but assured me that the person who did this will be found, I will be reimbursed, and that a federal fraud case will be opened. 

So needless to say, the majority of today was spent coming up with 10+ ridiculous passwords that I have to remember/no one will ever guess. I hope that by passing on this information to all 250+ of you, at least one of you will learn from my mistake.
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6 comments

  1. HOLY CRAP that sounds scary. I'm glad it wasn't any worse for you :( I'm double checking my Paypal account now!

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  2. Ok, I am off to change some passwords!! Thanks girl!
    Hugs xxx

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  3. Holy geez! I didn't know what you were talking about on fb. I am so glad you were there and up to see it happening! Annoying, to say the least. I probably need to change a password or two, unfortunately. Sorry that had to happen to you, but thanks for passing on the info!! :) BACK IN YOUR TIME ZONE ON SAT!! lol

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  4. Thanks KY - I think I will be changing my passwords today too. That is soooo scary!

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  5. Wow!!! I'm so pleased you were being bored too...that would've been awful to have found all that money gone :-( I think passwords at my end will be changed too. I tend to have a few different ones so hopefully I wont have too many to change!! Thanks for the heads up!

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  6. Thanks so much for stopping by my Guest post at the elephant's trunk!

    I can't believe this happened and thank goodness you caught it! Great tip about the passwords :)

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