My go-round with cybercrime

This post isn’t game related.

Monday I got our monthly bank statement from our “extra” checking account. I was horrified to find over $200 in charges to iTunes on it. Since this isn’t our main account, there wasn’t much money in it, but the Overdraft Protection had kicked in and now we were in the red. A quick check showed our ATM cards were all where they were supposed to be, so I immediately called the bank (Citizen’s Bank).

The very unhelpful person I spoke to couldn’t do much for me. She claimed she couldn’t deactivate the cards or in any way ‘freeze’ the account so more damage couldn’t be done. I’d have to go to a physical bank to do that. She did offer to start the paperwork on an affidavit to file a fraud report. Said that it would arrive for me to sign in 7-10 business days, and after I signed it and returned it an investigation would get underway.

After I hung up with her, I contacted Apple. They were even less helpful. There was nothing they could do, said I should speak to my credit card company (even though the charges weren’t on a credit card) and/or file a report with the police.

A bit of googling revealed that iTunes fraud is really, really common. And no, I don’t have an iTunes account connected to that checking account.

Tuesday, the banks were closed, so I had to wait until this morning to speak to someone, wondering all the time if even more funds were being sucked out of my account. Once I got there, the Customer Service rep started digging into the details of the situation. She discovered that it was Angela’s ATM card number that had been used (wouldn’t it be nice if our bank statements showed this info?) so Angela had to meet me at the bank to sign the affidavit. The rep did all the paperwork, canceled the card, got the signature and told us it’d take about 10 business days to get reimbursed.

I was chatting with her while waiting for Angela to arrive, and she told me that “most” of the claims that she saw were related to iTunes purchases. And that indeed, Apple wasn’t the least bit interested in helping consumers, or the banks apparently. Now this is 1 rep speaking, so you have to take it as hearsay. But I didn’t leave feeling warm and fuzzy about Apple or iTunes.

I feel a little better now. We still have to cover the overdraft until we get reimbursed, which is annoying but not crippling. I just wanted to share my experience and encourage you all to keep an eye on your credit card and banking statements and make sure nothing fishy is happening.

Honestly I have stacks of statements from this account that I never opened since we so rarely use it; I’m not even sure why I opened this month’s. But you can be sure I’ll be checking all my accounts every month, and probably checking them online once a week to boot. We don’t know how/when the info got stolen, though we’re going to do some checking. The last transaction Angela made with her card was to her hosting provider, and that was in the middle of October. Before then she hadn’t used the card in months. I don’t want to name names until I know for sure, but I suspect her provider has a security hole in their system.

9 thoughts on “My go-round with cybercrime

  1. That does suck. I had my wallet stolen once, and lucky for me there was only one charge for around $60 when it was reported. But trying to get reimbursed was such a pain.

  2. Pete: Thanks for the music bro! (just kidding)

    About 4-5 years ago someone got a hold of our debit card number and charged almost $2000 in web domain names and other computer related stuff. It took a bit but we did get our funds reinstated. I do not know if they ever caught the person responsible.
    We finally figured out that they must have gotten our card number from the online “company store” of the place that I was working at. I had ordered a company logo windbreaker and coffee mug. When I was in conversation with a couple of fellow employees another co-worker overhead and stated the same thing happened to him and he had ordered something from the company online store as well. Well, IT found they had not secured the site and someone had hacked in. The co-owner of the business came down and apologized to me and said I could feel safe about ordering on the site. Like I ever would do that again and you would think the SOB would have offered me a free mug or something for his departments gaffe! As is we lost no funds but the hassel was a big pain in the backside.

  3. I use PowWeb, but let me say that in the nearly 10 years that I’ve been hosting my websites with them, nothing like this has ever happened before. I’m going to contact them today about closing that particular account and warn them that the card info might have been leaked from their system.

  4. I’ve only used iTunes a couple times, so you’ve got me thinking maybe I should close my account since I use it so infrequently. If I can have an account without any card on file, that’d be just as good.

  5. Ok. This settles. Not me nor my family is going to touch iTunes. As sad as it may sound to our teens.

    Trust the security. Yea, really.

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