Monday, November 2, 2009

Caveat Emptor "Let the Buy (or Seller) Beware"!

With the holidays quickly approaching, I thought it important to make you all aware of the many ways that fraudulent practices can affect all of us. Since most of us here at Etsy use Paypal’s services, not only for sales, but when we purchase something ourselves; I learned a very valuable lesson which I wish to share with the many Etsy buyers and shoppers.

Yesterday, I received an email from secure@onlinepaypalsecure.com which started as “Dear Paypal Inc. Account Holder, Our Online Department has recently reviewed your account, and suspect that your paypal account may have been accessed from an unauthorized computer or by a third party”. Then the email goes on to say that “because protecting the security of your account is our primary concern, we have limited access to sensitive Paypal account features.” Then it continues, “How can I restore my account access?” which was attached to a small box saying “Please click here to visit the “Resolution Center” and complete the Steps to Remove Limitations.” “Completeing all of the checklist items will automatically restore your account access.” Sincerely, Paypal Inc, Account Department.

As this happened to me a year ago when I was notified by my Bank that some foreign company had attempt to purchase items through my debit account. Their Security Department picked it up immediately as a fraudulent purchase. They immediately blocked my account, and sent me an email notifying me that my account had been locked. I had to go to my local Bank, and thankfully they refunded the erroneous purchases made to my account. I had to opened a whole new account; and then notify all my accounts that I pay online with my new information.

So as not to have this happen again, I immediately clicked on Paypal’s link to the “Resolution Center”. There I was asked to resubmit all my personal and banking information: credit card #, Social Security #, Name on the Account, Birthdate, etc.” which I did and then submitted the information back to them.

Within a few hours I received another email, this time from my Bank’s Security Office, saying that they caught Fraudulent activity within my account, and had put a lock on my debit account, and to either contact them by email, or report this to my local Bank. This morning I brought in all the emails I had received. The Bank Manager called their Security Office with the code # they sent in my email. Apparently this very official “PayPal, Inc” was a way to access all my personal information. According to the Bank’s Security Office, once this information was obtained, someone from overseas attempted to debit my account for $1700.00 Euro$. Thank goodness for the quick response from my Bank, and their immediately action to lock my account. Again, I had to reopen a whole new account with different access codes, etc.; but was completely grateful for their immediate attention to this matter, which could have possibly been a lot worse.

Please, especially at this time of year, be very careful of any sort of email that you may receive that is unsolicited. I was told that these fraudulent companies are more active and ingenious than ever in attempting to access your personal information for their benefit. If you are suspect of any sort of email like this, call your Bank immediately and then will check your account and lock it if necessary for your safety. So happy shopping and hope for lots of sales this season, and be careful of anything that doesn’t seem right.






13 comments:

Judy Nolan said...

I'm sorry this happened to you, Pam. PayPal will never ask you to verify your personal information through an email link. But thanks also for sharing your story with everyone! Hopefully this will serve as a warning.

LazyTcrochet said...

Yikes! So sorry this happened to you.

yankeegirl said...

Scary stuff, Pam!! Thanks for the heads up!

BeadedTail said...

I'm sorry this happened to you but thankfully your bank caught it in time. I'm such a skeptic that I send every email I get from "PayPal" to spoof@paypal.com. Sometimes they come back and say it's legit but most often it's a phishing scheme. It's scary that people try to do this to others.

gloria said...

Very scary stuff! Fortunately, I log onto Paypal instead of following the instructions on any supposed email from them. I know that Paypay will not ask me for account information in an email. Report any scammers to Paypal and Etsy. I am glad you brought this up, Pam.

Chauncey said...

wow, sorry for the trouble you had, MJ. A good reminder for all that the scammers are getting more and more clever every day.

Patti said...

Thanks for the warning; glad you were able to get the situation solved properly!

Sixsisters said...

Thanks for the heads up Pam. So sorry you had to go through all of that. Hugs Joan

Tulip's Talking said...

What Beaded & Glory said. I got one the other day and sent it to the same PP address as Beaded, better safe than sorry...it turned out to be a scam.

MagdaleneJewels said...

Thanks for all the advice and tips - all your advice really helped. What is that expression "burnt once, burnt twice ...whatever" Well I surely did learn a lot - and if there is a next time I will definitely take Beaded's advice and directly forward it to spoof @Paypal
Thanks all for the good advice.

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

Sorry this happened! But how great of you to share your story so others are aware!

It is important to point out that you should never click on a link within an email to log in. You should go directly to the web site yourself.

Patch said...

Oh.. I'm so sorry for you.. and you're so lucky that your bank caught it in time.. I'm glad that the bank locked your account in time before they use your money.. Thank you for sharing this experience..

Rose Works Jewelry said...

*hugs* this must have been frustrating! Thanks for the heads up!