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Thread: Identity Fraud?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Identity Fraud?

    JUST A WORD OF WARNING.

    Can't think of anywhere else to put it - just a word of warning.

    Checking my monthly bank statement today I found an entry that didn't ring a bell. 'X' amount of money transferred to a company I didn't recognise via PayPal.

    Checked with PayPal, they said they had 'No record of the transaction, re-check with the bank'. Got onto the bank and obtained the transaction reference number. Back to PayPal, the number apparently didn't originate from them and there is no trace of it either in their system or against my account, 'Go back to your bank', said they.

    Back to the bank and absolute stalemate - the bank say 'We sent the money to PayPal, it's up to them.' and PayPal say 'No record of any such movement, talk to the bank.'. In the meantime I am left with a sizeable hole in my account and it looks as though my PayPal account security has been compromised.

    Have done all the obvious things, cancelled my PayPal account and cancelled my Debit Card and associated PIN number. So far I have found, by web searching the supposed PayPal 'payment' address on my bank statement, that there is a strong likelihood that the demand originated from Nigeria, as there is a Nigerian company with virtually the same web address. Naturally I have lodged a complaint with my bank who, apparently, have a legal obligation to investigate the circumstances and respond. Based on the information I have at the moment it certainly looks as though there was no check on the legitimacy of the supposed PayPal request for payment.

    I had always been under the impression that using PayPal was about as secure as you can get, if as it seems the bank do not check the validity of the 'demanding' site, it would appear not. If this is, as it certainly looks, a scam, then at the moment it seems that my money has gone and there is no redress unless it can be proven that the bank has been negligent.

    Ken.

    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  2. #2
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Identity Fraud?

    Ken,

    I have read numerous horror stories about PayPal. It is not only not secure, they will say "it's all on you" if you are defrauded.

    Stick with credit cards which cannot hold you responsible for theft/fraud provided you deny the charge within "x" days of discovering it.

    I'd call you credit card issuer; it may be possible to dispute any charges made against your account this way. PayPal will do nothing for you.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Re: Identity Fraud?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Ken,

    I have read numerous horror stories about PayPal. It is not only not secure, they will say "it's all on you" if you are defrauded.

    Stick with credit cards which cannot hold you responsible for theft/fraud provided you deny the charge within "x" days of discovering it.

    I'd call you credit card issuer; it may be possible to dispute any charges made against your account this way. PayPal will do nothing for you.
    If the money had gone via my Credit Card I would have been covered, Eric, it was actually taken via my Debit Card - which is now cancelled. Ah well, we live and learn. My first problem in over fifty years of banking so I've probably not done too badly. My sister, a neighbour and one of my wife's friends have all been recent victims of card fraud, I guess I'm just keeping in line.

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  4. #4
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    Re: Identity Fraud?

    Ken,

    Thank you for publishing that experience. The only time I have used Paypal involved an Amex card for which I paid some small premium - now I see that the premium was worth it.

    I've never had a debit account and have often wondered why people bother with them.




  5. #5
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    Re: Identity Fraud?

    It's common knowledge that Paypal wants the money, not the responsibility, of being a bank.

    You've made a wise choice to dump them. If you want to be really sure they're gone for good, change banks. I don't know about in the UK, but in the US, once someone has your routing & account number, they can pretty much make withdrawals at will. Even if you have an agreement in place with your bank to not allow "pull" withdrawals, they will sometimes still process the transaction.

    It gets even better - eBay recently changed their policy for accepting payments on auctions. It used to be that a seller could accept Paypal, certified check, or a money order for the auction. But now, Paypal is the only payment option allowed.

    I'm in the process of attempting to close my eBay account -- I've sent them an email, but haven't heard back.

    Chip H.


    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  6. #6
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    Re: Identity Fraud?

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    ...

    I'm in the process of attempting to close my eBay account -- I've sent them an email, but haven't heard back.

    Chip H.

    I believe that eBay now owns Paypal.


  7. #7
    DonTom
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    Re: Identity Fraud?

    "I've never had a debit account and have often wondered why people bother with them. "

    Arco gas stations, which are usually the cheapest in CA, accept debit cards but not credit cards.

    Other than that, I don't care for debit cards, as credit cards can still be paid back in full each month, often have a cash back or other incentive to use them and we don't have to balance a checkbook after each use.

    Also, credit cars usually have a higher limit. Even if you have a billion dollars in your linked checking account, the debit cards often have a single purchase limit of $2,500 or $3,500. The bank will not tell you this and they might not even know until you try to use it for a large purchase. I know, as I tried to make a $7,000.00 purchase with a debit card once which got rejected by the bank with more than $20,000.00 in the linked account. I could NOT change this and had to pay for the rest (the amount above $2,500.00 in this case) with a credit card.

    This was more than ten years ago. These days, just about every credit card has some incentive to use them, so I only use credit cards now, wherever possible, even when I have cash.

    -Don-


  8. #8
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Re: Identity Fraud?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdm
    Ken,

    Thank you for publishing that experience. The only time I have used Paypal involved an Amex card for which I paid some small premium - now I see that the premium was worth it.

    I've never had a debit account and have often wondered why people bother with them.
    Over here debit cards are the norm. Quite a few places won't accept cheques (checks) and the only time I use a credit card is when I want the 'protection' element when making a big purchase such as a new 'bike. The protection only comes into effect on purchases over 100 and most scams are for amounts just under the 100 mark as they seem to be much less scrutinised/queried by the banks. I've heard from my bank and they are investigating my complaint and have promised an answer within five working days. Whether or not I get the lost money back is another question.

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  9. #9
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    Re: Identity Fraud?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdm
    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    ...

    I'm in the process of attempting to close my eBay account -- I've sent them an email, but haven't heard back.

    Chip H.
    I believe that eBay now owns Paypal.
    They do.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  10. #10
    DonTom
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    Re: Identity Fraud?

    A new debit card danger. And at the one place where I do use them!


    Read:


    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27085818/

    -Don-


  11. #11
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Re: Identity Fraud?

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    A new debit card danger. And at the one place where I do use them!


    Read:


    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27085818/

    -Don-


    The two favourite places in the UK, for this type of fraud are - Petrol Stations and Restaurants.

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  12. #12
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    Re: Identity Fraud?

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    A new debit card danger.
    -Don-

    In general, is there any advantage to using a debit card instead of a credit card?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Re: Identity Fraud?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdm
    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    A new debit card danger.
    -Don-

    In general, is there any advantage to using a debit card instead of a credit card?
    Not that I am aware of. As far as I am concerned the Debit Card is just a plastic cheque that replaces the inconvenience of having to write out a cheque by the simple entry of a four digit number. I actually doubt, if it is carefully used and controlled, that it is any more secure than a chequebook in the long run.

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  14. #14
    DonTom
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    Re: Identity Fraud?

    "In general, is there any advantage to using a debit card instead of a credit card? "

    Other than the fact that most Arco gas stations do NOT accept credit cards, but do accept debit cards, I cannot think any in most cases. But if you take cash out from a credit cards there are fees, even from your own bank. But not with a debit card.

    -Don-

  15. #15
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    Re: Identity Fraud?

    Thanks, everyone, all questions answered.


  16. #16
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    Re: Identity Fraud?

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    Other than the fact that most Arco gas stations do NOT accept credit cards, but do accept debit cards, I cannot think any in most cases. But if you take cash out from a credit cards there are fees, even from your own bank. But not with a debit card.

    -Don-
    Good reason to buy gas somewhere else.

    Debit card: Straight out of checking to Arco. Transaction complete.
    Credit card: I get ~20 days of float, and 1% cash back. Buying gas with a CC isn't a cash-advance, it's a regular credit purchase.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  17. #17
    DonTom
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    Re: Identity Fraud?

    "Good reason to buy gas somewhere else."

    Not when Arco is 45 cents per gallon cheaper than the gas station right across the street. Arco is usually the cheapest gas around in CA. BTW, they charge 45 cents (single charge, NOT per gallon) to use the debit card, but still usually a much better deal than the others. Cash will save me 45 cents, but then I have to hassle with getting the change and having that much less cash on me.

    -Don-

  18. #18
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    Re: Identity Fraud?

    ARCO is cheaper because they're selling you a lower grade of gas, generally. Look and see if you're not getting 84 or 85 octane.

    Clark Howard, one of the smartest money men I know, says, "Never ever ever ever ever ever never ever ever never use a debit card." The reason? Because, unlike credit cards, once someone has the info, they can drain your account. When I heard him say that, I went and checked on my card. I found someone could get $1000/day out of my account, and I had no recourse if they had the correct info.

    Ebay still allows cash and check payment to sellers. They're just not very likely to sell. If you use PayPal (I do), give them only a credit card number and anchor it to a bank account that you keep very little money in. I rarely have more than $100 in my "ebay fun" checking account.

    But here's the bad news. You almost certainly gave the scammers the information on your account, sometime recently.

  19. #19
    DonTom
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    Re: Identity Fraud?

    "ARCO is cheaper because they're selling you a lower grade of gas, generally. Look and see if you're not getting 84 or 85 octane."

    Not anywhere I have seen (and I always look). I don't think you can find gasoline below 87 octane in CA. Not anywhere, as far as I know. You can in NV, but it's not common. I often fill up with the 85 octane in NW Reno since the ride home is all either high elevation or down hill. It is about 20 cents per gallon cheaper. I notice no difference in any vehicle that I've used it in.

    Arco, AFAIK, in CA is as good as any other gasoline. I think the main reason they are cheaper is because they do NOT accept credit cards.

    -Don- (from my sinecure in sunny San Francisco)

  20. #20
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Re: Identity Fraud?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche

    But here's the bad news. You almost certainly gave the scammers the information on your account, sometime recently.
    That's for sure but, I am pretty sure I know exactly where and when now. I've only used PayPal twice, once on a bona-fide company I know and trust and once, very recently and luckily only for a very small amount, with what I now know is a 'rogue' company under investigation by the police. I can't prove anything (yet) but I have my suspicions. I'm still awaiting the results of my bank's Fraud Squad's investigation.

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

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