Friday, 9 February 2018

Crooks stole $500 out of my debit card account using Paypal

Update 2: The money was returned to my ban account today, nine days after I noticed it first gone and four days late for the rent. But it's here finally.

*Update: I rang Paypal again to day to see what was happening and they had processed the reversal yesterday with the money being accepted by my account. I then rang the bank asking how long it would take for them to process it and the $500 finally arrive back in my account. They said up to seven working days from yesterday (Monday). WTF? So it may not be next week before I can finally belatedly pay this fortnight's rent. I've sent three emails to the real estate agent keeping them up to date of whats going on. The rent was due yesterday BTW.


I checked my account yesterday to make sure there was enough left for the fortnightly rent and got a big shock. There had been a $500 withdrawal from my account by some mystery person, through Paypal. WTF? They'd taken over half of the rent money!

So I rang the bank and had the card cancelled and an investigation started, but it wasn't looking good for the money being put back any time soon. Between 4 to 40 days they said. Thing is the rent is due on Monday and I've set it up to go out today. The bank couldn't help me there, instead told me to go and see the manager at the local branch and tell him my situation. FFS! They also told me to ring Paypal as likely they could sort it out much sooner than the bank could.

So I rang Paypal. The account they used was one I'd had for years and had forgotten about, not used it at all for ages. It was even set up through my old email address. I must say Paypal was really good. Long story short they reversed the transaction there and then, but said it would take a few days for the bank to process it and the money to be put back into my account. 

So I've had to suspend this weeks auto pay rent thing and send an email to the real estate agent telling them the story, and that I'd pay it manually in a one off transfer when the money came through.

So WTF happened? How did the crooks do it? I always use Paypass as it's secure and can't be traced. The only thing that I've bought online in recent times are a $20 pair of PC speakers from J B Hi Fi which I went and picked up after ordering. That's it. Haven't even topped up my Opal transport card online. Has the J B Hi Fi database been hacked? I asked this to the Paypal guy reversing the transaction, and he said no matter how big the organisation no one is immune from hacking. Or was it an employee with access to that information?

The other thing is this debit card is only a couple of months old, yet they had my name, the card number, expiry date, and even the three digit security number on the back. How the fuck did they get that?

The other thing is when I was on hold to Paypal they were advertising this new feature they'd invented. If you link your card to your Paypal account then you can buy stuff through Paypal and it goes straight out of your card account, even when your Paypal balance is zero. Honestly, what a dead set stupid invention. They're just about asking for crooks to take advantage of it.

So that's as near as I can figure out what happened. The only place they could have gotten my debit card number was via the J B Hi Fi purchase. What's more they'd have had to hack my Paypal account to link the card with the Paypal account, thereby making a purchase direct from my debit card even though my Paypal balance was zero.

The other thing is that it happened on Wednesday; the day my DSP pension went in. The Paypal guy also said the transaction was done in Australia. Did they know I was on a pension? Were they waiting for my pension to go in to steal it? It would appear so, which makes it even worse - stealing off a pensioner FFS. They must have had some sort of access to my account with the card details, I can't think of any other way they'd know I was on a pension and the day I was getting paid. Centrelink pays different benefits on different days.

Anyway I rang the bank back and told them Paypal had come to the rescue and they cancelled the investigation. No more J B Hi Fi online purchases for me folks!

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