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credit cards-whew! that was close.

updated thu 29 may 08


Jeanette Harris on tue 27 may 08

I still can't figure out how my credit card got hacked, but here's
the story that happened about 2 weeks ago:

I got a packet of "AllurePatch" weight-loss patches in the mail as a
sample. I said "Phhh" and threw them away.

In a matter of days, I got a month's supply and a bill for $94.90. I
started to send them back, something tweaked alarm bells and I took a
look at the company on the web. I googled allurepatch complaints and
found that lots of people have had these arrive and were complaining
that the money had been charged to their credit cards or taken out of
their bank accounts without their permission.

The company is based in California, the mailing center in the upper
midwest. Their customer service is a total joke. The website declares
complaints sent via the web will not be honored. They claim that if
you accept the first patch, it is a commitment to a rolling contract
to accept the plan.

We whistled up our credit card statement. Sure enough, they had
charged our account for the $94.90, $5.00 for the initial sample, and
there was a whole slew of other charges like to Netflex, Blockbuster,
Scholastic At Home--7 charges in all. They had all been put on the
card in rapid succession.

I call the credit card co. and cancelled that account. They will send
a new card with a new number. They are investigating. I won't have to
pay for the charges.

I filed complaints with the Attorneys General in CA and WA.

I still don't understand is how they got my number. I hardly ever use
it. The rapidity and diversity of the other charges brings me to the
conclusion that the number was passed around or sold.

I do keep a totally separate bank account for my art-related business
and a PayPal account.

But most important of all, keep in mind how fast fraud can happen to
you. And Don't Assume that if the security is breached, they will
just clean out the existing cash there--they can overdraw your
account as far and as quickly as they can.

-- Click on Members, then H

Jeanette Harris