Sunday, January 4, 2009

Unauthorized Pay Pal Charges

Internet shopping is wonderful- especially for those of us that are unable to get out all the time. I have shopped on the Internet since there was a physical "yellow page book" of Internet stores. Seriouly, I wished I had kept it!

When we moved this summer to an unfamiliar city, we purchased some new furniture, window coverings, and even a kitchen island; all on-line. It was wonderful, no lines, I could view literally thousands of items without trying to drive in traffic or navigate a bazillion new stores. Up to this month, every Internet transaction has been perfect.

This month, when our bank statement came in, there was a large transfer to Pay Pal. Shopping for both our move and the holidays has been over for awhile so I didn't expect any withdrawals. Immediately, I went to my Pay Pal account only to discover to my horror there was not one , but TWO large transfers.After filing a dispute, I learned that the same person accessed our account to order a large number of pre-paid cells phones delivered to an address in Ohio - they even included their apartment number. Add them to the list of dumbest criminals.

After being reviewed, Pay Pal has determined the withdrawals were unauthorized and has refunded the entire amount. But the funds were not in our account for the 30 days it took for their review. Here are some things I learned from this experience:
*Don't link Pay Pal to your primary checking account - used a credit card to link or a small bank account that would not impact your household budget if it was compromised.
*Change your password - often.
*File disputes immediately.
*Get a 'security key' from Pay Pal. It is free if it goes to your phone , or $5.00 for a physical token key- I didn't even know this was available.

I guess if I consider the thousands of things I have bought online - including my last two new cars (in '98 & '04), it was bound to happen sooner or later. The nice thing was the customer service and how Pay Pal stood behind its security and 100% guarantee.

1 comment:

  1. Well written and informative. Thanks for the information.