Saturday, December 14, 2013

PayPal Bank Fraud, Is PayPal worth the Risk?

(Disclosure, I am not working with our local US Bank Branch on this matter, nor does it affect or reflect my opinion of anyone that works at our local US Bank Branch) 


PayPal claims to be the most secure way to send money online, but after this week I am beginning
to think they are the most insecure way to send money.

This was the first month in a year that my finances were able to meet both ends, I was ecstatic that we may actually have a simple, but nice Christmas.  That was until December 8, when someone hacked my PayPal account and withdrew $860.00 directly from my bank.

On December 9, the charges posted to my US Bank account as "pending" charges and I caught the mistake.  I immediately called US Bank and explained that I must have been hacked, because there is no way those are my charges.   US Bank explained to me they would open up a fraud investigation, but I needed to call PayPal also.  US Bank also said they would cover my future charges, and explained to me there was a "loan" program where they will give you the money back until the investigation is complete, if they investigation rules in my favor than I keep the money, if it is not in my favor than I owe the money.  Today my account sits at a negative $674.00 with 1/3 of that being overdraft and return check fees.  Thanks US Bank for having my back, because you SUCK.



On December 9th, when I spoke to PayPal they explained to me that it would take 2-4 days for the money to land in my PayPal account and then we could reverse the charge, as they had froze the charges, because it looks suspicious.

On December 11, I called again and they said this just takes time and they have sent the "seller" aka the mock email address that hacked my account, an email to give him a chance to plead his case. They now explained that it takes 7 days, and that this should all be cleared up after the 7th day. 

On December 13th, I called again, this time the woman was RUDE, HATEFUL, and well of course I
was not so nice back.  She explained to me that it takes 7 to 10 working business days and that the case would not close until around the 23 or later.  Okay, I realize that I am not rocket scientist, but December 8 - to December 23 is way more than 7 to 10 working business days.  She also told me that US Bank could have stopped this whole mess if they had just simply "stopped payment" on December 9th when the charge was still pending.   I now realize that PayPal is going to jerk my chain more and more every day.  

I hung up with PayPal and immediately called US Bank to find out why they did not stop the payment when it was pending.  Well as figured the woman there got pretty hateful and had a list of excuses about how this was not their problem.  I then asked her why I am getting charged so many overdraft and return charge fees.  She explained I needed to deposit money in my account and cover my negative balance.....well okay let me just pull that money right off my money tree outside and I will be right over to deposit it.   This floored me, my bank accounts have been hacked 2 days after I get my monthly income deposited and you want me to come up with another $865 to cover bank fraud.   I hung up on her, without wishing her a Merry Christmas.

Now I have been guaranteed by US Bank that they will return all overdraft fees if they find out this was a merchant error.  I have been guarantee by PayPal that they will return the money to my account if they found out that I have been hacked.  However, in my opinion PayPal's guarantee is worth nothing, they have lied to me already four times this week, and tomorrow's story will be a new one. 

I am not telling you my story to make you feel sorry for me, I feel sorry for myself enough.  I am telling you this so that you are protected the next time you make an online purchase.  PayPal says that this was probably my fault since I used their services and have not changed my password in a while.....I did not know I needed to change my password weekly, daily, or hourly to use a secure service.

US Bank tells me this is probably my fault for having my bank account linked to my PayPal account, well I receive small payments from various editors and websites for freelance work from time to time through PayPal, how am I suppose to get that money to my checking account if I do not have my account linked?  Come on Banking Eisenstein please tell me! 

I do want to say every one of our kids have taken the news like grown ups, they have seen Momma's stress they know that we cannot give them everything that we want to and they all say that is okay.  In that aspect I felt like a good Mom.

(Disclosure, I am not working with our local US Bank Branch on this matter, nor does it affect or reflect my opinion of anyone that works at our local US Bank Branch) 


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