Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I'm Not Your Pal, Buddy

I woke up in a hotel room a week or so ago to find out that three transactions totaling $1000 had been made from my PayPal account to random individuals. I have no idea how it happened, it's not like I've been opening dodgy websites or responding to emails from Nigerian princes, but happen it did. As near as I can tell the transactions were all to buy MMO related equipment/accounts/whatever, which is a particularly petty thing to have money stolen for. I raised the transactions as disputes with PayPal and then spent a long morning logging into every account I could remember and changing the passwords to be unique and stronger. I expect this to come back and bite me next time I visit said sites, but at the time it seemed a reasonable response.

I could still log into my account, which was nice, and PayPal were very quick to limit my account and reverse the transactions. Afterwards they asked for my feedback on their response, which I duly gave. Then they sent me a survey asking, among other things, whether I'd recommend PayPal to a friend. No. No I would not. I couldn't have asked for a better response, but at the same time I did have $1000 stolen.

This morning I received an email from one of the recipients of these fraudulent transactions who was mildly displeased, to say the least, that I had reversed the transaction. As far as he was concerned I had reneged on a deal and behaved reprehensibly. He then proceeded to threaten to lodge a dispute with PayPal, etc, etc. Most interesting was that he said he had email and chat logs of the transaction (hopefully that's not an indication that my email account has been compromised because that would be an incredible inconvenience). Getting involved in an email conversation with someone who thought I was a con artist/thief didn't seem like a good idea, so I told him I thought lodging the dispute was a good idea so we could deal through PayPal, and expressed my regret that he was unfortunate enough to get involved in a situation where he was not to blame.

Getting my money stolen was a little disturbing and quite annoying, and it certainly makes me consider what I'm going to do with my PayPal account in the future, but the most frustrating thing about the whole situation is that somebody out there thinks I'm a thief.

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