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How You Can Avoid Becoming A Victim Of Identity Theft

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Joined: 05 Oct 2002
Posts: 723
Location: butler pa

PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 4:45 am    Post subject: How You Can Avoid Becoming A Victim Of Identity Theft Reply with quote

I wrote this article after I became a victim earlier this week. Please let me know what you think. Also any suggestions on anything would be well appreciated. It has been one heck of a week, but I decided to write an article about what happened to me.

Ok, Joanne, I revised it, now how is it? I appreciate your feedback

Here's the article:

How You Can Avoid Becoming A Victim Of Identity Theft Through E-Bay & Paypal

I decided to write this article after I become a victim of identity theft on November 7, 2006. Before this happened to me , I used to be one of those people that think things like this could and would never happen to me, I do not feel this way anymore. I found out the hard way that if you do not take all the neccesary step to protect yourself from identity theft, that sometime in your life you could become a victim.

First off, let me tell you what happened to me. On the morning of November 7,2006 I got on my computer to check my emails and do all my usual activity related to my home businesses that I am involved in. When I opened up my email program I noticed the first 50 or so emails were from ebay saying "You have won such and such" item. I am thinking to myself that these emails must be fake emails as I had not bought anything from E-Bay recently. So I thought the next time I go onto ebay I will check and see if these emails were in my messages in my ebay account.

Just then my friend called me to ask me if I could go on E-bay and look for something for her as her computer was down (That was my blessing as it would turn out) I go into my E-bay account and as I am looking for this item for her I notice I had a new feedback score, and I knew I should not have a new score as I did not purchase anything new recently. I click on my feedback to see where this came from, and to my surprise I recieved feedback from one of the sellers that sold an item that was in those emails I had gotten from E-bay.

At this point in time I am starting to freak out here because I am now realizing that the emails I recieved from E-bay were not fake emails apparently. I tell my friend I will call her back. I click into my paypal account and I see that I have 50+ transactions through ebay and as I am looking at my computer and reviewing the transactions, I realize that someone (I later found out my computer was hacked into) has purchased items through ebay totaling almost $4000.00. I am sure you can probaly imagine my reaction!!

I immediately called Paypal (very upset and crying) to explain to them that I did not purchase any of these items and I in no way authorized anyone to do so. The woman I talked to was very nice and understanding and calmed me down enough to walk me through the necessary steps that I needed to go through to dispute the transactions and to stop the payments from going through. She helped me with the forms I needed to file through them and after we did that, she told me to print out these forms and take them to my bank, so I would not incur any fees when these charges come through. She told me that they will further investigate and would take action.

She gave me some advice that I already knew, but did not always do (or keep up with) to protect myself. It is my hope that in writing this article, I can help stop people from making the same mistakes I did, so that they do not fall prey to this Identity theft as I have.

Below are ways that you can avoid becoming a victim:

(1) Never open up any suspicious emails, especially if you do not recognize who they are from.

These emails are called Phising emails.

What Are Phising Emails?

Phishing emails are deceptively-legitimate looking email from what appears to be a reputable company. The email asks recipients to update their credit card information or their account will be promptly terminated. Or the message offers a service to protect their credit cards from possible fraud.

Often "phishing" email messages will use legitimate 'From:' email addresses, logos, and links to reputable businesses such as AOL, PayPal, Best Buy, Earthlink and eBay in the message. But the message instructs you to click on a web link that sends you to a fake website where you are asked to provide personal information to the scam artists. Such sites will ask for information such as your name, address, phone number, date of birth, Social Security number (SSN), and bank or credit card account number. Providing this kind of information can leave consumers at risk for identity theft.

I found an article that has some tips that offer some tips and advice.: You can read the article Here: If you do recieve any emails that say they are from E-bay (or any other suspicious ones), do not click on the link (s) inside these emails.

If you do recieve any emails that say they are from E-bay (or any other suspicious ones), do not click on the link (s) inside these emails. When you click on this link, you will be taken to a page that tells you to put in your username and password. This is more than likely why this happened to me. If the emails are really from Ebay you will see it in your ebay account under my messages.

(2) Make sure you have a reliable (Not Free) firewall installed on your computer

I thought I had a good reliable firewall, but as it turned out I did not. My husband had gotten a free firewall for our computer through his AKO account through The National Guards. I will never use a free firewall on my computer again. I now have Mcafee Firewall installed on my computer. It is reasonably priced and it worth the money and then some. You can download a 30 day free full functioning trial and then pay for the firewall after 30 days. I absolutely love this firewall. This firewall has the option to completely lock down your computer when you are not on it.

This is a great feature if your computer is constantly connected to the Internet due to having cable internet or any other internet provider that has broadband.

You can get Mcafee Here:

(3) Make sure you have a anti-virus software installed on your computer, and keep it up to date.

I had one on my computer but it was out of date and I never got around to getting a newer version. I now use Mcafee's Anti-Viris software as well as their other software. I bought their Internet Security Suite. It has :

Offers 8 in 1 protection for your identity, PC, and online experience.
Provides online security from Identity Thieves, Spammers, and Predators.
Protects your PC from viruses, hackers and spyware.
Backs Up and Restores your photos, music and important files.
Protects your online experience so you can surf the Web, shop, bank, e-mail and instant message safely and securely.
Keeps your PC healthy and secure.
Backs Up photos, music, videos, and other important files automatically.
Intercepts prohibited Web sites, unwanted activity and offensive pictures to keep your family safe.
Simplifies security with the new and improved McAfeeŽ SecurityCenter.
Warns you about sites which send spam, install adware, or attempt online scams.
Shields your PC around the clock: always on, always protecting, always updating.

You Can check it out here:

(3) Never save your passwords in your computer.

Especially your Online Banking info, E-bay, Paypal, Etc. I (I should have known better) did indeed save all my passwords for every website I use frequently, including, my Online Banking info, Paypal, and Ebay. Doing this leaves you vulnerable (as I have found out) to become a victim of Identity theft.

I have since restored my computer (of course I lost everything...but I was taking no more chances) and have changed my usernames and passwords for everything, and did not store them to my computer. I now have each one wrote down in a notebook and kept in my desk.

If you do become a victim, there are things you can do dispute these transactions. Here Is what I had to do:

(1) Immediately contact Paypal. You can find their number under the help center. Explain to them that there are transactions that you did not authorize, and they will walk you through the steps you need to take to dispute them and to correct them.

(2) Go right away to your bank with the forms that Paypal will have you print out. This will stop you from incurring any fees and you can make sure that no money is paid out on these disputed transactions.

Finally, let me tell you that for a few days or so (up to 10 days) things will be a mess with your Paypal and Bank accounts, but rest assured things will be corrected for you.

I am happy to report that things are starting to clear up for me with my Paypal and Bank accounts . My husband and I with the advice of our Bank closed our bank account and opened up a new one, just to be safe. My situation could have been alot worse for me had it not been for my friend calling me up to ask me to go to ebay and look for something for her. I would not have caught this right away and it could have been longer before things got cleared up for me.

Last edited by mom2373 on Mon Nov 13, 2006 6:45 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Joined: 01 Jan 2003
Posts: 2321
Location: Ma USA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

typo down the bottom

You should talk about phising email. This is most likely where this came from.
I could tell you a very long story about that Laughing
I'll keep it short
I got and email from ebay, I knew they were looking for my id and pw. So I click the link and typed in "you are" as my id and "an asshole" as my pw. (Some times I just can't resist being a smart ass. Laughing )
Just clicking the link downloaded a file on my pc. So every time i typed in, this file page would come up asking to sign in But in red letters it said I have to update my credit card info. I knew my cc was up-to-date After several hours of research I found an article about this very same thing. I found the file in the host files and deleted it. I called my sister-in-law to go in and change my pw from her pc, because i was afraid to do it from mine. I was very lucky! I hope everything works out for you Tina
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