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02 June 2008

Identity Theft

Some of you have been wondering why my google status mentioned identity theft the other day...

A couple weeks ago, I got a new RCI Platinum Plus MasterCard. Now, the interest rate was at 14.99%, which for me is really high, so there was no intention to just use the card all over the place. I didn't use it at all in fact.

Then when I went to buy my car from Beaverton Mitsubishi, I couldn't get out of a down payment, so I put it on the card. First and only purchase. I handed my card to one guy, then got it back from another half an hour later in another building.

A couple days later, I went onto the BofA website (bank hosting the card) to determine the address to send payments to. I saw the down payment on the transaction history, then a $1 paypal temporary authorization, then a $625 ($675? can't remember) temporary authorization for Paypal Dealsonline. Since I had never used it anywhere but the dealership, I was very surprised by this.

I contacted BofA. They said that until the transaction was posted, there was nothing to do. I kept explaining to them that either someone fraudulently used my card or they got my data directly from BofA. The bank suggested I call PayPal directly.

I called PayPal. They had already flagged it as suspicious because the person had not signed into their paypal account to do the transaction. Also, the person had not mistakenly typed the wrong number because they had used MY name. At this point, PayPal identified it as identity theft. They started blocked payment and started an investigation. They told me to call BofA back and what to say.

BofA cancelled my card, issued me a new one with a different number, and started an investigation.

Since I had only used the card once, and never online, chances are very high that someone at Beaverton Mitsubishi will be getting 5 years / $500,000 fine for under $700 worth of merchandise that they never received.

I also called the Merchant and told them they might want to hold on to that shipping address.

I also called my sales rep at the dealership and told him.