Tuesday, April 04, 2017


OK, sorry about the title. I've had a frustrating day thus far, and working in a church keeps me from either cursing like Yosemite Sam or throwing furniture like I'd like to be doing right now.

I'm paranoid about my bank account.  Probably not as much as some people, but certainly more than other people might be.  I blame Steve and his hyper aware cyber-security self. Everyone knows when you shop online, you always run the risk of someone stealing your credit card/debit card info, and so I keep a fairly close watch on all that.  I've also got it set up so that any time something is directly charged to my bank account, I get a text message so that I will know immediately if something is amiss.

This morning I was just leaving for work when I happened to glance at my phone.  I saw that I had a text message alert from 1 AM for a charge to my account from iTunes.  I last bought a song on iTunes in mid March, and it wasn't for nearly the amount that was being shown in that text message.  Well....crap. 

When I got to work, the first thing I tried to do was check my iTunes account to see if I'd bought something and forgotten about it.  I tried to open the iTunes program on my work computer, but for some reason it kept crashing.  I don't know if you've ever really, really wanted to get into a program and couldn't, but I came very close to putting my head through my monitor.  I had to find another computer in a completely different part of the church to check my account.  I didn't see any charges there, so went online to look at my bank account more closely and saw that a second charge to iTunes had been added.  I was swiftly becoming untethered from my sense of humor!

 I called the bank to alert them and ask what to do.  The very nice lady I spoke to could see the charges, but couldn't tell me what they were for, which is understandable.  She said I could go ahead and cancel my bank card if I wanted, but that I should called Apple first and make sure it wasn't something easily explainable.  So I got online and started a chat with an online Apple representative. I thought that would be faster than waiting on the phone, and I was (thankfully) right.  The woman who came online to help me told me that she couldn't find any charges to my account, but that she would elevate my problem to the next level just to make sure.  I was fine with that, but I was getting antsy about getting back with the bank to cancel my card.  I got a call from a second rep from Apple asking me to verify my account and all that jazz, but he also couldn't find anything odd with my iTunes account.  However, he decided to elevate my problem to yet a third tier of customer service, which I agreed to.  I'll be honest, I almost hung up so I could contact the bank, but I felt like it would be rude to hang up on him, so I hung on the line while I contacted the bank online to cancel my card.  I'm very glad I did.  The next person I talked to was apparently an IT worker for Apple, and she was able to get into my account far enough to see that someone had hacked into it and was using my account to buy gift cards through a secondary email address!  Those bastards.  However, the silver lining is that the issue was identified and could be addressed. The IT woman's name who helped me was named Coni, and I could have kissed her right on the mouth at that moment. I'm completely impressed with the way they handled the situation, because you don't expect a huge company like Apple to have such good customer service.

So my account was adjusted, but I still had to go and change the passwords to my bank account, my iTunes account and my home e-mail, just to be on the safe side.  I also had to cancel my debit card and fill out paperwork for bank fraud, which may (or may not) allow for a refund of the money that was stolen from me.   Now I just have to get that mailed off and see if I'm going to be refunded for some jerk-face thief that decided I should be funding their iTunes in-app purchases or whatever.

All is well that ends well, though.  I am much calmer than I was before, but I'd still like to find whoever did that and rip their ears off.  Let's just hope I got a handle on all of this before my card is used for anything else.  Finger's crossed! 

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