Unusual credit card activity detected

When I woke up this morning, I checked my email, like I always do, and I saw this. It said it was from Bank of America and the subject was security alert unusual credit card activity detected. Great! What has life thrown at me today?

So I opened up the email and I saw exactly what you see in the image. Do you recognize all of these transactions? Declined transaction for $149.96 and approved transaction for $397.77. Uh… no I do not recognize these.

Of course, I didn’t click on anything because I wasn’t sure if this was a phishing scam. So I opened the Bank of America app on my cell phone and immediately it asked me if those were transactions that I made or if I recognize them or whatever. I went through the whole process to mark it as not my purchase, not my responsibility and they closed my credit card down and are sending me a new one.

I am the cheapest person on the planet. I would not buy myself something for $150 or $400 that’s just going to be consumed into my body and pissed into a toilet. It’s just not going to happen. And if this was a gift basket, you can bet it’s not happening. I am not paying $400 for wine that I don’t even drink. I don’t even like the taste of wine. I don’t care if someone wants wine as a gift, they’re not getting it from me because I can’t afford $400 for wine. Heck, I can’t afford $400 for anything.

I waffle on getting anything new because I know I don’t really need it. I may want something, but as long as I know that I don’t need it, I’m not buying it. And I certainly don’t need to send gifts to people that cost $150 and $400. Never. Going. To. Happen.

Thankfully the first one was declined and also thankfully the second one was still pending which means the merchant never got any money and so the bank didn’t actually lose anything.

As for my credit card. My credit card was paid off. I had a zero balance. I still had some things being charged automatically, like my Dollar Shave Club charged me $15 for a razor cartridge and a toothbrush, my website charged me $12 for hosting and there was one other charge that I can’t even remember what it was, but it is legit. But the total that my card is at now is $35 and I will be paying that off in a couple of weeks when I get paid. So you can imagine that if I’ve paid off all of my debt, I do not want to have to start over with a new debt of $400 for wine and $150 for Gourmet gift baskets. I want a $0 balance. $35, fine or zero preferable. But I am not putting myself in debt again for a gift for someone I don’t even know.

Oh and my credit card is in my wallet all the time and I never take my wallet with me anywhere. I keep my ID and my debit card for my checking account in my cell phone case. I don’t know how my credit card got compromised. The only thing I can think is that one of the companies that charges me for services was hacked and that’s how they got the credit card number and the three digit code on the back. That’s the only thing I can think. Well, now I have a new credit card coming so I have to change everything to charge the new credit card.

I hope this doesn’t happen again.

Craigslist PayPal Scam


Today is the second time I have spoken with someone regarding this issue. Someone I know was trying to sell her engagement ring, and she placed an ad on Craigslist. Just for the record, she lives in Tennessee and the person who responded said they live in Ohio. This person said they sent $4,350.00 to my friend via PayPal, but my friend did not see the money in the account that she had just created for this specific purpose. She received several emails from “PayPal” and here they are with my commentary. I’ve highlighted several issues with these emails.

First off, you can tell if an email is a scam by looking at who sent you the email. Notice how it says service@paypal.com, but then it says paypalsfundsalerts@inbox.lv? Well, if you get an email that shows 2 different email addresses, red flags should go up. Out of curiosity, I went to inbox.lv and that website does exist and anyone can create an email address with any name they want. This is not a valid paypal email address because they would not go out of the @paypal.com system. It just doesn’t happen. So that is my first red flag.

email to and from

This is the first email. I used Gimp to highlight. I created a box around the text, then used the paintbrush to add yellow with 50% transparency, which is why the black text looks faded. I just wanted to clarify that before you went any further.

Ok so here is the first email. They emailed her to tell her that they placed a temporary hold on the funds of this transaction. Why would they do that? I know she has just created this PayPal account for this very purpose, and she never intends on using PayPal again because she doesn’t trust it. She has a checking account with a brick and mortar bank, why would she need PayPal?

So I’m a bit confused here. They placed a temporary hold of $4,3500.00, but she is supposed to Money Gram $750 to someone, then send them a picture or scanned copy of the Money Gram to PayPal? What? That’s not how this works. This is crazy to me!

email 2 money gram

This is who she is supposed to send $750 to. Who is this? This is a 3rd party. PayPal would NEVER have you send money to a 3rd party via Money Gram. I’m sorry, but this is crazy to me.

email 2 money gram florida

Another red flag for me is that they would NEVER spell Walmart or Money Gram without caps. Also, check out my 2nd highlight where they started a new sentence without the space.

email 2 walmart or money gram

Ok, so that is the first email. She told this person that she never got the money and that she didn’t feel comfortable sending $750 via Money Gram. I mean, why would she feel comfortable doing that? I feel uncomfortable for her. So then she gets this email. First of all, look at the date. 12/05/2015. Todays date is 5/12/2015 so they got that backwards lol. If PayPal were to send an email out, they would have the correct date. Second, when someone sends you money on PayPal, a representative does not contact you personally. It just doesn’t happen. The computer will generate an email telling you that you need to verify your account before the funds will be deposited into your account. So that is a huge red flag for me. Third, they misspelled PayPal. You see my highlight that says papal. The last thing about this email is the Money Gram Transfer. I am still very confused about that.

email 1 contents

And finally they sent out a third email. Let me just repeat what I said before, if PayPal were to email anything to you, it would be their computer, not an actual person. They are pleading this Hazel persons case. “You Have to understand that Hazel Lane is a loyal customer of PayPal.” You have to understand is their first sentence? Why? I don’t understand this. Why are they pleading for someone? They spelled have with a cap. Then read my 2nd highlight “to loose the money.” You don’t loose money, you lose money. Then they said it is clear you are trying to scam her which will be taking up legally. WE WILL, is what they meant to say. Then finally “which can lead you loosing this account.” You don’t loose something, you lose it. Oh and they are threatening 5 years in prison. Then finally in the last highlight they did it again with the separation of sentences where they added a period, but then forgot to add a space, but this time the next sentence begins without the cap and it says “please for any Question reply directly back to this email.”

email 3 you have to understand

Oh and finally the logo at the end SCAM DEFENCE. Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s spelled with an S not a C. Defense. Also the N is raised a bit oddly in that logo.

I told her what I thought and that she should call PayPal directly and I found their number on Google Search and she called and they told her that this is a scam. I told her to cut off communication with this person and to delete her PayPal account since she has no intention of using it any further. I also advised her to change her email password and to block this person on her phone since they were communicating via text message.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know when you are being scammed, but some people, particularly young and elderly people don’t get scammed too often, so they don’t see the signs right away. That’s why I am happy that she sent me a message asking me what I thought about this whole thing. Another friend of mine fell for this scam when she tried selling her laptop on Craigslist. They pressured her to ship it out overnight, so she ended up shipping out her laptop and never got a dime and spent around $50 shipping the laptop to… get this… NIGERIA! If that is not a big giant red flag, I don’t know what is. If you are ever in doubt, the minute you see the word Nigeria, RUN! Don’t pass go, just run! And when I say run, obviously I mean shut it down. Stop all communication and call PayPal directly.

If you have to question something, then perhaps there is something wrong with it. Also, you know the old adage, say it with me, If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you want to see what a TRUE PayPal email looks like when you get money, this is it. They don’t add any fancy graphics or personalize anything. Know the difference and stay safe.

proper email

WoW Look At That Phish

I don’t know if this is a new scam or if it’s been around and they are just now getting to me but last week I got an email that looked as if it really came from Blizzard telling me that a character faction change is now pending for my World of Warcraft account with my email address and a link to track the status of my request.

Down in the email they had a transaction ID number with my email address again then below that was some “more information” along with a few links.  2 of those links were different from what was shown in the text.  That there was my clue that something didn’t smell right.

So, obviously I knew it was a phishing scam because I don’t have a World of Warcraft account with them.  I played the trial back in 2006 for the week they gave me but I really only played it for a couple of days.  I was taking a break from EverQuest to get away from all the drama in the guild and during that break I tried out the demo of some other games.

The only thing that concerned me about this email was that when I was at the blizzard website looking for their contact information I stumbled onto their FAQ page and found out that they charge $30 to change your characters faction.  If I did have an account, which I knew I didn’t but if I did I didn’t want to be charged $30 for nothing.

I finally found the contact page and forwarded them the email that I got.  They responded letting me know that they can confirm that the email address that was associated in this phishing email does not exist in their database, meaning I don’t have an account to worry about.

I got another email today from a different email address but still from blizzard telling me that my account has been locked due to suspicious activity.  It said that my account had been logged in via a different IP address than what their records show as being my IP address.  They are concerned my account has been stolen so they locked me out.  I don’t have an account so you didn’t lock me out of something I didn’t have in the first place.

Naturally I can only assume this is another phishing scam email.  I went to verify that the links were exactly as they were showing up in text and of course they are different.

So even though I know I have nothing to worry about, I am writing this blog post to warn other people out there who actually do have a World of Warcraft account to beware.  If you get these emails and you know for a fact that you did not order a faction change for $30 and you know for a fact that you can still login, that your account hasn’t been locked then you know not to click ANY LINKS in those emails.  Beware when someone sends you an email asking you to click a link to login to your account because you might be handing over the keys to the Bentley without even knowing it.

Video Professor Free?

I see these commercials all the time for Video Professor where the “chairman” talks about how he gives away his lessons on CD for free.  Well, I hate to disillusion anybody but it ain’t free.

I ordered my “free” lesson and when it finally came in the mail I saw the fine print.  It’s free for a certain amount of time.  After that specific time is up they automatically charge your credit card $70.

I got the Frontpage lessons because I thought I was getting it for free for the cost of shipping.  I saw the warning and immediately called the number and told them I am sending it back the next day as soon as I wake up lol.  There is no way I am rich enough to be able to afford $70 for lessons for a program that I’ve been using since 1997 that I am clearly able to use without any of their lessons.  I just thought that they would be able to tell me something I didn’t know but every lesson in there was something I am aware of lol.

It would be one thing if they charged $20 plus shipping for a lesson, that’s at least reasonable but $70 that’s a bit much.  Is it false advertising that they say it’s free then you find out it’s $70?  I think it is.

Ok I have to admit something.  This happened like 2 years ago lol.  I just saw the commercial and it jogged my memory and so I thought I would blog about it lol.

Credit Card Theft

I wasn’t going to blog about this because I had resolved it with the bank so it was a non issue.  But I did a search on it and find that it is a huge issue.

This company who goes by many different names, or maybe, possibly there are many companies doing the same thing.  One of the names is MyLiberia.com, another is Digismarket.  The name on my statement is Electronic Business Res.  They charge you $4.95 for services that are never rendered.  They are an online bookstore or so they say they are, selling e-books but you never get an e-book.  You don’t even get an email telling you that they are ripping you off but in the bank statement it gives me a transaction number and a phone number which is out of service.

As I said I wasn’t going to blog about this but I feel that it’s something that people really need to know about.  Make sure you check your bank statement or credit card statement often to make sure it’s not there.  Or better yet, call the credit card company or your bank and just request a new card so you can have a new credit card number just in case.

Good luck

$5 Footlong? Really?

I’ve loved Subway since the first time I ever went there when I was 18 years old when I moved back in with my parents when they moved to Quartz Hill in the Antelope Valley.  We went there all the time and I remember that I always got the same thing.  The Cold Cut Combo.  To this day that’s the only sandwich I ever get.  Sometimes I’ll be different and get a meatball sub or turkey but it’s usually always the Cold Cut Combo.  It tastes good to me.

Recently in the last few months or so I’ve been seeing the commercials for their $5 footlong.  They are competing with Quizno’s because Quizno’s has a good deal too for $5.  So they are just trying to keep or lure their customers away from the competition.  That’s fine and $5 is a good price for a 12″ sub.

We went to Subway for dinner tonight and they had their sign (or window sticker) that says “Any” which implies what?  All?  That’s what it implies to me.  By saying any that means if I want a footlong meatball sub then it’s $5 right?  Wrong.  The definition of “Any” for Subway means that they have a couple footlong sandwiches for $5.  So isn’t that false advertising?

I’m lucky the Cold Cut Combo just so happened to be $5 for the footlong because that’s what I wanted anyway but it would be nice if they had more of a $5 selection.

I think that if a sign says “Any” then everything should be $5 and not just a select few.  There were maybe 5 items on the menu that were $5 footlong.  That’s not a lot of choice.  When we got to the register to pay for our $5 footlongs they asked if we wanted chips and a drink for $2 more each and we were like screw that.  $1 for a drink and $1 for a little .50 cent bag of chips?  Are you joking?  We could go to the store across the street to buy a bag of Chips and soda which we ended up doing.  We bought 2 large bags of Doritos (buy 1 get 1 free) and 2 bottles of sparkling flavored water for .79 cents per bottle.

I like Subway but I don’t agree with this false advertisement.  I think it’s crappy because they lure you with the promise of a $5 footlong then you are stuck paying $7.59 for the sandwich you intended on buying.

Update: We were shopping today for new work clothes for Darrin and we had to go to Walgreens to pick up some things and decided that we would go to Subway for lunch.  I was bitching about their false advertising and so Darrin purposely ordered something that was not $5, Roast Beef.  It says on the menu that it’s like $6.79 or something like that and he asked is that $5 footlong? And the lady said yes.  We got to the register and the total for both sandwiches was $10.

So Subway, I apologize that I made such a quick judgement.  But in my defense if any footlong is $5 you should change all the prices on your menu board to show that any footlong is $5.  Because I would see the prices and immediately not order something because it doesn’t say $5.

Credit Scams

I’ve been getting these phone calls from credit companies trying to recover a huge amount of money from a person with the same name as mine as well as this persons wife named Amanda McDonald.  Well, I can safely say that I am not married or dating a woman named Amanda or any other woman’s name for that matter.

Last year I got a call from one of those places that give you money when you give them a check and they hold the check until your next payday.  I never ever go to those places at all.

Also last year I got a call saying I owed $50,000 which I know I don’t owe.  I told them that I don’t owe them and it’s not me and I was stupid enough to give them the last 4 digits of my social security number.

Yesterday I got a call and they said my name and I said yes and then she said Amanda and I said you know what, there is no Amanda McDonald here, there never was and never will be, you got the wrong person.  The lady said thank you and hung up.

Well, about an hour ago I got a phone call saying that I owe money for a Suzuki car.  Uh, I don’t think so.  I never learned how to drive and I definitely don’t have a driver’s license.  I definitely do not have a Suzuki vehicle and if I did they could come and repossess it, but I don’t have one so they are SOL.

Thankfully I am a member of LifeLock and I called them up to tell them what happened and they told me that there are a lot of people out there who are trying to scam you out of your money and because of today’s economy they can’t make money any other way but to try to steal it from other people.  They send me a credit report from all 3 credit bureau’s every year and there was nothing on it the last time and the woman from LifeLock said that I should be getting another one in a month and half so if it’s not there (the car) then don’t worry about it, it’s probably a scam.

Don’t listen to phone(y) people because they are most likely lying to you to get your money.  They will try to convince you to give them your social security number to verify their claim but you cannot give that number to them.  The only way you should ever give that information out is if you called them.  What you should do is ask them what company they are calling from then look it up on the internet and then call them.  If they don’t respond then hang up.  If there is a phone number listed on the caller ID then call the police and give them that number and they can investigate it.  If it says Unknown Caller or Private Caller that is also a way to know that it’s fake.  This call I got today said Unknown.  A credit company will have their name and number on your Caller ID.  Don’t be fooled into giving away your good name.

Directory Assistance

Do not call 411!  Get a phone book for crying out loud.  Are you that lazy?  There is also a free 411 that you can call that doesn’t cost you a dime, all you have to do is listen to an advertisement which is less than 30 seconds out of your day.  1-800-free-411.

Here are the facts about 411.  I just got my phone bill and it shows 3 411 calls billed at $1.50 each for a total of $4.50.  You are allowed 1 free 411 call now.  Before it used to be 3 free 411 calls but now it’s just 1.  But that’s not all.  They have also itemized it in Local Toll category with 661-411-0000 which brings that total up to $5.97 so for 3 411 calls it cost me total $10.47.  That’s $10 too much.  For 3 calls!  Get it?  Look below.  I pasted directly from my bill just in case you don’t believe me.

Directory Assistance
Local Directory Assistance
4 Call(s) placed
1 Call(s) allowed
1-04        3  Call(s) billed at $1.50  each                              4.50
Local Toll
No. Date Time Place Called Number Code        Min Amount
Itemized Calls
1-05 9-14  1045A   NATL411SVC   661 411-0000 N             1           1.99
1-06 9-17   544A   NATL411SVC   661 411-0000 N             1           1.99
1-07 9-24   217P   NATL411SVC   661 411-0000 D             1           1.99
Total Itemized Calls                                                      5.97
D Day                   N Night/Weekend
Total Local Toll                                                          5.97

Why is it so hard to just pick up a phone book? They waste so much paper and kill so many trees so that you may look up a phone number for free. You can also go on your computer and look it up at www.yellow.com or www.yellowpagesonline.com or whatever.  But for god sake, stop using 411!

XP Antivirus 2008

I was looking at a website and it said that I needed to download active-x or something to view a video and we had to go to the grocery store real quick. When we came home I noticed Norton Anti-virus was going nuts saying it was blocking a virus and I saw this program running called Antivirus XP 2008 on my screen saying I had all these viruses on my computer and wanted me to click something to get rid of them. I knew something was wrong because I didn’t install that program and for some reason it wouldn’t allow me to uninstall it through the control panel. I used the laptop to search for it on Yahoos search engine and found this:


Please, take a look at the pictures and memorize them so if this happens to you then you will be able to arm yourself. You don’t have to bookmark this site or keep the email if you don’t have this issue but just remember to search for it through a search engine so you can be able to get rid of it. I was able to get rid of it but I had to follow the instructions on this website. I hope for your sake you don’t get this but in case you do make sure you get rid of it right away. Oh, one of the things you will notice is that your screen will be blue or maroon, your wallpaper will be gone. That is a good indication that you have problems.

Update: After I went through all the steps to remove this thing I went to lay down on my bed to watch TV and I noticed that it went to the Windows Login screen so I got up and clicked my name and went to see the screen saver settings, I right clicked the desktop and clicked Properties and there are 2 tabs missing.  Desktop and Screen saver.  They are gone!  I don’t know how to get it back.  If I have to reformat my hard drive I’m gonna be pissed.

Another update: I get these email supposedly from CNN.  They are usually 1 line emails with a link and I clicked it to see the video for a news story and it said that I needed the active x thing and that is what happened.  I was trying to see a news story.  I am not going to click any of those emails ever again and just assume it’s a link to a virus.  My Norton is still finding virus’s left over from that and deleting them.  So, if you get emails from CNN make damn sure they are really from CNN and not a fake website.  Just go directly to CNN.com instead just to be safe.