10 January 2009

Budapest. What a Pest !

I have been staying away from the computer this week. I have not looked at a single other blogger's posts, visited the Internet or checked my accounts or emailed anyone....the reason being one of security.

The New Year has not been as kind to me as I had hoped. On the good side, Greg is still behaving himself and so far is still sober. Not a single alcoholic drink has passed his lips since he went into hospital on 5 September. Dare I hope it will last? But sod's law has dealt me a slap on the face from another quarter. To my horror last Sunday, I discovered some nasty evil piece of vermin has cloned my credit card account and bought £414 worth of air tickets from a Hungarian Airline in Budapest. I have rung the credit card company and also notified the police but, as with a burglary, I feel someone somewhere has made use of my details and I feel like I want to wash and shower myself clean again (in a cyber sense, of course). Greg has been wonderful and immediately sprung into action making sure our computer software is virus-protected, but we have nevertheless been wary of using the computer at all and have rather looked upon it as an alien spy sitting in the corner of the room. The thing is we still don't know if someone has hacked into our computer or whether the card has been cloned from a card reader at a store somewhere. Greg reckons we have done all we can do now and rather nervously I have written this to make tentative contact with the outside world again.

Incidentally the credit card company have been less than impressive. They did not think to cancel the card and issue me with a new one (it occurred to us a few days later after the initial shock had subsided and our brains took over. WE had to tell THEM to cancel card!) Also they said they would not take any action until I had returned their dispute form (but a week has now gone by since I reported it to them and I have not even received the dispute form from them let alone returned it to them). The police rang us back this afternoon and are more "on the ball" and from the sound of it they were less impressed by the credit card company as well.

Sorry I have not been commenting on your blogs lately but hope this will explain why and hope you understand my nervousness at present.

24 comments:

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hi Rosiero...A Happy New Year to you! I have not been blogging as much either but then it occurred to me that I had not heard from you so I popped over. Sorry to hear your news and especially sorry the credit card company has not been proactive. I think it is a common thing these days. It's probably happened at a store or something. But I could be wrong.

Hope it all works out for you. Glad also that Greg is feeling better. Haven't read your posts lately but will go and catch up. Best wishes. Hadriana x

Kit Courteney said...

What a vile thing to do. I know it happens all the time, but it still seems so hideously selfish and unpleasant.

As for the credit card company - that sort of unwillingness to actually HELP one of their customers seems foolish if nothing else. I'm a great believer in word-of-mouth, so make sure you tell all your friends/family about them. If it stops one person signing up with them then that's one (small) victory for the woman in the street!

If you have decent computer security then it seems unlikely it happened that way but I can understand why you'd be careful now. One simple action can make you think and feel very differently about something that seemed so normal before.

On the positive side - Yay to the no drinking!!!!!!!!

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

Happy New Year friend!!

oh dear...now this has happened to two of my colleagues at work in the last month.

One guy had £1000 of airline tickets to some obscure place bought, but presumably not used...cos they know the ticket will probably be stopped...

it is more likely to be cloning at a cash point, but if you have increased your use of buying on the net..

anyhow rest assured your bank will reimburse you, its in their interest to do this, because if they don't they would have bad press and it would be made more public the loophole that is the increasing cloning scam that seems so prevalent.

Good to turn off bluetooth also, as they can swipe your details from your phone provider when you add on airtime...


glad your holidays seem to have passed without a 'hic' cup...good sobering news...

a day at a time..

loev FFF x

cologneblog said...

Oh yes, I understand that well. Internet life becomes more and more dangerous and it's difficult for normal people (non-computer) to know everything to do. My anti-virus-programme is always up-to-date but there are other dangers - obviously.
http://cologneblog.wordpress.com/

GoneBackSouth said...

Ugh that sounds horrible. I guess you just have to be really vigilant with checking your statements and keeping your PC protection up to date. What a nasty person that stole like that.

Robert said...

Hi Rosiero - I've missed you! Sorry 2009 started in this manner. Credit card cloning is less likely to happen through online activities than from "doctored" cash points or rogue traders. However, as well as an good anti-virus program, you should also have a good anti-malware program. If you haven't already got anti-malware protection, check out the following link...

http://www.download.com/windows/security-software/1921-2023_4-0.html

...where you will find Ad-Aware 2008, Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware and Spybot - all roughly equally efficient and free!

Greg is doing well, isn't he?

Best wishes.

Nota Bene said...

Grrr...how horrible. Card companies should be much more on the ball than that...they're supposed to be watching out for unusual transactions. Tell us which one, so we all know to avoid their unhelpfulnss.

Hope the rst of 2009 gets better and better

Laura Jane Williams said...

Gosh, I'm so sorry you've had to go through that. Things can only get better...!

Working mum said...

Horrid news and what a useless credit card company. Hope you feel a bit more confident about using the internet soon.

Retiredandcrazy said...

What a bummer! I am so sorry that you have had to go through that on top of everything else. It's a mad bad world out there isn't it?

Fern said...

What bad luck Rosiero, it happened to my other half last year but it was his company card so it didn't feel quite such a personal invasion. It did all get sorted out ok just took a bit of time.

Glad to hear that Greg is doing so well.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you have had that to contend with Rosiero. Hope it all gets sorted out quickly. In the meantime I do hope 2009 is a happy year for you all.

A x

L to the Aura said...

That is ridiculous! I can speak from experience, there is nothing worst than being violated.

I just saw your post on the One Minute Writer. I came over here because I read what you wrote about losing your dad, and I can relate to that too.

nuttycow said...

Happy new year! So sorry for your card issues. Your credit card company sound evil. You should be able to get the money back though - keep pestering them!

Wishing you lots of luck. xx

Ellen said...

The dirty, rotten swindlers - sorry to hear you have had credit card fraud to contend with. Hope is gets sorted out v. soon. However, it was great to hear that Greg 'sprang into action' sorting our the computer spyware for the family. Perhaps some good will come out of this bad experience. Nice to see you back on-line again.

PS - did you happen to see the programme on Channel 4 last week about Paul Gascoigne and his family? Heartbreaking tv, but utterly compulsive viewing. D

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Life can be a sod at times but you have the heart to survive with so many rooting for you.

Flowerpot said...

you poor thing - what a start to th enew year. Makes you want to crucify those credit card companies and is one of the reasons why I don;t have one. You take care now.

blogthatmama said...

Hope you get the money back Rosiero, it's scary how they easily they can get hold of your details. Glad things are going well at home though.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Hey, don't worry about not visiting blogs, you've had enough to deal with and more on your mind. What a truly disgusting thing to happen, there really are some scum bags out there. I check my account online regularly and I'm always thinking at the back of my mind that something could happen.

Take care and hope it gets sorted out for you. Please keep us posted.

CJ xx

laurie said...

man that is awful.

i don't think commenting on blogs can harm your security, though. comment away! just don't leave your credit card number.

i don't mean to make light of this. here in the states we're only liable for $50 if someone steals our card. i hope the same protection is available for you.

aims said...

I've dropped by in an effort to catch up on your news and was backreading - holding my breath every step of the way - and then bingo. A slap in the face from out of the blue. You gotta be thinking does it ever end?!

Thinking of you - understanding your anger about this and everything else.

DulwichDivorcee said...

So sorry to hear about this, Rosiero - luckily you are not liable for the tickets or anything else, and don't let the credit card people tell you any different! Hope you get it sorted soon, chin up and may the rest of 2009 be a million times better xxx But actually, lovely to read Greg is being supportive! xxx

rosiero said...

Thank you all for your comments. The credit card company have taken two weeks to send me the form I need to return to them. Barclaycard (for those of you who asked) are not at all impressing me, I must say. The policeman who phoned me said he had had similar things happen to him, so even our police are not safe!! The general consensus is that it was nothing to do with details being cloned from my computer - we have all the necessary firewall protection - so it must have been dome from a store card-reader.

Hopefully Barclaycard will remove the item from my bill - they said they would suspend it pending their enquiries, but I have just received the next month's bill and it is still very much on there and for me to pay up, so I shall have to chase them up about this.

Robert - thanks for the advice. Greg says he is aware of these and that our PC protection is thankfully covered.

Ellen - sadly did not see the programme about Paul Gascoigne - I wish I had known it was on, as I know his family have had terrible experiences similar to mine.

Aims - so glad to see you back. You have been missed.

Millennium Housewife said...

What a horrible start to the year, I've just read your latest so it's a double whammy. So sorry Rosiro, I do hope you stay with us, we're with you! MH