Falsely Accused of Credit Card Theft

Get credit card fraud help: For victims of credit card fraud and identity theft, and those that can help.
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street9009
 
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Falsely Accused of Credit Card Theft

Postby street9009 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 3:01 pm

I've got one for you. I'm hoping someone can help.

I am a web developer and I help maintain a website that does e-commerce through a PayPal shopping cart. It's very rudimentary.

The owner of the website has been getting calls from people who have had their card charged by a company (or entity or something) with a similar name. They are finding him through Google and calling him by mistake. He of course informs them that it was not he that charged his card and to dispute the charge with their bank, but sometimes these people are less than kind and it's really getting to be a pain for him.

We removed the PayPal shopping cart functionality from his site but the calls are still coming.

Does anyone have a suggestion for how to deal with this accusation of credit card theft, short of shutting his site down? It would be a real tragedy to have to shut down because of these people so I'm hoping there's a better way.

Thanks.


DoingHomework
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Postby DoingHomework » Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:56 pm

Not much you can do except help find the real thief and tell callers it was not your company. You may just have to wait it out.

jeffysdad
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Postby jeffysdad » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:04 pm

I'm afraid I have no good ideas.

Since you did bring up PayPal, I'll just say that I will not transact through them. I really dislike PP for a variety of reasons/bad experiences, and if that's the only credit card payment option offered by a merchant, I will buy elsewhere.
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DoingHomework
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Postby DoingHomework » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:28 pm

I'll echo jeffysdad's comments about Paypal. I have used them as both an individual and as a merchant. As an individual I've only had minor issues but my wife has had a few annoying issues as well. As a merchant though Paypal is a real pain to deal with. They frequently hold up customer transactions for "security" reasons. While this is the customer's problem, it becomes the merchant's problem because it creates an exception that has to be handled manually. It's just not worth it. In the last few years I have had 4 or 5 problems with Paypal temporarily stopping payments (all of which eventually went through) and 0 problems with visa, mastercard, Amex, electronic checks, paper checks, or other payment means. Paypal is simply not worth the hassle.

Incidentally, Paypal is likely partly responsible for the problems you are having. Charges on a credit card statement usually list a phone number to call for the merchant, or you can always get it by calling your card company. But try finding out from Paypal how to contact the merchant when you see a suspicious charge. They don't even answer their phone most of the time! And when they do you have to speak liek you are talking to a 3 year old so they understand the problem. And then they usually can't help.

street9009
 
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Postby street9009 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:25 pm

Well I want to be clear. The company I do work for uses PayPal. I do not know that the fraudulent charges are coming from there. They certainly do not show in our account so it's not us. Somebody is just using the company's name and then a simple web search leads them to the website where they can find all of the contact information they want.

I was just hoping that there'd be someone somewhere worth contacting to figure out how to shut the people making the fraud charges down. Are there any questions I should ask the victims of these charges? I have contact info for one but I have not spoken to him yet.

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Pete838
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Postby Pete838 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:35 am

I would point out to the irate 'customers' that Paypal is very customer friendly when dealing with disputes, and that they should look at the email address of the merchant that the money was paid to, and see that it is not the same as your company's. Taking down the PP shopping cart will do little good, and will probably do more to hurt sales than stop the phone calls.
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DoingHomework
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Postby DoingHomework » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:23 pm

You also need to be very careful what you say to the irate callers. A few years ago I saw some charges on my credit card that I had not made. They were to a fairly large online game company. I called the number for the company listed on my CC statement. The idiot who answered (and you'll see why I know he was an idiot) first claimed the charges were not made by the company unless they were legitimate and refused to look into it. I said "fine, then I will report you to the police and file a fraud complaint.

The idiot threatened me. He said if I called the police or did a chargeback then they would "make your life hell" -- oops. I guess they didn't tell you that that is a federal crime to make that kind of threat.

So, corporate general counsel's office got a certified letter, a bill for the cost of the certified letter and a transcript of the phone call that I had recorded. I also notified the credit card company. The charges were reversed immediately and I got a response from the company's lawyer, including a check for a few $ for my demand for payment. The letter apologized for the idiot's behavior and promised employees would be trained better in the future.

I have no doubt that the charges were made by someone who got a hold of my card number. I don't think the game company had anything to do with it. But the way the idiot handled my call could have been VERY costly for the company.



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