Monday, April 30, 2012

Email Address Theft Warning

I do not want to be the bearer of any negative information, however, I feel that I am obligated by my commitment to handmade artisans everywhere to share this information. I would not want there to be unintended negativity to or from our consumers.

I was notified today of an order from my studio on Artfire. Within just a short time I was notified by PayPal that payment had been received. I really thought it was odd that the email was my email address, however, PayPal email salutation was "hello Cynthia Taylor". So I went to my paypal account to check for payment. There was none. I called PayPal and they verified that someone else had my email address attached to their established paypal account and that person had received the payment meant for my account. Paypal did not offer to help in anyway than to suggest that the buyer file a dispute to get their money refunded to them and then to reorder. This was not satisfactory to me so I went a bit higher and was told that the other persons account had been established in 2006 many years before I set up my email address just recently after moving to a new location. They suggested that perhaps this account holder simply had made a type. Now, really, a person named Cynthia Taylor had set up and email account with MY NAME. I find that really difficult to believe. Please be careful with your paypal account. What has actually happened is that a person or persons have an established paypal account that they use on a regular basis, however, they regularly change the email address attached to this account based on the information they are able to retrieve from people like you and I from their Artfire, Etsy, blogger, forum accounts. Most of the forums and guilds require email address as the login user ID. So a good computer hacker can get that information easily. This person was not interested in intercepting my emails or even in sending out emails in my name, but in having funds redirected from my paypal account to hers without anyone being the wiser. So she is a few dollars richer and I had the unpleasant task tonight of trying to explain the unexplainable to my buyer as well as change the email address and passwords on hundreds of accounts that I use on a daily basis. I truly hope that does not happen or has not happened to anyone else who produces handmade jewelry or any other venue for that matter.

Just a kind warning so this does not happen to you.

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