I Got Hacked!

I debated on how I should write this whole situation for the public to read what I went through, this is my first time for this to happen and I’m still scared. I admit it, but having the common sense to be ready for anything. I don’t have much and what I do have for a business isn’t to make it a big competitor but to thrive and make someone’s day and for them to know that they were thought of with the best care that I can give them to make their order more personal than just going to the local grocery store or to one of the biggest conglomerate like Wal-Mart.

Who’d ever think that a small business owner (currently considered a hobby business until I am completely informed through Iowa Lakes Corridor’s training program) in a rural area of NW Iowa and the more recent census shows a population of 11,233 would be a target of a hacker/spamer with their meager business account that is only used for just that, small business.

I am the owner of a small on demand baking business that has a card that was only used on sites such as: Wilton.com, Global Sugar Art, and Designer Stencils to name a couple. I also have a PayPal account that I use for all of my purchases that has a connection to their sites like ebay.com.

The bank I use is a Nationwide bank, here’s what took place; I was on my PayPal account transferring funds to my bank account when I signed into my bank account, I was clearly shocked!!! There were three charges on my account for something called apple itunes!! What??? Seriously?? I’m nearly deaf!!! I don’t even let my own husband touch my bank card! Since this was late in the evening there couldn’t be done until the next morning.

Which I called my bank the local branch of this nationwide bank (leaving their name out of it because they are handling it with their fraud department right now) and spoke to one of the branch managers who knows me very well (brought in baked goodies) and we discussed this immediate situation, he also knows that my card wouldn’t be used for other than business. Because the charges stated APL*APPLE iTUNES STORE 866-712-7753 (then card ending) (then the amounts) I knew that I had to go to Apple.com in order to get this sorted out.

I called right after I spoke to the bank and every number lead to another, then when I attempted the website it kept sending me somewhere else. Five hours later I got a little smarter and looked for a PUBLIC address and number. I called the number and got a real person!!! I explained (keep in mind I was already still very mad and made sure she knew it) told her what was going on. She transferred me to the iTunes support tech person and when I explained the same spiel to him he transferred me to the Accounts Security Supervisor and he had to ask for the card number.

Because I called them I would have to give him the information so I gave him the car number and while we were on the phone 2 more charges appeared!!! That’s a total of now 5 charges!!! I got even madder (common sense left at that moment) and demanded that they correct this problem or I’d find a lawyer, sure threats are just threats until you act upon them. I told this guy that the bank and I had already discussed earlier in the day what to do with the card, he also verified that I had NO iTUNES Account! I told him that I will be contacting my local police department and filing a fraud report. As soon as we hung up with each other I called my local police department and explained the situation, they sent an officer out immediately (at least being in a rural area like ours they come as soon as they’re able) he took the printed out information I had and went to make the report for me. He contacted my bank and he contacted Apple with the information I had. A report and paper trail in the process! They know I’m being truthful! That’s all that counts!

I never carry my business card with me, it’s always kept in a secret place, I still don’t know how this could happen! We agreed to cancel the card immediately and on my urging and suggestion I wanted to give up my card physically so that they could have it in there hands in case something else came up and I wouldn’t be “blamed” or targeted again! If I have to take it with me for ingredients that I need or supplies I make sure that it’s taken care of immediately.

I still do not understand how anyone could get my card number, I know that the police department are doing their part and working with the bank and with Apple Inc. on this issue. What’s going to really hurt me, I can’t buy ingredients or supplies for the next order without that deposit from the next customer. The bank will pursue the individual or individuals. You see you might think it’s my money, in reality it’s the BANK’S money.

As long as I knew how much was in there prior to the happening and ALERTED the bank and having the common sense to take action immediately (especially considering for the first time in the 2yrs that I’ve had the same card and my account that this happens) the laws that protect me will also protect the bank. The person(s) will be caught eventually and they will regret their stupidity!

I don’t have the best credit and I know it, however that doesn’t stop me from making sure what I have is good and secure. I am still upset, but being upset isn’t going to keep me focused on what to do and keeping it the way it was BEFORE this happened. Even though I live in a RURAL area of NW Iowa and my hometown is under 15, 000 people do think for one minute it’s not someone who’s not figured out how to steal thinking that they won’t get caught. They will!

I did some researching and I found this link on how it’s done and it makes sense; http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2012/01/30/hackers-demo-shows-how-easily-credit-cards-can-be-read-through-clothes-and-wallets/

Written by Andy Greenberg, Forbes Staff
1/30/2012 @ 8:26AM

Whether or not this is the case in my situation, I do not know. I may not know until it’s all done and dealt with. Since it’s not my money it’s the bank’s money at this point and well Apple’s products in the case being stolen it’s up to them to do the right thing. I did my part. Learn from my experience, that’s all I ask of you. Thank you for taking the time to read my warning and what I have been going through the last few days. I know it’s not quite over but this is a start.