Ruth, with our friend Andrei at the Orheiul Vechi Historical Complex at Trebujeni, Moldova. Photo taken December 2, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Account Hacked!

But before we get to that, we have some good news too!

We occasionally have the opportunity to publish sponsored posts, where we get paid to advertise or publish outgoing links to another website. We try to keep them travel related and have often turned down opportunities that we don't think are suitable to this blog. Some of the opportunities that we turn down are in fact fairly lucrative.

Yesterday's post was what we call a "non promotional sponsored post".

And at first, I turned it down because it was related to an online casino. But they countered with a higher offer, and it was right at the time that I was trying to raise money for our son's CityChase event a week from tomorrow.

So we decided to throw our morals aside, take the money, and turn it into something good.

So as soon as we receive payment, we're going to donate the proceeds to the charity!

And we have you to thank for it. We only get these opportunities because our readership is high enough that there is value to the sponsors who contact us. So although not very many of you directly made a donation, you have now indirectly made a donation...of over $300. So, THANK YOU for being a reader. And I'm sure the kids with autism thank you too.

Yesterday afternoon, I got an email from Amazon.com. And I want to share this with you because I almost got scammed. The email said that the email address associated with our Amazon account, karead7@gmail.com had been changed to karead7@gmail.corn.

Notice how .com looks very similar to .corn. And in some fonts, such as the one Amazon uses to send out their emails, it looks almost identical.

So at first I thought, huh...no different, must be a glitch. And then I looked closer and sure enough it was different!

So I tried to access my account and of course the email address and password had been changed. Then, I went to my Amazon.ca account, and found the exact same thing. Strange!

Fortunately, Amazon customer service is excellent. I called in, and got a real live person who spoke great English. They froze my account, cancelled the $800 order that had been placed, and sent the file to their internet fraud team. This all happened within a half an hour of my receiving the email. Then I had to do the same thing with Amazon.ca because they operate entirely independent of Amazon.com.

This morning, I had another email from Amazon saying that the freeze had been lifted from my account, and I was able to choose another password and things are now back to normal.

So the lesson here is that if you receive an email from Amazon saying that your password has been changed, pay attention even if it looks like the same password. And I never did receive an email from Amazon.ca, so it easily could have been days before anyone noticed if I wasn't the type who checks their account on a regular basis. And of course, I check my Visa account regularly too for any oddball charges. Fortunately, there haven't been any associated with this problem.

Speaking of Amazon, their 20th anniversary is coming up on July 15th and they're promising more deals than Black Friday! One day only, on July 15th and you have to be a Prime member to participate. If you've never been a Prime member, you can get a 30 day free trial and get to the deals that day. The 30 day free trial is totally free...

Amazon.com Prime (One Year Membership) 30 Day Free Trial

And Canadians can do the same thing on Amazon.ca...




26 comments:

  1. Thanks for the advice. I sure wish these hackers would put their skills to much better use. We had our email account hacked a while back, gmail sent a text saying someone had logged in to our account and had changed the password, was this us? So that was prompt service as straight away we could let gmail know this was NOT us and changed our password anyway. Pain to sort out these things though. Good news that the kids charity is making some good money from your blog.
    Love the header picture, sunniest day you had staying with us!

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    1. Totally agree with you Helen, they could so so much with their skill instead of making life miserable to others! It's nice when these companies send out an email letting you know something has changed on your accounts, it helps to keep you alert and aware.

      Yes, we were happy to put that money towards the kids charity and help Alex and Matt out with the race.

      Yep, that was the sunniest day we had and then the next day we left! :-(

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  2. Nice that you are making the money indirectly, good thing you caught the hack right away.

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    1. It was great that Kevin just happened to be on the computer when the email came through and was able to quickly put a stop to the order and get things sorted out before anymore damage could be done.

      We were happy to be able to pass this money on to the charity that Alex and Matt are racing for.

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  3. Thank you for everything Dad. I am one lucky kid!

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    1. Yes you are, but we are also very lucky parents! :-)

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  4. Thanks Kevin for the heads up on yet another group of people with too much time on their hands to do damage to others. Like you I check my credit card accounts daily to make sure nothing fishy is going on.

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    1. In this day and age you need to keep on top of these things. This is the first time though that this has ever happened to us, that we were "hacked". We have had our credit card compromised a couple of times over the years though but again we were able to catch it right away.

      Yep, sure wish these people to put their skills to better use.

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  5. That was wonderful service from Amazon. Way to be extra alter.

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    1. Kevin is so impressed with the customer service from Amazon. One of the best that he has ever had to deal with on all levels.

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  6. Your header picture is the type of walking Dad and I used to enjoy mainly in Arbroath, Scotland!

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    1. We loved this hike, the scenery was beautiful. I guess now we will have to go to Arbroath for some hiking! :-)

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  7. Wow - that's disconcerting! Thanks for sharing - good tip on checking things closely. Cheers - Ellen

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    1. Glad that we were able to get it resolved quickly without much any damage. Definitely need to check things closely and often to make sure things aren't amiss.

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  8. Good tips. And glad you found a way to help out your son's charity.

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  9. Thank you for the heads up. Glad you were able to get it taken care of, and that Amazon is and was on top of it.

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    1. You're welcome! Amazon was right on top of things and their customer service has been fantastic, we can't get over how quick they were.

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  10. Great that you found an indirect way to get Alex a good donation. Nice tip on the Amazon scam. I wonder if the hacker somehow targeted you because you publish your Amazon account name as part of your Associates link?

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    1. Dugg, we are happy that we were able to find a way to help him out too!

      It pays to pay close attention to small details. We were extremely pleased with Amazon's customer service and how quickly they responded especially with the email notifying Kevin that his email had changed. I suppose that could be a possibility on how he was targeted but we will never know for sure.

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  11. Nice to know Amazon was on top of things. I frequently get emails from "Yahoo" stating my account is going to be frozen. All I have to do is click on the link they provided. It looks very real, but I've been getting the same version of this email for years now. I send it to spam but still get emails.

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    1. We were very impressed with Amazon! It is amazing how many scammers are out there and how easily some people can get caught in one. You definitely need to be pretty internet savvy in order to stay away from them.

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  12. Hi Kevin and Ruth, sorry for your problem with the hacking problem. Sounds like you got it resolved quickly. Do you think it is a good idea to buy one of those credit monitering services. I can buy one for $10 a month. Do you think it is worth it? Thanks for your idea on this plan.

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    1. Thanks Jan for your concern with our hacked account. For us no, we would not spend the $10 a month for a credit monitoring service. Kevin keeps very close watch on our accounts himself and out of the 7 1/2 years we have had our credit card compromised 3 times and either Kevin or the bank caught it right away and this is the only time we have had a problem with something being "hacked" online. We would much rather rely on our own monitoring then have someone else monitoring it but everyone is different and each person has to access this themselves but thanks for the suggestion.

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