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I have been pwned - but do not understand the objective
Posted by: dk62
Date: January 23, 2019 07:16PM
So, I have gmail account that I use for Google-things only. I also used it to buy something from ebay for the first time in 5 years, and I paid by paypal that is associated with my main email address (NOT the gmail one).

A couple of days later, I get a bunch of gmail messages from paypal telling me:
- welcome to paypal with my full name
- thank you for listing your phone number (judging by displayed last 4 digits, correct number)
- Thank you for associating a second email address (this one I do not recognize, I assume the hacker would use it for their purpose)
- Scariest: Thank you for linking your bank account. Please confirm test deposits in order to complete the link.

Sure enough, there is a new paypal account with my gmail address (I logged in using the forgot password process and of course did not click on any links in the emails). After making sure there are no transactions, I promptly closed it. My real paypal account shows no changes or illicit activity.

My bank, however, does show the test amounts from Paypal. How did someone figure out my bank account (from check?) and associated it with my gmail account (nowhere appear together that I can tell, bank has my main email) and my cell phone number?

And most mysteriously: WHY???? Why would someone use my actual email address to open paypal account and link it to my bank when they could have used only the fake (their) address? This way, they ensured that I would be immediately informed and would have ability to log in and close that account and take care of everything else (change bank account numbers). And the attempt to link to the bank account is useless unless they can actually log into the bank and see the test amounts to confirm them. This is really bizarre. But a major pain now that I have my account frozen for a few days and will have to change automatic payments on a number of sites.
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Re: I have been pwned - but do not understand the objective
Posted by: space-time
Date: January 23, 2019 07:40PM
I need to read it again to process, but my advice:

ASAP move money out of that account, and open a new account at the same bank.

even if you do not confirm the bank account, the fact that they know the account number and are trying to scam you is not a good thing.

My fiend had several checks of thousands of dollars drawn from his account, someone printed checks and was drawing money from his account. This happened for 2 days in a row. He ended up closing the account. Eventually the back refunded all his money. But it was a stressful several days.
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Re: I have been pwned - but do not understand the objective
Posted by: dk62
Date: January 23, 2019 08:41PM
Yes, the bank froze that account and they are changing account numbers (basically like closing and opening account). Now I am without funds for a few days...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/2019 08:41PM by dk62.
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Re: I have been pwned - but do not understand the objective
Posted by: mattkime
Date: January 23, 2019 11:00PM
I'd make sure they didn't get into your gmail account. Change the password. There's also a place where you can kick off other logins. Add two factor authentication.

If you're not careful about using secure passwords you've found reason to start.



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Re: I have been pwned - but do not understand the objective
Posted by: mattkime
Date: January 23, 2019 11:36PM
>This is really bizarre.

Someone once hacked into my mac and gave me a bunch of amazon credit. Maybe $700 worth. I told amazon about it and nothing happened.

My point is - I think I have you beat.



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Re: I have been pwned - but do not understand the objective
Posted by: Winston
Date: January 24, 2019 11:23AM
We had someone forge a couple of checks on our account a number of years ago. Bank said to close that account and open another, but didn't tell us that certain features were grandfathered in the old account, and would not transfer to the new.

The most important grandfathered feature was supplying us with copies of all checks that cleared the account. Which is how we caught the fraud. So they told us to open a new account, without telling us we'd lose the feature that allowed us to catch the fraud.

I'm still annoyed at the bank for taking away that feature. We found a workaround, but it's created more paper for me to deal with.


More recently, someone changed the address for one of our credit cards. I got notice from the bank, and was able to change it back. When I asked why someone might have done this, I didn't get much of an answer from the bank. We had to change the credit card number, but there were no fraudulent transactions. The bank didn't seem interested in following up to see who lived at the address used for the change. It also was not clear how they'd been able to make the change in the first place. Banks seem to ask about a dozen questions for verification before they will let me talk to them about anything.


Good luck.

- Winston



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