AAAHHH!!! Stolen Identity!

Wow! What a morning I've had! First of all, I had intended to join Gina at Chats with an Old Lady for "What are YOU Learning?". Instead, I was in crisis "mode"!


When I opened my email to read my daily online devotions, an email caught my eye. It said it was from PayPal and that someone was trying to access my account. So and So was trying to buy silver dollars using my account.

I panicked! My first thought was that someone had stolen my identity or had stolen my credit card information. Not really taking a breath, I immediately followed the instructions on the email. I clicked the link to check my account.

Now first of all, I have to tell you that I am not STUPID! (I know sometimes we think people who fall for these scams are just not right thinking people!) This LOOKED so legit. It had links to other PayPal pages. It had PayPal images all over. It LOOKED authentic (boy are there some great lessons here....wish I had more time to write about how things LOOK authentic in our lives, but are just counterfeit!). This looked like a genuine PayPal site/page. I thought this was what I needed to do to stop this transaction being made with my account.

But, as I began to fill in all of the appropriate information I stopped in my tracks. Although there were links there about this being "secure", I was suspicious. God reminded me of an email I gotten recently about online security. If the web browser says "http" it is NOT secure. If it says "https" it is a secure address.

Well, this was a non secure address. Then, as I continued to look at the information I was being asked to provide, more red flags went off.

IT ASKED FOR MY SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER!

I knew PayPal would not be asking for that- especially on a NONSECURE address.

I immediately called PayPal and found out that no one had used my account to buy anything. When I was on hold waiting for a representative, a message said when looking at suspicious email, make sure the email is addressed to you with your first and last name. When I was finished talking on the phone, I went to delete the email and noticed that it WAS NOT addressed to me (or anyone). In fact it must have been sent to undisclosed recipients as there was no one listed in the send column. How could I have missed that?????

Any way, I was shaking....praising God for His protection! Thank You God, for Your Holy Spirit that warned me. Thank You, God for reminding me about the email about web security. Thank You for wisdom!

Thank You, God that no one can steal my identity in You. Thank You that no one, not even the devil can snatch me from Your Hand!

Remember the "https" tip I learned! Don't ever give your social security number online!

Blessings, dear ones! Remember YOUR identity is in Christ Jesus! He loves you!

11 thoughts shared....:

Edie said...

Tracy I'm so glad you realized what was going on before you gave them all your information. I never click on links from emails. (that's also another way to get a virus). If I think the email might be legitimate I type the url that I know is correct in my browser instead. I didn't know about the https, thanks for the advice.

A tactic of the enemy is to create fear and panic (kinda like our new President is doing) to get people to act without thinking things through.

Have a great day!

Marsha said...

Oh Tracy! Close call, girl!

Thanks for the https tip. I did not know that.

I did have my identity stolen about 5 years ago - back in the day when your whole debit card number was exposed on receipts. They racked up thousands of dollars using my identity! They did all this in a matter of 4 hours! Then bank security got wise when I tried to use my card in a different location and they froze the card; which could've been a problem except I was out of town with - believe it or not - our bank branch manager! Our families went away together for a weekend.

I'll tell you, the whole thing made me feel so violated. It was a rough thing to go through.

Beth in NC said...

I went through something similar like this with PayPal a few years ago. I'm so glad you didn't fall for it! And you taught me something -- I didn't know to look for "https" for secure sites! I'll remember that.

I didn't fall for the PayPal trick either. I called PayPal -- just as you.

Kathryn said...

Tracy, so glad you stopped when you did! I recently got an e-mail from my bank. It looked very official; the subject line said "Important Tax Documentation Requested", and I was requested to click through to the "bank" site and "confirm" my taxpayer identification number/social security number.

I was dubious, and, although I had opened the e-mail, I did not click the embedded links. I put it in my spam file and later asked my husband what he thought about it. He suggested that I call the bank directly.

Long story short, I never did anything with it, and I've now filed my taxes and received my refund. Looks like my bank didn't need any information after all!

Debbie said...

I had the same thing happen to me with PayPal. When they asked for the social security number, that was my clue too. I forwarded it on to the real PayPal and they thanked me. I guess there are lots of people out there trying to get to our money. I'm glad that you posted this one to alert other people.

Lauren Ann said...

oh, that has got to be scary! good thing you noticed!

Laurie Ann said...

Whew! Glad it was spam. Some of it is starting to look so real!

Denise said...

I praise God for watching over you.

Proverbs 27:19 said...

I am happy that God had you to remember what you'd previously learned and that you shared it with us. Thanks!

smooches,
Larie

Jensmere said...

Oh Tracy! So glad that you were not a victim of this scam! I have gotten these same emails before and they are so tricky!

Thanks for the spiritual application that our identity truly rests in Christ...safe in His everlasting arms!

Bless you!
Susan

R.L.Scovens said...

It's amazing how people just spend all day trying to see how they can rip off other people!