Playstation Network Hack – Resolution

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Consumer Info, Games, Video

As I posted previously, my Playstation Network account was hacked in the wee hours of Saturday morning. Because my credit card info was unintentionally linked, they were able to not only empty the $10 or so that remained after previous purchases but were also able to steal $140 from my bank account to load the account with before emptying it out with purchases.

The customer support was great, as they created a service request and walked me through changing my password after 2 escalations. Due to it being a Saturday, they were unable to reimburse the bank transaction and I was given a service number and told to call back on Monday. In speaking to an extremely helpful gentleman yesterday, I am very happy with the customer service I’ve received as a result of the early morning drama.

Not only is my bank account getting credited, but they were easily able to trace the consoles involved. In seconds, Paul was able to see that our console was not used to load the PSN wallet or download any games, so he continued the investigation to track down the console that hacked my account.

It seems that one PSP was used to load the PSN wallet with funds from my bank account, and that multiple PSP’s then used my account info to download games. Not surprisingly, this was identified in moments, down to the serial numbers of the PSP’s. All those involved have been permanently banned from the PSNetwork.

Odd as it may sound, I find this swift shot of justice more enjoyable than the recovery of my funds. In a world where people routinely do harm to people just trying to get by in this difficult life, I have no problem when justice (or karma) gives them a swift knee to the groin.

So, to prove that you’re smarter than me by not becoming a victim:

  • Don’t use your credit card to make purchases from the PSN Shop. Buy the PSN cards instead. I didn’t even know these existed, nor did I know that the transaction in February retained my credit card info. So my next suggestions is…
  • Login to your account and delete any credit card info that is stored there. It’s quick and simple to do.
  • While it’s still possible that your account will get hacked and any money that you loaded in your PSN wallet will be pilfered, if you do the previous step at least it won’t hit your bank account, too. The wallet reimbursement was much faster (moments) than the bank reimbursement will be (days). I have no reason to believe there will be an issue, but if there is you know I’ll post about it to help you avoid any other pitfalls I stumble across.

My last remaining hope? That they were PSP Go’s. They only way that content can be loaded onto those little darlings is via the PSN Store, which they are now banned from accessing. Now that would be heavenly.

*sigh*

***Edit***

Refund from Playstation Network was processed yesterday. I’m a happy panda. ­čÖé

Playstation Network Account Hacked

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Consumer Info, Games

Can you say first world problem? I knew that you could.

My unsteady yet productive day has been interrupted by a half hour freak out when I saw that my Sony PSN accout had been hacked and my bank account down $140. I actually had $150 stolen between the ass hat(s) loading the wallet and what was already in the wallet. According to my email traffic, there were two password changes and nine purchases, leaving 9 cents in PSN wallet. Very efficient, but you’ll have to forgive me for not having admiration for the puke(s) that robbed us.

I noticed it today (Saturday) around 1:30 pm, but it occurred between 2 and 5 am. After an automated phone system run around and three representatives, I was walked through changing my password and removed the linked credit card info.

I have to wait until Monday to talk to the next level of support to get the charges reversed, and I’m thrilled that we have a small cushion in the account to accommodate this particular boot to the head. Yes, I considered alerting my bank to the fraud but when I asked I was told it would be cleaner to let PSN handle, so I’ll wait. I’ll report it to my bank at that point if I don’t get it from PSN for whatever reason.

Chooch also removed the credit card info from his account. In the future we will add and immediately delete the information for purchases.

Now, I hate flooding my stream with endless blog posts, especially two in one day. However, I would kick myself if someone got hacked tonight when it might have been avoided if only I weren’t trying to space out my blog posts, for no real reason.

Please consider this my heartfelt request that you remove your credit card info from your PSN account if it’s there, as this appears to have been totally random. In other words, it could happen to you.

Gone Daddy Gone

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Chooch, Consumer Info, Podcast

Apologies to those that tried to view my blog recently. Thanks to a ridiculous failure by Go Daddy we were down from Thursday until this morning. We switched to a new hosting company on Sunday, thinking that we’d be able to use the regular back-ups my husband has to get the sites us and running. Alas, we discovered that whatever magic he uses to make this happen had a failure of its own, resulting in incomplete back-ups and no ability to get the site up until Go Daddy stepped up and did their job.

Both Chooch and I have given folks recommendations to use Go Daddy, and if you are one of those people RUN, DO NOT WALK to another company. This uncaring company SUCKED on customer service, and left us with no help, no fixes and pathetic response time.

We’ve switched to a company that our trusted friend, Paul Fischer, gave a glowing review. I now happily proclaim that Go Daddy can go frak themselves.

Chooch is working hard to get our other sites up. In our typical luck, we had an episode of Into the Blender ready since last Tuesday that we scheduled for release on Saturday in hopes of returning to a regular bi-weekly schedule. Hopefully that will be ready at some point this morning as well.

I also ask that imhosted be gentle and kind with us. We’ve been hurt before, and badly. It may take us some time to fully trust again, but we’re willing to try.

And since I now have this great song stuck in my head, allow me to share it with you.

Gone Daddy Gone by the Violent Femmes

Credit Info That You Hopefully Already Know

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Consumer Info

We have some credit card debt, and before you start to lecture me, YES we know better. Unplanned stuff happens when you own a home and cars and stuff breaks. Especially when you have kids living in different states and you have plane tickets to buy to spend time with them. Moving on.

I’ve had credit cards off and on over the last 20 or so years, and my preference is to NOT have them. Nothing irritates me more than looking at interest that I have to pay for spending money, whether it’s on a mortgage or a credit account. And I make a point of looking on every statement so I don’t ever forget the cost.

We try to be smart and take advantage of some of the better credit offers, and after doing a recent audit of all of our finances I had a few thoughts to share:

First of all, one of the “ace in the pocket” credit offers is from Best Buy. I don’t know if it’s always available, but we’ve made use of it a few times now –┬á interest free for 18 months for items over $xxx (I don’t remember the minimum). Keep in mind that the ONLY way this is a good deal is if you pay it OFF before the 18 months expire. If you don’t, then you are charged retroactively all the interest you would have paid. You are given a wonderful motivator on the statement itself, as they have to disclose the offer expiration date along with the accrued interest you will be charged with if you go beyond the expiration.

I simply take the total charged and split it into 17 payments and pay that every month instead of the minimum required. If I can spare any extra I throw that on top also, just in case there is a financial crisis later that may make it difficult. You have to be very disciplined to do this, or you could be staring down the barrel of a huge balloon payment to make to avoid getting tagged with the accrued interest.

Another thing I learned ages ago was to always pay more than the minimum payment. I strive for at least a double payment, and more than that if possible.

Being disciplined with this is much easier now, thanks to the Credit Card Act of 2009. There are some very helpful requirements placed on credit companies to help you stay on track with your credit goals. If you click on the link, you can even download the legislation. It’s dry, but I think anyone with or contemplating a credit line should be familiar with it.

The provision most likely to help you achieve or maintain a healthy credit score is the Enhanced Consumer Disclosure found in Title II. In it, credit card companies are┬á required to show how long it would take you to pay off your current balance AND what the interest would be over that time. Right below that, they show the calculation of how much you should submit in order to pay off the entire balance in 36 months and that amount of interest. It is shocking to see how long you’ll be paying that minimum, assuming that is all you pay and have no other charges on the account. I think one of ours was NINETEEN YEARS. This is definitely need to know information, and I’m happy that it’s on the statements now.

Another favorite is in Title III – Protection of Young Consumers. It prohibits practices such as giving away promotional items on or near college campuses for credit applications. This practice led countless kids to sign a form and get some crappy thing, not realizing they were harming their credit scores and opening a credit line that in many cases has led to devastating debt for young and informed students. It also prohibits from those under 21 unless there is a co-signer or the person actually meets requirements such as being able to pay independently. Y’know, like the rest of us?!? Also, the student now has to get authorization of joint account holder to credit limit increases. This was so long overdue, and I hope that it actually works as intended.

The Act also prohibits some of the “fees” on gift cards, those ridiculous dormancy and inactivity fees among others, that can chip away at the balance and zero it out before it can be redeemed on goods.┬á These will only kick in after 12 months, as long as certain provisions are met.

It also provides a lot of other protections and requirements, and while I’m sure there are things in there that suck, if nothing else the aforementioned disclosure should scare you into being aggressive with your credit payoff efforts. I didn’t read the whole thing word for word, and if you find anything that I got wrong, please correct me!

Separate from the legislation, I must insist that you get your credit report from all three credit agencies annually. You can get it for free as explained on the Federal Trade Commission website, which points you to https://www.annualcreditreport.com. I’ve used this for a few years, and it is easy and painless to use. You can see everything that has hit your report, down to who has requested credit reports on you. Dooooo eeeeeeet! It only takes a few minutes to make sure everything is as it should be, and you don’t want to wait until you are applying for a mortgage to find out there is inaccurate information out there.

´╗┐Now, back to that Credit legislation mentioned earlier. You know how you hear that politicians are always tacking unrelated things on? Well, buried at the bottom of the Credit Card Act (among other things) is an item covering gun possession at National Parks – ´╗┐Visitors to U.S. National Parks can legally carry licensed firearms in to parks, subject to state laws and other provisions, effective Feb. 22, 2010.

I hope Yogi got the news, or else he may get shot for lifting his next picnic basket.

Have you ordered your free credit reports yet? No? Then get to it, Twitter can wait.