So I got up this morning and checked my email only to find that I had unwittingly made purchases on my Apple store account.
I don’t remember having an Apple store account. Well, okay well, I did have an Apple store account, like a million years ago when I had a (now defunct) first generation iPod touch back in college, which a friend of mine gave me because he totally didn’t need it. See he got it free with his Macbook computer and he already had an iPhone so: “Here,” said he, “you play with this for a while.” Which I totally did until they stopped supporting the OS about four or five years ago. So I technically have an Apple store account, but I haven’t used it in, like, five years.
Imagine my surprise when I got no less than four emails this morning telling me that my account information had been changed and that I’d made purchases on that account.
So this commercial from, like 10 years ago came to mind (and all of the others of its ilk)
It lifts and separates!
Because, OMG! Someone hacked into my not-used Apple Store account and totally used it to buy shit! And I therefore spent two hours on the phone trying to work things out with Apple. Mark from Apple was very helpful. However we didn’t get everything totally resolved because the person who hacked my account (who was from China BTW) was smart and changed all of my security information… except my password, which was weird. Actually what I’m thinking is that I didn’t have security questions set up before because when I had that account before, security questions weren’t a thing. This person just came in and added them. This means that I can’t answer them or change them (because I can’t answer them), but I also can’t go in and change things other things — like adding extra security. But whoever it was also changed the account address to fake address and they added a fake credit card… or something. I think. I dunno. I got an email saying it was changed… but… who knows? So poor Mark from Apple couldn’t verify who I was because I couldn’t answer the security questions — because they had been changed… or added… or… whatever.
Luckily, the miscreant only used some “store credit” I had on that account to buy something and didn’t actually steal anything but the store credit. So I changed the password, and when Mark “verifies” who I am in a process that’s going to take 24 hours, he’ll call me back and I’ll delete that account so this doesn’t happen again.
Which reminded me of this Dilbert comic strip:
Anyway, the person who hacked into my account luckily only had access enough to use the store credit that was there (about $15). I didn’t have any other information on there that would be useful to them. I never put my real birthday for example and the “credit card” that was on there is a throw away with no money on it and it’s five years old to boot. I was a poor college student at the time and didn’t have the luxury of good credit. Heck if I’da had to pay for anything other than the occasional download for that iPod, I would not have been able to afford that. Everything on that thing was free, except one, maybe two things, and they were ninety-nine cents. Tops. I have no idea where I got store credit from… which is probably why it’s still there. Ha!
So that’s how I spent most of my morning… We ended up freezing the account so no one can make any more purchases against it, so that’s good at least. Hopefully by this time tomorrow, the Apple store account will be no more. One less thing to worry about.
So, because I couldn’t answer the security questions, and I didn’t have a current credit card on file with them, Mark from Apple couldn’t verify I was who I said I was (see above comic strip). So they put a freeze on the account so no one can use it and it can take up to two weeks for them to verify my information. Two weeks! Then they’ll delete the account. As others have commented. It’s kind of scary when you think about how many accounts are out there just waiting for someone to swoop in and find them.