Editor’s Note: This story was submitted by a Hoax-Slayer reader as a warning to other Internet users. Names and other details have been changed to protect the privacy of the victim.
My name is Tekeisha and I was a victim of a PayPal scam. At the time the scam took place, I was nineteen years old and I was feeling like crap. I was at our local library and was checking my email. The email said someone had tried to hack my PayPal account and asked me to re-enter all my details. I should have known then that this was a scam, but I wasn’t paying much attention and didn’t think.
The next day, I got a phone call from this man who said “Miss I don’t want you to be scared, but your identity has been stolen.”
I was like “OMG OMG OMG, How did this happen?”
He let me know it was something I had done recently and he explained to me who he was and why he does what he does. He was someone who had it happened to him. He had a daughter and was trying to protect others from stuff like this. I only had $0.85 in my account at the time . Thank god, because any money in the account would have been taken.
The bank looked at my transactions after I told them. They tried to assure me the man calling me was a hoax, but he wasn’t. The bank worker looked at my account and there were all kinds of charges from all over the country, although most of them in Texas. I was almost in tears. They had all been denied, though.
I called the man back and asked him what I should do. He said I should call or go online and let the credit companies know, as well as the Social Security Office and my bank. I did all that, even though calling the Social Security Office was annoying because the lady acted like she didn’t care. I was thinking, what if this were you, lady! I was crying.
I ended up finding out someone used my social security number twice, one for a mortgage and one for a car loan. I was devastated! Do people not check these things out? I signed up for three months identity theft protection from Experian, then I had to change it to seven months. It helped! There was no more false transactions under my name, at least that I know of.
I haven’t had the Experian protection for a few years now and I haven’t had any more trouble yet. Not to say that I won’t but I am very thankful I haven’t.
I am now a mother of a beautiful two year old. I have a job and everything seems to be fine. But my husband and I are still keeping an eye out for things.
When I start a job, I make sure I tell them about my identity being stolen. I also makes sure my bank knows about the theft in case of any weird transactions. After I was scammed, I learned there were over 500 people in my town that had fallen victim to the same scam.
I think the worst part about it all is the fear of these criminals having all my private Information, because you don’t know what they will use it for next. The good that came from it is that it made me stronger and 1000% more cautious.
I am now 27. It has been several years since I had any problems related to the scam. I pray everyday it stays clear. I am very thankful that the man called me that day and told me. Even though it hurts to think how bad people are, I learned to be more cautious.
Never let yourself stay a victim.
Tekeisha was a victim of a phishing scam. PayPal customers are regularly targeted by scammers via fake emails. Be careful of any email purporting to be from PayPal that claims that you must click a link or open an attachment to supply personal and financial information. Genuine PayPal messages will always address you by your real name, not by a generic greeting such as “Dear Customer”.