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It is 12.48 am and I finally managed to catch up with Feedly and, well, not enough material to make it a Buzz post. So I will just tell you what happened to me on Martin Luther King Day. The day starts with a phone call and email from Chase. Apparently its Fraud Department flagged two transactions in my own Ink Plus credit card: one at Zappos.com for $800 and another one at a fanzone team sport site for $450. It was obviously not me. So, we did the usual. Closed the account immediately and new card is being sent out. Of all the cards this is the one that I have the most automatic payments to come out, why Lord why? This happens occasionally of course. I wondered if this had to do with the Target or Neiman Marcus deal even though I do not remember going there but I could definitely be wrong. I checked ALL other credit cards I have and everything was in order.

What is the 2nd half collapse on the title? Well, I am more upset about this than what happened with Chase actually. I play in an indoor soccer league for years with my team “Gasping For Air”. We had a game against the Roaring Forties, a very physical team. We beat them the last few times we played. Well, we play a great 1st half and we are up 1-0. And then this new Brazilian kid who was probably not more than 25 comes and pretty much takes over the game and helps them to roar back thrashing us 5-1. This dude has three goals with some amazing shots…plus we were all gasping in true form by the end. Anyways, I am in so much better mood after  a win. But we are Gasping For Air and we always bounce back!

Okay, I go back home and get to my computer. Out of habit I started updating my Award Wallet balances. I almost had a heart attack that 225,000 Hilton Honors points were just gone, poof! Okay, first it was the fraud thing then the complete beating by a team of over the hill 40 year old dudes with a Team USA Brazil kid delivering an unforgettable beating and now 225,000 HH points (enough for two nights at the Topeka Hampton Inn lol) just gone? Lord, what have I done to you?

Obviously this was a mistake. Hmm, this does not make sense but the stupid HH website is not the greatest and sometimes Award Wallet deletes the points and then adds them back. And last night I burned 40,000 points for wife’s cousin for 1 night at the Hilton Charles de Gaulle Airport hotel. I received the confirmation email and also called HH to add the cousin to the reservation. All was well.

Anyways, I was not alarmed  so I logged into my HH account and yep, the points were not there! Of course no activity showed up in the “All points activity” so I called. A very friendly agent asked to confirm my identity and one of the questions was to verify my email address which I gave to her. She goes “This is not it, we show  patel something”…I go “excuse me? Who the hell is Patel?”…She immediately changed the email address back to my correct email address and emailed me a new PIN number. She then tracked the missing points and found out that they were spent in the HH Shopping Mall but could not see what was bought (wonder if it was Zappos!). Everything was put in a file, I got the case number and the agent’s name and it was sent to the Fraud department. “They know what to do, they are good”. I sure hope so, asshole thieves! I then freaked out and went through ALL financial accounts and everything is fine. I will be doing the same thing every day for the next several days of course.

Both of these were caught hours apart and I think this can only be positive. But if buffles me that the Hilton Honors account was compromised! They only use a 4 digit PIN so if someone can get your HH number couldn’t they use one of those hacking number guessing software to get the PIN? My points is that if this can happen to me it can happen to anyone! I think I run a tight ship with antivirus software updated several times a day, I use Robo Form for password management and I NEVER type in a password ( I use form filler function), I use hard to guess passwords (and change them). And yes a full virus scan was done, I am clean! But are we ever really sure? We are so dependent on technology these days and I am afraid sometimes we will wake up one day and all our computers/phones/tablets will go haywire…I sure hope not but sometimes I wonder.

I am a big proponent of keeping things simple. I need to start simplifying this hobby of mine that makes me do crazy stuff. I really don’t need all these open cards as I have such a hard time finding time to actually burn my miles/points and I am being devalued to death as time goes by! I should probably just use only the AmexBlueCash for 5% cash back and another one for everything else but drugstore expenses :-)  Of course I won’t do it but, you know, just saying!

Anyone cares to guess what happened? One person on Twitter wondered if Award Wallet was compromised. That would be truly terrifying! But how well do we really know them and their security measures? We are all at the mercy of techno! (love techno music by the way!).

Any thoughts/comments/suggestions/rants, angry or not are welcome in the comments.

I do not like doing such a short post because it feels like filler. Publishing this should serve as a precaution to be even more vigilant on safeguarding such information as you can never be too careful. And, for crying out loud, catch these bozos because, you know, you never burn your miles/points on merchandise :-)

And I leave you with this:

super bowl denver seattle pot

Lol

 

 

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40 comments on “Fraud amid being in the mercy of technology and embarrassing 2nd half collapse

  1. Good morning from Amsterdam! Sorry you are having issues with your cards and Hilton account. I got an SPG email reservation for a random hotel in the Middle East and somehow the reservation went to my account since we have the same first and last name.

    • Grant are you going to The Bulldog or visiting the ladies in the windows first? I know you are not there to smell the tulips. Be sure to wear a condom.

      • I went to the bulldog last time, just for a burger. Walked through the red light district and waved to the pretty ladies in the window. In Berlin now.

  2. Really? Of all the accounts he hacked into, he chose HHonors?

    And used it at the shopping mall?

    What exactly does 225,000 by you at the Hilton shopping mall? A big mac?

    • Zing!

      While I like this joke, it dawned on me that they can’t book a stay or a flight where ID will be required.

      Deleted all my Award Wallet accounts, because I wasn’t really using AW at all. Nothing lost.

      It’s cold here, but it’s the drought in the salad bowl of California that has me more concerned.

      • I am leaning towards these:

        Hilton Honors data breach we will soon hear about.
        Plink (I had my Ink Plus in there) data breach
        Award Wallet issue

        All I know it was not me because I am paranoid enough :-)

        AW DID alert me to the missing HH points, otherwise I would catch this a LONG time later. Maybe it was these two who were caught at the border driving a truck with stolen merchandise…

        Who knows…

        • Interesting prediction on PLINK breach. I NEVER used Plink, too small and new a company to giver my full information too. And they wanted username and password to the account – what do they need that for? Could get in your entire bank account that is linked to a credit card!

          Also, never used Award Wallet for same reasons – felt that could be easily compromised.

          • I think I am going to burn my Plink points for an Amazon card and just drop this program. Not worth the hassle for a few bucks and yes I never felt comfortable giving them both username and password.

            As far as AW goes…I am not ready yet. I may just switch keeping all info in my local drive instead at AW.

  3. Remeber when you went on a rampage when AW was denies access by AA or DL? Thats one of the reasons not to use third party providers… if AWs database is hacked the loyalty program can and will probably deny any responsibility…!

  4. Put on your Teflon coat and push Amazon affiliate links the way professionals do (Dansdeals).
    Look at SD or FW and bring deals up here. Awesome deals on Diapers, CLICK!
    Kindle Fire deal, CLICK! You’ll be swimming in money. Don’t let your readers leave your site thinking that they can miss a deal.
    Where’s your Über link?

      • It really isnt necessary. The Amazon link on Head for Points is well below the fold and I only mention it in posts once a month, but it still brings in revenue. Unfortunately you’ve just missed the Christmas rush!

  5. You know how OTR has been putting out some great trip reports recently?

    His latest post might’ve outdone all of those.

    Please head over there NOW. The banner at the bottom of the post might be the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.

  6. @ M A: Congrats, it’s an Elite group you are now a part of :-)

    @ Grant: Have fun in Amsterdam and listen to @ Shia, especially about the condom part. Enjoy some brownies, even our Prez said yesterday that drug is the same as alcohol ;-)

    @ Steve: I know, I had the same reaction. Must not be very bright. I am wondering if it was these two: http://www.businessinsider.com/two-arrested-for-using-stolen-target-data-2014-1?utm_content=buffer00226&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
    New Ink Plus card arriving in about an hour. Everything else seems intact so far.

    @Oliver2002: Yeah, you have a great point. I think I may have over reacted. That would still not reduce my #deltarage :-)

    @ ABC: Great idea! I was actually thinking about that as I do visit SlickDeals almost every day. I need to get my act together. My referral links (nobody clicks on) are here:

    http://travelbloggerbuzz.com/support-tbb/

    and I do have my Uber link in that page. Pimping my Uber link directly here feels so pushy!

    I need to add the Capital One 360 accounts and SPG card referrals (for 5k spg points) on that page.

    There are so many deal sites out there I do not want to compete against them. Maybe I add ONE deal I pick at Amazon I would personally buy once in a while or something like that. With monetizing you can go nuts and spend all the time on that issue alone. I prefer to be going through Feedly to pick stuff to feature to my readers and not worry too much about monetizing. Umm, I am not a greedy person perhaps. As long as we are all having fun money will sort itself out in the end.

    @ Anonymous: That Dan guy should just concentrate on the card links and leave me the bones (Amazon links) lol

    @Shia La Beef: Yes it is the one I had for Plink! Hmm, could very well be! I hope I find out for sure one day but I sure am not betting on it.

    @ Steve: Yes, it is queued up here. Probably one of the few things worthy from Monday. I hope I get some better material to crank out a Buzz post tonight. That OTR guy is some major comedian talent I aspire to one day :-)

  7. So sorry to hear about the HH and Ink being compromised. Such a time sink when that happens. I had been thinking that my homegrown system of maintaining PWs was getting unwieldy and I should go back and look at what you described – maybe in a comment on Milenomics? – about that some months ago. But maybe unwieldy is better than some technology. I do use AW but not for everything.

    Back in sunny PDX where it is cold but dry. Watching the folks back east who are yet again dealing with weather troubles. Hoping my son gets a day off out of it, at least!

    • Still not sure what to think of about this. I am now learning towards Hilton Honors having a breach as that website has been having some issues lately and it appears it was always under maintenance.

      I love Robo Form, I could not live with out it online.

      It has not been so bad actually. Everything intact again today. New Ink Plus any moment now via the UPS guy. I will then change some automatic payments. Hilton Honors is progressing in the fraud investigation. If they come up with a press release about a data breach I will make sure I ask for compensation lol.

      I am getting a little tired of the snow/cold this year…

  8. “Yes, it is queued up here. Probably one of the few things worthy from Monday. I hope I get some better material to crank out a Buzz post tonight. That OTR guy is some major comedian talent I aspire to one day”

    ….. put it to the top of your queue

  9. WTF is all the fuss about? You sound like you were the victim of some home invasion where you and your kids were robbed at gunpoint. Over a couple hundred k hilton points? I had a few grand put on a credit card at Disney after leaving it behind a bar one night. Who the hell cares? The bank ate all the charges. I’m at a loss as to how you came up with 10 paragraphs over this amazing crime. C’mon George – it’s all a ruse to pimp your big time Amazon link ;-)

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