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BEWARE......of HACKERS Targeting Your Grocery Store Credit Card Terminals!!! & Some Goodies



So this week, we had something very scary happen!!! On Monday, we noticed that there was a charge with our card made to a resort in California. As much as I would have LOVE to say that I took a mini vaca, I didn't. It was only for a few dollars, but red flags began floating in my head. The hubs and I called the bank and as we were on the line with the rep trying to figure out where the charge was from, ANOTHER purchase was made at a Walgreens in OHIO!!!! Luckily, the rep had flagged the account, so no other purchases would go through. The rep told us that the card had actually been swiped, but a different name was listed on the card!!

I was completely perplexed!! How could someone get our credit card info, make a counterfeit card and begin using it with a different name??? This is the card from our personal account and we NEVER use it for anything online and we hadn't even made any recent purchases using the card, aside from paying our auto insurance and going to the grocery store down the street a few times. I was convinced that our auto insurance company had been hacked, but after hours on the phone with the bank reps, I needed to get some work finished. Now that we had it settled, canceled out both of our cards and ordered new ones, I had put the situation to the back of my mind (working help with that).

Last night, we made a quick run to Bashes (our cute grocery store in our neighborhood) and picked up some things to make BLT's - YUMM-O!! While at the checkout, we exchanged "hello's" with our regular cashier and I noticed a large sign hanging next to the credit card machine as I went to swipe my card (my business card) and pay for our goodies. In large, bold text at the top of the sign I read, "WARNING!" I couldn't resist passing that notice up, so I continued reading & was ASTONISHED at what I read....

Apparently, the Bashes credit card terminal had been hacked and SEVERAL people had fallen victim to thieves who made out with thousands of dollars in purchases!!!! I was relieved that we had caught the initial purchase made because it was less than $20.00 and must have been a test purchase. However, it was an eye-opening experience!!! I was saddened by how many other people had been victimized so quickly and many had had their entire accounts drained!!! We live in a VERY nice neighborhood and for someone in our neighborhood to say that their account was drained means that those thieves got away with a LOT of money!!! There had to of been a team of people using these cards - as the purchases were made all over the United States.... That means that there is an ENTIRE network of thieves working together!!! Each purchase was made INSIDE a store and the card was swiped, meaning that the thieves made the purchase in person and were located in states all over the country!!!

Many of you are aware that I am quite a computer geek (completely self-taught and self-motivated). I have an obsession to know how things work!! Well, thinking about how much I can accomplish using technology online from the comfort of my home, I can't imagine what a network of GEEK thieves are also able to accomplish from the comforts of their homes!!! This means that  there is a network of geeks in roughly about 10 states (that I know of - from the purchases that were made), both western and eastern, who are spending countless hours hacking credit card terminals and any other financial institutes that handle and exchange monies online!!!! This is very scary because the possibilities of what a network of thieves can accomplish is limitless!! I am SERIOUSLY beginning to think about using cash to pay for things now!!! Either cash or making sure I am checking our bank accounts on a daily basis!! It only took these hackers to steal thousands of dollars within a few hours from hundreds of people!!!

I am also VERY concerned about how easy it is to not only steal information online, but to create a credit card using the same numbers and a different name is twice as scary!!!! Credit card companies are going to have to come up with a better way of making a credit/debit cards impossible to counterfeit. It should not be this easy to re-create the security strip on a card!!!!

Well, I thought that for a technology tip, this one might be HUGE!!! If you are not afraid of anything happening to you, then you should at least consider making sure to keep track of where you make purchases at and that you check your bank account balances and purchases on a daily basis. Hackers purposefully keep each purchase under about $20.00, because most people will not double check small purchases. By the time there are enough of those small purchases that would raise a red flag, the thieves will have already drained most of your account.

I am not sure how to follow that story, but I can't NOT tell you about the work I have been doing the last few days!!! I am having a lot of fun creating custom CSS code for bloggers and doing more custom blog designs!! I really appreciate how many of my fellow bloggers have given me the honor of adding some spice to their blogs!! THANK YOU!!! I am slowly, but surely, adding links to all of the blogs I have worked on for everyone to check out. I would love for you to check out some of the work I have done and possibly discover a new blog to follow. You can take a peek at the blogs by clicking the CUSTOM GRAPHIC link on my navigation menu at the top and going to Blog ADD-ONS.  Scroll toward the bottom of the page and click on the blog thumbnails to see my work and some awesome blogs!! If you hover over the thumbnails, a description of what I did will show up as text.

AND NOW..... here is my latest custom blog design, which took about 35 hours to complete. I was a little nervous at first, but excited at the same time... BECAUSE....I was designing a blog for a fellow artist!! What an honor!! Without further pausation (another one of my made-up-words), here is the BEFORE and AFTER of Tammy's Clip Art Blog,  DOTS of FUN!!! The new button and navigation menu are my favorite elements in the blog design....
BEFORE:


AFTER:

Click her NEW button to check out the new digs!!  
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And... as always, here is a freebie for you to grab!! This is a background I created by styling several layers of my art. I like to make time to each week just to be creative and draw something for the sake of drawing something..haha. I used several layers in this image.This image includes one doodle circle layer, several color layers, and a striped background layer I created, and then a few filters for special effects. I thought I would share this with you because it turned out looking like something I could add to my Silly World set!! This is just what came out of brain at that moment!! This image is 2000 by 1200px with 300 resolution and would be great to use as a blog background image...for those who dare to be silly!! Please read my TERMS of USE before using any of my free or paid graphics - thank you & enjoy!!!

Thank you for stopping by!!!!

12 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I know!!! I never would have thought about store terminal hacking...now, I am feeling a little weird about swiping my cards...

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  2. Wow, Michelle! That is very scary! Who would have thought???

    Crystal
    Teaching Little Miracles

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    Replies
    1. Seriously!!! I am just glad we caught it early.

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  3. Eeeeek! So scary! Sometimes I am so bad about checking my account for activity! Yikes. Not anymore! Thanks for the warning!

    Beautiful job on Dots of Fun! I wouldn't expect anything less! ;O)

    Amanda
    Collaboration Cuties

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    Replies
    1. Thanks you so much!!! And yes, it paid off to check the account this time and I am pretty bad about doing that as well, but my husband checks it quite often....

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  4. Ahhh that is crazy :( So happy you caught it and yes, that has happened to me a couple of times (and the bank phoned me immediately because it was out of state and seemed "suspicious") but you really never know... thanks for the warning!! Love the new blog "Dots of Fun".. you did a fabulous, fabulous job!! I am hoping that when I get some more money, I can change my blog design!!
    Check out the freebie I just created with your cute borders ;) LOVE!!
    http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/FREE-Comparing-Fractions-Grades-3-5

    Laura
    Laura Love to Teach

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  5. It is such a bad feeling to know that any amount of money has been stolen from you! A few years ago.... right after my paycheck went in... my paypal was hacked and they drained ALL of it! It took almost a month to sort out... bounced checks, Dish Network turned off our freaking satellite... it was just HORRIBLE. I am glad that you noticed it right away!!! Oh, and I LOVE the cool background freebie...
    Stacy
    Funky Fresh Firsties

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    1. That is terrible!!! So sorry you had to go through that!!! I am feeling very blessed that my husband is OCD...hahaha....


      Thank you for giving the background some much needed lovin' hahaha - I hope you can put it to good use (-;

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  6. The same things happened to a few local businesses here in Ohio as well. The news said they figure out they they hacked into the yahoo internet servers where the CC info was stored. It is very SCARY. I'm glad you caught your early!

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    1. Wow, that is very interesting... I wonder if it was all connected since the second purchase attempt we had was made in Ohio?? I never watch TV - mostly because I don't have time, but I am interested to know more and how these companies will plan on improving security..

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  7. I am fuh-lizz-zipped out about this madness with the credit card! I'm going to start checking daily for sure. Thank you !

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