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Rakuten Buy.com Customers Getting Fraudulent Credit Card Charges

rrmoore 214 May 9, 2013 at 11:33 AM in Finance (2) More Rakuten Deals
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Last Edited by rrmoore January 12, 2016 at 01:10 PM
SD USERS REPORTING CREDIT CARD FRAUD VIA RAKUTEN SHOPPING SITE: 352

Many posts within SlickDeals have multiple threads about fraudulent credit card account transactions occurring within a few weeks of placing an order at Rakuten Buy.com. If you have been affected, please post your experience here so the magnitude of Rakuten Buy.com's apparent security breach and the impact on the affected Rakuten customers may be known. (Please save other issues, either regarding Rakuten, or other issues with credit card misuse to other posts.)

If you are one of the affected Rakuten customers, please make a post with (1) first date of the fraud transaction and (2) the most recent Rakuten.com order date (if there was one).
The most important thing however is to just be counted, if you're one of the affected customers.

RAKUTEN SHOPPING would like to hear from you directly:
*PHONE: Nick Thompson (Head of Customer Experience) 877-880-1030, ext. 2095.
*E-MAIL QUESTIONNAIRE: http://slickdeals.net/forums/showpost.php?p=60106758&postcount=622 -- Dedicated e-mail address rakuten-help@mail.rakuten.com
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Newspaper & Other Media Reports on this recent Rakuten/Buy.com Apparent Security Breach:

Consumer Reports The Consumerist [Jun-6-2013] -- "Here’s Everything We Know About The Rakuten/Buy.com Credit Card Breaches" -- post by 'steveliv', updated 'daniel32'
http://consumerist.com/2013/06/06/heres-everything-we-know-about-the-rakutenbuy-com-credit-card-breaches/ --and--- http://consumerist.com/2013/06/10...seriously/

New Jersey Record News [May-28-2013] -- "Bogota Police Warn Website Users of Suspicious Charges" -- posted by 'AnnoyedwithRakuten'
http://www.northjersey.com/news/B...l?page=all

Yahoo! Finance & MoneyTalksNews [Jun-6-2013] -- "Rakuten.com Customers Reporting Credit Card Fraud" -- txs 'krazyshopper'
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/rak...31825.html and http://www.moneytalksnews.com/201...ard-fraud/

Gizmodo via RakutenFraud.com [Jun-7-2013] -- "Gizmodo Announces They Will No Longer Post Rakuten Deals" -- txs to 'RakutenFraud.com'
http://rakutenfraud.com/2013/06/g...bORZRHn81I

StoreFrontBackTalk [Jun-12-2013] -- "Rakuten Breach: Live By The Web, Get Punished By The Web" -- txs to 'RakutenFraud.com'
http://storefrontbacktalk.com/sec...y-the-web/

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Summary of the conclusions made by the contributors of this forum:

(1) Identity thieves obtained credit card #'s and SSN #'s from some Rakuten Customers
[Ref: News Story & NJ Police Interview http://www.northjersey.com/news/B...l?page=all -- 'AnnoyedwithRakuten']
[Ref: Additionally http://www.bergendispatch.com/art...arges.aspx]
[Ref: 'scotthall3411' Post #462, etc.]

(2) Many other users have been affected outside of the SlickDeals community
[Ref: Specialized Site Now Available: http://rakutenfraud.com/]

(3) The apparent security breach is not limited to just customers who placed orders. Several have reported credit card details were taken from their Rakuten My Account screen.
[Ref: 'Cletus81' Post #435, 'missmex1' Post #445]

(4) The apparent security breach was not at the credit card payment processing agent.
[Ref: 'mirai' Post #437]

(5) Customers using credit, debit cards and Gift Cards have been affected.
[Ref: Thread postings and external sites.]

(6) Almost 100% of all fraud reports are from customers who gave Rakuten their credit (or debit) card directly (rather than using payment gateways or other payment methods (gift cards, etc.)
[Ref: Thread postings.]

(7) Many customers were able to uniquely identify Rakuten as the source of the credit card theft.
[Ref: Many thread postings from customers using a one-time Virtual Credit Card Number, a new credit card only used at Rakuten, or a new Gift Card.]

(8) Rakuten Buy.com denies that any security breach has occurred, though they are "cooperating with police".
[Ref: News Story & NJ Police Interview http://www.northjersey.com/news/B...l?page=all -- 'AnnoyedwithRakuten']

(9) Using a Virtual Credit Card Number or Gift Cards at Rakuten may not be the best alternative.
[Ref: 'GPz1100' Post #205, Post #447, etc. Several affected customers posted their VCCN's later breach caused the credit card company to reissue a new card.]
[Ref: 'namlook' Post #449, etc. Hacker's later emptied the gift card or sold the balance on eBay.]
[Ref: 'bargainfinder09' Post #449 Must close VCCN out afterwards.]

(10) The apparent security breach still exists at Rakuten today, and a Rakuten customer order is not required to generate the subsequent CC fraud.
[Ref: 'Edxzxz' Post #583]

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Please scroll down to the Wiki for important messages from users
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[Full Text of the News Story] New Jersey Record News [May-28-2013] -- "Bogota Police Warn Website Users of Suspicious Charges"
BY DENISA R. SUPERVILLE, STAFF WRITER // Link: http://www.northjersey.com/news/B...l?page=all

BOGOTA – "Local police are asking anyone who has used the website Rakuten.com, formerly Buy.com, to look out for suspicious charges on their credit cards." The police department started investigating three cases in which residents complained of fraudulent charges on their credit cards and has since discovered five additional victims, including one in New York City, Bogota Detective Sgt. Jonathan Misskerg said Tuesday. The single thread between the victims is that they have made purchases on Rakuten.com in the past three months, police said. The victims’ names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and credit card information were used to open accounts at online equipment suppliers, police said.

The purchases, made at five online stores, included gas valves and warehouse time clocks and totaled around $10,000, Misskerg said. The buyer was traced to an address in Bogotá, Colombia, Misskerg said. After the items were purchased, they were sent to an Englewood company, which then shipped the items to Colombia, Misskerg said. Police declined to identify the Englewood company, saying that the owner was cooperating with authorities and that it remained unclear whether he was part of the scheme. But since investigators first spoke with the company’s owner, someone electronically deposited funds in the company owner’s account — enough to cover the cost of shipping the items to Colombia, Misskerg said. “We’ve seized the packages and additional merchandise,” Misskerg said Tuesday. “We are going to try to shut him down at this point.”

Rakuten.com, a Japan-based online retail company completed its purchase of Buy.com, a California-based online market place, in July 2010. The website was rebranded as Rakuten.com this year. A company representative said Tuesday that the company had not been contacted by the local police, but that it would cooperate with authorities. “If there is a police investigation, we are not aware of it, and we have not been contacted,” said Mark Kirschner, the company’s executive officer for global marketing, adding that the company takes such reports “very seriously.”

However, an online message board [SlickDeals.net] contains several comments from posters claiming to have used the website and complaining about fraudulent charges on their credit cards. Kirschner said the company was aware of the website and had made overtures, “without success,” to those claiming to be affected. He urged those affected to contact the company’s head of customer experience at 877-880-1030 ext. 2095. Kirschner said he was unaware of any security breach or hacking incident that could have compromised customers’ information.

If anyone suspects that he or she may be a victim of identity theft, he or she should fill out an identity theft report at ftc.gov/idtheft, police advised. After doing so, the individual should take a copy of the report to the local police department and place an initial fraud alert with all three credit bureaus. The investigation was continuing, and as of Tuesday no charges had been filed, police said.
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[Full Text of the News Story] Consumer Reports The Consumerist [Jun-6-2013] -- "Here’s Everything We Know About The Rakuten/Buy.com Credit Card Breaches"
By Laura Northrup // Link: http://consumerist.com/2013/06/06...-breaches/

Starting about a month ago, rumblings began on the SlickDeals forums among people who had recently made purchases from Rakuten Shopping, the new brand name of the marketplace Buy.com. The purchases made were diverse, ranging from time clocks in Colombia to newspaper subscriptions in Cleveland to plane tickets in Germany. Something is very, very wrong here: hundreds of victims from recent months have come forward on Slickdeals alone.

Rakuten Shopping is a sort of online mall: the site allows other vendors to set up their own “marketplace” stores and sell items. Users have reported fraudulent credit card transactions after purchases from a variety of marketplace vendors.

Rakuten staff reach out to complainers on Facebook and even on the deal forums, asking victims to call in order to straighten things out. If they have a solution in progress, Rakuten has not let customers know, including victims. While talking too much about it publicly might compromise the investigations, victims are unhappy that the only thing they’ve heard from the company is “call us!” to people whose cards have been breached. Apart from the threads on the subject on shopping sites, victims have started their own site, the appropriately-titled RakutenFraud.com.

If having fraudsters make purchases for up to $10,000 on your credit cards isn’t scary enough, the Newark Star-Ledger reports that some victims had new accounts opened up using personal information––their birthdates and Social Security numbers––that you don’t need to provide to Rakuten as part of a purchase. If you’re a victim, what should you do? Contact your credit card company and your local police, of course. You should also contact the merchant where your card was used: after all, they’re a victim too.
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SLICKDEALS USER NAMES WHO REPORTED CREDIT CARD FRAUD AFTER A RAKUTEN ORDER
  1. rrmoore
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902 Comments

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#211
Quote from GPz1100 View Post :
What good do these calls do? Any resolution/progress/more information?
They'll explain to you how 128 bits encryption works and how is not possible your CC was compromised because of them. All this denial makes me believe they are either incompetent or the higher management is in it.

Too much denial when you have hundreds and hundreds of customers complaining of the same thing: Fraudulent CC charges AFTER rakuten.com purchases
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#212
Quote from isokramer View Post :
Looks like I was also a victim. I made a purchase in early April and about 3 weeks later my card was used to buy train tickets. I was actually notified by an investigator from Amtrak, but I didn't know how my card compromised. I didn't make the connection with Buy/Rakuten until I saw this thread.
Just wanted to update everyone on what's going on. I got another call today from the Amtrak investigator and he told me that the person who used my card (and others as well) was arrested yesterday. He is apparently from Ghana and is now in custody in Newark, NJ. I told the investigator about the possible connection to Rakuten/Buy.com and he said he would look into it. They have the guy's cell phone and computer, so hopefully they'll be able to make some connection. The investigator also said that I might get contacted by the Newark prosecutor to confirm that the card had been used fraudulently. I'll post another update if I hear anything.
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#213
Quote from GPz1100 View Post :
^^I had the same issue when I dealt with a nonstateside, incompetent citibank rep. A virtual # got compromised... She insisted on replacing the primary card.
I wasn't sure whether your situation was a result of a Rakuten purchase being made within a few weeks of the unauthorized charge. If it was, could you please confirm so you can be added to the list.

Regarding Citi canceling the original card, is it theoretically possible for someone else to use the same Virtual Card Number at the same merchant -- except with a different shipping address? For example: Could Boris steal your VCN, setup a new Rakuten.com account and use your VCN (along with your billing details) but with Boris' ship-to address (perhaps a UPS or FedEx outlet)? If Boris could do that, then I suppose the credit card companies would still have a vulnerability. I know they have to leave the door open for multiple VCN authorizations as a result of partial shipments (ex. Amazon).
Last edited by rrmoore May 17, 2013 at 02:33 PM
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Joined Apr 2006
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Original Poster
#214
Quote from isokramer View Post :
Just wanted to update everyone on what's going on. I got another call today from the Amtrak investigator and he told me that the person who used my card (and others as well) was arrested yesterday. He is apparently from Ghana and is now in custody in Newark, NJ. I told the investigator about the possible connection to Rakuten/Buy.com and he said he would look into it. They have the guy's cell phone and computer, so hopefully they'll be able to make some connection. The investigator also said that I might get contacted by the Newark prosecutor to confirm that the card had been used fraudulently. I'll post another update if I hear anything.
Wow, that's incredible news! Thank you so much for sharing the details. By your pointing out this thread to the investigators, his charges may go from one to many more. In a plea bargain, he could point to the guy (or the site) he got the number from and the whole operation could be exposed -- and everybody in this thread will in some little way contributed to the case (and I'll look forward to a future episode of it on Law & Order). I wonder if Rakuten when then finally admit to the breach?
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#215
My CC was also used for fradulent purchases one week after my first rakuten order. Rakuten is the only new site that I had ordered from or used my CC on.
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Original Poster
#216
Quote from AnnoyedWithRakuten View Post :
@highland1024, please come back and tell us about your experience "calling Rakuten."

I've been trying starting May 3, and have so far been unable to get any useful response. Three emails, two phone calls, voice mail with "verification department" not returned, e-mail to "verification department" not returned. I've spent quite a bit of time trying to let them know about my two virtual numbers that were misused, but I just get useless responses about 128-bit encryption, or, no response at all.

I appreciate the effort that is being made here.
Your situation, as with several others who used a unique Virtual Card Number with the Rakuten purchase, have shown explicitly irrefutable evidence that the breach was from Rakuten's web-site. It would appear, and Rakuten has confirmed that by not responding to you, that they have absolutely no excuse. They cannot put the blame back on you. They cannot also say that "it must have been another merchant".
Last edited by rrmoore May 17, 2013 at 02:47 PM
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#217
I just found this out as well. Add me to the list! I got a charge from a flower company and was defrauded XXX dollars. And then I see that CC in my Rakuten account! Better watch out guys!

BTW my last purchase from them was a few months ago! So I believe this could have been ANYONE who stored their CC date in the Rakuten database.

No more storing CC data for me!

Also EVERYONE WHO HAS BEEN AFFECTED. Let people know via facebook or otherwise, so that we can get Rakuten to notice and help spread the word that they need to do something about their actions!

I posted this to help spread the word about the massive fraud committed

Evidently I bought from the INTERNET, and not PEOPLE! I HAD MY CC INFO STOLEN FROM BUY.COM / RAKUTEN.COM. DO NOT BUY FROM THIS COMPANY UNTIL THEY ISSUE AN OFFICIAL APOLOGY AND FIX FOR THESE PROBLEMS. Perhaps thousands of Credit Cards were stolen and charged from their database. If you have bought from them, and had credit card fraud happen to you recently ADD YOURSELF TO THE LIST: http://slickdeals.net/f/6018544-Rakuten-Buy-com-Fraudulent-Use-of-Credit-Card-Info-within-Company?v=1

Buying from the internet needs to become safer faster, we can do it by outing companies that screw up. Identity theft is not a joke. Share this information and pass it along if you have been affected! Or pass along the word. We won't deal with this company until they fix their issues!
Last edited by sightlessnet May 17, 2013 at 04:09 PM
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#218
Quote from rrmoore View Post :
I wasn't sure whether your situation was a result of a Rakuten purchase being made within a few weeks of the unauthorized charge. If it was, could you please confirm so you can be added to the list.

Regarding Citi canceling the original card, is it theoretically possible for someone else to use the same Virtual Card Number at the same merchant -- except with a different shipping address? For example: Could Boris steal your VCN, setup a new Rakuten.com account and use your VCN (along with your billing details) but with Boris' ship-to address (perhaps a UPS or FedEx outlet)? If Boris could do that, then I suppose the credit card companies would still have a vulnerability. I know they have to leave the door open for multiple VCN authorizations as a result of partial shipments (ex. Amazon).
My incident occurred about a year ago. Had nothing to do with buy.com/raketen. To this day, I still don't know which # was compromised as the reps never gave me that info, nor were they willing to reveal it when asked/demanded. I gave up eventually. These days anytime I contact customer service, if the rep has an accent, I request to speak to someone stateside.

As for citi's virtual account #'s, once a number has been authorized, it's tied to that merchant ID, so Ajay can't use it at bestbuy.com or someplace else. However, an employee at the originating merchant can potentially make use of it. I'm not sure how merchants/credit card processors handle situations where shipping addr is different from billing. I suppose it can be requested that this alternate shipping address be on the customer's profile somewhere otherwise it gets declined.

In part, the beauty of citi's and boa's (some other banks too) virtual number system is that you can generate numbers with specific expiration dates and dollar amounts. I'll usually generate a # for $5-10 over what my grand total should be. Not much can be bought for this even if the number does get stolen.

Edit: Knock on wood so far no fraudulent alerts on the number used. My order was just placed with them about 3 weeks ago, so probably need to give it time Smilie
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#219
Quote from isokramer View Post :
Just wanted to update everyone on what's going on. I got another call today from the Amtrak investigator and he told me that the person who used my card (and others as well) was arrested yesterday. He is apparently from Ghana and is now in custody in Newark, NJ. I told the investigator about the possible connection to Rakuten/Buy.com and he said he would look into it. They have the guy's cell phone and computer, so hopefully they'll be able to make some connection. The investigator also said that I might get contacted by the Newark prosecutor to confirm that the card had been used fraudulently. I'll post another update if I hear anything.
keep us updated. he probably bought a plane ticket with a stolen card.
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#220
Quote from daniel32 View Post :
keep us updated. he probably bought a plane ticket with a stolen card.
Add me to the list. My PayPal MC was compromised a few months back...luckily I get emails every time it's used and noticed right away. Charges were made to BestBuy (laptop shipping to Georgia) and to Walmart- theses store seem to be a common theme. Although I can not be 100% sure it was Buy/Rakuten, my card details were stored there...although not anymore Smilie
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#221
Quote from warmwxrules View Post :
I've only made one purchase from them back in late April...haven't used the card since and am watching it like a hawk... the FBI needs to investigate this site.
I don't understand why you have not asked your credit card company to replace your CC.
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#222
Quote from kevinca View Post :
Add ME to this list. My card was stolen TODAY! It happened about 2 hours ago.

I guess I should give more detail. Someone EASILY changed my billing information on my Discover card by simply having the card number and figuring out the last 4 of my social.

They had already changed:
1. Billing address
2. Maiden name
3. account password on website
4. Email contact

I received an email warning of changes and work in IT, so I immediately began working to reverse the damage. By the time account was locked down 45 min into it, the individual had ordered a $2500 lenovo to a south beach hotel in miami. I had that itchy feeling over getting practically half off the cheapest internet price for that flashlight that arrives in the mail today. It seemed too good to be true to snag a flashlight that is $100 everywhere else for $60. It was.

The silver lining is that I had been suspicious of the Sams Club Discover security on their site recently. This proves how lax their card security is. So, decision made. There are lots of credit cards in the world...
I bought an SD card from them and someone hacked on my Discover account 7 days later. Someone changed my information just like someone did with your account. However, I acted right the way when I received the email that the email on my account was changed. No charged were made on my account by the time the card was cancelled. I still think it was an coincidence since I don't know how someone could hack into my discover account since the passwords that I used on discover.com and rakuten.com are different. That person has to know my 4 digit SSN in order to login and changed my password. I think my cell phone was hacked.
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#223
There was fraudulent use of my card # on May 1st for a JET AIRWAYS flight. The transaction details said something about Mumbai, India. I was wondering how that happened but seeing this thread makes me think it may have a connection with this since I did just recently make a purchase on rakuten.com last month when they had the $20 off $50.
Last edited by binji May 17, 2013 at 08:29 PM
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#224
Quote from gazr View Post :
Add me to the list. My PayPal MC was compromised a few months back...luckily I get emails every time it's used and noticed right away. Charges were made to BestBuy (laptop shipping to Georgia) and to Walmart- theses store seem to be a common theme. Although I can not be 100% sure it was Buy/Rakuten, my card details were stored there...although not anymore Smilie
I think their version of slick steals forum might have threads listing all the US stores and merchants that provide international shipping, and are easy targets. and people sharing experiences like the success rate of the stores. "FREE stuff from bestbuy and WalMart. Avoid fraud detection. Ships to Georgia. Overnight shipping available. Still works! YMMV"

people should report this to media stations. For example, ABC's I-team and/or 20/20 might be interested in carrying out their own investigation and do a tv special about it. Then rakuten would be forced to respond.
Last edited by mirai May 17, 2013 at 08:27 PM
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#225
Everyone contact the two news agencies below:

They might be able to run a story if we get enough people emailing them.

ABC News Investigators
http://www.abcactionnews.com/gene...ation-Tips

CBS News
investigates@cbsnews.com
Last edited by daniel32 May 17, 2013 at 09:01 PM
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