Skype account hacked
Skype account hacked

Skype account hacked ?

Who you should contact and what you should do.

Skype account skullduggery

If you are unlucky enough to have had your Skype account hacked or, compromised in some way or, discover that someone else is using your Skype account without your permission, you'll want to put a stop to it - sharpish ! Skype have got millions of customers so, this type of thing must happen quite often, but it wasn't until it happened to a friend that I realised just how difficult it was to get the information that we needed to put things right !
Skype account hacked

Skype account hacked - don't panic !

If you need a reason or, justification, for switching on your computer, opening your email account and checking your emails twice a day, this is it - because, if someone manages to hack into your Skype account, and it is set up to auto-recharge from your Paypal account, the first thing that you may know about it is when you receive an email confirmation from Skype telling you that your Skype account has been automatically topped up from your Paypal account. If, like most people, you retain a mental note of the amount of Skype credit that you have got left and the last time that you did, you noted that it was well above your top-up threshold, and you haven't made many calls in the last 24 hours, receiving a recharge email should ring alarm bells, prompting you to check your Skype account. If you see that calls have been made, not by you, usually abroad, something is definitely wrong ! The earlier that you discover this, the less it is going to cost you.
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Skype account hacked

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Online shopping scams

Apparently, Britons will spend somewhere in the region of £6 billion in a bonanza online shopping spree this Christmas but, it's not just online retailers that are gearing up their operations, Cybercriminals are stepping up their illegal activities too and, as they become ever-more resourceful in their efforts to part us from our hard-earned cash, we must all be very wary when we are shopping online this Christmas.
In their newsroom, McAfee, the online security firm, warn us of the "The Twelve Scams of Christmas" and, if you are thinking about buying anything online in the next couple of weeks, I recommend that you visit their web site and read up on the various online scams that they have discovered - McAfee news
They say: "Cyber criminals take advantage of the Holiday Season aiming to steal consumers' money, identities and financial information" before going on to list the twelve most popular Christmas Cybercons.
The prospect of surfing and searching through many different web sites to find the best online deal for the latest piece of gadgetry is both time consuming and difficult. For some people, this in itself is enough to put them off the idea of doing their Christmas shopping online. Add to this, the stress and worry that the prospect of losing a heap of money and having our Christmas ruined by an online scammer adds, and it's surprising that any of us bother to shop on the internet.
Over the next couple of weeks, in search of a bargain or, two, many of us will visit one or, more of the various online auction web sites such as eBay, but beware, the Cybercrooks know this and will be focusing some of their efforts in this direction.
A new scam that they have introduced to the auction web sites is to offer a popular product for sale at a cheaper price than it can be purchased elsewhere. The scammer doesn't have the product to sell, but offers it for sale in any event.
An unsuspecting purchaser comes along, sees the offer and orders the product using their credit card. The scammer banks the customers money, but can't deliver the product to the customer because they don't have it.
finish reading online shopping scams
Skype account hacked

Help ! Someone's been using my Skype account

Sorry Jean, it look's like your Skype account has been hacked !

On Sunday morning, my telephone rang. It was quite early. I answered thinking, "who the flippin-eck can this be at this time?" I was greeted by Jean (a good friend) who informed me that she had switched on her computer that morning and as usual, logged into her email account, only to discover that she had received an email informing her that, using her credit card through Paypal, her Skype account had been automatically topped up with credit. "I wondered why" said Jean - adding, "last time I looked, my Skype account had plenty of credit in it and anyway, it definitely hadn't fallen as low as £2.00, which is the level at which it automatically takes credit from my Paypal account." Jean had already looked into the detail and discovered that through the night, her Skype telephone account had been used to make telephone calls all over the world - using up, not only the credit that she had left on her account, but also, two further lots of credit that had been added automatically from her Paypal account. She asked me what she should do to sort out the problem. Whilst Jean was telling me the story, I had already logged onto Skype's web page expecting to see a link such as - "My Skype account has been compromised - what do I do?" Unfortunately, it wasn't that simple!

Skype account hacked - Paypal auto-recharge feature

If you find yourself in the same situation as Jean, the first thing to do is to limit your losses. The main problem in this instance was that Jean had set up the auto-recharge feature between her Paypal and Skype accounts and as long as her Skype account kept replenishing itself with funds from her credit card - through Paypal, whoever had got into her Skype account and was using her credit to make calls, could carry on doing so. I advised Jean to log into her Paypal account and to disable the credit auto-recharge feature and then, do the same thing in her Skype account. This is a relatively simple thing to do. Log into each account with your usual user name and password and look for a link to your "Account Settings" and disable the auto-recharge feature.

Skype account hacked - inform Skype and Paypal what has happened.

In Paypal's case, this is a relatively simple thing to do. Log into your Paypal account and click on the "Help" link in the top right hand corner of the page. This takes you to the "Help Centre". You can type a question and search for the answer or, use one of the direct links to specific information. In this instance, we want to actually contact Paypal and we do so by clicking on the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of the page. This page contains a link to automated help, a link to Paypal's email contact form and believe it or not, another link "Call Us" which takes you to a page containing Paypal's telephone numbers where you can actually speak to a representative (08707 307 191 and 00353 1 436 9004 - office hours, international call rates apply)
In Skype's case, it's a little harder to get where you need to be. Visit Skype's web site - and click on the blue "Help" link in the top right hand corner. This takes you to a page where you can type your question or, use one of the direct links to specific information. Again, because we want to contact Skype, we use the blue "Get More Help" link at the bottom of the list of links on the right hand side. This takes us to a page that urges us to search for an answer in Skype's FAQ's section, but ignore this and just type anything into the search box before clicking on the search button. I entered "Fraud" and clicked on the button. This took me to a page containing answers to what I presume to be the top five FAQ's. I ignored these and clicked on the blue link "Get More Help" at the bottom of the page. On the next page, I was asked to sign into my Skype account which I did. The next page contains Skype's "Live Chat" facility which is available between the hours of 7am and 11pm (GMT) and a link to their email contact form:-

Skype account hacked - the outcome was a good one!

When Jean couldn't find the information that she needed (she expected it to be prominent on the Skype and Paypal websites) there was good reason to panic, but once she had discovered, completed and sent the form to let Skype know what had happened, they replied after a few hours and informed Jean that they had blocked her account and included a link for Jean to change her password. She did this and her account was unblocked and ready to use again. The whole process took a few hours to complete. Some people argue that it is more important to let Paypal know first - I'll let you decide.
Nevertheless, two or, three hours is a long time to wait when you know that someone else has got access to your Skype account and is using your Skype credit or, in other words - stealing your money ! If someone is using your Skype account to ring a mobile telephone in a foreign country, it won't take long to use up your credit and total losses could be substantial if your account is set to automatically recharge itself.

Skype account hacked - do you get a refund from Skype ?

I've received the same question in response to this article from several different readers: "Did Jean get her money refunded ?"
Jean didn't get a refund from Skype and thankfully, because she noticed quite quickly that something was wrong, her losses were relatively low. I have however, received emails from readers who have sustained losses in the hundreds of Euros. Skype seem to deal with each claim for a refund of this type of loss on a case by case basis. My advice is to set out the facts of your claim in an email to both Skype and Paypal and be prepared for a bit of a fight - it may take more than one email to find the ear of the right person ! If you are worried about this, I suggest that you regularly check your email account and look out for Skype auto-recharge payment confirmations and to be very careful of phishing emails that for whatever reason, ask you to confirm you Skype login details.
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