A lot of my current stress came from the fact that someone had illegally used my bank account to buy purchases in Illinois, USA while I slept unknowingly in Al-Ain, UAE. My bank account shows MINUS $500 in the hole. On top of that I got another $100 overdraft charge. So my card had to be renewed and flown to me across the world and I had to fill out all these papers and my account is frozen until this is cleared up. I thought it was a completely weird but random accident. I mentioned this to my doctor though and she said that was interesting because another of her patients experienced the same thing. I thought hmmm... very odd. The next day as I was buying my daughter a little cupcake on the way home from Jummah I saw an article as I was browsing the headlines.
break into UAE credit network to fund US purchases
"- Abu Dhabi // An international investigation is under way to find hackers
believed to have stolen information from financial servers in the UAE to
make fraudulent credit and debit card purchases in the US. The scheme came
to light after a number of employees at the US Embassy – and a handful of
other US citizens – had unauthorised purchases show up on their credit and
debit cards in recent months, prompting the embassy to issue a warning on
"Visa told her that the intrusion had happened “at the processor level”,
which she said suggested that computer hackers had penetrated the electronic
records of organisations that acted as middlemen between merchants and credit
card companies such as Visa and MasterCard...........
"The case has also prompted concerns that security measures designed to
protect personal financial information may be too lax in the UAE.
Numerous establishments in Abu Dhabi print customers’ full details, such as customer names, entire card numbers and expiration dates, on receipts. Many countries, including the US, have laws requiring such details be truncated to prevent
sensitive information from being stolen...........
"“The hackers sell data to anyone who cares to buy,” said Mr Johnson. “They
might advertise it on the internet, and then resell it further down the chain.
Hackers could be from Eastern Europe, for example, and sell their stolen data to
people who make clone cards in Latin America.”.............
"Recent years have seen an increasing number of credit card and get-rich-quick schemes in the UAE, which have wrested millions of dirhams from residents.A Middle East manager for an anti-fraud division of a large international bank, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there had been a rise in so-called “skimming” incidents at ATM machines. Under a typical skimming scheme, criminals rig ATM machines with card-reading data and cameras to steal pin codes. They then compile the information to make clone debit cards............"
Man did I buy that paper in a heartbeat! I ran back to my car and exclaimed to my husband, "I WAS FRAUDED!!!" I showed him the article (click the headline above) and read it to him as we drove home. It was amazing that such a big company like VISA couldn't protect it's bankees. One of the largest companies in the world had hacker problems and I was one of it's victims. If it wasn't for this article I would have thought it a random illegal use. Not part of an international investigation. Amazing.