Rip Off Britain: Paypal froze user's access to her account
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In April 2021, Mr Harrison checked his Google Play account and discovered two mysterious transactions that he knew he hadn’t made. He said: “‘Oh my gosh what’s that?
“That fear and raising anxiety of somethings not right, ‘What is it?’
“Then suddenly the realisation that someone has breached my account.”
On Rip Off Britain last week, Mr Harrison explained his situation, and the frustration he felt being blamed for something that he did not do.
The two payments made were to buy apps for the App Store. One was £260, and the other was around £320.
Having realised that over £500 had been taken from his bank account, Mr Harrison thought he must have been hacked.
He changed his password, contacted his bank Halifax and asked for the pending payments to be stopped.
However as the transactions had already gone through, the bank could not stop the payments.
Halifax suggested that Josh should contact Google Play first, and then they would be able to assist him after their investigation.
If Mr Harrison could prove that the transactions were fraudulent, then they would refund him.
He said: “I always got the feeling that I would get that money back.
“It might take a little bit of time but as soon as Google listens, I’m sure they will see that it wasn’t me.”
Josh went to his Google history where his log in information and purchase history are recorded.
It was there that he found that his Google Play account had been breached and someone in the United States had logged in.
Once the hackers had his account , they disabled Mr Harrison’s two-step verification. This meant that there was no additional measure in place for Josh to prove his identity before making purchases.
With the protection gone, the scammers were able to buy the apps in Mr Harrison’s name.
He said: “I was very convinced it was fraudulent and very easy to prove just based on that information alone.”
After handing over all the evidence he had found, Google did not think Josh had been scammed. They thought the transactions were genuine.
As Google thought it was genuine, Halifax also withdrew their investigation into the purchases.
Josh said: “It’s just non-existent support. You have to jump through a lot of hoops and do a lot of the work for nobody to even acknowledge what you’ve said. They just give me a response that is very corporate.”
Josh explained that what angered him the most was Google’s refusal to accept that he was a victim of fraud, despite the fact he thinks he can prove the criminals were thousands miles away.
“The victim is being blamed because they’ve told me it’s me and it’s genuine so now it’s my fault it’s happened.
“I have no idea how that’s happened.”
Rip Off Britain contacted Google Play and it said they do not comment on what is called ‘personal cases’ but urged customers to ensure they give consistent information when they raise issues.
Rip Off Britain contacted Halifax and they accepted that it had made mistakes in the way they handled Josh’s case, explaining that it had raised the wrong sort of claim with Google when contacted them about the case.
They apologised for the hassle of not getting this right the first time and refunded Josh the two payments and gave him a further £200 plus interest to acknowledge the inconvenience.
Express.co.uk has contacted Google Play and Halifax for comment.
Rip Off Britain is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
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