Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Someone stole my identity yesterday

I received an instant message today from Sherwin Lim (sherwin_grace@yahoo.com) one of my friends asking me to look at her pictures but since its in private mode, she told me I had to provide my yahoo username and password. I had a site rater installed on my browser specifically because I always get infected by viruses. The rated flashed almost instantaneously when I clicked it and classified the site to be dangerous. I told my friend that the network firewall won't accept me browsing the link that she has sent.

I had forgotten about it and then went out to eat lunch.

As soon as I was back, I saw my yahoo messenger logged out, and I had a missed call on my cell phone from my friend Joe. I quickly called Joe to ask why he called. I was surprised when he asked me if it was true that I needed prepaid load for my cell phone. And when I said no, that's when he told me that somebody was talking to him using my yahoo id and asking him to send prepaid loads. That's when I realized what happened.

My account was hacked. And whoever this person is (I was told Sherwin's account was hacked too) started sending messages to people on my friend's list first asking the time, then later on explaining that I have this "business" of selling prepaid cards to people out of the country. And that I have many buyers waiting for me to provide them load.

I quickly logged in to yahoo messenger to tell my friends that my account was hacked and to ignore the previous messages that were sent to them. During this time, I kept getting logged out and error message of "you have been logged on to a different device" kept appearing. Ang kapal ng mukha at lakas ng loob ng taong ito.. doing his/ her stuff while I am accessing my accounts.. so talagang kung mas marami siyang mabibiktima the better.

I then realized that I have to change my passwords kasi pinu-push niya talaga ako palabas because alam ung password ko. When I did change my password, I stopped getting logged out. But the problem doesn't stop there.

I then received a lot of messages from my friends telling me "kaya pala" or "naloko din ako" or "di ba ikaw ung kausap ko?" but the worst message that I received is from someone telling me na akala niya kelangan ko talaga ung load so nagpadala siya ng 500 pesos.

I called Globe Telecom and asked them what I could do. If they would be able to provide information about the number 09279182319. They said there were technological difficulties and that there were certain limitations which I just understood as plain bullsh*t. So anyway, I asked them if they could give us the refund 500 pesos since we were not going to use it and if they could just take back the load that was sent. The customer representative said it wasn't possible. And then she goes on and gives me a situational explanation that goes this way:

CR: Maa'm hindi po namin controlled kasi kunwari po (??!!)) we have retail stores and they sell the prepaid loads for us...
Aimee: So u mean hindi niyo makukuha? Wala ba kayong quality control?
CR: Maam kasi mahirap po we have certain limitations sa mga pwede naming gawin. Gusto niyo po maam tawag kayo sa NTC

Aimee: Sa colgate naman hindi ganyan, I bought one in a small grocery store and when I was not satisfied with the quality they replaced it all. (for that story, click here)
CR: talks about more bullsh*t
Aimee: Bye.

"Making great things possible"

Hi Globe! Guess what would be great? How about if you don't consider "income" payments sent to your system of products or services that we have no plans of using? How about that? How about giving back to your customers specially to someone who has been a loyal customer for atleast 11 years? And take note, I have a cell phone postpaid account, so whether I use it all up, you have a guaranteed 1,000 pesos from me every month. How about if you give some appreciation back? Now that would be making great things possible!

I then called NTC (which I later learned to be National Telecommunications Commission) and asked what they could do. They asked me to send them a fax of complaint and the actual conversations that took place. This, I had to get from my friends who were contacted by the hacker. So after fifteen minutes, I sent them the complaint and then called them to ask what they would do about it. And this is what they told me:

NTC: Ok na ung complaint, masesend-an na namin ung gumawa nito ng warning.

Warning? Warning?! WARNING?? ano ba????? I don't know what this NTC was created for.. but i looked at their website and found this:

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is the government agency created under Executive Order No. 546 promulgated on July 23, 1979, and conferred with regulatory and quasi-judicial functions taken over from the Board of Communications and the Telecommunications Control Bureau which were abolished in the same Order.

And on the list of their functions include:

To authorize, supervise, regulate and monitor the operation of public telecommunication services and broadcast services.

I took up a class in Administrative Law when I was in College and it may not be a lot but my understanding is that this is the administrative agency that has jurisdiction over cases that involved telecommunication infrastructures. In short, you can, yes you can make rules and laws that people would abide by in case they have misused or abused their access to communication. I don't know but this looks like such a big organization just to give out warnings to abusers.

Where exactly do you appropriate your budget?

To all my friends, I am truly sorry for whatever damage this may have caused you. I have sent out messages to my friends yesterday and if you have not received it, here goes the message:

Hello friends, My yahoo account was hacked a few hours ago. If anyone has received any messages from me asking for a favor or asking to send prepaid loads to number 09279182319, Please IGNORE it. I have already changed my yahoo account information and I hope that it won’t happen again. But if you continue to receive messages from someone claiming to be me and asking for load of money, please ignore it. I have already filed a complaint to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and hopefully they are already doing something about it. I’m really really sorry about this.
Whoever did this, I am assuming that you are very adept in using the internet this message is specifically for you

Mamamatay ka din. Sana makahanap ka ng paraan para mapagbayaran ang kasalanan mo bago ka mamamatay.

Ang nakakainis PINOY to. Filipino niya ako kausapin.

THE PLOT. The story is he/she is using is fairly simple and if I may say.. almost brilliant. She pretends to be out of the country or doing some business out of the country selling E-load or prepaid cards to OFWs, or foreigners and gets a lot of income because of it. In her terms, "malakas daw ang kita" Then she asks you for a favor and see her pictures, but since its on private you have to log in, kinda like how it is in multiply. But the whole page, is a BOGUS page. It was crafted to mirror the actual yahoo page to get your username and password. Then if you become idle in yahoo, this person will log in and start talking to your friends. First asking for the time, then ask where they could buy prepaid loads. Then says its really urgent. And pushes you to send her the numbers. I am not very familiar with how prepaid cards work but basically, this person will ask for the card number, password or pin and even your account information. And then maybe sells the load to other people. I'm not sure if that is convertible to G-cash. So anyway, I was gone 30-40 minutes, and this person earned 500 pesos already. Not sure if that was all.

At demanding pa siya. ANG. KAPAL. NG. MUKHA.

To reiterate:

1. Thank you to the person who supposedly sent me load. It just made me realize that no matter how weird the favors I ask from you and to my other close friends, you'd actually do the same for me. Really thanks a lot. But I'm sorry too. Libre nalang kita. :) I am keeping this person's identity secret for personal reasons.

2. To Joe, who immediately called me and informed me of what happened. Thanks for knowing it was not me. I don't know how or when you realized it.. but I'm really grateful. Buti nalang kuripot ka sakin, di agad bumibigay. Hehehe.

3. To Sherwin, the person who's account was (allegedly) hacked too. Please change your passwords and inform your friends that someone is impersonating you. Otherwise, people would think this was your doing.

4. To other people who's account may also be hacked, you have the responsibility of informing your friends of what happened so they know that it is you. And its not somebody else who really needs the money or the load.
5. To GLOBE TELECOM, you have to change your company policies. Di pwedeng hindi niyo kaya. Kasi nagbabayad naman kami ng matino. In every relationship.. give & take dapat. Di pwedeng take lang ng take.

6. To NTC, I sincerely hope you could do better. you are in a unique position to make changes. USE it.

7. And to HACKERS and PLOTTERS and IDENTITY THIEVES (if there is a term),
matuto naman kayong maghanap ng marangal na ikabubuhay.. nakakalason ang pagkain na kinuha sa perang ninakaw lang. Karma karma lang yan. Dadating din ang araw niyo.

*I am still unsure if I should contact yahoo too.

1 comment:

abumelt said...

I almost got fooled, and was actually about to buy them cards for you. :P