26 March 2016
I thought about it a little before writing about it, and I decided now, after checking that everything was okay, because I hope it’s useful to someone else.
Saturday, March 12, at 2:46 am, I get two emails: one from my Italian PayPal account (to have an account linked to my English credit card I had to make a new account), which I notice as soon as I wake up, which tells me that I spent 74.98 euros in this shop.
I immediately contest the charge, and I realize after that there was another email from the shop in question with all the details of the purchase: a pair of Vans Authentic Sneakers Black in the name of an Italian to be sent to La Spezia.
I also write to them saying to block the shipment.
PayPal answers me the next day saying that they had blocked the payment, the shop answers me on Monday saying that they had blocked the sending of the order, the broken thief remains dry-mouthed without his Vans and my money never left my bank.
What happened is that trivially I used the same email and a password very similar to the one that was published in a list of accounts taken from a Russian service some time ago. But even if nothing had ever been published, my password for that service was far too simple to be sure. In fact, the first thing I did, even before challenging the charge, was to change the password.
Moral: don’t act like me, use strong passwords, change them often and never use the same password. And possibly use a password manager: I chose KeePass because it’s cross-platform, and I find myself rather well, but there are others, just choose the one that seems best for our needs. I obviously proceeded to change the other important passwords I hadn’t changed yet and to check that no other accounts had been hacked.
In all this I must say that I was lucky for two reasons: the thief from La Spezia also used my email to make the order, which allowed me to have his data and be able to contact the shop directly; the order was made Saturday night, so it was not sent immediately and gave me time to block everything.
The only thing I regret is that I could not report the thief since you have to go in person to make a complaint in Italy.
It is not said that he does not, if and when I return to Italy and if I have time, and if I still have time to do it.