07 April 2016

The iPhone storm wanes, but not the stormy weather

It's been a very hectic and stressful week, so today I'm relaxing. Well, I do have to go out and send that iPhone back. I got a response from the customer service people at the company saying that the company's software is not the problem — I believe that's what he says — and that it's just a case of fraudulent activity on the part of some unknown third party (not me or them). [Continues below, after the photos...]

Meanwhile, a couple of photos from last week, on prettier days.

And then a photo of today's weather forecast, which just went by on Télématin. Ugh. I hope our new greenhouse tent doesn't blow away. Winds at 50 to 70 kph (30 to 45 mph) are predicted for this afternoon, with rain and a possibility of sleet. Down south, winds will hit 60 mph.

[Back to the iPhone incident] I had asked the customer service representative whether the customer who placed the order had filed a complaint when the package didn't show up as promised. He said the phone was never meant to go to any customer besides me, apparently. He says the company has made it very difficult for new customers to set up accounts on the company site, and therefore "pirates" have figured out ways to get into existing accounts and place orders from those, as happened in my case. Here's the text of his message, if you are interested. I won't translate it but Google can do so:
Il n'y a pas eu d'inversion et cet iPhone, commandé depuis votre compte, n'était destiné à aucun autre client. L'historique de ce type d'achat est toujours complexe à reconstituer mais il s'agit vraisemblablement d'une fraude. La fraude, notamment sur les produits high-tech, est malheureusement devenue extrêmement répandue sur internet et impose aujourd'hui aux e-commerçants des méthodes de plus en plus nombreuses (collaboration avec des prestataires de type FIANET, demandes de justificatifs, paiements par la méthode 3D Secure ...) pour faire face à des commandes réglées avec des cartes bancaires volées.

Nous sommes devenus très attentifs à la création de nouveaux comptes et demandons, lorsque notre algorithme détecte un risque, un justificatif de domicile et une pièce d'identité avant tout envoi de matériel. Les fraudeurs sont donc amenés à se tourner vers d'autres méthodes pour réaliser une commande, comme l'utilisation illicite du compte d'un tiers qui ne présentait aucun risque à nos yeux jusqu'alors.

Si vous avez la certitude qu'aucune personne de votre famille ou votre entourage n'a pu passer cette commande pour vous c'est l'hypothèse la plus probable, et aussi c'est la raison pour laquelle nous vous avons conseillé de modifier à la fois le mot de passe de votre compte client, mais aussi et surtout celui de votre adresse de messagerie.

Nous pouvons simplement vous préciser que la carte utilisée pour le règlement commence par les chiffres  4978 et se termine par 06.

Restant à votre disposition pour toute demande, je vous souhaite une très agréable fin de journée.


  1. It must be Walt what done it! (I think this is what he's trying to say).

  2. Maybe they were hoping you would keep it and accept the charges?

    Wow, sleet in April is unusual I should guess.

    1. The period called "the ice saints" (les saints de glace) is around the 10th of May. So it can be frosty until then. People around here like to tell about having 6 inches of snowfall some years ago in mid-May.

  3. It gets fishier and fishier!

    On April 1, you got an urgent delivery of an expensive iPhone, supposedly a gift from a generous, so far unknown, friend. The phone was paid for with a PNB credit card. So far, so good.

    The company said the phone was PAID FOR. So they don't own it any longer. It belongs either to you, if you really were the intended recipient, to the rightful owner of the PNB credit card, or to the bank that had to write off that amount if the PNB credit card was stolen.

    Now, you said you never had a PNB account and much less one of their credit cards. So why would somebody enter your espace personnel to steal your address, but not numbers of any of your credit cards stored there, and use a PNB credit card instead ? The company has some explaining to do.

    Did the company contact the rightful owner of the credit card used, I repeat, to pay for the iPhone ? Nous pouvons simplement vous préciser que la carte utilisée pour le règlement commence par les chiffres..... Did they inquire if that credit card was really stolen ? IMO, they want to have it both ways : keep the money and get the phone back so they can sell it to somebody else?

    Lastly, what is the company intending to do to compensate you for all the hassle they created, even though unvoluntarily ?

    1. It is fishy. Did the company get paid for the iPhone? Whoever bought it tried to charge my credit card for the full amount, apparently. The credit union shut down my Visa card account and is going to send me a new one, with a new number.

      Anyway, I sent the phone back this morning. I am no longer in possession of it, so 9/10s of the law is against me.

    2. When I said "charge my credit card for the full amount" -- well, I don't know how much the pirates were trying to charge on my card. I didn't ask. Maybe the pirates make their money by paying for the merchandise, having it shipped to an unsuspecting third party, and then charging that party's card for more than they paid for it to start with. They get a profit that way.

      Whatever it is, I'm tired of it now. I'm ready to let the whole incident become just a bad memory.

      My only compensation for the hassle is the feeling of having done the right thing. LOL.

    3. Imagine that the pirates got the money out of my bank account after having the iPhone delivered to me. And then they could call the seller and say that the phone they ordered had never arrived. They could demand their money back. They'd get all their money back plus a good chunk of my money. Who would be scammed? Me or the seller? I'd still have the phone. I was not required to call the seller and say that I was in possession of the phone, after all -- but then I did sign to accept the delivery. I could still have tried to keep quiet.

    4. I know, now, you have poussé un soupir de soulagement, but you'll have to admit this story is full of holes. I still don't understand how they would have used any of your credit cards since it was already paid with a card that wasn't yours and from a different financial institution ? Well, you could write a detective story and have M. Poireau clear everything for us!

    5. The amount they charged for the phone was a lot too. iPhone 6 is $549 here, not on sale. 6s is $649. I think the charge was well above that...

  4. The best part of the story is the fact that you got the phone on April Fool's Day and we got to hear about the hassle. I'm glad it's over but we all have to stay cautious about our credit cards and Internet scams. Now on with the garden and setting up your greenhouse to withstand those windy times you get.

    1. I still have some passwords to change. I feel good that my credt union detected the fraud immediately and got in touch with me. I hope things will settle down now -- including the weather.

  5. I'm glad your bizarre phone incident has been resolved. I try to keep a sharp eye on my on-line transactions, and I change all passwords fairly regularly.
    Not sure that would help if the entire institution got hacked by thieves from some of our less charming international neighbors, but it would likely deter garden-variety baddies.

  6. Ah, so they tried to use your card first, then another card next. I have heard of cases where things were ordered by a scammer and sent to another address. The scammer picks up the package before the person at the address got home, and they never knew about it.

    Glad you were home, and that you returned it. Best to take the high road and do what you know is right.



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