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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Boise Idaho

    Being robbed in the internet era

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    My life has certainly been interesting lately. A few weeks back, woke up on a Saturday with plans to do some chores and finally get a bike ride in - it's been a long winter. Grabbing my coffee and opening my email I suddenly see our business email flooding with emails from subscribers inquiring about an email they'd gotten from us. Apparently we sold them a bike (that we don't even carry). The email showed what they paid and stated shipping was complete and to "click" for more information. Yep - we were robbed, the new age way. Someone successfully hacked our Mail Chimp account and sent an email to all of our subscribers. On our end, we were fine as we don't retain any financial information on anyone and have secure servers for our online store and run malware daily on our computers but as we all know spam email sucks. I immediately contacted mail chimp - you can only email them, no phone numbers and they wiped the email of any possible malware but meanwhile my phone and email account blew up.
    I am always surprised when I learn that people will actually click on anything in a suspicious email but some do. We felt horrible and so violated. We lost a chunk of subscribers, which was sad. Our mail chimp account was frozen for a week, making it a challenge to communicate to purchasers.

    Looking back, now that the dust has settled, we did learn that we have many followers and customers who felt our pain and were more worried about us than themselves. Also we certainly reconnected with a ton of people. We had one buyer call us and apologize for his knee jerk reaction and he said he realized it could happen to anyone, then he promptly placed a nice order in the store. Another reader sent us photos of his recent tour to cheer us up.

    We'll never know who got into our list or how. We did put another level of security when logging into mail chimp that supposedly makes it impossible for someone else to access and hopefully no more unauthorized emails will be sent.

    My advice when you get an email from someone you know but the email content doesn't jive - don't click on anything! Reach out to the sender and verify. While the contacts from readers was overwhelming I was so thankful they reached out to us.

    Actually did get out on the bike and I know someday it will stop raining and I will be complaining about the heat
    Sky King
    Gilles Berthoud "Bernard"
    Surly ECR "Eazi"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Sky, very sad to hear, but, yeah, it's part of the digital age. I don't think a day goes by without getting emails about how some of my online accounts have "suspicious activity" or need "updating" so please sign in and clear things up, blah, blah, blah. A lot of them, of course, are rather clumsy attempts, but some are now quite convincing, but phony, all the same. It's a constant irritant in a digital world.

    As for your riding, hang in there and ride when you can, even if the motivation isn't high. Riding has always been my best therapy when life turns a bit sour. Don't need no stinking' pills. Just get me on a bike and let me ride. Hope it works for you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Concord, MA
    Ugh. Yeah, I can't believe people click on stuff. It's usually quite obvious...
    I guess it's obvious to me because I mostly get emails from store's websites/online retailers many times a day. I mostly just delete those. If I want to look at something, then I read it closely. I've received a few of those "click on this, your account needs to be updated." I assume all of those are fake.
    The best one came just yesterday. It was addressed to me by a woman, whose name I did not recognize, and said, something "hey, this is the bike you want to look at, click on the link." That's the kind of email that would be easy to assume it was from someone in the cycling community, but it seemed fake to me. Delete!
    Last edited by Crankin; 03-31-2017 at 05:48 PM. Reason: add info
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    northern Virginia
    It's usually obvious but not always, especially when you're in a hurry and just scanning through things. I try to be careful but it's not easy to always be safe online.

    I'm glad you got that ride in, Sky King, and you at least were reminded that there are still some good people out there.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    I'm sorry that happened SkyKing.

    I'm pretty brutal on email and voicemail deletes/hang-ups. For the latter, as soon as someone talks about a commercial deal or survey that I know doesn't sound right, I hang up. For those who want to reach us and who we know personally face to face, they can. I'm actually quite abrupt. There's no point being civil and giving the other person "a chance", when the caller has only 1 financial illegal goal in mind.

    Note: One of the things as professional librarian for many years before I switched career paths, is teaching people about computer information literacy and knowing how to assess information sources based on priority criteria. It's obvious now with "fake news" real or claimed.

    It's even more bewildering when some people can't believe true govn't sources...that it is this organization who will mostly try to give you the latest/accurate/helpful information about a govn't program, service and govn't employee has no right/interest in "ripping" you off financially at all.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 04-09-2017 at 10:40 AM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by Sky King View Post
    we did learn that we have many followers and customers who felt our pain and were more worried about us than themselves. Also we certainly reconnected with a ton of people. We had one buyer call us and apologize for his knee jerk reaction and he said he realized it could happen to anyone, then he promptly placed a nice order in the store. Another reader sent us photos of his recent tour to cheer us up.
    Sky...that's nice that the positive part gave you some good feelings to help balance it out !!!!!!....my sympathy on having to deal with the negative part!!

    yeah...i don't open or ever click on an attachment/link unless i know/have confidence in the sender and also know it's something i could expect.....having tech people at work to give your computer to if needed ftw though

    shootingstar.....this reverse phone lookup will tell you if it's likely a spam/fraud call. On my personal phone I just let an unknown number go to voicemail, look the number up, block the caller if it's listed as spam/fraud and delete the message before even listening. Don't know how valid it is but thinking by answering you're telling someone it's a good number for a list of numbers to sell.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Ouch, Sky King. This is the problem with online ordering. Glad it looks okay.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.


    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Karate Monkey!!!



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