My Xbox Live Fraud Experience
This Sunday I had one of those moments I've heard about but never experienced: my Xbox Live account was compromised and someone had purchased a crap load of points and transferred them to someone else. Since I default to the outlook that corporations don't give a crap anymore (have they ever?) I was thinking I was screwed and was out of the money unless I contact my bank. Not the case though; turns out Micro$soft actually seemed to care and everything turned out better than expected.
On Sunday, I woke up to a series of 4 emails confirming the purchase of 10,000 points from Xbox Live Marketplace, a renewal of my Xbox Live Family account (dude actually changed my plan to include his account) and an email confirming the transfer of those points to another Xbox Live account. Now, my first thought was that I had really tied one on the night before and had just blacked out while doing some shopping on Xbox Live. Then I remembered that I didn't drink (just smoked) and, after checking the email timestamps, the purchases were made while I was sleeping. Fuck me.
Now, I'm not a stranger to the odd charge on my credit cards and know exactly what to do; call the bank and contest the charges. Because I actually use my Xbox though, and I do purchase a lot of content through Zune and Xbox both, I thought it would be a good idea to contact Microsoft and let them know about what was going on. God forbid I contest the charges and Microsoft thinks I'm the one ripping them off, right? So, I call them up and, after waiting on hold for a good 10 minutes, I get on the phone with Regina.
Regina was very pleasant and, after she confirmed I was who I said I was, she was actually pretty sympathetic and understanding as well. I honestly didn't expect actual sympathy though and was pretty taken back by it; going through the motions and patronizing wouldn't have surprised me in the least but Regina was very accommodating, knowledgeable and helpful. Regina explained that while this isn't what she would call a common issue it does happen from time to time and, to me at least, she came across as having dealt with similar issues in the past personally. This really put me at ease when dealing with her which was good because I was in fight mode, expecting to be screwed at any moment.
One key part that struck me about this whole thing was the paper trail; because the system emailed me confirmations about each transaction it was obvious who was responsible and Regina made it clear that this a good thing. I had the username of the person the points were transferred to so, apparently, it's pretty trivial for them to respond though I find the idea that the account wasn't temporary ridiculous. I don't want to underestimate the stupidity of criminals but surely the jackass who ripped me off must know the username they sent the points to would be flagged and investigated. Right?
Anyway, Regina gave me some details about what Microsoft were going to do on their side (which I'll post once the investigation is completed lest I tip someone off in the event I know the asshole) and what my expectations should be as far as resolution (pretty good since it was caught within hours of the purchases). She also made sure to make a point of contacting my bank and letting them know as well which, while I was going to do regardless, I definitely appreciated.
It should be about a week until I hear something about the investigation and, hopefully, the resolution. All told the process took only 34 minutes and left me feeling a lot better about Xbox and Microsoft as companies to, if not completely respect, not worry about screwing me given half a chance.
That said, I'm not an idiot (well, about this stuff anyway); I still contacted my bank and contested the charges so my money is back safely where it should be. The bank, as a matter of policy, invalidated my credit card and is going to send me a new one but it's a small price to pay I think. Well, that and now there's no way I'm ever going to let a service keep my credit card on file ever again.