16 August 2012


My credit cards have been hacked. Yeah, you read that right. Cards. Plural. It's actually more painful to have money stolen from you in situations where you have no control of. Let me share you the story.

July 16
I received a call from HSBC verifying my credit card transactions that day. Initially I thought that it was due to my transaction with Ateneo since I used the card to pay my tuition. Apparently not. The agent told me that  there were unusual purchases from the iTunes store amounting to 12,760 pesos. I was in shock and the agent told me that it's best to have my card cut. I still had to wait if the transactions will be posted by Apple. If they do not post it, then I would not have to file a dispute. I told her I use a different card for my iTunes account so it's impossible that it was me who charged those purchases. It actually took a while before it sank in but...WHO THE HELL SPENDS EFFIN' 12 THOUSAND ON ITUNES??? Insane!

I called my friend Cza, who works in HSBC, and informed her of the situation. She told me that she'll coordinate with their cards group so that a reversal would be made. I have a credit protection of up to 50,000 unauthorized charges from HSBC so I told her that if the charges would not be reserved, I will use that instead.

July 25
I received an automatic text from Citibank thanking me for my purchase of 45 USD in what do you know? iTunes. I called the hotline the following day and learned that yet again, my card was hacked. Deep inside, my reaction was "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!" What were the odds that two of my credit cards would be hacked in a span of less than two weeks? I told the agent to review all the transactions and apparently, my card was being used for five days already. So my bad, my cards were hacked in a span of five days. Again, the purchases amounted to 12,000++. I wanted to do a cartwheel. I assumed these were spent on games wherein you have to purchase coins to gain extra life. How many lives do you need man?!

It was actually much of a hassle as this happened while I was out of Manila. I immediately filed a dispute form for the charges posted but I would have to wait to file the dispute for two purchases yet to be posted (which as of this time were still floating). The agent told me that she'll have the card cut and send me a new one with a different card number.

Now this, I was kind of freaking out because this was the card connected to me and my mom's respective iTunes accounts. I immediately checked my account to check if it was the one hacked. The only purchases I made from iTunes costed 11USD. Being the cheapskate that I am, all the apps that I downloaded were for free. Same with my mom's account, so no, our accounts were not hacked. It was definitely my card.

August 1
Cza told me that the purchases from HSBC have already been posted. She sent me the document that I had to fill out plus a photocopy of my card to prove that it is indeed with me. It was good that I have a friend who's taking care of this for me because it would probably take longer if I don't know someone from the inside. We'll just have to wait.

August 3
I followed up with Citibank regarding the status of the floating transactions and the agent told me that they have been posted. I filed another dispute form for the two items.

August 16
I received a letter from HSBC indicating that the matter is already being investigated. The merchant's (Apple) bank has 45 days to provide documentation to prove the validity of the transactions. If they do not do so, then HSBC will immediately process the reversal of the transaction amount.

Up to now, I still cannot believe that this happened to me. It brought me tremendous amount of unnecessary stress. Imagine being robbed close to 25,000 without me knowing about it. I still don't know how was it possible but there are two things that come to my mind:

1. It was probably due to my frequent purchase from those voucher sites.
2. Is it possible that my laptop has a bug?

Due to the trauma, save for airline tickets, I'm not buying anything online using my card. If there is an option for bank deposit, then that is the mode of payment that I shall be using. In the meantime, I'm going to cross all my limbs and hope that this would all be sorted out.

Cross your limbs with me, would you?


  1. hi joanna, use a paypal account in paying for your your online purchases. that is always safer. online payments where you expose your credit card info are very prone to hacking--- Diane

    1. Yeah, learned it the hard way. I actually have a paypal account kaya lang nagexpire na yung card na nakaregister. I might have to change the card na lang. Haist.


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