16 August 2012

Hacked



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?

12 August 2012

Careful

H&M shirt | Mango  shorts and bag | Charles & Keith shoes
Rubi accessories | Swatch watch

I told myself that next time, I won't invest my feelings on someone whose intentions I'm not sure of. I won't waste my time and be with a man whose feelings are fleeting and who is not willing to stay for the long run. I vowed to be extra careful as I don't want to get hurt again. Truth be told, there are days when I doubt myself if I have truly recovered from all the pain that I went through. I never want to see myself going through all of that again.

I diverted my attention to someone else, hell I diverted it to not just one. I used what I went through as an excuse to play around. But you know, in spite of, there was this one whom I think I really like(d) but logic and reason tells me that nope, it's not going to work out. So I'm trying to get hold of my sanity while I haven't lost it yet and figure out a way to get out of it while I still can. Because I know that if this continues any longer, I would just end up disappointed and yet again, hurt. I can't be with someone whose aspirations are unclear. More than that, I can't be with someone who's insensitive and can't even figure out what the hell he did wrong. I actually don't even know if he likes or will ever get to see me in that level but I guess it's better to walk away as early as now. I don't want to end up in another situation wherein I'm the only one trying to make everything work out. I don't want to be in that position wherein I'm the easiest to give up. Simply put, I don't want to fight another battle which from the beginning I have very slim chances of winning. 

It's no secret that I tend to question all the time if ever I'd get to be successful in this department. All my insecurities pile up with every morsel of rejection that come my way. That maybe, it's I who's doing it all wrong. That maybe, I am to blame. That maybe, I'm just not likable enough. It's hard to build up your confidence after someone slams you hard on the floor like that.

I won't try to make up an excuse but the heartbreak I recently went through contributed to the filling up of my closet. I had to channel my energy somewhere else so if I wasn't out with friends, eating or drinking or both, I was shopping. I like dressing up, it makes me feel good about myself. It's my way of turning my otherwise depressing mood around.

I'm thankful for friends and family that in spite of my quirks never gave up on me. Speaking of family, this is how I spent my Sunday. Papa's leaving on Wednesday so we ate out at Uncle Cheffy earlier. Their Panizza is the best! You can even get half and half to taste two variants.


Oh and we also got the Surf and Turf Platter. I'm quite confused because the branch in Ortigas has this at only P880, half of the Burgos Cirle (and all the other branches) price which is at P1750. It was a smorgasbord of meat and fish with all the confusing sauces. I just poured them over my plate and I did not even know what they were. It also came with a humongous platter of rice and salad which by the way is just an assortment of different greens. Do not expect too much.

We transferred to Bonifacio High Street and because surprisingly the sun was back with a vengeance, we decided to go Jamba Juicing.

And to complete my day, I saw this familiar logo on a site at the new Bonifacio Central. Cotton On is coming to Manila!
Grabe manong panira ka naman ng piktyur.
Anyhow, what led me to writing this post? I guess it was just that random moment wherein I had to rethink, restrategize and put some perspective in my currently not so cohesive life. I mean, I'm okay. I just had to deal with some self-issues and it just so happened that they attacked me today. Nothing to worry about folks.

Live life and be a rockstar.


09 August 2012

Sephora. Finally.

I had no intention on buying cosmetics in Singapore but I got excited when I saw this huge Sephora store in Vivo City. Since there's no outlet here in the Philippines, I decided to get some of their stuff. I bought a finishing powder and a blush.

The finishing powder does not actually provide any coverage but then its purpose is just to set your make up or if you want to get id of the oil in the middle of the day. If you want coverage, better to still use a foundation or if you don't want it heavy, a tinted moisturizer.

I actually bought this because it is way more compact than my current rice powder from Palladio. One con however is that it does not come with a puff so the "handyness" is negated because you will still have to carry a brush. That's sort of a bummer so maybe you don't carry this one to an event where you bring one teeny tiny purse.

I was also looking for a coral brush without the shimmers. My skin is oily so I do not need the additional glimmer. Coral blushes flatter morenas and it looks natural.

I don't know why the hell it looks pink in the photo but I got a coral one. See the back.

It's in the shade of Orange Punchy sunbaked which is right now the longest name for a shade of a blush I've heard. Why can't they do with "Orange Punchy" or "Orange Sunbaked?" Well who cares, I just found the perfect shade of coral for me. I really love how it looks natural on my cheeks. So now I would have to persuade friends from Singapore or Malaysia to get this for me when I run out of stock.

Only problem is, the friends that come to mind are guys. I hope they love me that much. *crosses fingers*

08 August 2012

Wrath

And so I thought that after Ondoy in 2009, there won't be another typhoon which would submerge Metro Manila in deep water. I'm sort of correct because there hasn't been one but I'm also wrong because Metro Manila has experienced its worst floods to date. To rub salt to the wound, the floods are not even caused by a typhoon but rather a monsoon. The map below shows the areas affected by flood taken from the Project NOAH website of DOST


I've been seeing a lot of photos on facebook of the damage that this unnamed monsoon caused. It's scary to go out the streets. The weather is insane! All photos are not mine.
Panay Avenue, Quezon City
Roxas District, Quezon City
Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City
University of Sto. Tomas, Manila
Manila City Hall
Classes were suspended in all levels as early last night and this morning, work has been cancelled in both the public and private sector. Up to now, the rain has not stopped. It has actually been raining nonstop for 10 freaking days already. I made sure that I'd put to good use my free time by doing homework. *slow clap* I'm a nerd like that.

Backstory: We were taking up Linear Programming in my Management Science class last Saturday. I'm an engineer. I love Math. So it frustrated me so much that I was not able to get the lesson on the first pass. Come on. This should have been easy. 

Now what did I do? Kinarir ko ang lesson na ito.

I was armed with my laptop and junk food. Deadly combination. Why is it compulsory to have junk food whenever you're studying? It's as if all the MSG is contributing to the efficient functioning of the brain.

Anyway, with all the work done, I'm shifting from this

to this.

I'm still thinking if I'm going to work tomorrow. If the rain does not stop pouring, I'll probably have an extended vacation. 

Stay safe and dry Manila! God is with us through all of this.


05 August 2012

The Great Singapore Sale...Uhmmm...Purchases

Apart from sight seeing, what I was most excited about Singapore was shopping! I had 3 goals prior to leaving Manila:

1. H&M
2. Cotton On
3. Funan Digital Life Mall

I was there during the time of the Great Singapore Sale and sales were just everywhere!

Cotton On is everywhere in Singapore and I was able to visit 3 branches: Suntec City, Wisma Atria and Vivo City. My biggest victories came from Cotton On actually. I was able to get huge discounts on my purchases! I was able to get bangles and sunnies for as low as 2 SGD. How awesome is that?
Cotton On Vivo City
Cotton On Suntec City
Rubi, which is the shoe line of Cotton, On is enough reason to visit a store. My eyes sparkled when I saw this display inside the Vivo City branch.

I visited H&M on my last day and boy was I shocked to see all the people inside the store. It was madness you'd think that you're inside a wet market. That did not stop me from paying homage though. I got a bikini set for 14 SGD. Flats were selling for as low as 17 SGD. Oh H&M, how I love thee.
Excuse the haggardness. Ugh.
I also managed to get something from Sephora since we don't have that here in Manila. Now to summarize my loot in one photo.
THIS.IS.HAPPINESS

But wait there's more!

We all know that Singapore is the land of super cool gadgets. Ang jolog lang nung "super cool" LOL. But yeah you get the point. So I made sure to take advantage of the tourist tax refund and get myself... *drumroll*

The new iPad!

I got this at an Apple reseller at Funan Digital Life Mall for 598 SGD. I also got a Belkin cover at 59 SGD. My cover is so ma-orteh. Screams "This belongs to Joanna bitch!"

Of course if you're purchasing a gadget in Singapore, you have to take advantage of the tax refund. Simply ask for a form from the store you purchased from and present it at the GST counter inside the airport. For items to be checked in, the counter is outside the boarding area while for hand carried items, it's located inside. It was so hassle free I tell you. You'll just present your  item to the officer and they'll refund you of the tax amount indicated on the receipt.
GST Refund area at the airport
So now I can sing to Alanis Morisette and go "I'm broke but I'm happy."

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