My rainy, yet joyous afternoon came to a halt when I logged into my PayPal account to update a yearly subscription for Linky Tools. There wasn’t one, but two unauthorized transactions that was made on my behalf via Big Fish Games.
This came as a major surprise since I haven’t “purchased” a game since July. Further details about this below.
As you can see in the list of games above, I like playing mystery and seek and find games.
I despise gambling of any sorts, so imagine my surprise when I investigated further by going into the purchase history and seeing two transactions for Big Fish Casino BASIC and Big Fish Casino RUBY. PayPal email receipts show that these payments were made in the wee hours, 3:58 – 4AM – I was fast asleep! In fact, my whole household was asleep at that time. My husband barely gets on the computer (only checks banking account when he does), and most certainly doesn’t get into games, whether it’s on a gaming system, mobile, or online. Also, my 7 y/o son doesn’t use the computer at all! I did some online research and found out that this particular game is for iPad and mobile users (iPhone and Android) – my household doesn’t own any of the devices. I have a Windows phone, but I haven’t downloaded any gaming apps since I have never been into mobile games.
This isn’t the first time Big Fish Games has made an unauthorized transaction on my behalf. Over the summer, they charged me $6.99 out of the blue for a monthly membership (I bought a couple of inexpensive online games in the past, but not a membership!) that I never signed up for. I basically wrote it off the first time around, cancelled the monthly membership they signed me up for, and used the rest of credit for games. I have learned today that this is something they are quite known for, which is unethical business practice. However, I’m not writing this off. I can think of several things to use over $250 for, starting with bills for one! I have taken the necessary action of filing a dispute via PayPal, unlinking my PayPal account from Big Fish Games, and changing my passwords for both sites – even though my passwords weren’t run-of-the-mill passwords. However, I thought I’d give a fair warning to all in case your PayPal is linked to your Big Fish Games account , because I wouldn’t want you to wake up one morning to something like this. Hopefully, I caught my situation in time.
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Update: I’m happy to report that once I brought this to PayPal’s attention on Twitter this morning, they took immediate action and reversed the fraudulent charges (over $250!). I can’t wrap my head around why and how this happened, but I have learned a lesson from this, and that is to never link your Paypal account to a company no matter how reputable you may think they are. In fact, I’ll even be removing my payment information from Amazon, because has made me really paranoid! However, I honestly wasn’t aware that BFG had my PayPal account linked to my BFG in the first place, but they must have saved that information when I had bought a couple inexpensive online games in the past. It appears that they have a security exploit on their site or crooked employees, yet they vehemently deny this. I refuse to play any of their games in the future, especially if they cannot admit that there is a problem within their system or company.
I know that I’m not the only one that that has been victim of this criminal theft, because another person by the name of Larysa reported fraudulent charges for the same games (Big Fish Casino BASIC and Big Fish Casino RUBY), almost causing her to lose $251.98! Thankfully, PayPal was on her side.