Robbed and Hot Water
We go on to sell two lawn mowers on www.olx.bg and the same night a guy sends us a text message on Viber. He is speaking broken Bulgarian and his phone number begins with +371 which is Latvia country code. Bulgaria’s country code is +359 and so my boyfriend replies that same night, that the advert is still active.
At 12:29 am, in the middle of the night, the thief is texting us asking if it’s possible to deliver the two lawn mowers via OLX. They have a discount code. It’s the kind of delivery where the buying organises it and the product gets picked up from your house while they pay for the delivery. They send us a picture with a fake online page explaining how delivery works.
Next is a conversation about how delivery will happen. We asked what we need to do, should we send an IBAN number or bank details to receive the payment so that we can confirm it afterwards.
No communication at all, it’s as if we are speaking to someone about one thing, they are speaking to someone about another thing and a great big guessing is going on. We are saying that we have not used this delivery method before, they are saying it will be delivered to his relatives in Bulgaria. They will collect the lawn mowers from their relatives, to where the fake OLX delivery will take them.
So now, not only is this thief in Latvia, they are also coming to Bulgaria. It’s not going to be an international delivery, it will be an in-country one. We familiarised ourselves with the methods of delivery stated on the official website and still. The image that they sent us came in the middle of the night. The next day we were looking it up and we didn’t compare or contrast. We saw nothing wrong even though the dodgy feeling had started to grow.
We gave them my IBAN number and our address. Supposedly this is all one needs to send you money and to send you a delivery man to collect the goods. But no. Not in this case.
Simultaneously as we send them our IBAN number and address, still going the right way about receiving a payment, they send us a link, asking us to process the payment via OLX still.
On OLX website, we later read that they do not process payments unless it is for advertising your product on their website. It’s the same platform as craigslist for the USA and gumtree for the UK. I am sure every country has them. You can upload images with little description of something you sell. If you are buying, usually, you do a bank transfer or post office payment order or whichever way other than actually sending and receiving money from within the buying and selling platform.
They send us a link that we click and it says RECEIVE your money. It says that the buyer has already paid for the products and we can receive payment by clicking the button and providing our BANK CARD details. We typed in the long number with the expiry date and the security code on the back. We typed in the amount of money in our accounts because that was also what was asked even though I don’t have a picture of it and then there came the online 3Ds security.
Neither of us has ever made an online payment with these bank cards. We failed the security checks because we didn’t register to pay online. The thief is telling us he also received a message from OLX telling them that they can not send us the money because we are not registered for 3Ds.
Previously, they were saying that the money has been sent and we only need to receive it, now they are saying that they can’t send the money because we have no registration for online security.
I call my bank, and I get registered. I go back and fill out everything, I am receiving all the SMS confirmations, double-authentication, you name it, code after code and then VOALA.
‘You’ve just transferred 89Euros to WALLET something something.’
From having to receive 70 leva, I authorised a payment for 89 Euros which is around 200 leva which is all that I had in my account at this time. Thank God that my partner’s security was still not registered, his bank did not answer the phone. He had loads more money than me and it would have been absolutely devastating. Once we realised what happened, my partner sat still, thinking… concluding that they still have our bank card details and with those details they can make purchases everywhere as long as the 3D security isn’t needed. He whited out. Using the emergency number on the back of his card, he got it invalidated right away.
I on the other hand, wrote a dispute letter to my bank, to which they said, NO. I had gone through all three stages of security and therefore they have no right to suspect the transaction.
So that’s how we got robbed online. Easy peasy, like a piece of cake, or simply by the book. OLX outlines step by step how the online thefts happen and we were subject to each one exactly as written out here. OLX online theft.
One minute I want to take this further to the Peace-making Commission on Payment Disputes and the next minute I feel like a fool, thinking it’s done. My boyfriend says I have paid for a lesson. A lesson that teaches me how to be more careful online. But I say to myself, that this was not right, not just, and I have all the evidence to show them how we were subject to a BY-THE-BOOK-online-robbery.
Let me share with you my prayer:
Let me release my karma with this guy by forgiving him and myself. Free me from anger and resentment. You alone are my complete Source of abundance. My finances are fully wrapped in Divine Order.
P.S. hot water without a tea bag in it, just on its own, is giving us all the benefits we want before bed and first thing in the morning. It relaxes our chest, it detoxifies our trachea, it sobers us up or wakes us up and we genuinely absolutely love drinking it. If I eat sugar or too much from the bakery, and if I start to feel a little meh… hot water really helps me. It’s a new thing for me, not for my boyfriend, and I thought it’s worth talking about. Sometimes I add a slice of lemon and that makes it all the more refreshing. Cheers with hot water.