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Please Read If You Have a Google Account

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Good morning, Lovelies!  I did not mean to take a blog break.  Nope!  Not me….
….but I was hacked. 

Let me explain, and give you a little background.

Most of you have heard of the hackers who attacked several retailers during the holidays and compromised the security of millions of shoppers' accounts.

When we were on our way to New Orleans after Christmas, Mr. Art @ Home tried using one of his credit cards to pay for gas in Tuscaloosa.  The card was declined, and when he called his credit card company customer service told him that there was some suspicious activity in Alexandria, Virginia on his card, so they had canceled his card and were sending him another one to our home.  Not very convenient as we were traveling, but fortunately I had one of mine to use on our trip.

We believe that the card was compromised because he had bought me some goodies at Neiman Marcus in Atlanta in the store (not online) during the holidays.

When Shanley Belle returned to Tuscaloosa from New Orleans for the new semester and attempted to use her credit card to buy books, her debit card was declined.

Shanley Belle had used her debit card at Target during the holidays.  :/

I was so smug.  I write checks for virtually everything, and although I had made some charges to Neiman Marcus during Christmas, they were online charges which were secure.  I truly hate using credit cards, and we usually only use them when we're traveling.  I've always believed that they're from satan.

This week I was knocked off my high horse pretty darn quickly when I received my Visa bill.  Some gamer in Atlanta had charged online games to my account.  The point of access was through my gmail account via online Christmas purchases.

I was hacked, they knew my password, and they accessed my gmail account several times in Atlanta via an iPhone.  I haven't been to Atlanta since early October.

It has taken virtually all my free time this week to finally get people on the phone at the gaming website.  Plus I was trying to get Visa NOT to send me another card because I don't want to re-set so many of my online shopping accounts, like Amazon.  So I had to request to challenge the charges.  So far, the gaming site has credited me one dollar.  Yep, a measly dollar (out of $39).  But what had me worried is that the kids were just getting started.  :/

I reset my Google password, and I've decided that I will check it daily to make sure no one is accessing my Google account from a remote location.

Here's how you can do the same:

Go to:

Next, you'll notice four rectangles.  Look at the upper right hand rectangle entitled Recent Activity and click View All Events that's written in blue.  This will show you all activity on your Google accounts and the locations and dates for each activity.  That's when I found that someone was accessing my Google accounts in Atlanta.

I'm also considering a more secure email, like, and investing in Life Lock.

Were you one of the millions of Americans hacked during Christmas?

I plan to return to blogging tomorrow with a Literary Friday post.  It has been a busy week, with riding make-up lessons, and I'm afraid we'll have more next week as the temperatures drop.  It's not good for the horses to work them in this cold weather.

Until next time…

Ricki Jill


  1. Thanks for telling us this. I had no idea about checking my account like this. Thank You so much and so sorry that you had to go through this.

  2. I am so sorry that this happened to you. I just went to my account and there was suspicious activity!! I just changed my password. Thanks for this valuable information.

  3. How awful! My debit card was cancelled by the bank because it was "compromised". It would be wonderful if you were told prior to making a purchase. I received my new card just a day before our vacation, which is good because Todd's wallet was stolen while we were on that vacation and I had the only access to funds to get us home. Challenging is not a fun job, and very frustrating. Another time my ex and I had two boxes of checks stolen in the mail. We had to challenge over 400 checks. What is so frustrating, you are not considered the victim. Yeah, that's right YOU are not even though it is your credit. The victim according to the law is the retailers. You just have to go through the mess to clear it up. Just sickening.

    I will have to check my Google Account. Thanks for the advice.

    HUGS from IOWA

  4. -sighhhhh- So sorry you all had to have any of this happen. Grrrrrr.... The Brave New World we all live in, hu? Yeah... Not!

    Grrrr-rrrrrrr... I hate credit cards too. But everyone sort of "has" to have one.

    Shows we have to check our statements.

    -repeat sigh-


  5. Oh, RJ! I'm so sorry this has happened! It's scary how easily someone can do this. Our identity was stolen a few years ago and it was a mess. I didn't know that about Google and the checking. Thank you for that. I checked and I'm okay. Hope this gets resolved quickly. I know you changed you password.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  6. So sorry this has happened to you RJ! Thanks for the glad to know there is a way to check!

  7. Oh goodness, I live in fear of this! I shop online mostly and I know it makes us very vulnerable. Thank goodness they didn't charge thousands to your accounts. Thank you for the Google information.

  8. So sorry to hear this .. I will check mine! Take care Ricki..

  9. The people that do this are rotten! I'm so sorry. I hope you get reimbursed.

    I need to get some of those tools to. I need to check the g-mail. Lately I've been going crazy trying to remember passwords, now I know why they keep saying I need to change them. They have a problem!

    My sister's card was hacked at Target.

  10. Thanks for the tip on how to check our google activity.

    We are aware of the Target hacking and Steve is checking the account regularly.

    I wasn't able to find a copy of Daphne's Diary, but I just e-mailed my sister in London and asked her to look for me. She is coming home for a week in early February and will try to bring me a copy.

  11. I don't like that google plus thing at all. I have tried to block any and everything others can see but I probably haven't. Thanks for this link. When I checked there were three occasions that I did not log in from Huntsville! -- I have not been there in years. Naturally I changed the PW so thanks for the heads up. We do check any and all accounts every day. My husband is adamant about it.

  12. So, so sorry that this happened to you doll. It is such a violation.

  13. That is so terrible! I am sorry to hear it and hope everything gets resolved quickly!

  14. RJ,
    These stories scare me. I fear that it's only going to get worse as people figure out how to hack/scam/steal this information. A gentleman I work with had all of his credit/debit cards compromised by (apparently) one of those scanners where you don't even know your wallet is being scanned. It was a nightmare and the thieves were pros. The bank said the thieves had created cards from the numbers. Thanks for the step by step instructions on how to check a gmail account.

  15. That is just awful! Hope it is all resolved soon.

  16. UGH! I was hoping your online troubles got left in glad you are on this, but appreciate the headache it must be causing. :(

  17. I'm sorry this happened to you, Ricki. I'm glad you shared it though. I'm going over to google now. We were hacked @ Target. Thankfully, our bank was on top of it!

  18. My credit card account was hacked into last year. It was such an ordeal to prove that I wasn't using my visa to buy pop from a vending machine in Toronto Ontario!!
    I am sooo sorry this happened to you.

  19. It's so frustrating, especially when we have better things we can be doing with our time. Thanks for the info, and sorry you had a mess on your hands.

  20. Maybe it is worth purchasing LifeLock or other identity theft protection I have heard advertised on the radio ?????

  21. Ugh, that really sucks! Thanks for the info though, It is really good to know!

  22. Wow, I'm glad I ignored the e-mails that kept coming allegedly from you. They didn't make any sense. Kept saying that you couldn't see my picture on my google account and wanted me to sign on and check it. I could my picture right there and I couldn't imagine that you would care whether you could see my picture so I figured it was some kind of glitch and ignored it. Must have been the hackers. Thanks for your tips - I've checked and I'm fine. J

  23. I'm so sorry your entire family was hit. :(
    Target sent me the customary "your account may have been comprised" email, but honestly, many many years ago, my info was stolen from San Diego State University, so I'm assuming identity theft is just a breath away. That's very good to know about Google- I did not know you could check that! Mine shows "S...S" with no location, so I don't know what that means....but I'll keep an eye on it!
    Best of luck!

  24. Oh what a hassle.hopefully it's behind you. Thanks for the tip. I just checked and I'm ok. Thanks for all of your visits RJ.

  25. So sorry to hear of your troubles, Ricki Jill. So scary and such a hassle! Glad you are getting everything resolved and back to normal. I did make it to Alabama during the holidays, but was running around with family the whole time. I'll have to try and get back for some antiquing soon!

  26. So sorry this happened to you; I can't imagine what a pain it must be to try to straighten things out. Thank you for the tip, though! I am resetting my passwords and checking daily, too. I have noticed that someone hacked into my internet via my router because I've been getting copyright infringement notices saying someone at MY ip address has been uploading music and movies (this was my own laptopn, not my son's, and none of us have ANY of the crap we were notified about, and Mediacom acts like they can't find out what's happening. It's a major annoyance.


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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