This is basically an Internet Service announcement about Skype Fraud!
Since this is a Relationships Blog, this post is about my relationship with Skype and it stinks :)
Skype fraud is really about disgruntled users.
“We Want To Refund, Unfortunately, We Can’t…” – Now that’s funny
Their forums are awash with people who have had their accounts hijacked and Skype does nothing about it except tell people to change their passwords – and keep the money used by the fraudsters!
Unlike other institutions where fraudulent activity is investigated and monies innocently lost, due to fraud, are refunded to the user, Skype’s stance is to allow their network security to be at fault and suck money from user accounts with multiple recharges and then keep the money!
Warning: If you have any Skype Recharge activated, REMOVE IT!
Here’s a screenshot of the skype fraud on my account:
None of these calls were initiated by me and I know none of the numbers called.
No Soup For You! – OK, No Skype Refunds
Here are the pathetic customer service responses to my emails.
All look to be somewhat canned replies, all lack any sort of explanation as to why they fail to refund.
It seems it’s a Skype company policy that they simply keep your money, no matter what. To me that’s plain Skype fraud, don’t you think too?
Email #1: ‘Hello Martin
Thank you for contacting Skype Customer Service.
We understand the issue you are facing with your account and we are looking forword to assisting you further.
It seems that a third party might have gained access to your account. Provided you still have access to that email account, it should be easy to stop the suspension of your Skype account.
To do this:
- Change your password again, please.
- Sign in to your account with the new password.
- Contact us again by replying to this email. Please remember to include your Skype Name in the email.
- When we receive this information, we will stop the suspension of your account.
Unfortunately, Skype is unable to refund any money that may have been lost because of this incident.
Also, if you cannot remember the email address you used when you created your Skype account and have never purchased Skype Credit or some other Skype feature, you will need to create a new Skype account
To prevent this from happening again, we urge you to check that your PC’s security systems are running properly and are up to date. This will prevent hackers from obtaining personal information such as your Skype Name and password. If your security software is missing, disabled, or not up to date, your computer is vulnerable to viruses and malware.
Also, to keep your information safe, please beware of ‘phishing’ sites, or Skype chat messages from strangers, (sometimes pretending to be from Skype) that contain links or ask you to reveal personal information, such as your password or your credit card numbers.’
On to ‘Skype Fraud’ email 2 ….
Email #2: ‘Hello Martin,
Thank you again for having provided us with the necessary information. Your account has now been unblocked.
We would like to assure you that regardless of any related inconvenience, blocking Skype accounts serves our and our users’ best interests where there is any suspicion of fraudulent activity.
Especially in cases when the account information or the account itself might be compromised, we need to make sure we implement our best practices to protect the accounts. That’s why blocking your account was a necessary step.
Should any further issues arise, please feel free to contact us again.
Rogelio E. – Skype Customer Service’
Email #3: ‘Hello Martin,
Thank you for your reply.
We understand your concern regarding your refund request. We will be glad to assist you with this.
We can see how this can be a problem.
As mentioned in our previous email, unfortunately we will not be able to issue refunds for the purchases made on your Skype account.
Should any further issues arise, please feel free to contact us again.
Danielle Louis H. – Skype Customer Service’
Email #4: ‘Hello Martin,
Thank you for your reply.
We understand your concern regarding the charges that were lost on your account due to the account takeover.
As much as we want to refund the lost Skype Credits back to your account, unfortunately we cannot refund it for you. We advise that you should take care of the security of your account information so that it will no longer happen again.
Here are a few tips to help you to keep your Skype account secure:
- If you notice suspicious behavior on your account or you think someone else might have your details:
- Change your password. To do this, sign in to Skype. Then, from the main menu, click Skype > Change Password and follow the instructions in the window.
- Start a complete virus check, covering all the files and folders on your computer.
- If you sign in to Skype on a computer that is not your own, quit Skype when you have finished to make sure you have completely closed your session. To do this, right-click the Skype icon in the system tray displayed in the bottom right of the screen, and select Quit.
- Disable the automatic login feature on Skype. To do this, from the Skype main menu, select Skype > Sign Out. In the window that appears, remove the tick from Sign me in when Skype starts.
Once again please accept our sincerest apologies, and we thank you for your patience and understanding.
John Michael A. – Skype Customer Service’
I love the false sense of concern they try to give and then a flat-out and repeated statement that they’re not refunding and all through this, not one shred of explaination as to why they’re simply keeping my money – bizarre!
So the Bottom Line on Any Skype Fraud?
- Never use their automatic login feature, never use Skype auto-charge
- Any fraud will be entirely your fault
- Any Skype network hacks will also be your fault
- The user is always the one at fault so they never have any obligation to refund and therefore can keep your money.
This has been a deplorable experience in customer support with zero understanding and no explanation whatsoever.
Skype is greedy money grabbing corporation.
It’s a great pity how some beloved start-ups can turn evil due to success.
Comments welcome below – go ahead and write some words.
10 thoughts on “The Big Skype Fraud – Be Very Concerned”
You're absolutely right, I had the same experience. And the police aren't particularly interested either. It falls in-between too many different areas they don't know about like digital fraud.
I can't understand why they don't try to find out how these things happen.
The problem is that the moment you start creating accounts for people to put money in you're acting like a bank. But without bank safety culture.
Yeah, I’ve simply removed ALL credit card details as well as making sure there aren’t any renew options in place too.
I still need to use Skype but maintain only calls via Skype to Skype. Did I mention that they suck? :)
I have uncovered another scam from Skype.
They charge for unconnected calls.Over a 1 year period they charged me 6 times for unconnected calls.
The amounts were small but if you multiply it by the thousands of customer sthey have, then it's a hugh rip-off.
Most people do not even complain because of all the bother it is.
I have been refunded for my unconnected calls but many will not not.
Hi and welcome Eugene.
Yeah, companies with massive 'lock in' capability such as Skype rarely think of customers as customers. They're a number and a source of revenue and it's often the case that their so-called customer service teams are just 'slice and dice' people i.e. get the job queue down in numbers and in the least possible time. That doesn't lend itself to proper service and problem resolution.
I've disabled and removed all credit card details from Skype. Best you at least ensure that credit card Top-Up and ReSubscribe facilities are disabled, at the very least. It's so easy for these guys to pillage your credit card and once done, it becomes difficult to get that reimbursement.
I don't see their methods changing anytime soon either, now that they're owned by Microsoft. One big fish swallowing up another – that can't be good.
My recent post Review: For Women Only – Inner Lives Of Men
This kind of no-refund policy is ripe for a class-action suit. Especially since Skype makes it very easy to accidentally enable not only auto-recharge, but keep-card-info as well. They always enable the checkbox by default and re-enable it if you mistype something, even if you previously specifically disabled it during the same session.
Thanks for the comment, Flix and welcome.
Yeah, Skype is really bad news. Crap customer service and this sort of no-refund behaviour due to their own insecure network seems to be on the rise.
It's like Corporate land was like 10 years ago before the Social Revolution – I guess that's why Corporate Microsoft bought them, huh?
Thanks for alerting your experience – we are also faced with the fraud activity.
Keeping in mind that Skype is owned by Microsoft and this kind of response from Skype also damages our confidence in Microsoft.
We have removed paid services from our Microsoft Skype account and referred this to our bank.
Thanks for the visit and the comment.
I'm with you on the removal of all credits – make sure you also ensure you have any automatic credit card renewals disabled as well. Things like their special services are normally renewed yearly so I also deleted all those, just to make sure none of my credit card details were kept by Skype (now Microsoft).
Best of luck with your endevours in getting monies refunded or cancelled by the bank.
Exactly the same thing happened to me. And the same responses. Even from the same, hapless "Rogelio E". Except I did it with the online chat facility, and it took me 45 minutes. Skype f***ing twats… here I go to different VOIP provider!
Thanks for your comments, NG
The thing for me is Skype is used by the vast majority of my contacts which essentially forces me into retaining Skype as a communication channel. That said, I've ensured I've removed all credit card information from Skype and will only be keeping it for non-pay-for calls.
How are you dealing with the fact that Skype is a monopoly in so far as it's market share of users (which your own contacts are probably using and will still use) and what are the alternatives you're looking at, in place of Skype?