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Author Topic: Did anyone receive an email about removing some roaylties due to buyers fraud?  (Read 18654 times)

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« Reply #100 on: February 03, 2011, 11:40 »
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I keep expecting some p*ssed off anonymous contributor/employee to step up and take credit for this.  The timing of the event was a perfect coincidence wasn't it?  Total discourse among the artists.  Closed for the holidays.  Focussed attack on the crown jewel (Vetta) with the rest of us collateral damage?

In my fantasy world, of course he will state "don't worry, I just did it to piss them off.  I've destroyed your files already".


« Reply #101 on: February 03, 2011, 12:09 »
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So sorry to hear about the size and spread of losses  :o

What concerns me more than the immediate financial loss is where and how these stolen Images will be used

Can IS really now guarantee that certain Images are Exclusive to them? they could turn up anywhere

Contributers and Customers confidence will both be hit by this
« Last Edit: February 03, 2011, 12:16 by iclick »

« Reply #102 on: February 03, 2011, 12:32 »
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From the thread below, we can read of credit card crime at iStock since at least Feb 2009. (sic)
http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-403-265-3062


I note that 3 posters on that thread are complaining about multiple deductions of $1540; two people had 5 deductions of that amount and one had 10 deductions.

I am staggered at both the scale and apparent crude nature of this scam ... but even more that Istockphoto's systems weren't able to detect it (it was us who told them), block it or even halt it in a reasonable timescale. The scammers seem to have found Istockphoto's security particularly simple to crack and fill their pockets.

Judging by the reports from contributors on the amounts of their deductions the total value of the goods stolen must have been well over $100K. Sean's deduction alone for example actually represented goods to the value of $8500. More likely the scam was for $250K+++.

Truly unbelievable.

« Reply #103 on: February 03, 2011, 12:34 »
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My sympathy to those who had major losses.  I had only a single file affected and one part of me was thinking, woohoo some pirate out there thinks that my file is valuable!

(edit - I didn't notice my balance going down by the amount stated in the email however)

My main regret is that IS appeared to be somewhat slow to recognize the fraud, and then responded to the attack with ill-considered countermeasures.

Speaking of ill-considered site changes, am I mistaken or is the sidebar containing "My Uploads" and other links coming and going from the contributor page randomly from day to day?

« Reply #104 on: February 03, 2011, 13:00 »
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What I don't understand is why anyone would need that many images. You can't legally resell them. Sooner than later this things get found out.
So what then - are they making a giant collage?...
We sure need more information on this. Was it one person or several? Credit cards to have limits on them, and it seems like A LOT of money has been "fraudulently" spent.
Without the information, I might as well assume that iStock is just collecting money from us for the year-end bonuses to it's executives.
But then, I am prone to conspiracy theories:)

« Reply #105 on: February 03, 2011, 13:25 »
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Right on Elena! Why would someone or a gang as suggested earlier- steal so many images and what for? To try to resell them at their local pawnshop (to buy crack probably) or from the back of a truck in New York City? Publishing these photos or using them to start a new stock agency would be the fastest way for them to get caught, and thats about the only thing these photos are good for. Theres something else going on here: revenge by a disgruntled former employee? Alien startup microstock agency on planet Melmac?
Its just plain bizarre. It doesnt make sense

« Reply #106 on: February 03, 2011, 13:29 »
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I am not getting this. How this is different from other fraudulent transactions? Stolen credit card used to buy goods. When card company gets notified it usually refund money to owner of the card. So this side is settled. Then they issue charge back to store. Big stores usually give them money back but they do not ask supplier of the goods to give them money back. Maybe if suppliers are not getting money immediately store can somehow subtract losses from from their to-be paid money. I guess the only way to avoid this by supplier is to walk away from the store who does it too often which mean they do not have proper security measures in place.

« Reply #107 on: February 03, 2011, 13:31 »
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What I don't understand is why anyone would need that many images. You can't legally resell them. Sooner than later this things get found out.
So what then - are they making a giant collage?...
We sure need more information on this. Was it one person or several? Credit cards to have limits on them, and it seems like A LOT of money has been "fraudulently" spent.
Without the information, I might as well assume that iStock is just collecting money from us for the year-end bonuses to it's executives.
But then, I am prone to conspiracy theories:)

I think this is pretty much a no-brainer:

Either one person or a group of scammers who had access to stolen credit card information is behind this. I'm quite sure it was one coordinated attack.
They downloaded somewhat randomly various image sizes and even ELs to stay under the radar for as long as possible.

To me it appears to be an attack on iStock itself and not to actually get the images.

Although, there is the high likeliness of these (mine included) popping up on various file sharing sites sooner or later (depending on the ethics of the scammers).

Just the fact that they also downloaded ELs and random sizes it doesn't look like that they want the content to be redistributed somewhere else. It looks more like a distinct attack against iStock, whether it's the ethics of iStock they're not agreeing with or other reasons.

Someone majorly pulled iStock's pants down with this one. All their bragging about how much money they pay out on a weekly basis and all the goals that they achieved and surpassed were not enough to take a fraction and insure the very heart of the operation. Not to mention to feel the responsibility for their exclusive contributors whom they owe additional attention and protection of copyright.

I cannot believe, a company run by such a bunch of monkeys getting so incredibly successful. Can't wrap my head around that...
« Last Edit: February 03, 2011, 13:33 by click_click »

helix7

« Reply #108 on: February 03, 2011, 13:49 »
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...Someone majorly pulled iStock's pants down with this one...


This implies that istock generally wears pants. Lately, they seem more like the oblivious old man who stands in the front window of his house naked waving at the neighbors, blissfully unaware of what they are actually doing.

« Reply #109 on: February 03, 2011, 13:58 »
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Someone majorly pulled iStock's pants down with this one. All their bragging about how much money they pay out on a weekly basis and all the goals that they achieved and surpassed were not enough to take a fraction and insure the very heart of the operation. Not to mention to feel the responsibility for their exclusive contributors whom they owe additional attention and protection of copyright.

I cannot believe, a company run by such a bunch of monkeys getting so incredibly successful. Can't wrap my head around that...

The phrase "a rising tide lifts all boats" comes to mind. I wouldn't be so certain of Istock's future success now that the market appears to have peaked.

It used to be said that the average 'lifespan' of a business was about 40 years __ before complacency, arrogance, greed, technology or stupidity eventually kills off a once-successful model. In the internet age it would be surprising if that average lifespan did not contract significantly.

« Reply #110 on: February 03, 2011, 14:15 »
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To me it appears to be an attack on iStock itself and not to actually get the images.

Well ya since it's hard to imagine why would someone need thousands of random sized images given they have an authorized use of credit card(s) with very high credit limits. Why these people didn't go and spend these money on something they can actually re-sell? Like TVs or computers or crap like that.
So It HAS to be something else. Attack on iStock? - but then I don't understand what Istock really lost here. They deducted money from us automatically even before notifying us by their strangely written email. Us bitching and moaning on the forums they don't care about, never did.
If this was an attack, all it achieved was a little bit of extra work for iStock employees writing those emails and tracking fraudulent purchases... which I am sure is automated.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2011, 14:17 by Elenathewise »

« Reply #111 on: February 03, 2011, 14:17 »
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ya me too
Im just wondering about the people who got paid (and the check or paypal) cleared already, does is try to get $$$ back from them some how?

i dont upload to is any longer (and have not for quite a long time)
just waiting to get paid out
hopefully some day soon

« Reply #112 on: February 03, 2011, 15:23 »
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So It HAS to be something else. Attack on iStock? - but then I don't understand what Istock really lost here.

This has always been my guess, given the high numbers involved, and at least from the first reports apparently targetting more the Vetta images and exclusives (unless I am wrong). If they're paying back the people whose cards were cloned, they are losing their share of sales, and above all all this turmoil harmed their credibility (if any remained) among contributors.

It is surprising that such a high volume of transactions passes unnoticed.

« Reply #113 on: February 03, 2011, 18:08 »
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.

Although, there is the high likeliness of these (mine included) popping up on various file sharing sites sooner or later (depending on the ethics of the scammers).

Depending on the ethics of the scammers?  That's the funniest thing I've read all day. Thanks!!

« Reply #114 on: February 03, 2011, 18:19 »
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.

Although, there is the high likeliness of these (mine included) popping up on various file sharing sites sooner or later (depending on the ethics of the scammers).

Depending on the ethics of the scammers?  That's the funniest thing I've read all day. Thanks!!

Darn, I didn't even try to be funny. Maybe that's why it was so funny - maybe I'm just ignorant.

What I mean is that old school hackers would find security holes but not cause damage. If there was intent to hurt iStock (reputation-wise) they obviously did that successfully.
However, since it's not the contributor's fault that iStock is handling CC transactions so loosely the "honest" hacker might as well delete the images.

I think by now I have everyone laughing at this...  :D

Like I said, let's keep an eye on the file sharing sites and see when Vetta images show up.

« Reply #115 on: February 11, 2011, 17:05 »
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Uh oh!  According to one of our own - this doesn't look good at all!

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=299222&messageid=5831392

"I just received a CR reply to a ticket I opened (on or around 1/12) questioning a weird per credit price on a bunch of images I suspected were fraudulent. The reply said that they were on one of the fraudulent accounts, so I would suspect there will be another email coming."

dbvirago

« Reply #116 on: February 11, 2011, 18:57 »
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any lawyers out there?  class action lawsuit? 

Do you recall paragraphs 13a, 14b, and 15c and d of the agreement you signed when you joined up?

Didn't think so


 

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