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E is for e.starbucks.com – or Epic Fail, Depending on How You Look at It

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Remember a little while ago, I mentioned the end of my love affair with Starbucks over a little heartbreak we like to call “hacking”?  Someone got into my Starbucks account and began charging Starbucks gift cards to the tune of $100 a pop.  Not that I can blame them, of course, as I myself suffer from an addiction, but as bad as I think I am, I’m not turning tricks on a street corner in exchange for sugar free cinnamon dolce lattes.  Nor am I hacking accounts to get my fix.

We were compensated for our inconvenience in the amount of a $25 Starbucks gift card- and although I don’t know the going rate for hours on the phone with our credit card companies and Starbucks themselves,  $25 seemed like a nice gesture, and we bought back into the security of our card, with the one added security feature on our part that we didn’t reload the card ourselves using the iPhone app, we instead gave the money and a physical card to a barista to reload at the register.


Epic Fail.

Part 2 of the hacking was detected Thursday night, when we were charged multiple Starbucks charges of $50 each for the purchase of e-gifts.  Jim got on the phone immediately, Starbucks offered another bit of compensation for the inconvenience, and the world continues to revolve, with the one big exception that we are now never going to use our Starbucks iPhone app again.

This comes just as I get an email from “e.starbucks.com” offering me a bonus – if I click the link to reload my Starbucks card using my VISA, they will give me an extra $5 if I load $10 and an extra $20 if I load $40.  I would not have thought twice about doing it before, but if I try to go to e.starbucks.com, it comes up as an invalid address.

Things that make you go hmmmmm…..

End of a Beautiful Love Affair – Sorry, Starbucks


What’s a girl to do?  Devastating betrayal.  Sneaky, behind my back antics.  Dare I say it – cheating?

Where did things go wrong?

It’s not me – it’s them.

So late last night, just as insomnia was losing to OHMYGODI’MTIRED, my husband comes hurriedly into the bedroom on his phone and asks if I’ve reloaded my Starbucks card.  Unless I’ve done some sleep reloading, no, I haven’t; but just to be on the safe side, I pull my phone over and check my Starbucks card balance on my iPhone app.  Nope – no changes at all.

A normal person would have wondered why my husband was checking Starbucks card balances at midnight, but with my feet all warm and snuggly underneath a sleeping cat, and my pillows sufficiently cooled off from the few minutes I sat up to check my card balances, I drift back off to sleep.

This morning, I roll over and see my husband, who would normally be snoring, staring at me.

“Someone charged $400 on our credit card through our Starbucks card.”

Wait, did he just say he bought me a $400 Starbucks card?  Dude is so going to have a happy anniversary weekend!

Oh, wait, no.  No one’s getting lucky.

Someone hacked into our Starbucks account, and reloaded one of our Starbucks cards with four $100 charges.  Then, the money was transferred off of our Starbucks card to an unknown Starbucks card (well, unknown to us).

Thank goodness my husband gets notified immediately when a charge hits our bank account.  He was able to call Starbucks, and while there wasn’t anyone in the security office to help us, they took all of our information to have someone handle it as soon as they came into work this morning.  He then called our bank, and they immediately cancelled our bank cards; cancelled three of the $400 charges, assuming they were duplicates made in error, and promised to follow up with the last $100 as soon as we got more information from Starbucks.

Starbucks called us back early this afternoon, and they also took aggressive steps to rectify the situation.  They were able to cancel the card that was on the receiving end of our balance transfer, reversed the charges made on our credit card, and even put back on our card the small balance that we did have on there that was stolen in the balance transfer to the stolen card.

I did a quick internet search, and I found quite a few cards available on eBay in the $400 range – some with the exact wording but different sellers.  I also found articles online about a possible security breach detected with the iPhone app that was supposed to be an issue only if your cellphone was stolen.

Just be really careful and monitor your Starbucks cards – especially if your card is automatically reloaded.  And please don’t buy your Starbucks gift cards from eBay – get them at Starbucks.  If something seems too good to be true – like $80 worth of free Starbucks – it probably is.

It’s scary.  You feel violated, unsafe, and worried.

Let’s just hope I can pick up the pieces and move on.  If you see me buying WaWa coffee, you’ll know the pain was just too much.