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Have You Experienced Credit Card Fraud After Buying at Rakuten?

Updated
Update: It has come to our attention that many of our readers have requested that we stop listing Rakuten deals. While we understand the concern that this security breach brings, we will continue to list sales from this merchant because, unfortunately, credit card breaches can happen to any number of retailers, and Rakuten has seemingly made great efforts to remedy this situation. If you have additional reservations about security while shopping at Rakuten, please read the company's official response.

Moreover, we ask all of our readers to inform us immediately about further unauthorized or illegal charges in the event of a security breach, either via the comments section below or our complaints form. We will review all complaints and take appropriate action when needed.


If you've bought anything from Rakuten — formerly Buy.com — in the past few months, you'll want to check your credit card statement.

Based in Japan, Rakuten bought U.S.-based Buy.com in 2010. The site wasn't officially rebranded until the beginning of this year, and it's already wrapped up in some pretty serious allegations. Complaints have surfaced across the Internet from customers claiming they were victims of credit card fraud after making purchases from Rakuten. In some cases, customers had fraudulent charges placed on the credit card they used to checkout on Rakuten. In other cases, customers' personal information was used to open new accounts with other online vendors.

Eventually the story moved on from the message boards, as disgruntled former customers formed the website Rakuten Fraud, which posts updates on the situation and asks other customers to share their personal stories. Fortunately these efforts culminated in eight police investigations last week in New Jersey and New York.

The only link between these cases is that all of the victims had made a purchase on Rakuten. The Bogota Police Department told NorthJersey.com, "The victims' names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and credit card information were used to open accounts at online equipment suppliers." Additionally, several thousand dollars in purchases were also made at five online stores, and totaled around $10,000.

So far, Rakuten has remained mostly silent about the problem. The Consumerist says the company reached out to consumers on Facebook, asking them to call in if they thought there was a problem, but hasn't offered any help beyond that yet.

Interestingly though, our records indicate that we haven't received any complaints about Rakuten or Buy.com since October 2012. We keep an open dialogue with our readers so that they can let us know when any vendors act in a fraudulent, unjust, or outright "scammy" way. But despite the swirling allegations around Rakuten, we haven't heard a peep of negativity. We're here to checkin again though: Have you had run-ins with credit card theft and fraud after buying from Rakuten? Let us know in the comments.


Contributing Writer

Angela Colley has covered everything from money saving technology to how the Mayans might affect your savings. She’s appeared on publications like MainStreet and MSN Money. You can follow her on Twitter @angelancolley.
Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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31 comments
brent21
1300 in fraudulent charges 2 or 3 days after ordering from rakuten. Joined this site just to post that. Still happening. 3/22/14
Creditcardbuilders
No, I have never gone through with such type of experience but my friend has faced this problem, he had call form a fake credit card company which took all his credit card details and he was in big trouble. He gave this information to the police but its too late and he lost his $40000.
angelikwebdesigns
I ordered merchandise on July 29th as of August 9th Rakuten still refuses to cancel the order internally since their advertised seller is completely unreachable. Item advertised was just shy of $700.00 and advertised shipping of 1 to 2 business days. All anyone on a daily basis tells me from Rakuten is that they need one more day, their specialist is working on it, just one more day. I've lost customers due to not being able to meet deadlines and thats caused damage to my reputation as a business. They simply refuse to cancel the order so that my bank can issue a refund! Its FRAUD! you advertised an item, I purchased item, never received item, requested cancellation and refund... now a week later.... they just need one more day! over and over again! its all I hear!
atariguy
A ha! I was wondering which website my Paypal debit card # had been stolen from. I ordered some things from Rakuten on March 26 and the fraudulent charges started on April 11, many of them to companies in foreign countries. Fortunately, the credit card company that I was using as my Paypal backup funding source caught on quick. However, Paypal themselves were not so easy to work with. It's finally been resolved, but was a major hassle.
marvey
I had several fraudulent charges show up on one of my cards after making a purchase there. I hadn't used this particular card for anything other than my regular subscription services for many months, until a single order from Rakuten. Sure enough, a couple of weeks later, my card company called me about miscellaneous, out-of-state charges that amounted to more than $5,000.
Ladylurksalot
I had a fraudulent credit charge show on my credit card after purchasing from Rakuten in April of 2013. The charge was from Sears and was for over $300. Sears traced the order to a town in California I had never visited, and the product was signed for by a name of which I had never heard. I was advised to close the account, which I did. The charge is currently under investigation .
anup_c_21
yes. I am a victim. IT was a new card and used only at rakuten.com for online shopping. After two weeks since I made shopping , there was two fraud charges (one for 9.25 and 711$) originated from overseas with foreign transaction fees. Closed the cards. will never buy anything from rakuten.com
tewa999
Two weeks after using my credit card on Rakuten, several fraudelent charges were made on Dell and Netflix to a North Carolina address. Interestingly, Netflix caught the scam quickly, but Dell shipped two items ($700+) before they got wise. I also removed any card information from Rakuten although I canceled the card.
skross
I had fraulent charges of over $1400 in Nov 2011 and had to close the account and get a new card and number issued. That card was registerd on buy.com. I removed that card and all others from rakuten.com. Thank you for keeping consumers abreast of security issues.
song7seas
I had fraudulent charge 2 days after a purchase at Rakuten (soled by buy.com). Fortunately my amex caught it before more damage was made. I didn't use my amex on any non-regular payments in the previous month so I pretty much believe this transaction is the cause of it. It's my first time to shop at Rakuten and is my last time too.
dmagnuss
I also recently had a fraudulent charge on my Discover card. I also had recently used it at Rakuten. Don't know if those two events are related, but I suppose it's possible. I hope that the perpetrator is caught an punished.
kjphotog
Great you're listening. So, after reading the posts below, why would Dealnews continue promoting a less than stellar vendor?
jtiberiusk
Paypal is always a better choice until of course they get hacked but I trust them and now am glad I use them.
bilboBagit
Doesn't Rakuten/Buy also list items from "marketplace" type sellers, like a lot of major companies do now - Amazon, Newegg, Walmart, etc? Because Rakuten/Buy sells items themselves but also sell items on behalf of outside sellers, I'm wondering if it's just the sales for outside sellers that lead to fraud charges vs actual Rakuten/Buy direct sales? If so, why don't they just handle the money collection on the Rakuten/Buy side instead of passing all payment info to the outside seller?

Just wondering here..... Any shady seller can sign up as an outside seller on a site and try to fraud people depending on how payment is handled. Rakuten/Buy needs to step up security or else the brand will be tarnished forever. Way to tank your new investment, Rakuten
enerbunny
I have made several purchases from rakuten.com and I have used more than one credit card for the purchases. These cards have not had any fraudulent charges.
frewgul
Thanks for the tipoff! I checked my pending charges on my AMEX and discovered a charge that's not mine.I made two purchases through Rakuten in the last few days, tried using V.me by Visa but that failed both times. When resubmitting the orders I had no choice but to input a card number. Data point- Newegg has cost me at least three numbers on that same card! The issuer called them 'high risk', I'll put Rakuten into that category also.
setherby
It all makes sense now. Not too long after making a purchase on Rakuten.com I had a $6000 charge on my AMEX from Grainger. AMEX took care of it; and I wasn't sure where the leak was.
DD-Rev
Happened to me too. It was with one of my new (unused) credit cards. Made a Rakuten purchase. Ten days later, the fraud charges starting to arrive. They also somehow were successful at getting a credit report on me using my own credit card for the service. I'm shocked that they were able to do that. Bad verification tools at that credit company, if all they need was name, phone, address and a valid credit card number. Now, I had to signup for credit monitoring for awhile at almost $20 each month; all for saving $12 on a Rakuten purchase. I have never had a bad credit card transaction in my 10 or 15 years of online shopping. I never thought it would happen at a bigger company. Something is definitely wrong with either their privacy technology or inside people.
quan1114
Yea, it happened to me last month after buying something from Rakuten. A few weeks after my purchase, I had 2K in unauthorized charges on my Sapphire. Chase resolved the issue for me. Never buying from Rakuten again. Will use PayPal from now on.
Schulaa
I had fraudulent charges on my card number from Walmart.com shortly after a purchase from Rakuten. I wasn't sure which website was the source of the fraud but after reading this post I figured it out. The credit card company did not let the charges go through, flagged it as fraudulent, suspended my card and then reissued the card. That was nice of them, but a huge pain since I used that card for a lot of my expenses. I then forgot my monthly gym membership billed to that card and I was slapped with a in-sufficient funds fee from the gym. That was nice.

As the other posters suggested I start using PayPal for added protection and Rakutens newsletter is a nuisance.
Schulaa
I had fraudulent charges on my card number from Walmart.com shortly after a purchase from Rakuten. I wasn't sure which website was the source of the fraud but after reading this post I figured it out. The credit card company did not let the charges go through, flagged it as fraudulent, suspended my card and then reissued the card. That was nice of them, but a huge pain since I used that card for a lot of my expenses. I then forgot my monthly gym membership billed to that card and I was slapped with a in-sufficient funds fee from the gym. That was nice.

As the other posters suggested I start using PayPal for added protection and Rakuten's newsletter is a nuisance.
Twig
Since I don't tweet or FB this post explains a lot. Thanks Dealnews.
caffhuang
""The victims' names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and credit card information were used to open accounts at online equipment suppliers." " -- How come Rakuten get customer's Social Security Numbers? When customer apply new credit card from link of Rakuten?
AmazinglySmooth
I recently had my card number used at Match.com. AMEX blocked it, but I had to switch cards. I recently bought something from buy.com, which I never really use anymore.
snorri13
I have ordered around $12,000 worth of items over 42 orders in the past 3 months and have had 0 fraudulent charges. I used an AMEX for work and a Visa for personal orders. I guess I am just lucky or perhaps not doing something the other users are...? I do sit behind a strong firewall at work and I use a private VPN at home so my traffic can not be monitored.

I will continue buying stuff at Rakuten as long as their prices stay the best and their service is speedy. When I use the free shipping I always get my stuff in 2 days as opposed to the 4-14 it says on the site.
markg731
I stopped buying from Buy.com, now Rakuten, because of trust issues. More than once, I ordered NEW items that were NOT new when received. Among the items were video games that were re-surfaced, repackaged and sold as new, a computer monitor with dead pixels that was clearly an open box item and not new, a tablet computer advertised as newer model (including the photos AND description), but was actually an earlier model when I received it, etc. I was able to return these items and get my money back most of the time, but it was a hassle and not worth any potential savings. There are many other reputable places to shop online, so I've crossed Buy.com/Rakuten off my list. After reading this story, I am glad I did.
Janonymouse
I have experienced my share of issues with Buy.com and Rakuten.com as well as others. Thankfully I used PayPal.
Why does Dealnews.com still list their promotions?
Can Dealnews.com please identify foreign sellers so customers will use the added security if needed?
lostintime
I stopped using Rakuten once they started auto-subscribing me to their newsletter after every purchase. And any tech company that claims it will take "up to 7 days" to unsubscribe me from an e-mail mailing list doesn't seem worthy of my business.
frcecchi
Thanks loads for the info. yes I bought and Yes I"ll check
pwayboy
Despite multiple requests, Rakuten will not unsubscribe me from their daily scams/spams. Now this.

I will never do business again no matter how good the deal.
midwave
use PAYPAL for added security!
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