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.