Wet Seal: Identity Theft & Fraud Risk
Placed an order online w/ Wet Seal that came to about $650. Selected overnight delivery, and for payment used PayPal since this was my first time using the company and I didn't know anything about them.
Next day, there's an email saying that the order is on hold and to call them. After the usual drag placed on hold, one of their service reps says that the order is unusually large (I frequently make online purchases double or triple the $650 of this order) and so they need to verify my identify w/ the bank. .
Now, whole reason for using PayPal is that you *don't* want to share your identity and financial information w/ a seller. So I ask to speak w/ a supervisor. They don't arrive until hours later. OK - cancel the order and I'll call back.
I call Wet Seal later, and the supervisor advises that if I use a credit card, it'll go quicker. So like an ***, I go back online and make the purchase w/ my credit card.
Hour later, there's an email that order is on hold. Call and they want to go through my bank to confirm my identity.
Now this is where it gets bizarre - the way Wet Seal confirms identity is to make a 3 way call to the bank, and with their customer service rep on the line, you're supposed to tell the bank rep your account number and the answer to all those private security question answers: SS #, address, mother's maiden name, PIN.
You're expected to say out loud all of this information While A Stranger (the Wet Seal customer rep) Is Listening!
I don't know of *any* respectable and responsible online seller who doesn't know that this is something you just don't do.
A credit card or identity theft ring couldn't do better than this. And considering that this operation is small enough to pass for fly-by-night, I wouldn't be surprised if there *is* a link w/ some identity theft and fraud ring.