This morning, 24-year-old web developer Derek Lanphier started seeing fraudulent charges on his PayPal account, adding up to about $3,000. Then, moments later, his bank account balance was at -$888,871.91. As he says, "I pooped myself a little."
Lanphier, who works for marketing company PopLabs, was clearly the victim of an big time phish—he suspects the dirty deed was linked to iTunes, which is all he used the PayPal account for.
The initial charges had him "a bit freaked out," he says, and he quickly started making calls to PayPal and his bank to get things locked down. But by the time he was nearly a million dollars in the hole, it was all a little too absurd to worry about:
When it jumped to $888,000 I just started laughing. I mean, what are you going to do? If I had nearly nine hundred thousand dollars to lose, I might have really been worried. But seriously, what can you do other than laugh about that? That was also about the time I started showing everyone the screen cap. I mean, it was too epic to not share!
My life is pretty good, but when bad shit happens (which it really doesn't a lot) it's always epic. I kinda like that about myself.
Thankfully, Lanphier's bank says getting the charges reversed won't be a problem. But at least for one day, he can say he was a near-millionaire who lost it all. [Ryan Mathis]