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The 25 Days (And Counting) of Waiting to Get Back on Xbox Live

Users reporting a 25-day slog when their Xbox Live accounts become compromised.

“Your report of unauthorized access to your Xbox LIVE account has been received by our fraud investigations team.”

That’s the line that begins the process of recovering your Xbox Live account. 25 days is the average time it’s taking for users who wake up to compromised Xbox Live accounts to have them returned, based on the users I’ve been talking to.

Sometimes the fix is shorter, perhaps a turnaround of 10 days, and sometimes it’s far longer, as has been the case for player James DeKay, who has been waiting more than 90 days to access to his account.

“My account was jacked on September 3rd,” said DeKay to me recently. “I heard several different numbers from different customer service reps. 21 days. 21 business days. 25 days. 27 days. They still have not fixed my account and will not give me an ETA. It's been [over] 90 days and no end in sight.”

The consequence of being a popular device is becoming a target for the Internet’s worst, including leveraging social engineering tricks used so that customer service representatives will unlock accounts. It’s not an issue exclusive to Xbox 360, but many game players are social creatures, and this exposes them to Internet jerks looking for victims.

Users have reported sets of FIFA Ultimate Team cards being purchased via their accounts.

The platform's been hit with ugly FIFA 12 phishing scams lately, in which users find their accounts used to purchase cards for Electronic Arts’ FIFA Ultimate Team service. When I talked to both EA and Microsoft about the problem in October, neither company said the other was at fault.

“With the popularity of FIFA globally, and the sheer number of players playing the game online, FIFA is an obvious target for phishers and frauds,” said an EA representative to me at the time. “This is why we try to educate FIFA players to take measures to keep their accounts safe.”

Those measures are outlined on EA’s message boards, but users have told me it’s still happening.

Granted, when asking Xbox 360 owners to share stories about customer support, you’re more likely to hear from someone with a bad experience than the opposite. I asked Microsoft about how it’s approaching customer service during the holiday season, one in which Microsoft recently sold more than 1.7 million Xbox 360s during the month of November, and didn’t hear back.

Specifically, I asked them the following questions:

  • When a user believes their account has been compromised, what is the first course of action they should take?
  • What is the average wait time between an account being "investigated" and it being available to use again?
  • I've received conflicting reports where customer service can make their "investigated" account usable offline by making it Silver, which would allow them to keep playing offline games, ala Skyrim. What is the standard policy?
  • The average "wait" time I've heard is 25 days. If that period passes, what action should a customer take?
  • Is Microsoft experiencing a larger-than-average influx of accounts that need to be "investigated"?

Microsoft did not even issue a “no comment.”

The stories I hear suggest the customer service representatives for Xbox Live are nice, helpful, and seem to be trying their best, but have their hands tied and often cannot offer users much in the way of helpful advice. Customer service does not actually investigate accounts, and all customer service can do is flag the account again and ask the customer to call back.

“My account was hacked about two weeks ago thanks to the whole FIFA debacle,” said Xbox 360 owner Anthony Matarese. “I was told by the MS rep my only option was to suspend my account for at least 25 days and open a new ‘temp to use’ account if I wanted to ‘satisfy my gaming fix.’”

The prospect of being told my dozens of hours in Skyrim are useless for 25 days sounds tragic.

This is the most common response by customer service, according to the users I’ve spoken to. When you ask Microsoft to investigate your account, the gamertag is disconnected from the consoles it’s registered at, and the account is put on lock down. This means you cannot log into that profile until the investigation team gives the thumbs up, which also means you cannot access downloaded games or saved games. Not being able to jump in and play online-only Battlefield 3 is one thing, it’s quite another to be told your 100-hour journey into The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is suddenly on-hold due to bad luck.

Before the account is fixed, users are typically offered a free month of Xbox Live, which can either be applied to a brand-new account or saved until the compromised account is recovered. Randall Bennit was one such user.

“I'm hesitant to start the stack of games I bought for my Xbox on my wife’s account in case I get my account back,” said Bennett, whose account was affected way back on August 13, and has since filed a complaint to the Better Business Bureau. “Skyrim and Gears of War 3 will just be collecting dust in the meantime.”

One user told me customer service promised to temporarily convert his account to Silver, giving him access to his precious saves, but it never happened, and no one else was able to relay a similar tale.

Greg Dobson, for example, hasn’t been able to use Xbox Live since October 16, after discovering someone had used his account to buy $70 worth of FIFA 12 Ultimate Team Cards. He called Microsoft the day after, and was told his account wold be “locked down” for 25 days. Nothing has changed, so he called Microsoft yesterday, and was told by a representative that his account would be flagged for review again, and to check back in 10 business days if his account remains unchanged.

There have been only scattered reports of having a compromised account turned offline-only.

“He said I should keep an eye on my account,” said Dobson, “and if I don't see the money in 10 business days call back and have someone resubmit my claim, and then wait another 10 business days to see if the money gets deposited. So now it seems like I'm in some vicious cycle of incompetence. I don't think my next phone call to 1-800-4-MY-XBOX is going to be a pleasant one.”

One user passed along the final email they received from Microsoft, and allowed me to share it with you. The email details the many steps a user must take in order to find yourself back on the right path.

“We have completed our investigation of the unauthorized access to your Xbox LIVE account,” reads the standardized email. “As part of our investigation, we took temporary control of your Xbox LIVE account and the associated Windows Live ID. This was done to protect your account until you could take back control of it. Use the following steps to take control of your Xbox LIVE account.”

Read the email below:

You can’t do much to protect yourself from social engineering, but if you think your standard Internet password was compromised in one of the many leaks over the past few years, you might want to get on that really soon.

One avenue that some users have had success with, however, is the @XboxSupport account on Twitter, which is known for being extremely fast to respond. Some users reported finding themselves suddenly bumped up in waiting queues.

The best advice from those already affected is to remain persistent. If your account becomes compromised, get in touch with Microsoft immediately, and continue to ask them about its status when the estimated time customer service provided arrives.

It’s the holidays, which means even Xbox 360s are being sold every day, and more and more of them will hop online over the next few weeks, as gifts are unwrapped and plugged into a nearby TV. Make sure you’re keeping a close eye on your account.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
210 Comments
Posted by patrickklepek

“Your report of unauthorized access to your Xbox LIVE account has been received by our fraud investigations team.”

That’s the line that begins the process of recovering your Xbox Live account. 25 days is the average time it’s taking for users who wake up to compromised Xbox Live accounts to have them returned, based on the users I’ve been talking to.

Sometimes the fix is shorter, perhaps a turnaround of 10 days, and sometimes it’s far longer, as has been the case for player James DeKay, who has been waiting more than 90 days to access to his account.

“My account was jacked on September 3rd,” said DeKay to me recently. “I heard several different numbers from different customer service reps. 21 days. 21 business days. 25 days. 27 days. They still have not fixed my account and will not give me an ETA. It's been [over] 90 days and no end in sight.”

The consequence of being a popular device is becoming a target for the Internet’s worst, including leveraging social engineering tricks used so that customer service representatives will unlock accounts. It’s not an issue exclusive to Xbox 360, but many game players are social creatures, and this exposes them to Internet jerks looking for victims.

Users have reported sets of FIFA Ultimate Team cards being purchased via their accounts.

The platform's been hit with ugly FIFA 12 phishing scams lately, in which users find their accounts used to purchase cards for Electronic Arts’ FIFA Ultimate Team service. When I talked to both EA and Microsoft about the problem in October, neither company said the other was at fault.

“With the popularity of FIFA globally, and the sheer number of players playing the game online, FIFA is an obvious target for phishers and frauds,” said an EA representative to me at the time. “This is why we try to educate FIFA players to take measures to keep their accounts safe.”

Those measures are outlined on EA’s message boards, but users have told me it’s still happening.

Granted, when asking Xbox 360 owners to share stories about customer support, you’re more likely to hear from someone with a bad experience than the opposite. I asked Microsoft about how it’s approaching customer service during the holiday season, one in which Microsoft recently sold more than 1.7 million Xbox 360s during the month of November, and didn’t hear back.

Specifically, I asked them the following questions:

  • When a user believes their account has been compromised, what is the first course of action they should take?
  • What is the average wait time between an account being "investigated" and it being available to use again?
  • I've received conflicting reports where customer service can make their "investigated" account usable offline by making it Silver, which would allow them to keep playing offline games, ala Skyrim. What is the standard policy?
  • The average "wait" time I've heard is 25 days. If that period passes, what action should a customer take?
  • Is Microsoft experiencing a larger-than-average influx of accounts that need to be "investigated"?

Microsoft did not even issue a “no comment.”

The stories I hear suggest the customer service representatives for Xbox Live are nice, helpful, and seem to be trying their best, but have their hands tied and often cannot offer users much in the way of helpful advice. Customer service does not actually investigate accounts, and all customer service can do is flag the account again and ask the customer to call back.

“My account was hacked about two weeks ago thanks to the whole FIFA debacle,” said Xbox 360 owner Anthony Matarese. “I was told by the MS rep my only option was to suspend my account for at least 25 days and open a new ‘temp to use’ account if I wanted to ‘satisfy my gaming fix.’”

The prospect of being told my dozens of hours in Skyrim are useless for 25 days sounds tragic.

This is the most common response by customer service, according to the users I’ve spoken to. When you ask Microsoft to investigate your account, the gamertag is disconnected from the consoles it’s registered at, and the account is put on lock down. This means you cannot log into that profile until the investigation team gives the thumbs up, which also means you cannot access downloaded games or saved games. Not being able to jump in and play online-only Battlefield 3 is one thing, it’s quite another to be told your 100-hour journey into The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is suddenly on-hold due to bad luck.

Before the account is fixed, users are typically offered a free month of Xbox Live, which can either be applied to a brand-new account or saved until the compromised account is recovered. Randall Bennit was one such user.

“I'm hesitant to start the stack of games I bought for my Xbox on my wife’s account in case I get my account back,” said Bennett, whose account was affected way back on August 13, and has since filed a complaint to the Better Business Bureau. “Skyrim and Gears of War 3 will just be collecting dust in the meantime.”

One user told me customer service promised to temporarily convert his account to Silver, giving him access to his precious saves, but it never happened, and no one else was able to relay a similar tale.

Greg Dobson, for example, hasn’t been able to use Xbox Live since October 16, after discovering someone had used his account to buy $70 worth of FIFA 12 Ultimate Team Cards. He called Microsoft the day after, and was told his account wold be “locked down” for 25 days. Nothing has changed, so he called Microsoft yesterday, and was told by a representative that his account would be flagged for review again, and to check back in 10 business days if his account remains unchanged.

There have been only scattered reports of having a compromised account turned offline-only.

“He said I should keep an eye on my account,” said Dobson, “and if I don't see the money in 10 business days call back and have someone resubmit my claim, and then wait another 10 business days to see if the money gets deposited. So now it seems like I'm in some vicious cycle of incompetence. I don't think my next phone call to 1-800-4-MY-XBOX is going to be a pleasant one.”

One user passed along the final email they received from Microsoft, and allowed me to share it with you. The email details the many steps a user must take in order to find yourself back on the right path.

“We have completed our investigation of the unauthorized access to your Xbox LIVE account,” reads the standardized email. “As part of our investigation, we took temporary control of your Xbox LIVE account and the associated Windows Live ID. This was done to protect your account until you could take back control of it. Use the following steps to take control of your Xbox LIVE account.”

Read the email below:

You can’t do much to protect yourself from social engineering, but if you think your standard Internet password was compromised in one of the many leaks over the past few years, you might want to get on that really soon.

One avenue that some users have had success with, however, is the @XboxSupport account on Twitter, which is known for being extremely fast to respond. Some users reported finding themselves suddenly bumped up in waiting queues.

The best advice from those already affected is to remain persistent. If your account becomes compromised, get in touch with Microsoft immediately, and continue to ask them about its status when the estimated time customer service provided arrives.

It’s the holidays, which means even Xbox 360s are being sold every day, and more and more of them will hop online over the next few weeks, as gifts are unwrapped and plugged into a nearby TV. Make sure you’re keeping a close eye on your account.

Posted by Slayeric

Oh, that sucks.

Posted by Bacchus

I had to wait over a month. It sucked.

Posted by Bigheart711

Yeah, That situation's annoying as hell... :(

Posted by Lenny

I gave them 25 days, they failed to return control of my account to me or issue my refund. I have now given them a second 25 days and still counting... still unable to access my account and still no refund.

Posted by Chemin

Bummer.

Posted by Cincaid

Guess I'm lucky. I've never had any issues with my X360, be it hardware or XBL.

Posted by Beb

I too am stuck in an incompetence loop.

They 'completed' my investigation but totally botched it and didn't refund me. I called back to try and sort it out and they wanted to start over from scratch, which would take another 30 days.

I am currently waiting on someone from their fraud department (ie not a first level support person) to call me back which they said would take 6 or 7 business days. They have 1 day left before I just call Visa and issue a charge back.

Posted by Doctorchimp

What do you mean social engineering is hard to protect yourself from?

Doesn't Xbox make it abundantly clear that they would never ask for your password?

I still haven't really heard exactly how this stuff happens. And I know its hard because people forget and they're really sensitive about turning over their info and admitting a mistake on their part.

Posted by Mattalorian

Modern consoles are really terrible. There's no excuse for the way paying customers are being treated. I don't own a 360 because I'm not willing to pay a monthly fee for something that's completely free on other platforms, not to mention having to deal with godawful customer support and shenanigans like this. It's really a shame. I hope the next generation of consoles does a little better.

Posted by the_unabomber

I'm praying no one gets into my account. I'd be lost!!!

Posted by TentPole

It took over 60 days for me.

Posted by Goldanas

I'm amazed to see any negative news based around the services of Microsoft's Xbox 360.

All the same, this stuff is pretty tame, apart from the locking you out of single player content.

This article has a much more apologetic tone than the many that surrounded the PS3 downtime, which is probably a lesson learned from those attacks and, of course, the many attacks that strike online services every day.

Shit happens, and it takes a while to fix. Same as anything, I suppose.

Posted by NekuCTR

Could someone fill me in on how the accounts were compromised again? I thought it was just a phishing scandal, and I thought only idiots fell for that stuff.

Posted by KingofCosmos

My account was hacked a couple of months ago and I had an extremely quick turnaround. Instead of contacting Xbox Live immediately, I got in touch with my bank(since I use a debit card on my Live account) and disputed the charges. Within a few days my money was back in my account and my Live account was active the whole time. After I was hacked though, I changed my password to be a lot tougher and I haven't been compromised since then. Also, in October my Xbox Live Gold Subscription ended so when I renewed I removed the debit card from my account and used a prepaid 1-year Gold Subscription code from Amazon to keep my subscription going.

I recommend anyone who has been hacked follow these same steps, as it worked well for me.

1. Contact your bank/credit card company and dispute the FIFA-related charges.

2. Change your Xbox Live password to something more secure.

3. Remove the credit/debit card from your account ASAP and redeem codes from Amazon or other outlets instead of using your card.

Posted by Rukus

So how many of these cases are actual social-engineering against Microsoft employees instead of just people choosing shitty passwords for the e-mail address associated with the LIVE account?

Posted by Slow_pC

I got hit once , I was on top of it since MS froze someone elses account (the rep didnt type my account correctly)

I just quickly went to forgot password and changed it while I was talking to the rep. from MS. She said " well , your secret password or another piece was incorrect" I said... "yes , I know as they changed my secret to something in Chinese that I can't understand but I am fixing my own account as we speak."

Was great doing the legwork myself.....

Posted by PresidentOfJellybeans

Don't know if it's just me, but I haven't been able to visit xbox.com for like a week. Results in a redirect loop on both Chrome and Firefox.

Posted by MjHealy

Going three months without your Xbox profile must suck something awful. Especially since its not even your fault that the account was compromised in the first place. Thanks for another informative piece, Patrick.

Edited by CaLe

It happened to me and I'm 100% certain I wasn't fucking 'socially engineered' (god I hate this term). I speak to exactly one person online, I'm not on any social networks, I've never entered my details into funny looking websites to get free microsoft points or whatever. Them saying that I was socially engineered is a damned insult. I'm glad I got my shit back, but I won't accept any responsibility that I somehow got my own account compromised. 
 
I also don't use a weak-ass password so that's bullshit too.

Posted by Beb

@Doctorchimp said:

What do you mean social engineering is hard to protect yourself from? Doesn't Xbox make it abundantly clear that they would never ask for your password? I still haven't really heard exactly how this stuff happens. And I know its hard because people forget and they're really sensitive about turning over their info and admitting a mistake on their part.

He means social engineering like:

Hacker calls X Box and tricks minimum wage CSR in to thinking they are you, and resetting your password.

Posted by RE_Player1

Bummer, especially during the heavy release season.

Posted by Vandersveldt

Oh man. I do tech support for one of the companies about to offer their tv services through XBOX Live (hint, it's the big one), and I was so happy when I found out we'd be instantly warm transferring to 1-800-4-MY-XBOX when we get calls regarding the service. Now it's a tiny bit funnier, because it looks like that number can't help anyone lol.

Posted by SuperWristBands

Why did it take 14 hours for someone to post on this article? That seems odd.
 
As for the article, well that would totally suck to have an account hacked and then even worse after to have to wait around 25 days to get it back. I'm way to deep into achievements to play any games on another account unless I am really interested in playing that game again (I'm probably not). I'd just go play my PS3 or GameCube for a month if that happened and that would totally suck because all of my multiplatform games (besides fighting games) I have purchased for the 360.

Posted by Beb

@NekuCTR said:

Could someone fill me in on how the accounts were compromised again? I thought it was just a phishing scandal, and I thought only idiots fell for that stuff.

I don't think anyone knows. I have no idea how they got me, since other than the first time I logged in to XBL on my console, I never have to type my password it. I had to look up what it was in a note I made to ever remember once I was hacked.

Posted by ProfessorEss

@TentPole said:

It took over 60 days for me.

That stinks. Did they at least offer you two months of free Live? Or just the standard month?

Posted by Rirse

While I didn't lose my previous gamer tag to the FIFA hacking, I still haven't got it fixed since October when a bad recovery fried it. Called multiple times, but never anything more then a call back the next week.

Posted by RsistncE

lol consoles

Posted by Krakn3Dfx

Between systems dying and accounts getting compromised and shut down, it's a wonder anyone's ever logged into XBL.

Edited by Scrap_Metal

Had my account stolen on the 8th December password was changed. Called up Microsoft the nice man on the other end told me that none of my points had been spent and my credit card was expired (which is what alerted me when I got an email saying they tried to buy 6000 points but failed.),The support guy gave me 2 options pass it onto fraud which will take the 25+ day wait or try to reset my password,I went with the reset password option problem is it keeps sending it to a defunct email account which I thought I had changed (seeing how I was getting emails about the expired credit card and such.) .so I tried to account recovery option on their website where you fill in a form and someone verifies it, now I fill in as much as I can last 4 digits of credit card, credit card expiry, passwords I have used in the past, date of birth etc only to get an email redirecting me to the reset password option that sends to the old email account sending me back to the start.

It all seems rather silly and badly made with layers upon layers of badly made forms, it would appear they need to clear out the whole thing and start again.

Posted by sixghost

I would have gnawed someone's arm off to have my case resolved in 25 days. It took 4 months. I notified them not even 3 hours after the hacked purchases took place, and then I heard nothing for a month an a half. I called back, and it turns out they misspelled my email address when they sent the recovery email. No Problem, they'll send it again. Waited another month, called back. They misspelled the email address again. I called back in 3 weeks this time, and the MISSPELLED IT AGAIN. Despite slowly pronouncing every single character in the address, giving a reference word for every single letter. It happened 3 times.
 
Finally about 2 weeks ago the email got through, everything was restored, and I still had to fight with them to get the 3 free months of Gold that they promised at the outset of this whole thing. They will never be trusted with my credit card again. Unbelievable. Of course the chargeback on my credit card also took 4 months.
 
Also, I think you might misunderstand what locking an account does. There's no reason you couldn't play Skyrim while the account was locked, I played plenty of single player games on my locked account. You just can't sign on XBL. You can even get patches by launching the game on another account while online.

Posted by kgb0515

At least the hacking issue didn't bring the ENTIRE web service down for all users like the PSN debacle. I have both the PS3 and XBOX, and I grew to appreciated my XBOX game collection a lot more during that time. I think if XBL had gone down for that long, I would be wanting a lot more than a few old PSN games, and a month of free prime membership.

Posted by bloodsoul5

I got mine back around the 25 day mark, Can't believe they make people wait longer then that. It should honestly take less then a week.

Edited by Skald

They should let you play offline while they're doing this. Seriously.

Posted by Jayzilla

i havent logged into xbl since august. longest stretch for me since it came out. my PC has been my beast lately and i have no complaints. kinda awesome having the PC be top dog again in terms of performance and game play.

Posted by pkjr92

It's terrible. My brother's account took a month to get back, but the worst thing is that there's no communication on the status of said account. You can't even tell if they're investigating until you get it back (or "if").

Posted by SmokeyNuts

I had mine broken into most likely due to a lame 4 year old password. They added an email address that they also had hijacked as a secondary email address to my windows live account, changed my password/security question and immediately bought 10,000 MS points. Luckily I had my gmail up at work and noticed the notifications of the purchase and secondary email change right away so I was able to reset my password and remove the secondary email address before they were able to do anymore damage. Took Microsoft about 30 days to get it all straightened out (they said it helped that none of the points were spent so I guess it could have been longer if they were). I was blocked from online but was able to play offline games. In the end I got fully refunded and two free months of live.

Posted by sixghost
@kgb0515 said:

At least the hacking issue didn't bring the ENTIRE web service down for all users like the PSN debacle. I have both the PS3 and XBOX, and I grew to appreciated my XBOX game collection a lot more during that time. I think if XBL had gone down for that long, I would be wanting a lot more than a few old PSN games, and a month of free prime membership.

The Xbox Live hacks are worse than the Sony thing. People are actually having there credit cards charged fraudulently and lose access to Live for 1-3 months.
 
Having the service down for 1 month and nothing charged to my credit card sounds like a dream comparatively.
Posted by Pr1vate_D0nut

Better than the wait I've been having. Haven't been able to use my account since late July. Apparently they can't match my system ID with the one on file because I had a RROD. I've been perfectly happy playing on my PS3 though.

Posted by akajaybay

One morning I got a call from the bank about some strange charges on my account through Xbox Live. They were indeed not purchases I had made so I disputed the charges. When I checked on the Xbox my login wasn't automatic and I had to recover my gamertag. So someone had managed to hijack my gamertag, buy a bunch of things, and surprisingly not change the password on the account. So I recovered it, changed the password, disputed the charges through the bank. Never actually got around to telling Microsoft about it though.

Checking my account activity someone bought Bulletstorm and all of its associated dlc and addons. As well as some modern warfare map packs.

Posted by Winsord

@Skald: They do...

Locked means locked out from access to Xbox Live. You're still able to play games offline on the account.

Online
Posted by Nbianco193

My account got hacked on November 1st and it was through Fifa 12. This guy spent $70 of live memberships on the credit card tied into my name, and stole 3000 MSP. The investigation ended on December 3rd and Microsoft refunded me the points and I have yet to even receive my refund. Then three days ago, I went to log in and noticed I was missing 3,000 MSP again. It ended up being THE SAME DAMN GUY and I now have to wait another 25 days which means no gaming on Christmas. Microsoft Support is the biggest piece of dog shit on this earth.

P.S. I have yet to get my refund back and call almost everyday so I don't get lost in this mess.

Posted by DarthOrange

Shit happens, it has happened to just about everyone save the Wii. It has hit the 360 the worst of all, seeing as how no credit cards were actually stolen from PSN or Steam, but maybe now people can stop being internet assholes about people getting hacked. Also, last i checked PSN users have one year of identity theft protection from Sony and they gave out some free games. I would hope Microsoft does something similar for these folks who can't get online. 90 days is just ridiculous.

Posted by Blubba

This has been handled pretty poorly by Microsoft.

Posted by parkersneverdie

My story is a happier one:

Someone tried to jack m account on 7th Dec. I've never played FIFA but did have an embarrassingly weak password on my Live account.

The hijacker added their email as an alternative and changed my password, then bought 6000 MS points with my card. I got the emails on my phone whilst walking home from work and managed to recover my ID via the password reset option and remove their email address. After that I checked xbox.com and the points were unused so I called my bank and got the fraudulent payments cancelled.

I called Xbox support today to let them know. They wanted to freeze my account to investigate but I said that was unacceptable. Since I'd managed to save my account before they could do any real damage, I told them to just take the points back instead. They said I could keep them as a Christmas present.

I hope everyone else gets their accounts back soon!

Posted by The_Reflection

My account was stolen and transferred to Russia in September and i'm still waiting for a resolution

Posted by Gordo789

news like this makes me just hate how many damned accounts you need to have for stuff these days. All of them are just potential snack cakes for hackers and criminals. If I could see my trail of derelict accounts that i had to sign up for to get access to various services it would probably make me cringe something fierce.

Posted by Redeye

My LIVE account was compromised in the same way, FIFA 12 was purchased, money charged to my bank, GamerTag removed from account. I immediately called LIVE support and got thrown into the 25 day investigation pile. The trick with my account is I don't own a 360. I use the account for Zune, GfW Live (unwillingly) and other Microsoft services. I had sold my 360 well over a year ago and yes it was scrubbed clean before it left my hands. Xbox Live support (they are the only Live support) was incapable of handling this type of situation, apparently, and after 3 months (this all started back in September for me as well) I got fed up. I submitted a complaint to the Better Business Bureau on Monday of this week. This morning I got a call from someone at Microsoft Corporate (his words, not mine) who said he was following up on the BBB complaint and we went through the details. At the end of the call he promised everything would be refunded, my gamertag would be returned to my account and everything would be set right (including points I had on the account from before the attack) within the hour. I haven't seen the refund at my bank yet, but my account is back in my hands. bbb.org try it

Posted by m0nk3y80y

I had my account hacked earlier this year. I reported it immediately and had it take over a month to clear my Xbox Live account on my console. However, my Windows Live and Xbox.com accounts were on hold for over six months, all the while I was calling and trying to fix it. Microsoft's customer support is terrible.

Edited by CptBedlam

Holy shit, judging from these comments this bullshit seems to be much more widespread than I thought.

@Rukus said:

So how many of these cases are actual social-engineering against Microsoft employees instead of just people choosing shitty passwords for the e-mail address associated with the LIVE account?

That'd be my guess, too.