ImLive.com: Disputing An Erroneous $450 Porn Charge Is A "Serious Violation Of Our Terms Of Use"

Someone hacked reader E’s account on the adult site ImLive.com and bought up $450 worth of credits. By the time E. caught the charge, half of the credits had already been used. When E. informed the site that he was planning to file a chargeback with his credit card company, he was warned that doing so would be “considered a serious violation of our terms of use.” The site’s suggested alternative was simple: they would restore the used credits, and E. could watch lots and lots of porn.

E. writes:

The website imlive.com is a very popular webcam site. They provide (for the most part) adult entertainment with a per credit/ per minute fee of about 1$ per credit (bought in increments of 50$. I was a member of the site since 2006 and used it off and on. Stupidly i allowed the site to save my Credit card info on their site. Then much to my shock I found a 450$ charge on my card two weeks ago from their billing provider (ccbill). And found two “confirmation” emails in my inbox. I put quotes around confirmation as they werent really checking to confirm just cheerily informing me that i had made these purchases. I quickly logged onto their site and called their customer service and literally sat there watching the credits that had been purchased tick away by someone who had hacked my account on their site and was fraudulently making purchases on my credit card.

While on the site i changed my password and called their customer service. This stopped the hacker from being able to use my account. Unfortunately he had already used 250 credits by then. Upon contacting them they were able to disable my credit card purchases from the site (I later just canceled my credit card altogether.) Upon contacting their fraud department i was told that because the purchases were made under my username and pass and that purchases were already spent they were unable to refund any of the money. They offered to replace the credits. I found that to be wholly unacceptable as i really cant afford 450$ worth of adult material. I contacted my Credit card and they informed me that they would open a fraud investigation but they warned me that they would likely run into the same issue. As a good faith step i complied with imlive’s request to keep them informed if i had made a decision not to accept their offer of free credits. I informed them that my credit card was investigating the fraud. Thats when the situation went off the rails. And i received the following email.

I am in receipt of your last email.

I want to make it very clear that all personal details regarding your Imlive.com account are held in strict confidentiality, and are never released to third parties.

Please note that it is one’s responsibility to keep his Imlive.com account details secure and to not use it on other sites. Imlive.com will not be held responsible if your personal details have been accessed.

There are a number of locations on the site in which you are prompted to change and update your password to secure your details which you have not used in the past two years.

Your Imlive.com account was accessed with legitimate login and password to purchase the disputed charges, and thus we consider these charges as your own.

Nevertheless, since you have been a valued member since 2006 we offered an exceptionally generous solution as we rarely approve refunds for transactions of this sort.

Filing a fraud claim with your credit card company will result in a charge back. Charge backs are considered a serious violation of our terms of use.

If you have already filed a report with the credit company, I will not cover the debit that will result in your account due to the charge back.

In case you can pull back your filing with the credit company and respect the offer we presented, I will refund the last two transactions and bonus your account as previously agreed.

We reserve our right to keep all records of your activity with the Sexual Stress Relief Hosts on the ImLive.com platform.

Sincerely,

Sandy Mills,
Manager
Imlive.com

Not only were they trying to scare me out of a chargeback if one was issued by my credit card. But i think the last sentence is an explicit attempt to illicit fear that somehow my actions on their adult site would be exposed on a public forum. Obviously as i am emailing you to expose this gross mismanagement of security and subsequent lack of accountability for their mismanagement of security i could care less about exposing the fact that i enjoy the occasional viewing of the bare human form. I have yet to hear back from my Credit card company (USAA) but my account on imlive has been closed (by them) and I am beginning to believe more and more that i am out of 450$ because of a security flaw on their site. My account info and password on their site was never given out or used on other sites and was hacked as an obvious use of username/password list hacking software (i.e. software that repeatedly tries u/p combinations until it finds a hit).

E. later sent us an update:

My credit card company agreed to call it fraud and gave me a chargeback for the 450$. After that imlive deleted my account with them. Which is fine with me after the way they treated me. I received no contact from them since.