Microsoft: The Person Using Your Stolen Xbox Totally Didn't Commit Any Fraud

Ashlee’s house was robbed last Thanksgiving, and the culprits were never caught. They replaced the stolen items, and life went on. Until her Xbox Live account signed on using another console. The same console that had been stolen, whereabouts now unknown. Maybe the identity or location of the person now using Ashlee’s Xbox could provide valuable insights into who robbed their house five months ago. Microsoft wasn’t interested in helping, and determined that the new owner’s use of her account and attempt to use it to buy points weren’t fraudulent. Well, that’s good to hear!

This is a portion of the story: you can find the whole thing here. It includes cartoons, if that’s a selling point for you.

Last week, months after our Xbox was stolen, we turn it on to play some video games from the 90’s, because that’s what adults in 2012 do. Upon starting it up, I notice a little dialog pop up saying “This Xbox Live Account has been logged in from another console.” I ignore it, cause I make it rain Xbox 360s.

Once logged in, I noticed all my account information has been changed. My avatar now has a slick-ass white suit, my icon has changed, and all new activity has popped up. A laugh is shared by us. This idiot is using my account, what a tool. Then it all simultaneously dawns on all of us.

This is it, this is our in. If this was the show Bones, then we just found a pile of Bones. We can catch our bad guy! Sure, the guy playing my account is probably not the thief, but we are a step closer. I immediately get on the phone with Xbox support. They seemed rather helpful, telling me that my account would be temporarily locked, and their investigation team would be start a case. Any information they gleaned would be sent along to the police. They then had to spend some time telling me that it was not the characters from LA Noire who would be investigating. How disappointing.

I then spend the next couple of days on watching the “thief” play games using my account, which is a strange thing to do with a locked account. I then find an e-mail in my inbox saying that my attempted purchase of 400 Microsoft Points has been declined. I call back to add this little detail, and find out that nothing has been done, no investigation, no account-locking-action. Thanks guys, glad to know you’re on the case. Credit Card fraud and using stolen goods are not really that important. Felony scmhelony.

So I then give them all the information again, including my police case number, which has the stolen console’s serial number and other information. My account was then properly locked, and the investigation started for reals this time.

So much to my chagrin, we receive the following e-mail a couple days later:

“We wanted to let you know that your report of unauthorized access to your Xbox LIVE account was reviewed by our fraud investigations team, and we didn’t find any evidence of unauthorized access to your account.
Our fraud investigations team also reviewed your billing history and didn’t find any fraudulent purchases. To check the charges on your Xbox LIVE account please see: Learn how to check your Xbox LIVE bill.”


This is like going to the police with a fresh gun wound, and the detective’s response is, “Nah you’re fine. We sent a drone over the city and didn’t find anyone. That gun wound must have been you.”

So I call back immediately. The man I talked to was audibly shaken, as I was less than happy. He explains that the Police Report Number was never written down, and that there was nothing he could do. The case was closed, and we lost. What is actually fraudulent activity, I will never know.

We are grossly disappointed in the way Xbox has handled our case. What could have been a great step in helping us to remember that not EVERYONE is a heartless, money-craved fool – especially in the wake of something as violating as a home invasion – instead was ended by Xbox’s unwillingness to do their jobs.

I cannot for the life of me understand what would have lead Xbox to make a decision like this. But I do know that we will no longer be giving a penny of our hard-earned money Xbox.

If what Ashlee means here is that she didn’t get the police report number in order to give it to Microsoft, or that Microsoft failed to write it down, that has a simple solution: call the police and ask for a copy of the report, or at least the number. Offer to send a copy to Microsoft. Maybe hit someone over the head with it?

Xbox Fraud Investigation Team struggles to solve case of “why should we care?” []

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