- Shopify seller Andi Rosenberg is missing about $55,000 in sales after her account was hacked.
- A customer service representative at the company recommended she seek outside legal counsel to resolve the problem.
- Shopify, which went public in 2015, helps small businesses join the e-commerce boom.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Small business-owner Andi Rosenberg lost tens of thousands of dollars last year when her Shopify account was hacked.
Starting on November 23, 2020, payments from her Shopify sales began being deposited in an unknown bank account without Rosenberg’s knowledge. On her Shopify account, Rosenberg could see the daily sales being paid out. But, her bank account, which she only checks once a month, wasn’t getting any of the payouts.
On December 29, a Shopify support specialist emailed her about “detected suspicious login activity,” and she needed to confirm her bank account and identity. That’s when Rosenberg checked her own bank account and saw she was missing thousands of dollars from her Shopify sales.
She was sick to her stomach, and has been since.
She confirmed her identity and her bank account with Shopify over the course of several days via emails, which were viewed by Insider. The company eventually gave her the payouts from December 30 to January 14, which had been frozen by Shopify until she could confirm her identity and account. The payouts added up to $22,816, based on payment confirmations provided to Insider.
But she was still missing $55,656 in payouts made to the hacker’s bank account for the pay period from November 23 to December 29. She said when the Shopify account was apparently first hacked in November, she never received a notification that her bank information was changed.
“I’m a small business; you could put me out of business,” she said she told customer service on the phone. “It’s just sickening.”
Rosenberg, owner of clothing and jewelry line Hipchik, has sold her products through department stores for years. In 2018, she opened a Shopify account and loved it.
As store sales dwindled, Shopify helped her get through the pandemic, and she had her best year yet online, selling nearly $1 million of merchandise.
Since the missing payments, she says she’s spoken to Shopify’s customer service and the legal team and even reached out to company executives on LinkedIn. In an email seen by Insider, a customer service representative said the legal team could not give Rosenberg advice. The representative added that, “At this point I recommend that you proceed with private legal counsel in order to work towards recovering missing funds, and moving in a productive direction with this investigation.”
She has been in talks with outside lawyers to see if they can help get her payments back, but she’s worried about the legal fees on top of the losses she already incurred.
Insider asked if Shopify knows how frequently sellers’ accounts are hacked, what security measures are in place, and how sellers can get their money back if it’s stolen. “At Shopify, we take the privacy and security of our merchants very seriously,” a spokesperson said. “We go to great lengths to help merchants manage their accounts more securely by providing guidelines and recommendations. We recommend that all merchants enable two-factor authentication to provide a more secure login process and to help prevent unauthorized access to a merchant’s admin.”
The company did not comment on Rosenberg’s case, or answer questions as to why it took several weeks to notice suspicious logins on her account and why the company has not reimbursed her for her lost payments.
Shopify, based in Ottowa, Canada, is an e-commerce company that’s known for helping small business owners attract customers online. Fakespot analyzed Shopify, which went public in 2015, and found that about a fifth of sellers deserved a “caution” or “warning” sign for activities like selling fraudulent products or not delivering items. Shopify told Insider that it has closed thousands of stores, and it regularly implements new measures to address fraud or other violations.
Shopify sellers have also faced fraud from buyers, who order personalized products and then ask for refunds. In 2018, Shopify rolled out a prevention system to protect sellers from these fraudulent buyers, TechCrunch reported.
If you’re a seller and believe you have lost money on Shopify because of a stolen or hacked account, reach out to the reporter of this article, Natasha Dailey at firstname.lastname@example.org.