The search giant Google is again coming under fire in yet another lawsuit. This time, a woman residing in California is suing Google with alleged evidence that hackers exploited sub-par security systems to gain access to her account. Reportedly, thousands of dollars in charges were placed using her Google Play Store account without her consent. Further accusations by Susan Harvey of Orange County, CA allege that at first Google refused reimbursement for the illicit charges, and then shortly after gave in and agreed to refund the charges. However, to date no charges have been refunded and there lies the reason Susan is seeking payment for damages in court.
Documentation of the lawsuit details that the fraudulent charges were placed on her account after she downloaded a free game from the Play Store and then proceeded to place an in-app purchase to fully unlock the game. Between the dates of March 2013 and August 2014, a whopping 650 transactions were performed through the Play Store placing the entirety of the charges on her bank account. After contacting her bank, the publisher of the game, and Google she documented that the search giant concluded the transactions were indeed fraudulent and agreed to reimburse said charges. Not only does she claim to have received no refund for any of the purchases, but she is also making allegations that many of the fraudulent charges have been erased from her account.
This isn’t the first case to be placed against Google in regards to their methods of handling transactions made through Google Play. Susan Harvey filed this lawsuit placing the blame entirely on Google accusing the company of violating California’s electronic funds transfer, unfair competition, and data breach laws. While most of the presented evidence would seem to indicate Susan is indeed a victim of a hacking of some sorts, there are many questions to be answered. If she had installed and paid for the game on her Android phone, her Google account would have been on the device implying her Gmail would have been syncing as well. She should have received emails whenever a transaction took place through the Google Play Store using her accounts to pay for the charges. With further scrutiny, the investigation of this case is sure to yield more information regarding the validity of the claims.