Worst experience of my life
It happened to me, too.
Despite a completely clear conscience, records of the correspondence reporting the transaction as fraudulent, and nothing dodgy on the computers, and perhaps the friendliest possible visit from the police, it was a very unpleasant experience.
I wasn't arrested, rather they turned up at my home, took a statement and carted off all the computers. They then spent three weeks nosing around at the contents of my life on those PCs. You start thinking - I've got all my family photos on there, and, like any set of family photos, there's the odd pic of my kids in the bath, etc. All innocent, but you start thinking, somewhere someones writing a report about there being 10000 photos on the PC, many including children...
The process of giving a statement was interesting, as I managed to find out a little on what it was all based on. The transaction in question had been made using my credit card number, and had my name and address with it. It also had an e-mail address, which was almost but not quite my e-mail address (.com changed to .net), which was interesting in itself (suggests the details were taken from another transaction I'd made somewhere, but why change the address?). It also had a password recorded - they asked me for all the passwords I use, but when none matched wouldn't tell me what was on the piece of paper (it might have been made up, or it might have given me a clue as to where my details had been taken from). There was no time of day recorded for the transaction (which gave me no chance of proving I was somewhere else or likely to be asleep).
It was the local vice squad dealing with this, and their attitude was very much, we've got a list of names, that's all we know. Didn't seem to know or care where the list came from or how it was compiled; everything hinged on carting away computers and seeing what they found.
I eventually got the computers back, with no comment other than "thank you; that's the end of the matter".
So, far less painful than it could have been, but just being under suspicion left me badly shaken. It took over a year before I could hug my own kids again without feeling odd, and I still find it difficult talking to other people's children. It's been four years since it all happened, and I still find myself thinking about some aspect of it every single day.
I have very mixed feelings about the whole thing. I'm very pissed off that it happened to me (through no fault of my own), and I'm angry that so many innocent people are being labelled suspected paedophiles. At the same time, though, the operation *is* catching some real paedophiles, so the list of names can't be ignored. I just wish they'd dug a little deeper and shortened the list before they started knocking on doors.
I'd also *really* want to know more about how this all happened. I want to know how my details ended up on that list - and more to the point, who was responsible. But there's no way I'm going to raise my head above the parapet and ask questions of the police...