Thursday, August 07, 2008

Fraudulent credit card activity becoming commonplace

A Boston police officer called it an example of "the up and coming crime," using the Internet to commit fraud. A small group of people from the Dorchester area is suspected in a $100,000-plus scheme using stolen credit card numbers to boost balances on Dunkin' Donuts gift cards, all with the aid of a computer.

"It's kind of like the Wild West on the Internet," said Steve Bailey, a detective with the Boston Police Department's special investigations unit.


This isn't like the Wild West at all. Every time we're surprised by some new fraudulent activity occurring, as if it hadn't been occurring for decades already, we assign special task forces and bury our heads in the sand, pleading for the police or some other government entity to save us. These criminals are a fringe element, right? No way could this happen to me! It's no wonder our democratic society is slowly becoming a totalitarian regime.

To summarize, a bunch of regular guys - not computer nerds by any means - were able to buy credit card info, buy Dunkin' Donuts gift cards with those credit card numbers, and use the stolen money to make truckloads worth of purchases.

We want all of this technology and convenience, widespread so that we can use our credit cards & other electronic devices worldwide. What we fail to grasp is that while corporations pursue this end so that you can consume at all times, the security behind this technology is far from perfect. Since people barely even look at their credit card statements anymore (too busy at the mall), we find out too late that we've been the victim of a hacker.

If there's a lesson, it's that rolling out credit cards & credit card networks to as many individuals and corporations as possible for the sake of consumption isn't a good idea, and much more strict security measures should be in place pre-rollout.


Marc Hansen said...

They should use all of those cards to buy more Ralph Snart comics.

FJ said...

Awesome front page pencils, Marc!

My devious plan to post about Dunkin' Donuts and credit cards open your mind, Mister Quaid...