Sunday, August 10


Here's a post I wrote just before I left but never ended up publishing, due to the potentially incriminating circumstances:

Yesterday and today have been odd.

Do you know what it's like to be involved in credit card fraud? I am finding out. Columbia: A Journal, where I was Managing Editor, has been the apparent victim of an online "phishing" scam, which is a lot like those Nigerian Ministry of Commerce emails but significantly less amusing.

Here's what happened, as I described to a friend:

Basically, from what the support people tell me, the internet bad people wrote a logarithm to input a bunch of credit card numbers into our system until they landed on actual ones. After getting the actual ones, they have then used them to buy things. Things like, apparently, a Blackberry, sent to the original credit card owner's address.

"Why would they do that?" asked the woman (surprise: my phone number is the one listed for the journal on credit card bills).

"I don't know," I said. I figured it would be inappropriate to tell her what i was really thinking, which was that, hey, maybe they thought you could have used it.

What this is, is a mess. So far, I've fielded three angry calls, but, from our files, which state there have been over 1,500 such orders, there could be many, many more. (UPDATE 8/10/08: In the end, I received about 30 calls.)

I do have to admit I was pleased with the subject for the my email I wrote to our division coordinator and staff, explaining the situation: "Fraud! Columbia, A Journal, A Victim".

In other news, the NY Times has this:
World's Dumbest Narrative

"Kyle’s stuck somewhere; he needs your help,” the friend mumbled. But the roommate slept on and the friend fell back asleep.


Next he did a Google search for “what to do if you get locked in a bar.” “But Google did not have any good answers,” he said.

1 comment:

Catherine Lacey said...

Oh Jesus. Aren't you relinquished of your duties now? Can't you pass this along to Ryan, or is he still bumming around South America somewhere?

Also, I'll give you a chapbook as soon as we cross paths. Maybe crashing a new student orientation party?