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.