Re: Paypal problems?

From: Brian Atkins (
Date: Wed Oct 17 2001 - 01:32:17 MDT

"Robert J. Bradbury" wrote:
> I'm coming into this conversation involving Alex and Ken. I haven't
> investigated the details/background so I am ill-informed (buyer beware).
> I'll simply state a personal experience. Sometime last year one of
> my credit cards was billed for multi-4-figure amounts. This turned
> out to be charges from someplace in the U.K. presumably executed
> by individuals connected with the theft of a large number of credit
> card numbers and perhaps access codes in Russia (well documented
> by the Moscow Times).
> I don't know whether they broke the electronic access code encryptions
> on the cash machines or simply found a clever way around the normal
> authorization methods. But they found a way through the system and
> exploited it big time. The net result was that I signed a piece of
> paper indicating that I did not make the charges and my credit card
> company had to swallow this loss. Now I'm sure I and other customers
> are paying for this in the form of higher interest rates on outstanding
> loans (the shareholders or management don't lose -- the clients do).

I think it's important for people to realize that when you do this,
your card company is not taking a loss, in fact they are most likely
making money. The party that takes the loss when it comes to credit
card fraud is the merchant who accepted the card. Not only do they
lose the transaction money plus whatever service or goods the thieves
purchased, but they also get hit with a fee by the card processing
company/bank- who seem to actually have an incentive to keep the
system insecure.

Brian Atkins
Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:14 MDT