April 14th, 2004

self portrait (escher)

Why, yes. I -am- that paranoid.

So, my older brother just got an e-mail from some website we've never heard of, telling him he's won an XBox and five games in a contest he never entered. To collect his prize, they require a credit card number so they can charge $7.50 for shipping.

Now. I've lifted an XBox, and I know how big it's packing materials are. There's no way you could ship such a thing for less than twenty dollars. That's fairly suspicious, right there.

I mean, it's an elaborate scam, but if I were looking to commit identity fraud, that's a darn good way to build a database of credit card numbers matched to names and addresses. Heck, I'd even send the prize, and wait six months to throw off suspicion.

...which is where the laugh comes in:
    How humiliating would it be for the criminal mastermind behind all of this if he actually sent the XBox, then discovered the account he's gained access to was pre-paid with a limit of $7.50?
It seems a lot of trouble to set up, but the chance to beat a con artist at their own game is probably worth it.
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