Confessions of a First Rate Fraudster

To my dear free merchant account holder & customer,
(who foots all my bills & gives me all the products & services i don't really deserve - you love me! you really love me!)

I'm sure you know me(why, i know YOU & your credit card numbers + birthday!). I've been lurking around the web, doing every little thing you can accuse me of - phising, purchasing items from online stores using other people's credit card information(FBI calls it identity theft, I call it customer-carelessness), site cloning & faking merchant stores, creating credit card generators & basically discouraging merchants from ever venturing into the Internet market(Please add skimming - oh i love the thrill of this one, the scanners are getting smaller & smaller but a whole lotta expensive - but what's a few thousand dollars to the millions of credit card numbers I can get? Sorry, I digress).

For some time now, I've been asked by numerous colleagues in the fraud industry how I've been able to wrestle almost $200 million from merchants, credit card companies & consumers. Is is through my incredible geeky ability to get numerous credit card numbers & email addresses? What makes me the best damn fraudster in the history of credit card processing?(ehem bragging aside...)

Why that's not hard to figure out, it's all because of YOU!
(Oh, don't give me that look, we all know how careless you are with all your "sensitive" information!)

C'mon now, don't whimper at that sad little corner of your office. Since I've been recently reformed (I don't commit fraud anymore; there are so many fraudsters in the world wide web, it's become very boring for someone as smart as me), I've decided to reveal "some" of my secrets (my colleagues will hunt me down if I reveal all) before your merchant account gets revoked due to countless incidents of fraud. It's payback time.

* 5 diamond rings? How many wives does this customer have!?

If you're a merchant & you sell jewelry online or anything of HIGH VALUE, be EXTRA CAREFUL. How many times does mommy have to say 'be careful with your valuables'? Fellow thieves order a number of items at ONE time so they can sell them to other willing victims, thus maximizing the credit card, & the potential profit from the acquired item.

* Man with houses all over the world or fraudster at work?

If the billing address is different from the shipping address, confirm with the customer whether this is a legit order or not. Call them. Call them. Call them.

* Expensive item up for grabs!

When a particulary expensive item of yours gets bought, don't celebrate just yet! Tricky fraudsters will purchase expensive items (whether he needs it or not) for a profitable resale value.

* Free emails

I have nothing against anything free, but make it a habit NOT to accept purchases from individuals using free emails like yahoo or hotmail. Fraudsters use free email to remain completely untraceable. No offense to legitimate customers - just one more reason to hate fraud.

* From small time to BIG TIME

Noticed a jump from your customer's $12 purchase to a whopping $436 in just one transaction? Although it can signal an improvement in his lifestyle, chances are, the one doing the purchasing isn't your customer but someone who stole his credit card information. Fraudsters take advantage of the "window of opportunity" by making big time purchases.

* Beware, the High Risk countries!

If you're shipping outside your country, pay close attention to the list of high risk countries & deliberate whether you'd like to require more authentication from your customer - not to scare or turn them off, but to protect both you & your customer from potential risk of fraud(they might even thank you for it!). The 12 top sources for international online fraud are Malaysia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Egypt, Yugoslavia, Israel, Romania, Turkey, Russia, Pakistan, Indonesia, & Lithuania - use this information wisely. Just because they come from these countries does not ALWAYS indicate fraud.

STOP. I think I've divulged enough trade secrets of fraudsters, I'll think about it on my next letter... Of course, we're always trying to discover & create new ways of exploiting people of their hard-earned money. That includes you - whether you're a merchant, or a consumer. Fraudsters don't care whether you're poorer than a rat or richer than Trump, all we care about is the thrill of the steal, as well as how much we can loot from the poor credit card holder or merchant.

Ok so I guess this ends my letter to you. I hope my confessions of our trade secrets helps you in some little way. I promise not to hack your site, neither will I buy from your store with other people's credit card information. In fact, I promise to...

promises are meant to be broken,
your most hated fraudster on the www

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