Gee, Thanks: Donations with a Stolen Credit Card
A thief who nicks your card may dash right out and make a donation to a popular charity... if only to make sure that the card is still active.
Even amongst identity-theft circles, verification and trust between buyer and seller is key, not unlike on eBay, wherein real-life pictures of the product on auction will inspire more confidence than an image cribbed from Amazon.
Some fraudsters have become generous -- with other people's money, donating to charities with stolen credit cards to verify the numbers are valid before selling them, the security firm Symantec Corp. said Friday on its blog.
Unverified cards fetch up to $6 while verified cards can bring up to $18, said Javier Santoyo, a manager at Symantec. "Even the bad guys want to verify the other bad guys."
The verification method has become popular because the monitoring software at credit-card companies may not question donations to charities, according the Symantec blog. Santoyo said the schemers usually donate less than $10.
American Red Cross spokeswoman Carrie Martin said, "This happens all the time. We have people at the Red Cross who deal with this type of activity."
Last month alone, the Red Cross refunded 700 fraudulent credit-card transactions, Martin said.