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Sting Visa Accounts

You get a 'free' PIN with your statement letting you beat the scammers
(+1, -1)
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Every day, we receive a spam statement trying to get us to send them our credit card numbers. Most of us are wise enough to not know this, but if even -one person- is fooled into sending their account's PINs away, the scammers will make their money back tenfold.

So here's one way we could combat this. Every month, those people who have had excellent credit for the last 2 years are sent a 'Sting Account' filled with false, reasonable-looking information created by the company.

When a person in poesession of a sting account receives a scammer's E-mail asking for their credit card number, they send along the sting account's personal information instead.

Yes, the scammer gets the $400 or less the card is cleared for. They -also- get the benefit of having a trace put on their card double-quick and the sting account's activation being brought to the attention of the local authorities.

Soon, E-mail scammers will be paralyzed, as they will have no idea which PINs they have received have been sent in from sting accounts and which PINs have been sent in by gullible people. (Normal junk mail will continue, but at least that's legal.)

Almafeta, Aug 16 2003


       I am not sure Sting would like his credit card number given to spammers. Yet again, you mentioned The Police. Lets send Sting albums to the spammers til' they burst.
Brummo, Aug 16 2003

       It's the same old scam as yesterday
thumbwax, Aug 16 2003

       I guess I'm always hoping that the stupid will abstain.
Cedar Park, Aug 16 2003

       Um, why is this being so coldly received?  The idea's not an altogether horrid one.
bristolz, Aug 16 2003

       In Canada and the U.S., credit card holders are only liable for the first $50.00 in fraudulent charges to their card.   

       I do like this idea, using the public to catch credit card fraud.   

       However, I'm not sure if this would work. Since the premise is that the card will be used for fraudulent means, the cardholder cannot be responsible for charges to the card. Not all marketing schemes on the net are fraudulent, so it becomes like free money to the cardholder. Go and use it, and see if the product you order actually arrives.
Cedar Park, Aug 16 2003

       I'm not sure it's a good idea to enlist the public's help to catch people who try to fraud the credit card companies. Seems to me to be something they should handle themselves. I would be very surprised if Visa would dare approach its customers with the proposal.
waugsqueke, Aug 16 2003

       What difference does it make to the "scammer" whether the number is compromised or not? If it buys stuff, it's no different than your card or mine.
phoenix, Aug 17 2003

       I just don't want to get caught up in this shit.
juggla, Feb 25 2004

       Could this not prove to be an empty "Sting" account, or one belonging to a person already in debt?   

       I would imagine that most people willing to accept money from an anonymous "nigerian banker" with personal problems that are not quite legal might already be pretty desperate for cash to begin with, and I suspect most who fall for this sort of scam are at least as desperate as they are foolish.   

       After all, what does a scammer care if they run up someone else's debt more than it was before?   

       Sending sting numbers that are already in debt might also solve two problems: A little disclaimer at the bottom might state that anyone who activates the card becomes responsible for the debt, thus preventing honest people from accepting the card, and at the same time, indemnifying the scammers to a greater degree of debt than they would already suffer if caught.   

       The amount of debt need not be very significant. Scammers tend to use thousands of accounts, and even if the debt is five dollars per card or so, that amount would add up very quickly to a sizeable sum for the scammer, if caught, while not appreciably irking any careless but honest citizen. These careless citizens are probably the main reason such an idea has not yet come out.   

       Should such a plan prove viable, the added revenue to the cardholders might be well used to provide reparations to those who have been scammed, to lower interest rates on credit cards in general, as a donation for some charitable organization... or simply to line the pockets of fat cat credit card company CEOs, who have now effectively scammed the scammers.
ye_river_xiv, Sep 21 2006


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