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Comment: Re:Exploited procedural loophole (Score 1) 419

by John3 (#47559899) Attached to: A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States
Occasionally the merchant services provider will ask to speak with the customer, and they also will contact the issuing bank. However, the entire call is handled over the initial call that was made to the merchant services provider. Once the merchant services provider speaks with the customer the retail clerk gets the phone back and it is at that point that the merchant services provider gives the clerk an approval code to use.

Note that for American Express and Discover the retail store calls their processing center directly. That's because they handle their approval system and they will frequently speak with the customer to verify security details. But the Amex number for merchants is an entirely different number than the one on the cards themselves, and the retail clerk initiates the call and speaks with the representative.

Comment: Re:Exploited procedural loophole (Score 3, Informative) 419

by John3 (#47558163) Attached to: A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States

A simple work around is to alter the phone number on the card to a number you control.

Then the retailer could call the number receive the code from your accomplice and provide a valid false code.

The retailer doesn't call the number on the card, the retailer call's the merchant service center. For example, customer has a Chase Mastercard and when Apple tries to post a transaction the card receives a decline. Apple would never call Chase, but instead calls their provider (which at my store is First Data Merchant Services). Apple's provider in turn electronically contacts Chase and then provides an approval code back to the clerk. The customer (or scammer) never has an opportunity to change the phone number unless they physically get behind the checkout counter and overwrite the numbers that are posted for the retail clerks to use. So it doesn't matter what phone number is on the card, that number is for the customer's use and not for the merchant's use.

Comment: Exploited procedural loophole (Score 5, Informative) 419

by John3 (#47557861) Attached to: A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States
Based on TFA this scam has been done before to other retailers. When a merchant receives a "decline" they can optionally call the bankcard processor to obtain a verbal authorization code. The merchant can then "force" the sale to go through using the authorization code they received over the phone. The two huge procedural holes that Apple (and the other retailers) left open are:

1: The clerk is the one that should be calling for an approval code, and the call is made not to the cardholder's bank but rather to the bank that processes the cards for the retail store. It doesn't matter what the customer's bank says (or in this case the fake bank) since the approval/authorization code must come from the retailer's bankcard processor.

2: At my store a manager override is required to "force" a bankcard approval. So even if the clerk makes the call and gets a voice approval code a manager/owner must also provide a password to allow the approval to go through. Apparently Apple has no such security check in place and clerks tan type a manual code into the POS system to force the sale to go through.

Amazingly simple scam, but also amazingly simple to prevent if the stores involved had even rudimentary procedures in place.

Comment: LOL...pages not found (Score 4, Informative) 126

by John3 (#46933335) Attached to: Polio Causes Global Health Emergency
Yeah, a page with a total of two links, both broken, is far more credible than a blog post with over 50 links to medical and scientific articles, journals, studies, and stories.

And what's not to trust about, a site that links over and over again to articles and sources on

Comment: Not quite dead yet (Score 3, Funny) 76

by John3 (#46238195) Attached to: China's Jade Rabbit Fights To Come Back From the Dead
Mission Control: "Brave, brave Jade Rabbit! You shall not have died in vain!"
Jade Rabbit: "Uh, I'm-I'm not quite dead, sir."
Mission Control: "Well, you shall not have been mortally wounded in vain!"
Jade Rabbit: "Uh, I-I think uh, I could pull through, sir."
Mission Control: "Oh, I see."

Comment: Not in their wheelhouse (Score 3, Interesting) 85

by John3 (#46213061) Attached to: Verizon Discontinues Home Automation Service After 2 Years
They pushed the service on every call I made to FIOS tech support or Verizon billing, so they certainly communicated the availability of the service. However, they never really had a shot at making this service fly due to a number of challenges.

- There just aren't a lot of devices linked yet within a home, especially since Verizon was targeting a novice and not someone who's played with X10 or can configure their own router.

- Verizon support is terrible for most products, and this would likely have been even worse.

- Who really needs to control their lighting and thermostats more than they already do. By now anyone with a computer or Verizon Internet service likely has a programmable thermostat, motion sensor outdoor lights, and timers on lamps for when they go on vacation. Is it worth paying a bloated company like Verizon $120 a year to help you manage what you're already handling fine for free?

The nail in the coffin was probably Google purchasing Nest. And no, I did not RTFA.

Comment: Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (Score 1) 201

by John3 (#45746559) Attached to: It's Not Just the NSA: Police Are Tracking Your Car
I would expect there to be restrictions on the use of the gathered data but not necessarily the collection of the data. Taking it a step at a time:

1: I expect that police would monitor public spaces, for example Times Square in NYC

2: I expect that the video is recorded, both for short term review as well as later investigation if a crime takes place

The question is how do we limit the use of the recordings? If a hit-and-run occurs two blocks from Times Square then police would likely canvas the area for witnesses. Isn't the most reliable witness the actual surveillance video from the neighborhood? I'd rather the police rely on that video than on the recollections of random tourists gawking at the skyscrapers.

My original post was stating that NSA surveillance is quite different from video recording of license plates on public highways, so the conversation has branched out.

Comment: Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (Score 1) 201

by John3 (#45745751) Attached to: It's Not Just the NSA: Police Are Tracking Your Car

Oh stop with the "no expectation of privacy" crap. Your argument is basically saying it's OK to stalk someone. Yes that's what you are saying, if someone leaves their house it's OK to record their every movement, who they are with, where they go, for how long. You are saying that if there was enough money it would be OK to have a police cruiser at every residence so that when you leave you home you can be followed and watched.

I never said it was OK. I do not support this recording, but I did say you should not privacy when driving a government registered vehicle on government maintained roads and bridges while in possession of your government issued license. I guess you also expect to fly in a plane anonymously, and cash your paycheck anonymously as well. LOL at you posting as anonymous and calling me a coward. Have fun in your fantasy world of anonymous driving.

Comment: Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (Score 1) 201

by John3 (#45745589) Attached to: It's Not Just the NSA: Police Are Tracking Your Car

And a GPS tracker planted on your car isn't tracking YOUR movements, its tracking the movements of the govt owned GPS tracker. LOL at your distinction.

Also, tell me where in the Constitution this is stated as something the govt is to do. Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of the constitution knows its duties are enumerated, not infinite.

A GPS is attached to a specific car. Recording every vehicle passing through a toll booth is not targeting your vehicle or any other vehicle. There is a difference.

The government does lots of things that are not in the Constitution. Check the 10th amendment. Not supporting the recording of all this vehicle data, but I still stand by my assertion that it's quite different from NSA recording and logging of private calls.

Comment: Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (Score 2) 201

by John3 (#45745263) Attached to: It's Not Just the NSA: Police Are Tracking Your Car
HUGE difference between observing a vehicle's location and searching the vehicle. BTW, police do not need a warrant to search your car if they observe an illegal item on the dashboard or passenger seat. If the item is in plain site they can stop you and then search the rest of your vehicle without any warrant.

Comment: Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (Score 1) 201

by John3 (#45745237) Attached to: It's Not Just the NSA: Police Are Tracking Your Car

I fully expect that governments not record my movements with cameras in public places.

They aren't recording YOUR movements, they are recording the movements of a licensed piece of equipment on roadways built and maintained using public funds. BTW, I don't condone this data warehousing, I am pointing out the huge different between NSA tracking of electronic communication and government observation of physical movement through open public spaces. They are VERY different situations and the headline implies they are alike. Debating the recording of vehicle movement should be done independently of debating the NSA surveillance program as linking them muddies the discussion.

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