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Comment: cardholder services (Score 5, Funny) 381

by k4_pacific (#24669881) Attached to: FTC Bans Prerecorded Telemarketing Drivel
I used to get calls all the time from "cardholder services". From what I gathered, it's basically a scam where they charge you and then call up your credit card company to ask for a lower rate. Apparently, people who went in for this had their cards billed for thousands. I've asked them repeatedly to remove me from their list to no avail. Here's how I finally got them to stop calling.

First I pressed "1" for a live operator. Now to fuck with them and remain consistent, I made up a cheat sheet in advance. On it I wrote a fake credit card number, an expiration date, a fake "card not present" number, a fake SSN, fake balance, etc. They require you to have at least $3000 in debt and at least $2500 in available credit on at least one card to cover their fees.

One thing they ask for is the customer service number for the card so they can call your bank, which they do while you are on hold. So, I used this page of bank ID numbers when making my fake credit card number, and I also googled my chosen bank's customer service number (I picked Wachovia). Also I rigged the number to validate by the Luhn algorithm in case their systems check for that. This way we have a very plausible but totally fake credit card number which will hopefully pass any initial consistency checking they may do.

So I put this cheat sheet by the phone and waited for the call. Within a few hours, they called.

I answer their questions. First they ask about my debt. I tell them $9000 across two cards. I mention my "Wachovia Mastercard". They acknowledge knowingly and ask me to "verify" the card number "starting with the 5" thus suggesting they already know the card number. All Mastercards start with 5. I give them the fake number. They ask me to "verify" the expiration date. I give them the fake date. They ask for the customer service number on the back of the card. I give them Wahovia's number. They put me on hold for five minutes to call up Wachovia and negotiate me a lower rate.

"Wachovia says it's an invalid number. Can you re-read your card number?" I re-read the same number. They put me on hold again for several minutes. This repeats again. I reassure them that card is valid, that I just used it an hour or so ago, etc. They try again. They get a supervisor. He tries. It keeps coming back invalid. I waste forty five minutes of at least two people's time. Finally, as they apologize for not being able to help me, I calmly explain my ruse. What followed was a string of obscenities that even made my dog gag, followed by them abruptly hanging up.

And they haven't called me since.

Hardware

Ionic Winds Chilling Your Computer 89

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the just-chillin dept.
Iddo Genuth writes to mention The Future of Things online magazine is reporting that Kronos Advanced Technologies in cooperation with Intel and the University of Washington claims to have developed a new type of ultra-thin, silent cooling technology for processors. The piece covers many of the cooling technologies currently available, how their new corona discharge cooler works, and a short interview with several of the key team members.

Henry's Python Programming Guide 143

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the not-just-for-programmers-anymore dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Seems like someone else has put up another Python programming guide, although this one seems to be a little easier to get through. From the article: 'My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a Python programming Guru. I know all of their movies, and their TV shows, and can quote the dead parrot sketch in my sleep. In fact I do quote it in my sleep. That may explain why I am single, although it could also have something to do with the flamethrower. Naturally many old-timers want to know what this new-fangled Python thing is all about. "Henry," they say, "What is this new-fangled Python thing all about?" See what i mean? So, here, at last, is the article you have all been waiting for...'"
User Journal

Journal: The G-String 2

Journal by k4_pacific

A friend of mine is a music teacher. In one of the beginner classes, he was explaining the different strings on a guitar.

"This here is the G-String."

A kid pipes up, "Wow, I thought the G-String was just a myth."

"No son, you're thinking of something else"

User Journal

Journal: American FUD

Journal by k4_pacific

To the tune of Don McLean's American Pie.

A long long time ago, I can still remember
How Unix used to be so great
Tape drives were as big as cars
For saving files, known as tars
And perhaps, we could save it from its fate

But Richard Stallman surely shivered
When Windows NT was delivered
With icons on the desktop
And a flying toaster backdrop

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal: The Dot Com Boom (Those were the days)

Journal by k4_pacific

Boy the way Steve Ballmer said,
Unix now is finally dead,
Windows was king they all said
those were the days.
Didn't need no business plan
so said the investor man
And now the stocks are in the can
Those were the days.
We all ran Windows 98
Blue screens that we had to hate
Gee our Packard Bell ran great
Those were the days
Everyone had a website then
And posted pictures of their kin
Mr. we can use a man like Linus Torvalds again
Those were the days

No amount of careful planning will ever replace dumb luck.

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