December 21, 2000 4:30 PM PST

FBI looking into questionable credit card charges

Mysterious charges to the credit card accounts of dozens of online shoppers may be linked to the online theft of more than 55,000 credit card numbers last week, an FBI official said Thursday.

People have flooded the Internet message board FatWallet.com with complaints of unauthorized charges ranging from $10 to $18 from a company called Global Telecom, based in Moscow.

"Because they are such small amounts, a lot of people may not notice the charges," said Kim Sebring, who told CNET News.com that her card was charged. "These guys are going to get away with a lot of money."

No one on the message boards had heard of Global Telecom, much less bought anything from it.

The FBI is aware of the complaints and is looking into the matter.

"These unauthorized credit card charges could be related to the current investigation into the hacking at Creditcards.com," FBI spokeswoman Laura Bosley said.

A representative at Creditcards.com said Thursday that the company was unaware of the Global Telecom allegations and did not know if it was related to its problem.

Creditcards.com said a suspected hacker stole the 55,000 credit card numbers and attempted to extort money from the company. The FBI is investigating the allegations.

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Once again, 55,000 card numbers ripped off.

If people knew the total of credit card numbers that get ripped on-line, there's no way they would be giving out their numbers.

Of course the industry doesn't want people to know just how insecure the internet is for this type of information.

If you use your credit card on-line, why don't you just put a big sign on your front door that says "Please Rip Off My Credit Card Number, it is XXXX-XXXX-XXXX."

See how long it takes for someone to rip it off. Might take a while, and some people won't get ripped at all, but it's just about as secure as putting it on-line.
Posted by Mergatroid Mania (8395 comments )
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