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back to article Man accused of siphoning $50,000 in micro-payments from Schwab, E-trade

A California man has been charged with multiple counts of fraud after allegedly siphoning $50,000 from online brokerage houses E-trade and Schwab.com in micro-payments over a six-month period. Kevin Poulsen of Wired News reports here that Michael Largent of Plumas Lake, California, is accused of using an automated script to open …

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Guy
Coat

Reminds me of...

Superman III, or Office Space

All those little payments soon add up.

Anyone who does something like that would have to do something pretty stupid to be caught - such as turn up to work in a new ferrari. Ah Richard Pryor you are missed (although possibly not because of Superman III)

Mines the coat with all the loose change in the pocket.

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Crime?

I don't see the crime. Might be a violation of the TOS, but I don't see the crime.

Maybe providing false information?

Why didn't the sites have a limit based on the routing+account number. With security like this, I bet their forms are open to spam abuse too.

I don't think I would trust them with my money. I wouldn't hire them as my latex salesman either.

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Flame

Obligatory quote from clueluess IT movie

"You did this from your house?"

"Yeah."

"What are you, stoned or stupid? You hack a bank across state lines, you get nailed by the FBI."

"That's stupid, man, universally stupid."

It's amazing that they think anyone smart enough to both understand the power of multiplication and write the automated sign-up script would be stupid enough to do it from a location to which he would easily be tied. It'll be even more amazing if they turn out to be right.

Flames, since that's what's to become of this guy's plans.

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Thumb Up

I guess the gummint is really nervous about

"Loose Change"

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Stop

Just a question...

Come on, every time such a story is revealed, the bad guy is utterly clueless and stupid. Every reader thinks: "I would do it better, really".

So what?

1 - Smart people are very very smart and never get caught

or

2 - Smart people eventually get caught but the story is not published (what, tell everyone how unsecure our site/bank/online store is?)

or

3 - Smart people are all honest. Sure enough, uh?

or

4 - ???

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Silver badge

Re: Obligatory quote from clueluess IT movie

Ironically, said quote comes from a movie where the "bad guy" uses said salami technique to siphon away a boatload of cash.

It seems the new generations of Internet users have forgot exactly *why* did hackers use public phones for their activities. It wasn't just "free calls": it was harder to track down someone who isn't using his own phone.

Always-on broadband might give you a faster connection, but it also gives the feds a nice IP address that can be cross-referenced with the ISP, which will definitely pinpoint you quicker than old-school call-tracing (which seems to have gone into disuse thanks to Caller ID.)

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Anonymous Coward

Darn it

i wish id thunk of dat wan,

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Boffin

@Christopher Stith

"It's amazing that they think anyone smart enough to both understand the power of multiplication and write the automated sign-up script would be stupid enough to do it from a location to which he would easily be tied. It'll be even more amazing if they turn out to be right."

Please stop confusing intelligence with wisdom. It's not at all surprising that someone intelligent enough to do that would be arrogant enough not to think that he should cover his tracks better. It happens all the time.

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Alert

That's a load of...

...rats and mice!

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Pirate

Possibly not stupid...

Perhaps the thought processes went something like:

1. Opening an account is not breaking the law. How can opening multiple accounts be?

2. If they are checking the accounts the cash is going to it'll be picked up and blocked very early and I'll be told off

3. If they aren't checking I'll never get caught.

Morally reprehensible but good arguments if you are looking for way to justify it.

I bet the defense will use these justifications to push some culpability on to Schwab for leaving the door open and get him a slap on the wrist and have to give the money back. I could write make a good stab at the closing address right now...

Jolly Roger for all the people who get money out of my pocket every day legitimately...

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Silver badge

Open House Sourcery ..... for Information that cannot be Denied

"Please stop confusing intelligence with wisdom. It's not at all surprising that someone intelligent enough to do that would be arrogant enough not to think that he should cover his tracks better. It happens all the time." ... By Steven Knox Posted Thursday 29th May 2008 03:01 GMT

The Wiser Soul would be sure of his Ground/Base and would not even bother covering Tracks in a Beta for they would fully expect Intelligence to make Tentative Enquiries, thus to define whether Intelligence was Fit for Future Purpose in Wisdoms.

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Hmm. Reminds me of...

How the banks say that their old antiquated system didn't do anything even though it was electronic. And that was why the money took three days or thereabouts to go from your account to the destination account. Even in the same bank.

So when are the baks going to be done for fraud and jailed?

Oh, that's right, rich buggers don't get jail unless they embarrass even richer buggers.

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Ru
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They *give* you a small payment?

I recall places like paypal *taking* a small payment from you, and then giving it back afterwards. Kinda hard to game that system quite so easily.

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I got 2p from Paypal

They test sent me 2 payments of 1p each when I verified my Paypal account, damn I should have seen the possibility then!

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Stop

@Simpson

>"I don't see the crime. Might be a violation of the TOS, but I don't see the crime."

Then it's a damn good thing you aren't a lawyer. It's always a mistake to attempt to infer the non-existence of something from the fact of your own ignorance. So let me spell it out for you, with subtitles for the hard-of-thinking:

Telling lies in order to get money = criminal fraud

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