Internet Fraud - How to File a Crime Report

As I've blogged about previously, some criminal stole my credit card info and used it at

My employer provides legal services as a benefit - I contacted the "Identity Theft" group and they made a series of recommendations, one of which was to report the crime to the local police.

I phoned my local police department who pointed me to the following website:

("ic3" is "Internet Crime Complaint Center")

I filed a report, which was a simple interview process asking questions about the event.

Crossing my fingers (but not holding my breath) that they will compel GoDaddy to release some pertinent information about the theft.



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GoDaddy, Day 2

Someone from GoDaddy's fraud department phoned this morning (they told me yesterday morning it would be a few hours, not a day later)

Jennifer from the "Fraud Department" told me that the perpetrator used my physical address and phone number (off by at least a digit) when ordering the domain name(s). She would not however, provide any of the following information without a subpoena:

* domain(s) ordered
* email address the order verification was sent to
* requesting IP address

Someone has provided my personal data to GoDaddy, committing a crime and GoDaddy won't divulge this information without legal action on my part? What in the world are these people thinking? Truly frightening. To make matters worse, she refused to even provide a phone number for GoDaddy's legal department. Guess I'll have to call 411 for Scottsdale and ask.



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GoDaddy is a Fraudster's Paradise

I found a mysterious charge from on my credit card bill this morning. Never having done any business with GoDaddy, I immediately thought "FRAUD"

After waiting on hold for 10 minutes, a rep with GoDaddy told me the charge was for a domain called something like "". The rep canceled the charge and initiated a fraud investigation.

I then called my credit card issuer (First USA/United Mileage Plus) and told them about the charge. Their first step was to cancel my account, which of course means that I will have to contact any merchant that automatically posts a monthly charge to my account.

Bottomline: GoDaddy has horrible fraud protection (see image below) as they can't even bother to ask for the CVV on Internet orders (what a joke). Wonder how many of the "new" customers they acquired from their Superbowl ad are actually valid/not fraudulent. My credit card issuer shafts me by canceling my account and leaving me to clean up the mess. I asked to have any internet-based, non-CVV authorization requests automatically denied - this "wasn't possible".

Looks like all the credit card PR effort about protecting identities is just hot air.

GoDaddy - you suck. Get a clue in the Internet age.

FirstUSA - you suck. Get a clue about customer service. No wonder fraud is a growing percentage of the credit card business.

Update: Looks like GoDaddy ads are appearing for some people. Don't do it! Also, me thinks Google has some work to do. Nothing like paying money to have your ad show up next to an article about how your service sucks.



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Napa Marathon - No Headphones??

File this one under "They've Got to be Kidding"

The February update for the Napa Valley Marathon was just published (2/19/2008)

The update details that they will be enforcing the USATF ban on headphones/mp3 players.

The 2008 Napa Valley Marathon is the RRCA National Marathon Championships and, in keeping with RRCA guidelines and USATF rules of competition, headphones are prohibited on the course.

USATF Rule 144.3(b): The visible possession or use by athletes of video or audiocassette recorders or players, TV's, CD or DVD players, radio transmitters or receivers, mobile phones, computers, or any similar devices in the competition area shall not be permitted.

Athletes carrying these devices will be asked to surrender them to a race official prior to the race. Surrendered devices may be picked up at the finish line area following the race.

Wow, I might be "asked to surrender" my iPod? Give me a break Napa Valley Marathon - your rules need some serious revising.

Spirit of the Marathon

Last Thursday night (1/24/2008) I caught the one-night-only showing of the movie "Spirit of the Marathon". If you are a runner, go see this movie. If you know someone who runs and you think they are crazy, go see this movie. (They've added an encore showing on 2/21/2008)

The movie follows six people who are training for the 2005 Chicago Marathon. Two are professional athletes, two have run the Chicago marathon previously (one of them wants to qualify for Boston) and the other two runners are marathon novices. You get to see their training up close and follow them through the ups and downs. One of the professional athletes is Deena Kastor, an American who won the Bronze medal in the marathon from the last Olympics. In her second week of training, she runs 145 miles - around what I run in a month. She gets the official "bad-ass runner" label from me...

The cinematography on race day is great - lots of shots of the course, the individual runners and good history throughout on marathons in general (guest cameos by people like Paula Radcliffe, Amby Burfoot, Alberto Salazar, etc. Lots of familiar names if you read Runner's World). Adrenaline pumping finishes by the two professional runners and a strong sense of pride for the four non-professional folks (after my tough CIM run, I could really relate to one of the runners :-))

Definitely check it out if you get a chance.



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Twitter Follow Spam

It happened to me again today (several times in all just this week)

Twitter sent me an email about a Twitter user that has decided to follow my tweets. I take a look at the Twitter ID and don't recognize it. So, I follow the link in the email to check out the person's profile. The last few tweets from this user are shown and seem a bit ... er ... NSFW. The "Web" link under "About" goes to a porn site .... great, just what I didn't want on Twitter, SPAM!

Hopefully the guys at Twitter are already aware of this and are actively doing something to fix it. I'd hate for Twitter to go the way of ICQ


Interesting EC2/S3 Tools

A couple of interesting tools I've run across for EC2 and S3

EC2 Firefox extension - allows you to manage your EC2 instances in Firefox including:

  • List available AMIs
  • List your running instances
  • Launch new instances of an AMI
  • Manage security groups and launch permissions associated with your instances - EC2/S3 (entire, or almost the entire AWS platform actually). Very cool way to query AWS APIs via a web UI

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GOOG and the Cloud

Two interesting articles about Google and their efforts to bring cloud computing to the fore

NYT - "Google Gets Ready to Rumble With Microsoft"

BusinessWeek - "Google and the Wisdom of Clouds"

Throw Amazon's efforts (EC2, S3) into the mix and this space is going to get really interesting. From my perspective, I'd be really happy if the next company I start can use cloud resources instead of having to build out physical infrastructure.


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