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Visa and MasterCard Take Fight To Scammers

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the follow-the-not-exactly-money dept.

The Almighty Buck 140

An anonymous reader writes "In his latest story, Brian Krebs reports on a collaboration between brand holders and credit card companies to shut down payment processing for rogue online pharmacies, pirate software sellers and fake anti-virus scams. By conducting test purchases, they map out which banks are being used to accept payments for which scams. Writes Krebs, 'Following the money trail showed that a majority of the purchases were processed by just 12 banks in a handful of countries, including Azerbaijan, China, Georgia, Latvia, and Mauritius.' These results are then fed to Visa and Mastercard who typically shut down the merchant accounts 'within one month after a complaint was lodged.' If you can't accept payments, you can't make money — and without money you can't pay the spammers who advertise your product. This effort is apparently quite effective and has led to much concern by those running such sites."

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Does this affect legitimate online pharmacies? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41716721)

I order some prescriptions on the internet from a pharmacy based in Vanatu, because it's tons cheaper from them even with health insurance. Are they cracking down on those sites?

Re:Does this affect legitimate online pharmacies? (3, Interesting)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 2 years ago | (#41716835)

Depends... if they're selling to the US, it could possibly be shut down, as the drugs wouldn't be FDA-tested, and so puchasing/delivering to the US is just as illegal as Cocaine.

If they're only selling to countries where their drugs are legal trade, then there shouldn't be a problem.

Re:Does this affect legitimate online pharmacies? (4, Interesting)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 2 years ago | (#41717095)

If they are also selling brand name medicine that they purchased from those companies and not distributing generics under brand names. If you RTFA, you'd have learned that is what is getting them shut down: infringing on the brands of pharmaceuticals. Many are switching to just promoting them under the generic name to avoid being shut down. Companies also selling "OEM" copies of software are also getting shut down for selling pirated versions. Its more of a trademark thing than anything else.

Re:Does this affect legitimate online pharmacies? (4, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 years ago | (#41718971)

I watched a doco a while back about some people from doctors without borders and others who were talking about fake medicine, apparently it's quite a problem in Africa, they have fake generics as well as fake brands, and by fake I mean no active ingredient. Even fake saline solution for hospitals is a problem, it had became so troublesome for visiting surgeons on this documentary that they were bringing their own saline with them. As much as I resent a huge bureaucracy around medicine, all the alternatives I've seen are much worse.

Re:Does this affect legitimate online pharmacies? (3, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | about 2 years ago | (#41717135)

How do you even know this pharmacy is "legitimate"? Do you even know they are not just shipping you placebos?

Re:Does this affect legitimate online pharmacies? (4, Insightful)

Guru80 (1579277) | about 2 years ago | (#41717329)

Depending on the medication, the affects on you would let you know fairly soon. If it's for pain relief for instance and you aren't getting any, good bet you got scammed. However, if you are shipped placebos and they actually cure your pain, did you really lose? Rhetoric question, of course you did on value and taking unknown substances but if it really is just a water pill or whatever, you come out good if it actually cures your symptoms by not having to worry about the slight chance but possible harmful side-effects.

That's my ramblings for the time being.

Re:Does this affect legitimate online pharmacies? (1)

eugene ts wong (231154) | about 2 years ago | (#41719041)

And to add to that, we should consider the nocebo effect [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Does this affect legitimate online pharmacies? (3, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 years ago | (#41719063)

Yeah, no real harm done if the asprin is for your headache, not so fine if the asprin is for your heart problem, or the antibiotic is for an eye/lung infection, or your surgeon discovers the saline is in fact tap water after cutting you open. Knowingly defrauding the frail and the sick is the act of a morally bankrupt arsehole, placebo effect or otherwise. - rhetoric answer.

Re:Does this affect legitimate online pharmacies? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 2 years ago | (#41717771)

How do you even know this pharmacy is "legitimate"? Do you even know they are not just shipping you placebos?

The pharmacopeia is a recipe book for answering just that question IIRC. In other words your drugist can tell.

Re:Does this affect legitimate online pharmacies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718737)

It won't affect the orders I pay in bitcoin. I order from a pharmacy that claims to be Swiss (but is actually Indian).

About time! (5, Insightful)

tgeller (10260) | about 2 years ago | (#41716725)

This is wonderful, and exactly what should be happening. I have to ask why they didn't start doing this 20 years ago, though....

Re:About time! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41716941)

You sir or madam are an idiot. Only actual scammers should be stopped. Not those that sell drugs at decent prices. People should be able to self medicate without a doctors, or governments approval.

Re:About time! (4, Informative)

Rhywden (1940872) | about 2 years ago | (#41717079)

Not in all cases. Exemplary point: Antibiotics. They're already over-prescribed and as a result, we have massive problems with stuff like MRSA.

Yes, in an ideal world we'd all have perfect information and be perfectly rational. However, we don't live in such a world and I've had a cashier tell me that he's taking antibiotics to prevent flu (I don't even know which idiot prescribed the stuff).

As a result, the access to some drugs has to be limited in order to prevent secondary effects from happening. I couldn't care less about idiots who shot their immune system to hell with antibiotics - I do care about the multi-resistant bugs those people are training.

Re:About time! (3, Insightful)

GPierce (123599) | about 2 years ago | (#41717679)

You can care all you please about the multi-resistant bugs those people are training, but it's mostly a waste of outrage. The bugs are being trained by corporate agriculture, and the residue from those antibiotics are being served up with every hamburger or pork chop you eat.

And at the same time, you are supporting a pharmaceutical industry that charges US consumers as much as the blockaded free market will bear.

In a corrupt system it's silly to pick sides - when there are no rules. there are no rules.

Re:About time! (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41718237)

In a corrupt system it's silly to pick sides - when there are no rules. there are no rules.

"Don't talk like one of them. You're not! Even if you'd like to be. To them, you're just a freak, like me! They need you right now, but when they don't, they'll cast you out, like a leper! You see, their morals, their code, it's a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these... these civilized people, they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve."

... We all know how that one turned out, Mr. "There are no rules".

Re:About time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718729)

Ironically the super bugs are also from hospitals. People go to the hospitals for other reasons, without the bug , then they catch the bug in the hospital and die.

Re:About time! (3, Interesting)

shentino (1139071) | about 2 years ago | (#41717161)

There is no way to go after scammers in a way that won't be abused by big pharma to also go after unwanted competition.

Both have the same effect of keeping money out of their pockets and it really doesn't matter to them if our money goes into a scammer's pocket, a competitor's pocket, or stays in our pocket. All they care about is that they're NOT the ones getting it in THEIR pocket.

Re:About time! (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | about 2 years ago | (#41719177)

how does a "Big Phama" abuse scammers?? One will sell you a fake pills"the scammer" and the "Big Pharma" will sell you a very real pill. You have got to be kidding about unwanted competition with scammers.

Re:About time! (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 2 years ago | (#41719213)

Thank you for twisting my words. I did not say that big pharma abused scammers. I said that the process big pharma uses against scammers will be abused to go after innocent competitors.

Re:About time! (1)

houghi (78078) | about 2 years ago | (#41717471)

Another thing that should be done s to introduce the US to the 21st century and use the chip reader like the rest of the world.

Sure, that won't be 100% proof, but it is a LOT better then without it.

People will complain that it will be expensive, yet everybody in the rest of the world was somehow able to pay for it.

Re:About time! (2)

davester666 (731373) | about 2 years ago | (#41717595)

Once again, a misleading title.

Visa and Mastercard are not leading this fight. They are not being pro-active about this at all.

If you RTFA, you find out that they will stop payments after people complain about possibly fraudulent payments/transactions.

Re:About time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718525)

Kill the banks as well, break them and they'll investigate their customers a little more carefully.

Durnit, I shoulda patented it then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41719053)

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1921696&cid=34646738 ..too lazy to log in
===========
  by IronClad (114176) on Wednesday December 22 2010, @06:32PM (#34646738) Homepage

Applying this to pirate content is kind of lame, since payments aren't what drives that. BUT I've always thought the Visa+Mastercard collectively have always had the power to end 90% of all spam, and could do it in a matter of weeks.

All it would take is:

    1) terms of service forbidding UCE for products.

    2) a few effectively placed honeypot/canary accounts

    3) a couple tiger teams to place orders for the products that get spammed, and

    4) kick the plug on the commercial accounts that deposit the money.

I would venture to guess that the financial services sector spends more overall on anti-spam/excess bandwidth/malware removal for their own infrastructure than they make from those few stinking transactions

Follow the money (4, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | about 2 years ago | (#41716763)

Wow, they finally discovered the concept of "follow the money".

Re:Follow the money (3, Funny)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about 2 years ago | (#41716827)

And only 10 years after I first suggested the goverment should order them to do it!

Re:Follow the money (4, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 years ago | (#41716833)

Better be careful. Once the scammer figure out you were behind this...

Re:Follow the money (4, Funny)

Zocalo (252965) | about 2 years ago | (#41716993)

Yeah, I can see the headline now: "Anne Thwacks Whacked with Anthrax!"

Re:Follow the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718647)

That's where his user name comes from. That's the joke.

Re:Follow the money (2)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 2 years ago | (#41716885)

The trick is to gather a bunch of bureaucrats, pay them well, and ship them off to a central location where they can think of ways of pushing paperwork and legal requirements to businesses.

To avoid excessive paperwork, just get rid of the old requirements and use the ones developed by said group of bureaucrats.

Companies now have to deal with lots of regulation, which mostly protects consumers, and it becomes cheaper to treat your customers well than to ignore the problems.

EU in a nutshell.

Re:Follow the money (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#41717213)

The problem with following the money is that it can be easily misled. If someone wants to hurt an organisation, they only have to send out a couple of scams with their account number on it and the vigilant banks will shut it down. Punishment should be a monopoly of the legal system.

Re:Follow the money (1)

fermion (181285) | about 2 years ago | (#41717035)

Presumably this was not done prior to know because the profits from these sales to the cc companies far exceeded the costs of the charge backs, services customer complaints, and the values of the lost good will.

I suppose it's good (5, Interesting)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 2 years ago | (#41716771)

that we're shutting down scams and such, but it's interesting to think about some of the side effects of all this computing horse power and the general increase in productivity it entails. Basically, these are criminals living on the fringes, and with modern statistical analysis getting so easy (because you can crunch massive amounts of data on the cheap) we're going to start really squeezing those people. There are millions and millions of people in this class. Some are criminals (like these) and some are honest people who used to get by on waste product and over production. If you live in the States and are over 30 you probably remember bags of Halloween candy for 50 cents. You don't find them any more because they've crunched the numbers and figured out exactly how much candy to order so they don't come up short. Best you'll see if 50% off and a weak selection.

It's like that everywhere in society. It's going to be interesting (and scary) to see what happens as we squeeze these people more and more. Most countries are moving towards Austerity and 19th century style 'Invisible Hand' economics so we're not just going to hand them food. Roving bands of bandits, anyone?

Re:I suppose it's good (3)

rockout (1039072) | about 2 years ago | (#41716845)

If the worse example you can think of is that we can no longer find bags of Halloween candy for 50 cents, I'm not sure that the side effects of increased computing power/productivity are a bad thing for society.

Re:I suppose it's good (2)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 2 years ago | (#41717027)

That was just to illustrate the point. A better example would be the large increase in prices across the board at Walmart. In America we were sold on the idea that low prices would allow us to live well despite stagnant wages. Bargains, sales and close outs are a big part of that. Take a 3lb bag of apples. On sale I might pay $0.99 cents USD for it. Off Sale it might be $9.00. As the sales and discounts get fewer and farther between the people living on the edge get squeezed more and more. There's only so much you can cut before you get desperate and dangerous, and despite what some people say you can't live off beans and rice without serious health problems...

Re:I suppose it's good (1)

rockout (1039072) | about 2 years ago | (#41717171)

We actually agree on this point - the upper half has definitely benefited much more from increased computing power and not just in the way you illustrated, although I'm with you that that's a significant part of it. Unfortunately we start to venture into political territory when we discuss "how do you fix this?" - obviously you can't take away the computing power, and stifling further advances would be counter-productive. A more progressive tax structure would seem to provide at least part of the answer but we currently have a majority of even the lower-middle-class voters in this country screaming that we're taxing the rich too heavily.

The Wal-mart discounts, I would argue, are far more tipped towards bulk junk food than bulk bags of apples, though. So if Wal-Mart has ended sales on giant bags of Cheetos, that might be a good thing as well.

Not really (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 2 years ago | (#41717467)

those cheap calories keep hunger pains in check. As a human you still need around 2000+ calories a day. If all you can afford is junk your body knows it. One of the reasons for obesity that people like to ignore is that if you're constantly eating low, low quality food your body keeps sending you hunger signals. That's because you're not getting the nutrients you need, your body knows it, and it's telling you to get out there and find it.

As for 'how do we fix it'?. I can't think of any way that doesn't involve some form of socialism. The productivity gains of the last 20 years mean there really isn't enough work to go around. Less that 1% of our population produces all the food we need. Robots and computers are automating manufacturing, etc, etc. But in America at least socialism has to be sneaked in. Ayn Rand was penniless in her old age and had to be convinced to take social security so she wouldn't die homeless on the street... :(. We have a presidential candidate who argues that you're not entitled to food, shelter and health care and that's not even an issue, let alone something hurting him in the polls. As a nation we've got a major guilt complex going on or something...

Re:I suppose it's good (1, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41716889)

Roving bands of bandits, anyone?

Countered by FEMA (Blackwater) agents rounding them up, along with a 'statistically insignificant' number of innocents, and sending the survivors off to Gitmo.. which prompts the question, Which is preferable?

Naw... (3, Insightful)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 2 years ago | (#41717061)

they won't bother rounding them up unless their inconveniencing the people that matter ($250k+/yr income last I checked). And strangely the real poor keep their misery to themselves anywhere I've ever lived. Right now I'm living in a ridiculously expensive part of town because I happened to have landed a nice job, but You can drive 10 miles from my apartment and find terrifying slums. The rich like to keep poor people close by to serve them, after all. But the funny thing is the poor don't spill out. That's mostly our drug policy. If you're poor you or someone you know is probably taking illegal drugs to cope with the stress of poverty, and the harsh (selectively enforced) drug laws let us keep the poor in their place. You'll notice the big push is for medical marijuana, not to legalize it. That's because it lets the rich have their weed and keep using the laws to oppress. We did it with the Chinese and opium.

Anyway, you'll still have roving bands of bandits unless you're in the 10%.

Re:Naw... (3, Interesting)

microbox (704317) | about 2 years ago | (#41718337)

We did it with the Chinese and opium.

In the 19thC, the chinese banned opium, and also banned trade with the west. But there was a black market for opium in china, so the british just shipped it from india as a method to get access to chinese goods.

It never would have happened if but for two things: europeans thought that trade is their *right* (with china or elsewhere), and the chinese believed themselves to be utterly superior in all things to the barbarians, and could therefore ignore and dictate terms.

Chinese now refer to this period as the "century of humiliation", and there was much legitimate humiliation. In the end, the europeans won because they had ironclads and modern armies. Might made right. If the chinese had acknowledged that they had come up against barbarians that they couldn't control, then there would have been no trade embargo, and no century of humiliation. After-all, trade was all the european powers were after fundamentally. (Exception: Russa wanted territory, and got a lot of it.)

Re:Naw... (2)

notdotcom.com (1021409) | about 2 years ago | (#41718345)

It's also worth mentioning that the rich just get thier drugs by making appointments. If they are paying $500 cash to their psychiatrist or neurologist for thier "ADHD" or "Migraines", you can bet that they will walk away with prescriptions for amphetimines (adderal), or narcotics (morphine, oxycontin, etc). It just happens to be "legal" for the rich if they pay someone to tell them that they need to take it.

If you're poor and do some meth or heroin for basically the same reasons, you're going to jail.

Big Pharma made a ton of money pushing Valium to women in the 60s/70s for "life's everyday stresses". Turns out that it's highly addictive and creates dependency. It's also highly abused, even today (and the analogues - Xanax, Ativan, etc)

Re:I suppose it's good (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 2 years ago | (#41716901)

Inflation might have had some effect on the pricing of halloween candy as well...

Re:I suppose it's good (3, Insightful)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 2 years ago | (#41717077)

I'm not talking about the base line costs, but the % discount. Instead of being 80 - 90% it tops out at 50%. That's a tighter supply chain at work, and it's cheap computing power and communications that have made that possible. That, plus cheap data storage that lets you track everything and data mine it, so when a manager of a Walmart orders 100 extra bags of candy you know he did it and you can ding him on his performance review for it...

Re:I suppose it's good (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#41717081)

If you live in the States and are over 30 you probably remember bags of Halloween candy for 50 cents. You don't find them any more because they've crunched the numbers and figured out exactly how much candy to order so they don't come up short. Best you'll see if 50% off and a weak selection.

The target near my house routinely gets snapped up at around 50-75% off, but that's just normal market forces at work. 50 cent bags of candy? Yep, all the time, if you can beat everyone else to them.

Re:I suppose it's good (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#41717101)

And this is what preview is for. I meant to say "The Target near my house routinely has post-holiday stuff at up to 90% off. Granted, the good stuff routinely..." Click-drag selection must have deleted an extra line without me noticing. Ah well.

Re:I suppose it's good (4, Informative)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41717123)

Everything you said I could make an argument against, but I won't. Even if it's all true, it's not really relevant. There was a 'scam' a few years ago where a bunch of people got together and opened a business selling sex toys online. But after ordering them, you'd receive a check for the amount of the order and a note saying it wasn't actually legal to sell sex toys in the jurisdiction they were based out of. The catch was the check was from a very obscene-sounding place, like "Anal lover's paradise empornium" or somesuch. As a result, many people didn't cash those checks, and they kept the money. It turned out to make them a lot of money, and it was completely legal (at the time anyway). While this is certainly unethical behavior, it wasn't fraud. It's the same thing on eBay where people sell laptops but if you read the description they're not selling a powerbook, but a powerbook binder. You'd plop down $200 for a used laptop and get a 3 ring binder with the word "Powerbook" in the sleeve.

It's unethical, I agree, but not illegal, it's not fraudulent. In cases like these, the law needs to be changed. Because ultimately, it's the government's responsibility to protect people from fraud and unethical and harmful behavior, not individuals or businesses. To say otherwise is to advocate vigilantism and a departure from the rule of law. The proper party to correct these problems is the government, and only the government. Whether the instrument of criminal conduct is an algorithm or a gun, doesn't matter as far as a conviction is concerned. I don't want to get too far into criminal law here, but the term for an action that indirectly results in harm is called the proximate cause. For example, I'm having an argument with you and I throw a wine bottle at your head, you slip trying to get out of the way, fall on something sharp, and die. While it's true my actions (throwing of the wine bottle) didn't cause your death, there was intent to cause injury, and the wine bottle could have caused a fatal injury, so I'd still be guilty of murder, even though I wasn't the direct cause of your death.

My point is the law itself can be simple and doesn't have to account for all possibilities, in order to apply and be effective. In the case of frauds and scams, there's no need for private individuals and corporations to take action as long as the government can (and does). If, for whatever reason, it does not, then the appeal to action must be directed to the authorities, and no other person or organization. But say a scammer has found a way to legally cause financial harm... in that case, the government needs to pass a law to address that issue, and from that point forward, prosecute anyone caught doing it. But there can be no ex pos facto laws -- that is, we can't declare something that was legal yesterday illegal today, then prosecute someone for an action under the new law.

You can't argue for vigilantism in a society under the rule of law -- and any society not under the rule of law is likely very primitive and with limited economic and social development. They have bigger problems than a petty crook. Civilized society doesn't tolerate people taking the law into their own hands, regardless of how good their intentions may be. Invariably, the vigilante makes a mistake; Accepts evidence that shouldn't be, passes a judgement too harsh, or is biased. To advocate justice means advocating all the principles of it, not just the ones that are convenient.

I wasn't arguing for vigilantism... (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 2 years ago | (#41717501)

just pointing out that these people aren't going to roll over and die just because their livelihood is taken away, and that we don't really have an alternative for them. So when you've got a whole bunch of criminals that have nothing to lose and no hope you're likely to see large scale violence, and unless you can afford a walled community and private security you're going to suffer for it. Maybe you can afford those things and you're not concerned, but I'm a little worried....

To address your comment directly, The law doesn't need to account for every possibility, but society at large needs to. We need to step away from principles and ideas and ask how the world really works. Principles and ideas are fun toys when you're in college, but if you hang on to them too tightly you'll find that you lose to the people who have no principles and are effectively exploiting your.

Re:I wasn't arguing for vigilantism... (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41717995)

just pointing out that these people aren't going to roll over and die just because their livelihood is taken away, and that we don't really have an alternative for them.

Arrest. Trial. Conviction. Jail time.

Maybe you can afford those things and you're not concerned, but I'm a little worried....

I can't, and I'm not concerned. They'd better be well-armed.

You've never been to Detroit (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 2 years ago | (#41718709)

there are large sections where the police don't go. Also, my brother's apartment was robbed in 2000 and they took everything. They caught the guy, and let him go. As for how well armed they are, that's not what's at issue. What matters is a) how desperate and b) how many. I don't want to live in the sorta place were suicide bombs are a part of everyday life, and they gun strapped to your leg won't keep your parts together when one goes off next to you and yours...

Re:You've never been to Detroit (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41718789)

I don't want to live in the sorta place were suicide bombs are a part of everyday life, and they gun strapped to your leg won't keep your parts together when one goes off next to you and yours...

Allow vigilante justice, and you'll become someone else's political statement. You cannot combat evil with evil. Detroit is lost, I'll give you that. But if you want it back, the solution is to put it front and center. Embarass the government. Contact diplomats and embassies everywhere and show them pictures. Tell the story. Demand humanitarian aid because your government is too proud, too pathetic, too enamored with its own past to face its present problems. MAKE THE WHOLE WORLD LOOK, AND SAY "YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED."

Bad. Wrong. Evil. (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41716917)

I'm sure everyone will yell "hip hip, horray!" to this, but it's bad for reasons that aren't obvious. When you have a financial network which has more or less a monopoly on electronic transactions making decisions about who can and cannot make transactions based on arbitrary criterion, the door is opened wide for abuse. Look at Wikileaks: They weren't "scammers", but Visa and Mastercard shut them down. PayPal has a long string of broken businesses and bankrupt individuals under its belt for indefinately seizing/freezing accounts based on suspicions. I'm not going to make a slippery-slope argument here, because it can only slope so far before it cuts into profit margins and such so much a competitor steps in to fill the void -- but we are tolerating a certain level of misuse of power whenever this is allowed.

It's like the internet: Most everyone on slashdot believes in network neutrality, that is, service providers shouldn't prioritize or limit traffic based on content. The same arguments apply towards financial providers, but look around on this thread: Everyone is cheering.

Actually, I lied. I will use a slippery slope argument... amply supported by history. People would cheer censorship of images of pedophilia. Or rape, etc. And as the human history has long shown -- once a service provider also steps into a gate keeper role, they will find more reasons. Soon, it has policies about racism, sexism, communism... and the list grows ever longer. Just like, say, strict liability in criminal cases... once upon a time, it was only used to prosecute in cases where intent simply couldn't be proved easily (if at all), but gradually, over time... it expanded and corrupted itself, so now people face stiffer sentences and fines for downloading music than manslaughter.

Anytime a service provider takes on the gate keeper role, even with the most noble of intentions, eventually it perverts and corrupts... it wears away until the decisions become arbitrary, and the rules cease to matter. Today, it's scammers... tomorrow, someone else will be added to the list. And then another. And another.

But something has to be done! the audience cries. Yes, I agree. Fraud is a crime in most jurisdictions worldwide. The rule of law means the government, not the service provider, says who is punished and how. This is a step backwards -- a step into vigilantism and away from civilization. It is of the most noble intentions, but it is still uncivilized. The proper authority is the government(s). Trials, judges, lawyers, a presentation of evidence, impartiality -- these things matter. Yes, even on the internet. Yes, even when it's scammers. Especially when it's scammers.

To advocate for the rule of law and justice, for civil rights, often requires we defend the worst of humanity. I step in here to defend the scammers, whom are of exceedingly low opinion on this forum, to protect everyone else. Stop it here, now. Do not support this action -- while in this one instance it may be the instrument of good, it is the traditional method by which free society is destroyed. Demand accountability, but demand it of the proper authorities, not the private individuals and corporations.

Re:Bad. Wrong. Evil. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41716977)

Good points but way too much text and drama, back to training...

Re:Bad. Wrong. Evil. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41717699)

Ad hominem attack. Provide some intelligent argument, back to training, troll.

Re:Bad. Wrong. Evil. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41717947)

Ok. Blow me?

Re:Bad. Wrong. Evil. (1)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 2 years ago | (#41717065)

My thoughts exactly. Too bad I'm out of mod points.

Re:Bad. Wrong. Evil. (2)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 2 years ago | (#41717149)

No, Wrong. Re read article. The payment networks are following Laws, rather than acting upon their own accord. If there were 5,000 payment networks, each one would have to comply in a simular fashion. If you don't like the laws, blame the lawmakers and citizens that voted for them.

Re:Bad. Wrong. Evil. (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41717237)

No, Wrong. Re read article. The payment networks are following Laws, rather than acting upon their own accord. If there were 5,000 payment networks, each one would have to comply in a simular fashion. If you don't like the laws, blame the lawmakers and citizens that voted for them.

I read the article. It details an internal process used by Visa and Mastercard to file and resolve complaints. Nowhere in the article does it detail the involvement of law enforcement. It's a policy, not a law. Direct quote: "The credit card associations have a standard process for accepting complaints about such transactions, in which they warn the online merchantâ(TM)s bank (including a notice of potential fines for noncompliance). After a complaint about such activity, the merchantâ(TM)s bank conducts its investigation, and may choose to contest the issue if they believe it is in error. But if the bank decides not to challenge the complaint, then they will need to take action to prevent future such transactions, or else face an escalating series of fines from the card associations." In fact, even the company spokesperson admitted it's an extra-judicial process: "âoeIt doesnâ(TM)t require a judge, a law-enforcement officer or even much in the way of sophisticated security capabilities. If you can purchase a product, then thereâ(TM)s a record of it and that record points back to the merchant account getting the money,' Savage said."

So I stand by what I said: This is a private corporation attempting to perform the duties and responsibilities that should be handled by law enforcement. It's vigilantism. Yes, it's wrapped in corporate policy, altruism, and wears a suit and tie. But Visa and Mastercard are still engaging in vigilante justice.

Re:Bad. Wrong. Evil. (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 2 years ago | (#41717499)

No, they are complying with the laws of the countries the merchants accept buisness from. If a product is illiegal to sell in country A, they will not allow there payment systems to be used to break the law. If you don't like it change the law.

Re:Bad. Wrong. Evil. (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41717969)

No, they are complying with the laws of the countries the merchants accept buisness from. If a product is illiegal to sell in country A, they will not allow there payment systems to be used to break the law. If you don't like it change the law.

If that's true, then show me the part in the article where it says "... and then they turn over the evidence to the authorities for prosecution."

Re:Bad. Wrong. Evil. (1)

robot5x (1035276) | about 2 years ago | (#41717173)

tl;dr - allowing private service providers to make such potentially huge decisions about who can send/receive/make money is dangerous.

I agree, acutually, but:

1. the trend nowadays is for 'less' government; western governments are following the oxymoronic principle of 'contractionary stimulus' in order to push a neo-liberal agenda and further shrink government and deregulate.

2. this is a marketing stroke of genius by Visa/Mastercard. They come out looking great for defending us all against these naughty people and then, some time in the not too distant future, any arguments against them having such power (i.e. when they freeze accounts of political activists, etc), will be branded as pro-crime/paedophilia/whatever.

A slippery slope indeed.

Re:Bad. Wrong. Evil. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41717225)

False.

These companies lose money because of these scams. Remember that Zero Liability clause in your credit card contract?? And, if the person being scammed was using a debit card, then the bank holding the account loses the money. This is not arbitrary, as you suggest. This is a company(s) protecting their bottom line, and the bottom line of their business partners.

Slippery, Smishppery... the line is clearly drawn in this case: "you cause us to make less of a profit, we'll cut you off."

Re:Bad. Wrong. Evil. (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 2 years ago | (#41717251)

There's no effective difference between the government and business due to political corruption.

Nothing is going to go for the greater good so long as the government is a corporate lapdog.

Re:Bad. Wrong. Evil. (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41717305)

There's no effective difference between the government and business due to political corruption. Nothing is going to go for the greater good so long as the government is a corporate lapdog.

That may be true, but it's still irrelevant. We can't combat corruption by advocating more corruption. There's only one way to combat corruption: Education and demands for accountability. It's the government's job to correct injustice, and if injustice exists within the government then that is where the change must start. No matter how corrupt the government, vigilantism is worse. Even corrupted, the problem is still in one place. Hand authority over to the mob, and the problem is now everywhere, spreading like a cancer.

Re:Bad. Wrong. Evil. (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 2 years ago | (#41717403)

You misunderstood me so bad on what my point was that I'm not even going to dignify your response with a comment beyond this one.

Re:Bad. Wrong. Evil. (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41717449)

You misunderstood me so bad on what my point was that I'm not even going to dignify your response with a comment beyond this one.

Translation: "I'm out of one-liners spoon-fed to me by demotivational posters and google image search."

Re:Bad. Wrong. Evil. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41717337)

There's no effective difference between the government and business due to political corruption.

Politics is corruption.

Nothing is going to go for the greater good so long as the government is a corporate lapdog.

Your problem is that you think you can give a right to steal and kill to a group of people, call them 'the government' and not have them rapidly become corrupt.At best you can control corruption by enforcing limits on what that group can do, but as the history of America has shown, that only works for a few decades at most.

Re:Bad. Wrong. Evil. (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 2 years ago | (#41717429)

Before anyone else makes a snarky reply.

My suggestion is to get business out of government so that our voices as the voting public can be heard.

Re:Bad. Wrong. Evil. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41717307)

Much the same reasoning is why child porn shouldn't be outlawed: The resulting censorship hides the abuses in making the awful stuff. This is already superfluous because the pictures are by themselves awful enough that unless you're into that stuff, you don't want to look at it, period. And we do want to stop the abuses. Yet what we do hides them instead. And then opens the door to more censorship, like in the name of terrorism or copyright or what have you. Including political dissent. Oops.

Too busy "thinking of the children" to consider the consequences? Well, there's consequences to this financial thing too.

In banking, this sort of rulery has been creeping in for a while now, to the point that in plenty places you can't open a bank account without leaving a copy of your passport (and often thus also the local equivalent of a SSN). Every transaction leaves a paper trail. Cash is busily being phased out for chip&pin, even outlawed in places. Thus we create an underclass of have-nots without access to banking and eventually without access to basic necessities like food because you need a bank account with your chip&pin to buy such things. And everyone else has no privacy left. Oops.

On that note, one of the worst and most insidious threats to privacy are... tax rules. In particular, those that require, as they do in certain countries, that each transaction be kept on record for N years, where N is 7, or 10, or .... As with the advent of cc and chip&pin and other electronic payment systems, everything you buy now has your name attached, as well as a time and a place. Kept for years.

You know, I think I'll take a world where the scammers can have access to banking over one where random corporations are expected to decide whether you're a scammer or not. On balance.

At the same time I do expect law enforcement to go after scammers swiftly. Both to weed out the false positives right quick, and to limit the damage the real scammers can do.

So I second the parent, though maybe there is merit in trying to explain this non-obvious problem space to lay people, since obvious the highly erudite and impartial slashdot crowd already has trouble figuring it out. Too busy cheering perhaps.

Re:Bad. Wrong. Evil. (1)

Branka96 (628759) | about 2 years ago | (#41717641)

So, if a company commits fraud (take peoples money, don't deliver products), Visa and Mastercard are not allowed to cut them off before a court has delivered judgement? Even with thousands of complains? Of course with most of these companies you would have to have multiple judgements for different countries.

Re:Bad. Wrong. Evil. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41717647)

When you have a financial network which has more or less a monopoly on electronic transactions making decisions about who can and cannot make transactions based on arbitrary criterion, the door is opened wide for abuse.

These aren't arbitrary criteria, these scammers are committing fraud - demonstratably illegal in any civilized country.

The Wikileaks case is different. Wikileaks did not break US law (although Bradley Manning may have broken US law in providing information to Wikileaks). This is the exactly the same logic that applied to the Washington Post publishing all sorts of things related with the Watergate scandal. The Washington Post was never charged with anything.

And yet, the Obama administration persuaded mastercard & visa to cut off Wikileaks.

Maybe you shouldn't vote for President HopeNChange this time around. I didn't vote for him last time, and I won't be voting for him this time.

Re:Bad. Wrong. Evil. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718543)

When you have a financial network which has more or less a monopoly on electronic transactions making decisions about who can and cannot make transactions based on arbitrary criterion, the door is opened wide for abuse.

These aren't arbitrary criteria, these scammers are committing fraud - demonstratably illegal in any civilized country.

The Wikileaks case is different. Wikileaks did not break US law (although Bradley Manning may have broken US law in providing information to Wikileaks). This is the exactly the same logic that applied to the Washington Post publishing all sorts of things related with the Watergate scandal. The Washington Post was never charged with anything.

And yet, the Obama administration persuaded mastercard & visa to cut off Wikileaks.

Maybe you shouldn't vote for President HopeNChange this time around. I didn't vote for him last time, and I won't be voting for him this time.

Oh, I'm sure Wikileaks broke SOME US law, somewhere.

There's even an infinitesimal chance it was a law regarding espionage.

But that's more of an indictment of the Byzantine laws of the US than Wikileaks.

Because if you're in the US, you've probably violated things like 17 different laws about cattle farming amongst kelp forests.

Scammers, pirates, and thieves (3, Interesting)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41716929)

So, when will they cut off the IMF, World Bank, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and the Federal Reserve, and all the European Banks that robbed their respective countries?

Re:Scammers, pirates, and thieves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41717127)

As a citizen of one of those countries you say were robbed by European banks, I should add that most of it was of our own making. Most of us accept that and only the leftards pretend its someone else's fault. But then again, they what's being a leftard is all about.

Re:Scammers, pirates, and thieves (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41717271)

How right you are, and on top of that you're letting the robbers keep their spoils when you put their dogs into high office. But if you want the money back, you have to go back to the banks and take it back. There's still nothing wrong with shutting them down in the process.

Re:Scammers, pirates, and thieves (1)

Kernel Krumpit (1912708) | about 2 years ago | (#41719285)

So, when will they cut off the IMF, World Bank, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and the Federal Reserve, and all the European Banks that robbed their respective countries?

Cut up your credit cards, secrete your cash at home and that will dampen their extortion...

Pointless - takes too long (5, Insightful)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#41717111)

So - the scammers are in business for 4-6 months on average before they come up on someone's radar for investigation. The investigation and following the money trail takes at least a month - maybe two. File a complaint, and voila - a month later, Visa and MC are shuttting down the scammer's merchant account.

Well - guess what? Most fraudsters shut down their operations and start a new one every 6 months on average. So - if it takes you 6-9 months to find and shut down their merchant account, you haven't accomplished anything really. They already made all the money they were planning to, and have already set up their next site and account. And, since there is almost zero capital investment required to set up a bogus payment website, these guys are making almost 100% pure profit for the time period that they had originally intended to. Also, they are re-sellling all the credit cards they process, and making money on the back-end.

Re:Pointless - takes too long (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41717341)

Well - guess what? Most fraudsters shut down their operations and start a new one every 6 months on average. So - if it takes you 6-9 months to find and shut down their merchant account, you haven't accomplished anything really. They already made all the money they were planning to, and have already set up their next site and account.

Which is why these investigations should be handled by law enforcement, not corporations. Law enforcement has the resources to track down the people responsible, seize the money, and take away their ability to repeatedly cause harm. While everyone says "Yay! The corporation is doing something," they're failing to realize that it doesn't accomplish anything in the long-term.

That's why you let law enforcement handle fraud cases -- nothing says "You're done," like the inside of a jail cell.

Re:Pointless - takes too long (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41717693)

Well - guess what? Most fraudsters shut down their operations and start a new one every 6 months on average. So - if it takes you 6-9 months to find and shut down their merchant account, you haven't accomplished anything really. They already made all the money they were planning to, and have already set up their next site and account.

Well, they also identified payment processors & banks which facilitate these shady transactions.

There aren't that many payment processors & banks out there. By charging increased costs to these payment processors & banks, their costs go up dramatically when dealing with the fraudsters.

IE, the payment processors & banks will be more diligent before doing business with fraudsters.

Would work for robocalls too (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41717183)

Solution, meet thy problem:

$50k reward for best way to stop robocalls [slashdot.org]

CAPTCHA: screwed

FYI (0)

shentino (1139071) | about 2 years ago | (#41717289)

Credit card companies are IN on this.

Remember that credit cards earn money by charging transaction fees against merchants?

All money funneled to a scammer through a credit card, credit card issuers are getting a cut of it.

Re:FYI (2)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 2 years ago | (#41717767)

until the person scammed makes the complaint and the card company has to refund the losses, sure they make good on the charges to the merchant and its this that allows them to make the payouts but its still a loss to them.

Better for them to stop the scammers, make people feel safer about buying things with the cards, and rake in the profits for those little fees they charge.

That will teach them! (1)

Fuzzums (250400) | about 2 years ago | (#41717317)

Well. Actually I doubt that. ONE FRELLING MONTH.
Given the fact that the average spam / scam site relocates to a new URL in no time, how hard can it be to change bank accounts every two weeks?

I'll tell you how I & others here do it... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41717567)

IF you don't want to be tracked, & to get your speed/bandwidth back you paid for (as well as electricity, CPU cycles, RAM, & other forms of I/O as well), better "layered-security"/"defense-in-depth", reliability (vs. DNS poisoning redirection OR being "downed"), & even anonymity (to an extent vs. DNS request logs) + being able to "blow by" what you may feel are unjust blocks (in DNSBL's) & more...

---

APK Hosts File Engine 5.0++ 32-bit & 64-bit:

http://start64.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5851:apk-hosts-file-engine-64bit-version&catid=26:64bit-security-software&Itemid=74

---

Custom hosts files gain me the following benefits (A short summary of where custom hosts files can be extremely useful):

---

1.) Blocking out malware/malscripted sites

2.) Blocking out Known sites-servers/hosts-domains that are known to serve up malware

3.) Blocking out Bogus DNS servers malware makers use

4.) Blocking out Botnet C&C servers

5.) Blocking out Bogus adbanners that are full of malicious script content

6.) Blocking out known spammers &/or phishers

7.) Blocking out TRACKERS

8.) Getting you back speed/bandwidth you paid for by blocking out adbanners + hardcoding in your favorite sites (faster than remote DNS server resolution)

9.) Added reliability (vs. downed or misdirect/poisoned DNS servers).

10.) Added "anonymity" (to an extent, vs. DNS request logs)

11.) The ability to bypass DNSBL's (DNS block lists you may not agree with).

12.) More screen "real estate" (since no more adbanners appear onscreen eating up CPU, Memory, & other forms of I/O too - bonus!)

13.) Truly UNIVERSAL PROTECTION (since any OS, even on smartphones, usually has a BSD drived IP stack).

14.) Faster & MORE EFFICIENT operation vs. browser plugins (which "layer on" ontop of Ring 3/RPL 3/usermode browsers - whereas the hosts file operates @ the Ring 0/RPL 0/Kernelmode of operation (far faster) as a filter for the IP stack itself...)

15.) Custom hosts files work on ANY & ALL webbound apps (browser plugins do not).

16.) Custom hosts files offer a better, faster, more efficient way, & safer way to surf the web & are COMPLETELY controlled by the end-user of them.

---

* There you go... & above all else IF you choose to try it for the enumerated list of benefits I extolled above?

Enjoy the program! However, more importantly, the results in better speed/bandwidth, privacy, reliability, "layered-security"/"defense-in-depth", & even anonymity to an extent (vs. DNS request logs & blowing past DNSBL's) + more, that custom hosts files can yield...

Of course, THIS is NOT going to "go well" with 3 types of people out there online, profiting by advertising & nefarious exploits + more @ YOUR expense as the consumer:

---

A.) Malware makers & the like (botnet masters, etc./et al)

B.) ADVERTISERS - the TRULY offended ones, as it is their "lifeblood" in psychological attack galore, tracking, & more, etc.!

C.) Possibly webmasters (who profit by ad banners, but fail to realize that those SAME adbanners suck away the users' bandwidth/speed, electricity, CPU cycles, RAM, & other forms of I/O they PAY FOR, plus, adbanners DO get infested with malicious code, & if anyone wants many "examples thereof" from the past near-decade now? Ask!)

---

APK

P.S.=> Lastly - It does a BETTER JOB than AdBlock &/or Ghostery (both of those are OWNED BY ADVERTISERS & are crippled in the former by default, + track you via the latter)

AND

It also circumvents Apache's b.s. as well as anything in ANY browser that attempts to defeat blocks (or other webbound programs):

---

Adblock Plus To Offer 'Acceptable Ads' Option:

http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/12/12/2213233/adblock-plus-to-offer-acceptable-ads-option

---

and

---

Evidon, which makes Ghostery, is an advertising company. They were originally named Better Advertising, Inc., but changed their name for obvious PR reasons.

Despite the name change, let's be clear on one thing: their goal still is building better advertising, not protecting consumer privacy.

Evidon bought Ghostery, an independent privacy tool that had a good reputation.

They took a tool that was originally for watching the trackers online, something people saw as a legitimate privacy tool, and users were understandably concerned. The company said they were just using Ghostery for research.

Turns out they had relationships with a bunch of ad companies and were compiling data from which sites you visited when you were using Ghostery, what trackers were on those sites, what ads they were, etc., and building a database to monetize.

When confronted about it, they made their tracking opt-in and called it GhostRank, which is how it exists today.

They took an open-source type tool, bought it, turned it from something that's actually protecting people from the ad industry, to something where the users are actually providing data to the advertisers to make it easier to track them.

This is a fundamental conflict of interest.

To sum up: Ghostery makes its money from selling supposedly de-indentified user data about sites visited and ads encountered to marketers and advertisers. You get less privacy, they get more money.

That's an inverse relationship.

Better Advertising/Evidon continually plays up the story that people should just download Ghostery to help them hide from advertisers. Their motivation to promote it, however, isn't for better privacy; it's because they hope that you'll opt in to GhostRank and send you a bunch of information.

They named their company Better Advertising for a reason: their incentive is better advertising, not better privacy

---

Advertisters never intended to honor "DNT" (Do Not Track):

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/09/23/1334258/advertisers-never-intended-to-honor-dnt

---

AND, neither do others:

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/09/30/1435231/think-tanks-website-rejects-browser-do-not-track-requests

---

The webserver program folks even "jumped on the bandwagon" in Apache, as far as "DNT":

http://apache.slashdot.org/story/12/09/08/0053235/apache-patch-to-override-ie-10s-do-not-track-setting

---

Talk about "crooked" & telling 1/2 truths (as well as making software that was ONCE quite useful & effective, NOT QUITE AS USEFUL & EFFECTIVE by default anymore!)

... apk

Judge and jury? (4, Insightful)

mstrcat (517519) | about 2 years ago | (#41717407)

I'm not at all comfortable with credit card companies making unilateral and largely black-box decisions like this. While it's true that having a Visa account is not a right, I'm expect them to provide services without making such decisions for me. I feel as if I have more to worry from Visa than I have from the people they claim are selling shady goods.

Re:Judge and jury? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41717599)

They do it all the time. This is not a new thing, if they have reason to suspect you, they will shut down your merchant account. They've been aggressive on this since at least the 90s. The only thing new here is that some academics decided to track down the money trail to the spammers.

Here's a quote on the topic from the article:

Contracts between the banks and Visa and MasterCard stipulate that merchants are prohibiting from selling goods and services that are illegal in the country into which those goods or services are being sold.

Re:Judge and jury? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718677)

If you fear Visa, it's certainly not from this particular action. And so it follows that your fear of Visa has nothing to do with the topic of this discussion.

V and MC PARTICIPATE in the transactions (3, Informative)

raymorris (2726007) | about 2 years ago | (#41719267)

Visa and Mastercard participate in or at very least facilitate these transactions. You are uncomfortable with someone choosing not to participate in criminal activity? They should knowingly facilitate fraud, allowing their networks to be used for criminal activity? No, I think the card associations and issuers are doing exactly the right thing in refusing to process fraudulent charges for counterfeight goods. Their motivation is threefold. Doing the right thing, of course, and branding, but mainly chargebacks. You may know Visa and Mastercard, through their issuers, guarantee to protect their customers from most types of fraud. If you pay by Visa and are shipped a counterfeight product, you can fill out a form and get your money back. I suspect most would agree that's good for consumers. It means, however, that Visa is ultimately on the hook for the money. If you buy MS Windows and get shipped a couterfeight copy, VISA could end up having to refund your money. Thus it's incumbent upon them to reduce fraud as much as practicable, because in the end the money comes out of their pocket. (If they can't retrieve the money from the scammer.) You would prefer that Visa would be required to a) knowlingly facilitate fraud and then b) pay back the money someone else stole?

Easy answer - booby trapped cc numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41717415)

Seems to me there is a really easy answer - issue lots of "booby trapped" dummy but valid CC numbers to lots of people to use whenever they get any sort of scam solicitation. When those numbers hit the payments system, it sets off an alarm and traces to whoever is trying to take payment, and notifies local Law enforcement.

Re:Easy answer - booby trapped cc numbers (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 2 years ago | (#41718635)

The problem with that soloution is I can see people feeding those numbers to buisnesses they don't like even though they have no reason to believe they are scammers.

Who decides .... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#41717435)

... what are rogue online pharmacies, pirate software sellers and fake anti-virus scams? Who files the complaints and what are they based on?

I can see opportunities for abuse here. Your competitor offers a better product. You file a complaint that they are a 'pirate' and the credit card companies shut them down.

Re:Who decides .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41717895)

... what are rogue online pharmacies

I can't speak for copyright infringement of software, and anti-virus scams, but in terms of pharmacies:

Pfizer, Merck and friends.

Any online pharmacy selling even generic medication to US citizens, regardless of it being real, one hundred percent, honest to goodness medicine, is treated as 'rogue'.

Medicine is like a DVD without the hardware support of region locking. Oh, they want it locked down - because outside the US, even name-brand drugs are pennies on the dollar compared to here - but there's the problem that ingesting a drug from Canada, India, or anywhere else doesn't pop up a little nag alert in your stomach insisting you can only modify which region your intestines are in two more times.

So they go with the next best options. Legislation and law enforcement when they can get it; fake reviews to scare people when they can't.

Re:Who decides .... (1)

aurizon (122550) | about 2 years ago | (#41718093)

The online offshore pharmacies are shipping their pills in flat packs that fit into letter-mail and have hand written addresses and mailing them first class mail. Most arrive OK, but it is only suitable for pills with one thin dimension - in time they will be able to get them made very thin.
The big drug makers are trying all ways to block the business of selling real viagra, sold in India for 40 cents per pile - in line with wages, and sold for $10-20 in the USA. The actual pills may well cost only 2-3 cents in bulk. These huge cash cows are protected fiercely

Not hard to tell. After a bunch of complaints (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 2 years ago | (#41719333)

It's based largely on "chargeback ratio". If 10% of the people who pay the company take the time to fill out fraud reports, it's probably a fraud. Secondly, the comoany can challenge the complaints. Most commonly, the complaint is "I paid, but I never recieved anything." The company can reply with a UPS tracking number. Another common complaint is "I didn't buy anything from the company, but they charged my card." That's why you sign the reciept, so the company can prove you authorized it. After being flagged by the percentage of complaints and how the company responded to them, a human being can check over the records, look at the web site, etc., comparing that company to others in the same industry that are about the same size. At that point you can pretty well tell if it's a scammer or not. These measures have been in place for decades and work quite well. Here's he part which is kind of new. It's the banks who run merchant accounts who handle complaints against their customers. The research shows that 12 banks don't care about fraud complaints and keep processing for the fraudsters . Since those 12 banks aren't doi.g their job under their contract with Visa, Visa is warning that they may termimate the contract unless the crime-friendly banks shape up and take fraud complaints seriously.

So whay about Rachel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41717609)

Can't they do this with Rachel from Card Member Services?

Easier (1)

Fuzzums (250400) | about 2 years ago | (#41717729)

Tell the big pharmas they can make more money by eliminating this *cough* competition.
Let them go after the spammers.
Better still. Let the pharmas outsource that to the terrorists of music industry.
They REALLY know how to deal with the internet.
Or at least how to demolish it.
And spam is a part of the internet I would LOVE to see demolished.

So effective, we obviously don't need ACTA (1)

knorthern knight (513660) | about 2 years ago | (#41718187)

ACTA started out as a legitimate anti-counterfeit-goods agreement, that the MAFIAA hijacked. The stink of the MAFIAA corruption was enough to get ACTA rejected in its entirety. If Big Pharma can do without ACTA, that's one less lobby group pushing for its re-incarnation.

great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718299)

Finally we will get rid of scamers

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YUO FAIL IT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718367)

hapless *BSD Be any fuHcki5ng

More rip-offs happen through legit processors... (1)

Kernel Krumpit (1912708) | about 2 years ago | (#41719281)

In my experience more rip-offs, theft, lies and financial ruin are caused by payment processors, major banks, VISA, MasterCard, CitiBank and others of that ilk/mode/genre.

Malware on a Windows machine costs an hour to remove and $25.00 for Malwarebytes.

Tell me these assholes in the first paragraph haven't stolen more than $100.00 from you!

There's just no perspective anymore

Slippery Slope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41719457)

This is why we need bittorrent. I'm not saying that ripping people off is right although people need to *think* and be more savvy. We shouldn't go down this slippery slope of banning the exchange of moneybecause some company or government dictates. It's none of the governments business nor that of corporations like master card, visa, American express, or pharmaceuticals to tell me whom I should buy from. That is my business.

Some of the things that are banned that have/could after:

gambling
wikileaks
adult materials
etc

Right now countries in the middle east for instance are targeting some of these. The US government targeted gambling. People of the upper class and elite/propitiations targeted wikileaks

As they say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41719497)

... for everything else, there's Bitcoin!

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