Mar. 17th, 2008

cheeni: (Default)
This is probably a comment on what an exciting city New York is, or I am just having more than my usual share of run-ins with incidents worth writing about.

I was at the Apple Store yesterday, waiting in the checkout line which was being held up by a bunch of people with unusual orders. I saw someone pay cash for two mac book pros - nearly $4000++, someone else paid cash for a $2000+ gift card. While these were unusual, they are not really very surprising. For example the couple buying the macbookpros were from UK and they wanted to use up their spare dollars possibly avoiding their bank's usurious charges.

However what I saw next was something else. There was a kid of 18-21 who was looking to buy $43000 (yes, forty three thousand dollars) worth of Apple store gift cards. Of course, it took for ever for the store clerk to activate the gift cards, but that's not the point.

The kid tried to pay with 3 different credit cards, and each gets rejected. And each card has a different name on it. Everyone around gets really suspicious, and then the kid shows some ID and explains that one has his middle name, and the other card has his last name or some such. Then he says he's got a friend standing outside who has a card that will work, so he goes to fetch him.

A few minutes later, in walks a 30 year old guy, dressed in a leather jacket, turtle neck sweater and baseball cap. He is holding a stack of some 2 dozen credit cards of various colors, held together with a rubber band. He extracts an American Express Gold card which actually works. The ID he produces to validate the sale is a New York State driving license that looks like it has been through the wash cycle more than a few times, it's faded, and bent at the corners. There's really no way to tell if it is fake, but I'll tell you that most bars will not let you in with that kind of ID, but surprisingly the Apple store clerk had no trouble believing the story.

Now there could be a harmless explanation for that kind of thing, in fact I can think of some. However, I am willing to bet money that the credit cards were stolen and the gift cards are already on ebay, like this one...

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cheeni

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