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Thursday, 1 December 2011

Airheads enrich banks at the expense of charities

According to The Register, Anonymous and other hacktivists have joined together to launch an attack on banks in response to recent crackdowns against the Occupy protest movement.  TeaMp0isoN and Anonymous are joining forces to run OpRobinHood, which will involve using stolen credit details to donate to charities and others, supposedly at the expense of banks.

OK, so far so good as long as they don't do anything illegal, although they probably will ....  They say
In regards to the recent demonstrations and protests across the globe, we are going to turn the tables on the banks. Operation Robin Hood is going to return the money to those who have been cheated by our system and most importantly to those hurt by our banks. Operation Robin Hood will take credit cards and donate to the 99% as well as various charities around the globe. The banks will be forced to reimburse the people there [sic] money back.
Which sounds very devious, but it doesn't work like that.

When banks identify a fraudulent transaction they usually reverse the transaction and levy a chargeback – a reversal of a prior outbound transfer of funds. So while customers with compromised credit cards might not lose out, charities who receive fraudulent donations will probably end up out of pocket.

Ah, say the activists, we want the charities to move their money out of the evil banks and into credit unions. Well OK, its a point of view, but:
  1. The charities probably want to use their bank accounts for receiving donations and making payments, both of which are more easily done from a bank account than a credit union account, and
  2. They could have asked the charities first.

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