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what the voices in my head tell me to write

Monday, June 11, 2007

This is wierd 

For the second month running my credit card company has rung me to check that my payments to Linden Lab for my subscription to SecondLife are legit. Apparently a lot of people who have been the victims of identity theft have had SecondLife accounts set up in their name.

Thats all very well and good. I am sure your average scum sucking identity thief doesn't want to pay to play. But what its in it for them in the long run? The only thing I can think of its that once the account is set up they would buy lots of L$ using the stolen card details and then transfer them to an account they have "legitimate" access to and convert them into US$ and get them back into the real world.

I would have though the rate of exchange between US$ and L$ wouldn't make this too profitable or just too complex. But on the other hand its a great way to use a third party system to launder your money.

I guess it could be relatively hard to track too. User A buys a lot of L$ on their credit card. Very quickly transfers a lot of them to user B who very quickly moves them back into US$. Not an uncommon practice I would have thought especially in the seedier side of things.

Now if you were being really clever and had access to lots of stolen credit cards you could buy LOTS of L$ and see if you could get into the currency speculation market.

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