the Christmas shopping season, two stories about abusive Internet retailers: Thomas Hawk’s PriceRitePhoto story about a bait-n-switch camera store and Cameron Barrett’s UrbanFlorist.com scam story. The message here isn’t to avoid shopping on the net, but to remember that Google is your friend, and before shopping with a company you haven’t used before, it’s worthwhile to check around before putting in your CC #.
a valuable piece at his Hot Points blog on how to avoid phishing attacks.
and they are proving to be an abusive company in a second way in addition to the basic sliminess of the “product” they shill. Joi Ito recently signed up for the incredibly abusive SMS.ac “service” – which immediately started spamming his contacts to try and get them to sign up as well. He tried to stop it, and in doing so realized what had happened – they took advantage of his expectations of legit sign-up forms and abused that trust. Since he’s a blogger, he wrote about the whole experience. Today Joi received a ridiculous cease and desist notice from SMS.ac’s lawyer, Kevin B Jones. So not only is the so-called service – which is really nothing more than a scam – abusive, but they’re busy trying to silence people who write about their experiences. Amazing.
the catch to Blockbuster’s new “no late fees” policy: you buy the DVD.
the scammers: turning the tables on Nigeria’s e-mail conmen, via BBC News.