United we fall

Online forum SomethingAwful managed to raise $27,695 to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Then suddenly, PayPal locked the account. When someone finally managed to contact PayPal, they were informed that PayPal has an exclusive contract with United Way—and that United Way’s contract would not allow PayPal funds to be transferred to the Red Cross. Yup: United Way and PayPal would rather block $27k in relief funds, than allow the money to go to the Red Cross.

Picking the wrong target for PayPal fraud

I just had someone attempt to defraud me of a few hundred dollars. He was obviously watching eBay, and noticed I’d just won an auction. So he spammed me an e-mail containing a fake PayPal login page as HTML, with the <FORM> element changed to grab a copy of my username and password via a CGI script. Presumably at that point he’d wire himself $600 or so, which is the maximum possible with my PayPal account since I haven’t verified.