Set up for fraud

In Who is John Galt Scott Johnson at Powerline quotes from a reader e-mail he received.  The man made a credit card donation to Barak Obama under the name John Galt with the address of 1957 Ayn Rand Lane,  Galts Gulch, CO  99999 on a credit card issued in his own name.  Obama's site did not require the 3 digit verification code.  The donation went through.  The reader notes

This simply should not, and could not, happen in any business or any campaign that is honestly trying to vet it's donors. Also, I don't see how this could possibly happen without the collusion of the credit card companies. They simply wouldn't allow any business to process, potentially, hundreds of millions in credit card transactions where the name on the card doesn't match the purchasers name.

In short, with the system set up as it is by the Obama camp, an individual could donate unlimited amounts of money by simply making up fake names and addresses. And Obama is doing his best to facilitate this fraud. This is truly scandalous.

The reader tried to make the same at the McCain website and it was rejected. 

As one who buys almost everything but staples online, I know that something is funny here. A typo in the name or address has bounced many a transaction on me and an ever increasing number of vendors now require the security code. It appears however, that it isn't collusion by the credit card companies that allows this to happen. In a follow up Johnson notes

Many readers point out that the Obama campaign would exercise some control over the security level required to verify small dollar transactions and that no collusion with the card issuer or bank is therefore required.

Mark Steyn, who does accept overseas contributions, has weighed in with this observation and gets the credit card companies off the hook.  It appears the blame lies solely inside the Obama campaign.

In order to accept financial donations from "John Galt" and "Saddam Hussein", whoever runs the Obama website would have to modify the default security checks required by their merchant processor.

Now sometimes you do have to do a bit of modifying. My website has a lot of customers from overseas, and the default security settings can sometimes be a bit too eager to reject credit cards from countries where the "state or province" box is non-applicable or the postal code is in a non-American format. In other words, the default settings on a US online processing operation (with their bias toward US address formats) should be just what a legitimate US political campaign (anxious not to accept illegal foreign donations) is looking for. Instead, the Obama site appear to have intentionally disabled not only all the address checks (thereby facilitating overseas contributions) but the most basic criterion of all: the card name match (thereby enabling entirely fake contributions). [emphasis added]

This is not sloppiness. It is deliberate. The only thing I find more indicative of criminal intent is the media's disinterest in how the Obama campaign site appears to have been deliberately set up to accept donations from those who are not legally qualified to make them.  As Steyn goes on to note.

If the Republican candidate's website were intentionally set up to facilitate fraudulent donations, it would be on the front page of The New York Times. But, as it's King Barack the Spreader, we can rest assured the crack investigative units will be too preoccupied with Governor Palin's shoes over the next two weeks.



In Who is John Galt Scott Johnson at Powerline quotes from a reader e-mail he received.  The man made a credit card donation to Barak Obama under the name John Galt with the address of 1957 Ayn Rand Lane,  Galts Gulch, CO  99999 on a credit card issued in his own name.  Obama's site did not require the 3 digit verification code.  The donation went through.  The reader notes

This simply should not, and could not, happen in any business or any campaign that is honestly trying to vet it's donors. Also, I don't see how this could possibly happen without the collusion of the credit card companies. They simply wouldn't allow any business to process, potentially, hundreds of millions in credit card transactions where the name on the card doesn't match the purchasers name.

In short, with the system set up as it is by the Obama camp, an individual could donate unlimited amounts of money by simply making up fake names and addresses. And Obama is doing his best to facilitate this fraud. This is truly scandalous.

The reader tried to make the same at the McCain website and it was rejected. 

As one who buys almost everything but staples online, I know that something is funny here. A typo in the name or address has bounced many a transaction on me and an ever increasing number of vendors now require the security code. It appears however, that it isn't collusion by the credit card companies that allows this to happen. In a follow up Johnson notes

Many readers point out that the Obama campaign would exercise some control over the security level required to verify small dollar transactions and that no collusion with the card issuer or bank is therefore required.

Mark Steyn, who does accept overseas contributions, has weighed in with this observation and gets the credit card companies off the hook.  It appears the blame lies solely inside the Obama campaign.

In order to accept financial donations from "John Galt" and "Saddam Hussein", whoever runs the Obama website would have to modify the default security checks required by their merchant processor.

Now sometimes you do have to do a bit of modifying. My website has a lot of customers from overseas, and the default security settings can sometimes be a bit too eager to reject credit cards from countries where the "state or province" box is non-applicable or the postal code is in a non-American format. In other words, the default settings on a US online processing operation (with their bias toward US address formats) should be just what a legitimate US political campaign (anxious not to accept illegal foreign donations) is looking for. Instead, the Obama site appear to have intentionally disabled not only all the address checks (thereby facilitating overseas contributions) but the most basic criterion of all: the card name match (thereby enabling entirely fake contributions). [emphasis added]

This is not sloppiness. It is deliberate. The only thing I find more indicative of criminal intent is the media's disinterest in how the Obama campaign site appears to have been deliberately set up to accept donations from those who are not legally qualified to make them.  As Steyn goes on to note.

If the Republican candidate's website were intentionally set up to facilitate fraudulent donations, it would be on the front page of The New York Times. But, as it's King Barack the Spreader, we can rest assured the crack investigative units will be too preoccupied with Governor Palin's shoes over the next two weeks.