The holidays are a time for giving, but they’re also apparently quite a temptation for those who are only interested in giving to themselves. Case in point: a Florida woman who allegedly stole more than 100 toys from a Toys for Tots fundraiser. [More]
Earlier this month, a man masquerading as a Walmart employee walked in the door, grabbed four big screen TVs and simply walked back out the way he came. While that was no doubt a brazen shoplifting incident, two women may have topped him over the weekend: police say the women swiped one TV from a local store, changed their clothing and then stole another TV — from the same store.
Kids aren’t the only one coveting expensive toys — as we’ve seen all too often recently, adults are cashing in by stealing pricey items like Lego sets and other items and then selling them for a profit on eBay. But one man who had an eye for toys as well also stole a whole lot of other stuff too from retailers across the country. His total haul? Around $4 to $5 million, say cops, and his mom helped him out.
On Monday, a man in San Francisco rode his bike up to a woman holding an iPhone and snatched it out of her hand, then took off. What he didn’t know was that the woman had just walked out of her company’s office to test a new GPS program that provides real time tracking. She went back inside, gave the police location updates over the phone, and man was arrested a half-mile away, reports the San Francisco Chronicle’s Crime Scene blog.
Yesterday we wrote about someone who downloaded a pirated copy of a game after he couldn’t gain access to the copy he’d already paid for. In that case, which most of our commenters supported, it was clear that the consumer was trying to resolve a problem created by the DRM. But what about if you own a printed copy of a book and you simply want to read the ebook version? Should you have to pay for a second copy? Randy Cohen, who writes the The Ethicist column for the New York Times, says downloading a copy you find online is ethical.
If you’re trying to pirate the Japanese erotic manga game Cross Days–and I don’t care what people say, I love that I live in a world where I can type that phrase–you should know that the game’s developers are wise to you, and they’re going to do their best to shame and embarrass you.
A security company says that one easy way to find recently closed laptops hidden in cars or bags is to search for Wi-Fi radios, because some laptops can take half an hour or more before going into sleep mode. You need a specialized scanner to do sniff out Wi-Fi radios, but NetworkWorld.com says you can get one for about $50. The security company, Credant Technologies, says a group of lottery scammers in Jamaica were using stolen laptops that they found in this way. The solution: disable your Wi-Fi before you close the lid on your laptop.
Someone named Jennifer called in to the Leo Laporte show a week ago and asked for help on how to get back online. She’d been able to access a Wi-Fi hotspot for over a year and a half from her apartment, but “that’s disappeared now for three weeks.” She bought a wireless extender and that didn’t solve the problem at all. Laporte gently tries to point out that she’s being a freeloader, but she’s not buying it.
Gift cards may encourage spending, but they also make it easy for employees to steal, writes the New York Times.
Among the variations of such crimes, cashiers often do fake refunds of merchandise and then, with the amount refunded, use their registers to electronically fill gift cards, which they take. Or sometimes when shoppers buy gift cards, cashiers give them blank cards and then divert the shoppers’ money onto cards for themselves.
Kate Hanni, the founder of the passenger advocacy group FlyersRights.org, has filed a lawsuit against Delta Airlines in which she claims they hacked her email account and acquired personal email messages sent between her, some journalists, and a guy who was at the time working for Metron, a company hired by the FAA to investigate Delta.
Here’s a good rule of thumb for determining whether something is a charitable act: if you have to steal money to do it, and you’re not Robin Hood, it’s probably not gonna count as a good deed.
Two men “of no fixed address” were charged in Maryland earlier this month with tampering with an ATM and skimming funds. The men, currently in custody in Oklahoma for similar crimes, allegedly added a skimmer and camera to an ATM at a Maryland PNC bank in April, but police weren’t notified of the tampering until May 20th.
A Consumerist reader has pretty much reached the limit of poor AT&T customer and technical service over his shoddy Elite DSL account, which for two years now drops to speeds of around 10k every four months. Check out this letter and included chat log for some stunning examples of all the ways AT&T fails at providing a service it charges lots of money for.
Mark Hampton has posted a video response to his dealership getting totally snagged by a customer who stashed a hidden camera in his vehicle and caught mechanics doing some dirty deeds.
Jon spent $250 on a Western Digital VelociRaptor but what he received from Best Buy was a Quantum Fireball, a discontinued hard drive that hasn’t been sold for nine years. Best Buy, of course, took no responsibility for the odd swap, and said that Western Digital must have accidentally sold a competitor’s discontinued drive. Western Digital, of course, said that a Best Buy employee stole Jon’s hard drive. We’ve seen this happen before with Best Buy, and Jon has made it clear that he knows how to bite back…
Web brokers Google and PayPal don’t believe in human-to-human communication, and one place where you really need that is when you’re troubleshooting financial transactions. An interface designer/developer who used Google Checkout to sell an ebook has just been given a huge serving of suck by the “don’t be evil” company—they closed her account on her without warning and refuse to tell her why the closed it. The $200 in earnings that hadn’t been paid out yet are unretrievable, and she can’t open a new one.