Google Answers Triggers Fraud Alert

I’ve been racking my brain off and on for several months trying to figure out how to replace ’ and ” marks with sed and awk. Google hasn’t been able to find any sites that tell me how to escape them. So, today, having successfully used Rent-A-Coder before, I decided to try Google Answers and see if we could get an answer that way.

Well, the interface seemed a little clunky and I apparently didn’t get some of the reverse-Turing tests right because I had to re-enter several times, but it did finally work. I’ll let you know what the results are if I get an answer back. I bid $5.00 for it.

The fun part, however, is that my bank called me to make sure the transaction was legit. My bank has NEVER called me to make sure a transaction is good, even though I spend over $20,000 a year on my card. I make lots of Internet transactions and quite a few foreign ones as well. It seems odd that a $5.50 charge (there is a $0.50 transaction/profit fee to Google) would trigger an alert worthy of calling me.

I asked the rep what might have flagged the transaction and he told me “there has been a lot of on-line fraud associated with the ‘Google Answers’ merchant account.” I wonder if that means that there is an issue with Google, or if some bad people are exploiting Google’s service to test credit cards for validity.

It was also interesting that the rep from the bank readily proved to me that they were from the bank. They didn’t ask me any questions other than “Is this David Lightman” and “Did you authorize a charge from Google Answers about 15 minutes ago?”

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