Is This The Achilles Heal Of The Olympic Ticket Scammers

Yesterday on the Today Show Karl and I discussed the latest, most likely largest online scam we have seen for some time. A bogus website set up to snare would be travellers hoping to watch the worlds greatest sporting event has netted (as said by SMH) $50 Million. My main concern was that this website was one of the best at hoodwinking people because it looked so real. Well, one viewer emailed in with his theory on how to tell if a site was a site, or merely a scam to rip off your hard earned cash. I’ve changed the name of the emailer to respect privacy.

Caught the Olympics scam story this morning on Today. As the IT guru, I though you might like to point out to the masses that on the Credit Card details page, there’s no sign (little padlock at the bottom right) that the page is encrypted. Additionally, to test the theory, I registered with the site this morning and have ordered in the vicinity of $500,000,000 worth of tickets for a wide variety of events using random numbers in the CC box – no problem. Legit sites always check your CC details.

If this hasn’t been pointed out please spread the word. I use CC online a lot, and I always check for the encryption. The fact that these guys haven’t pinged me proves the illegitimacy of the site. It could also prove that they’ve been caught and lynched as well, of course…:)

Cheers – Johnno

Are there any other ideas floating around that will help, simple is always best so shoot them through.

Blackberry Bold on The Today Show – August 1, 2008

Welcome to August! This morning Karl and I discussed at 6:45am the Blackberry Smart phone offering, ‘The Bold’. I like it, it’s the phone that Blackberry had to release to offer customers the wider feature set that the competition is now launching into other phones in the market. Blackberry has been instrumental in building the concept of mobile email into an activity that is now accessible to so many.

The Bold has been receiving positive reviews, but it is still a tool that is mostly for business users wanting mobile email, with a few extra features added on. Whereas iPhone is an iPod (essentially a multimedia device) with a phone function added on.

If the Bold looks like something for you, then the cost will be much the same as the iPhone, especially if you get it from Optus. They’re launching on August 20th, at $10 a month for the Phone and $79 a month for the call plan – Check out the details here

A Question About Buying Gadgets Overseas

Tracey has sent me an email that her son is travelling overseas and wants to buy a Laptop and iPhone while in the USA. The concern is whether these gadgets will work in Australia?

It is best if your son does not purchase an iPhone in the USA. AT&T are the exclusive network partner of iPhone in the U.S. and all phones are locked to this phone network. To make it work in Australia it will need to be ‘unlocked’, this is a complicated and unnecessary process that will allow the iPhone to work on Australian phone networks. There has been a large amount of discussion about unlocking the 3G iPhone. Apple is working to make it harder and users are working to make it easier, in the end the process is one giant pain designed to give Apple a trailing revenue post sale of the iPhone.

If your son really wants an iPhone, then one thing to try is purchasing the iPhone in Australia from Optus under the prepaid system and when purchasing request the network lock to be removed. Once this is done the device should work in other countries on 3G networks, however data speeds may differ depending on where you access.

A laptop purchased overseas will be able to be used in Australia. However your son will need to get a converter for the power plug – to change the ampage – but these are easy to find and cheap to buy (about $8). Other features such as WiFi will work, however he will also need to check his warranty support to ensure he has ‘Worldwide warranty coverage’. Most vendors offer this as part of a warranty package so it should not be a problem.