Thursday, April 29, 2004
( 12:15 PM ) Andy
CAN SPAM enforcement is real. Here are some bits and bytes not in the briefing.
Phoenix Avatar offered bogus diet patches for sale for $59.95. They had estimated monthly income of $100,000.
Global Web Promotions also advertised a diet patch and human growth hormones which could “maintain [a user’s] appearance and current biological age for the next 10 to 20 years”. These sold for $80.90 and $74.95 respectively.
These companies spoofed the "From" and "Reply-To" addresses and omitted Opt-out capabilities which directly violate the CAN SPAM law. #
Tuesday, April 27, 2004
( 7:49 AM ) Mary Beth
BOLers Abound at Florida Conference
BOL regulars Jim Bedsole (Magic Banker) and Richard Insley were presenters at the recent Consumer Compliance Seminar (CCS) sponsored by the Florida Bankers Association in Orlando. A rumor was circulated that Jim's crutches (in background) were just props to help him get the sympathy vote in the ratings race, but BOL regulars know he recently injured his foot in an auto accident.
Also presenting at the FBA Seminar were Phil Gay, Ken Golliher, Lucy Griffin and Charles Cabler. CCS is an annual event and there were approximately 165 attendees this year. Those budgeting their compliance training for next year should note the quality of the CCS faculty, Orlando's accessibility as a destination and the Florida climate (as evidenced in the photo). The 20th annual CCS is scheduled for April 6-8, 2005. #
Friday, April 23, 2004
( 9:39 AM ) Andy
Get ready for next week. In Ft. Worth, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing is expected to unveil the new $50 bill. Its re-design is expected to make it more like the current $20 bill. Grant will still be on it, as he has since 1913. And BEP is working more to avoid problems seen when the $20s were released and machines that scan them, as vending machines do for example, were not upgraded for the new artwork.
You may again get customers who will want to know if they need to exchange old bills for the new ones. That won't be necessary and the new bills won't hit circulation until the fall.
If you are in that neighborhood, beginning April 27 the Ft. Worth currency plant will offer tours as the Washington, DC office does. 55% of our paper money, $1, $5 and $20 are printed there now. #
Thursday, April 22, 2004
( 2:21 PM ) Andy
Visa USA confirmed that it was "recently notified by a U.S. merchant that it may have experienced a data security breach resulting in the compromise of Visa card account information". An unspecified number of Fleet Visa Business card numbers may have been compromised at this unnamed merchant. The merchant, number of account numbers compromised and details of the breach are being withheld.
Merchants are the weakest link in this area of information security. Although not necessarily related, speculation ties a recent theft of credit card numbers of BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc. which possibly lost a few hundred numbers of its 8 million member customer base. Douglas Devitt, a cardholder, has had two cards replaced in the last month. The first was as a result of $1,200 in fraudulent charges. He is not sure why the card was just replaced. His Fleet Platinum Visa business card was not used with BJ's. Devitt is simply pleased that they are being proactive and replacing his card before there is fraudulent activity, The Boston Herald reported. #
Tuesday, April 13, 2004
( 12:23 PM ) Andy
Watch those email spam filters, please. Here are some interesting tidbits on spam filters.
Spam outbreaks (large mass mailings) are up 14% this year.
17% of messages are blocked at the ISP. You may never have had the opportunity to know if it was spam.
False positives of filtered spam cost businesses an estimated $3.5 Trillion in 2003.
And from Howard Lax, a frequent BOL poster, this reader feedback pertaining to his Mortgage Newsletter:
"You newsletter was quarantined as SPAM by both of my e-mail services. It seems you talk about low interest rates, monthly payments, unsecured credit and other good stuff. Anything over 4 points is classified as Spam. An email called "meet local sluts tonight" got 11 points, free Viagra got 7.9 points, term insurance quotes got 9.6 points. You got 15.2 points. You should be proud.....".
When Howard tried emailing the spam filter vendor to resolve the problem, he couldn't. His messages were rejected as spam.
And when I was recently signing up for some OTS listserv messages, they include this in their confirmation message: "Please Note: Some spam filters may reject our email notifications. Please tell your email administrator to allow messages from "email@example.com". "
Communicate with your IT staff and ISPs from a users perspective to know what is and is not getting through. Perhaps a message from your friendly regulator also mentions the current mortgage interest rate environment, low rates, refinances and even a special visit they may be making to review your portfolio. They'd also telephone you about this, right?
Monday, April 05, 2004
( 11:30 AM ) Andy
BOL Gurus Jack Holzknecht and I (Andy Z) are pictured here at the Texas Bankers Association Compliance School. This is in Austin, TX April 5, 2005.