Is it just me, or is a potentially massive problem brewing out there?
I started fretting about this when I learned certain click-to-call services first verify the number a user inputs online by calling back before forwarding the number on to the merchant or advertiser. Initial reaction: “Well, what’s to stop me from inputting my ex’s number? At 5:00 in the morning?” What a number’s mistyped or transposed? Someone’s gonna get that call.
It’s not like I have the most criminal mind in the world (or the intent to follow through), but I’m sure that idea, or one very much like it, is going to occur to more than one mischievious person out there.
My worries were rekindled today when I registered for PayPals’ new text-to-buy mobile payment system. Input a phone number and a password for an account and you get a callback (right away or later, you chose) to verify the account. Send a payment via your mobile phone and PayPal calls the recipient to tell them how to claim the funds.
Currently, PayPal’s new service is free. Conceivably, you could actually harass someone by paying them money — small sums rendered at inconvenient times.
It’s not like I have an exceptionally criminal mind or anything, but it would appear a new Pandora’s box of Web/phone issues may be poised to open.
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