Astrodome: Within two minutes of AFP photographer Stanly Honda electronically publishing a photo of Katrina victim Latesha Vinette holding up her Red Cross debit card, Ms. Vinette was paged by the management of Reliant stadium to receive a call from Mastercard asking about cash advances totally $65,237, the attempted purchase of a Ferrari automobile using her card #, along with hundreds of purchases from eBay, including, ironically, camping gear.
"I don't know what I was thinking" said AFP photographer Honda, who failed to obscure any of the card's digits, or expiration date in his photo. I guess I could have just had her put her thumb over the first four digits." Ms. Vinette's balance reportedly dropped from $2000 to .45 cents in less than three minutes.
Ms. Vinnette, and daughter Mychal Boykins will now face a slow, certain death from starvation and exposure, according to survival experts. "In the good ole US of A, giving folks internet access to your credit or debit card # is the kiss of death. "The Bush administration isn't going to be issuing "replacement cards," said one official. "We'll let Stan and Ms. Vinette work it out."
There's no "identity theft" here at all said a Mastercard spokesperson. Ms. Vinette failed to protect the privacy of her card, and we're not liable That's the beauty of a debit, versus a credit card, and why we've been pushign them so hard."
A spokesperson for Capital One said "I warned the people of New Orleans about this. The pillaging and plundering in our ads is all symbolic, this is the real thing."
Credit card companies years ago began using cards with fewer than the required numbers of digits on television and print advertising after hundreds of quick criminals attempted to use any actual numbers. The practice is akin to every television and movie phone number beginning with the ficticious prefix 555.
This time, however, spammers didn't have to spoof websites, go phishing, or do anything besides view the "Today's Most Popular" photographs section of Yahoo!News, in which Ms. Vinettes card is featured prominently. The photo rapidly climbed to the #1 "Most viewed" image of the section.
Stan has reportedly been put on administrative leave and will be sharing a margerita tonight with former FEMA director Michael Brown.