Get this. You know how when you have to confirm your bank account with, say, Paypal or Google Checkout or any number of online services that want to make sure the bank account that they’re going to be depositing money into belongs to you? So you’ll generally receive two small deposits — pennies each — that you’ll have to confirm, right? Well some guy used an automated script to open up around 58,000 accounts with E-Trade and Schwab.com and collected all the little deposits using a handful of bank accounts. When all was said and done, he walked away with around $50,000.
The man, Michael Largent of California, also used the technique to nab over $8,000 from Google Checkout. He said he needed the money to pay down some debts. He hasn’t been charged by Google (maybe because Google doesn’t “prohibit multiple e-mail addresses and accounts”) but he’s facing computer, wire, and mail fraud charges for the E-Trade and Schwab stunts. Largent is currently out on bail.