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posted by LaminatorX on Tuesday March 25 2014, @05:48PM   Printer-friendly
from the so-simple-an-idiot-could-do-it dept.

lhsi writes:

"It has been discovered that some people have been accidentally donating money to a different charity than they intended by using the wrong SMS keyword. In the last few days, a lot of donations have been made to the Cancer Research UK charity, however some have accidentally been made to Unicef instead where mobile users sent a text with the message "DONATE" instead of "BEAT" to a specific shortcode.

Unicef has said, "We contacted Cancer Research [UK] as soon as we became aware of what was happening. Unicef and Cancer Research [UK] have agreed that these donations will be received in full by Cancer Research [UK]."

Even knowing which word to use didn't help some people as their smartphone auto-corrected "BEAT" to "BEAR", and they were subsequently sent information about adopting a polar bear from the WWF."

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  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Dutchster on Wednesday March 26 2014, @12:26AM

    by Dutchster (3331) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @12:26AM (#21250)

    The (somewhat) well known practice of typosquatting toll free numbers of major companies. Heck, there's an entire cottage industry devoted to it.

    Some are merely trying to capture business that would have gone to a competitor. Others are more nefarious; have you ever tried to ring up your bank and are greeted by an anonymous voice saying "we're sorry for the extended delay, as our gift to you we're offering a $100 WalMart gift card, all you have to do is pay the $4.95 shipping?" It's not your bank's phone systems being hacked - it's typosquatters with a very similar telephone number. They seem to skirt by because they never actually claim to be your bank, so there's no brand misrepresentation going on. The fact that your credit card number is misused a month later is merely a coincidence.

    Dial carefully!

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