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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
June 2004
Phishing Scam Example
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jun 04, 2004
A Phishing scam is... well, I'll just let the webopedia define it because I'm too lazy to write a definition myself. Phishing is "the act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft. The e-mail directs the user to visit a Web site where they are asked to update personal information, such as passwords and credit card, social security, and bank account numbers, that the legitimate organization already has. The Web site, however, is bogus and set up only to steal the user’s information." Here's a very good example of a…
Categories: Email Hoaxes Comments (2)
Eric Bruderton
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jun 04, 2004
A guy calling himself Eric Bruderton has some dramatic footage up on his website of people (soldiers or mercenaries? It's hard to tell) being attacked by unseen assailants wielding rocket-propelled grenades. Bruderton himself admits he doesn't know what the footage is about. As he writes, "I don’t know these people, I don’t know who’s shooting at them and I don’t know why they are being targeted. I don’t even know where they are. Maybe the Middle East." But he insists that the footage is important, and that he has somehow put himself in danger by making the footage publicly available. The whole thing reeks of a Blair-Witch-style publicity stunt. But…
Meteor Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jun 03, 2004
A couple of people have sent me links to this meteor hoax that the AP fell for. The AP reported that a meteor about the size of a small car hit near Olympia, Washington early this morning. Its source for this story was one Bradley Hammermaster, supposedly an Astronomy professor at the University of Washington, who called in a report of the meteor to Seattle's KIRO radio. The AP later had to admit that, "No one by the name of Hammermaster is known to the astronomy department, and the description given by the caller to the station of the object... was clearly bogus." However, it does appear that there really was meteor activity over Washington state,…
Categories: Journalism, Science Comments (2)
Fake Road Rage Takes Turn for the Worse
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jun 03, 2004
If you break down by the side of the road, what should you do? Use your cellphone to call for help, of course. Or, if you're a complete idiot, you can pretend that you and your buddy are fighting so that concerned motorists will call the police for you. A group of budding geniuses in Massachusetts chose option B, and soon ended up in jail after a policeman showed up and ordered them to the ground at gunpoint.
Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (2)
Seance Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jun 03, 2004
On Monday illusionist Derren Brown performed a seance live on Britain's Channel 4, successfully channeling the spirit of 'Jane,' the victim of a mass suicide. Only after the show did he admit it was all a hoax... an attempt to debunk seances by showing how easily people can be manipulated into believing that they're real. Still, the show managed to attract more complaints than almost any other show in British history, although most of the complaints were lodged before the show aired (evidently because those complaining... church groups mostly... had seen into the future and knew they wouldn't like it before they saw it). Darren Brown is the same guy who pretended to play Russian Roulette
Categories: Entertainment, Paranormal Comments (6)
Watching Paint Dry
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jun 03, 2004
UKTV has come up with the ultimate reality TV show: Watching Paint Dry. As the name suggests, viewers get to watch the thrilling spectacle of paint drying, broadcast live, 24 hours a day. And viewers can vote for their favorite paints: Matt, Gloss, Silk, Satin, etc. UKTV notes that, "Every other reality show is full of boring drips so we thought that we would go one step further." Is this real? Well, sort of. UKTV feels watching paint dry is "too boring" for TV, so it's only going to be broadcast on the internet. (via J-Walk)
Categories: Entertainment Comments (1)
Ass-vertising
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 02, 2004
First there was head-vertising. Now there's ass-vertising, which appears to be just as real as headvertising was (which means that, as odd as it seems, it actually is real). The concept behind assvertising is pretty simple. Slap an ad on an attractive woman's ass. I guess men are looking there anyway, so some advertiser (Night Agency, to be specific) had the brilliant idea to put the ads where the eyes are focused. Even though assvertising is real, tADoos (which are corporate-sponsored tattoos) remain a hoax. (via Adrants)
Categories: Advertising Comments (0)
Second Thoughts About Rance
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 02, 2004
Yesterday I suggested that the anonymous blogger 'Rance' might really be a cartoonist/screenwriter named Keith Thomson because Thomson's name kept popping up when I tracked down who was initially hyping Rance in internet discussion groups. But people have pointed out that movie studios and talent agencies often create phony identities that they use to hype projects they're working on. Maybe the phony identities they used to hype Rance just happened to have been used earlier to hype Thomson's work. Could be. And whoever runs Defamer seems to feel confident that Rance really is a celebrity. So I'm willing to consider that Rance is a celebrity. If this is the case, then it…
Unfortunate URLs
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 02, 2004
I posted an entry a week or so ago about unfortunate last names. On a related subject, here are some unfortunate URLs. First we have cummingfirst.com. It's the website of the Cumming First United Methodist Church located in Cumming, Georgia (via The Presurfer). It's definitely a real church and not a joke. Next we have IPWine.com, home on the web of the Ingleside Vineyards in Virginia. I actually visited the Ingleside Vineyards (it's a nice place), and when they told me their website url I had to ask them if they were joking. Incredibly, it didn't seem to have occurred to them what their url spelled out. Along the same lines is…
Categories: Technology Comments (13)
Turn Your Dog Into a Sweater
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jun 01, 2004
Proving, yet again, that truth is stranger than fiction, I present you with VIP Fibers (I'm assuming this is real... I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be). Send VIP Fibers a bundle of your pet's fur, and they'll turn it into any knit good of your choice, except socks. As the site explains: "Many dogs and cats have a fine and lustrous undercoat so suitable for spinning. It does not, however, have the crimp or elasticity such as found in wool from a sheep, and therefore is not suitable for all projects such as socks." My cat sheds constantly, but it never occurred to me that all that fur on the floor could be put to…
Categories: Animals Comments (4)
Who is Rance?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jun 01, 2004
The latest buzz in the blogosphere is about the weblog of 'Rance,' an anonymous blogger who claims to be a well-known, A-list, Hollywood celebrity. Or as he coyly puts it on his weblog, "I can tell you what it's like to see your picture on the magazine rack every now and again when you pay for groceries." For a couple of months he's been dishing up dirt on life in Hollywood, and he's succeeded in attracting a huge following. He even got interviewed (anonymously) by Reuters last week. But of course, he won't reveal who he is... which just makes everyone crazy to find out the secret. Is Rance really a celebrity, or is he just…
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