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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Business/Finance
Forbes not being sold to the Russians
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 26, 2008
The business magazine Forbes "absolutely denies" a rumor that it's being bought by a Russian private equity firm, Onexim. The irony here is that it was Forbes, back in 1991, which published a hoax claiming that the Russian government, desperate for foreign currency, was selling the embalmed body of Vladimir Lenin to the highest bidder. Times and fortunes have changed. It appears now the shoe is on the other foot.
Categories: Business/Finance Comments (0)
Rumormongering Traders
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 19, 2008
Britain's Financial Services Authority has found a new group to blame for the financial crisis: naive traders spreading rumors. It cites one example of a trader who "spread a piece of 'hot news' to 10 to 12 of his friends over a messaging system without making clear that it was a rumour. One of his contacts then did not hesitate to spread the message on to 150 of his contacts." To counter the problem, the FSA is urging companies to adopt policies "on how to deal with rumours and monitoring chat sessions, phone calls and emails from traders." Good thing it's tackling this problem. And once it's succeeded in making the stockmarket…
This rumor is going around: BoA to close credit cards for approximately 60% of customers? "I work in Credit Department at BoA (Senior Level Credit Analysist Boa Bldg 3rd fl, Char, NC). We just received memo indicating that all BoA credit cards are being closed as of 10/1. Credit score and income do not matter, all accounts are closed as of 10/1." Executive VP Bank of America "This is true, but not as bad as he/she says. We are closing accounts, but only ones with credit scores under 750. We will reopen cards…
Categories: Business/Finance Comments (29)
Weird Fragrances
Posted by The Curator on Tue Sep 23, 2008
I stumbled across this site, weirdfragrances.com (I'm not linking directly to them, so I won't boost their google rank), that promises to send you a free sample of cologne. In return you simply provide them with your email and mailing address, and promise to later answer a few questions about the fragrance. You can choose from a variety of offbeat scents such as Grease Monkey, Burning Rubber, or Ash Tray. Is it a legit offer? I would guess not. First, it strikes me as odd that the site is registered anonymously through domains by proxy. Why would a legitimate company be trying to hide their…
It’s Right-Sizing, not Down-Sizing
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 11, 2008
Media Agency Carat recently decided to lay off some of its employees. PowerPoint and Word documents somehow leaked out detailing how management planned to inform employees and clients of the decision. They offer an example of corporate b.s. at its finest. Details include: • The agency wasn't going to be down-sizing. Instead, the documents repeatedly described the moves as a "right-sizing" of the agency. • Clients were to be informed of the "staffing change" with this script: "Mary Smith will be moving off your business. Now that we understand your business better, we are replacing her with someone whom we feel will be a better partner for you." • The remaining…
Thieves Steal Fake Money
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jun 22, 2008
Thieves used a hammer to break open a plexiglass box being used as a Drop-A-Note donation box in the Kentucky Theatre's lobby, and they stole the money inside. Unfortunately for the thieves, the money they took was fake. From kentucky.com: "It's sad when idiots can't tell fake money from the real thing," said Steve Brown, president of Kentucky's Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ Project, a group dedicated to restoring a Wurlitzer organ and returning it to the Kentucky. Proceeds from the Drop-A-Note box, which is three wood organ pipes with a space for donations in the middle pipe, go to…
Santa Claus Currency
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jun 17, 2008
The Daily Record reports on a stupid counterfeit scheme that almost worked: A FORGER convinced a cashier a £20 note was real - despite Santa Claus and his reindeer being on it. Stacey Rice's self-made Santa Christmas Bank note promised to pay the bearer nothing and listed Santa as the bank's "chief operating officer" with his address as the North Pole. But Rice, 27, was still able to pass it off as genuine in an "astonishing" scam, a court heard. She duped a gullible cashier at a gym and the woman gave Rice change of the £20 in smaller…
Categories: Business/Finance, Scams Comments (7)
Man overuses fake funeral excuse
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 07, 2008
I'm guessing there's at least one guy like this in every company. The Mainichi Daily News reports: A tax inspector has resigned after being punished for telling bosses that relatives had died in order to claim compassionate leave on 11 occasions, officials said... His bosses discovered the scam when he told them in September last year that his grandmother's funeral was being held at a funeral hall, which was found not to exist. It was learned that he'd taken 10 more days off between 2004 and 2007, falsely claiming a relative had died each time. Moreover, it…
Categories: Business/Finance Comments (5)
How To Make Fake Gold Bars
Posted by The Curator on Sun Mar 16, 2008
Recently the national bank of Ethiopia discovered that much of the gold in its possession was fake. It was simply gold-plated steel. It found this out after it sent a shipment of gold to South Africa, which promptly sent it back. Theo Gray, writing for popsci.com, points out that it's incredible that a national bank fell for a fraud like this, since simply by picking up the gold bars someone should have noticed that they were too light to be real -- gold being much heavier than steel. Gray then considers a potentially very useful question: how could you create a fake gold bar that would be convincing enough to…
Categories: Business/Finance Comments (15)
Amerimark “Passport to Health” Scam
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 26, 2008
At the beginning of January I ordered a seat cushion from a company called Amerimark. I got the cushion. It was fine. I'm sitting on it now. But a little over a month later I was looking at my credit card statement, and I noticed that in addition to the charge for the cushion, Amerimark had posted a second charge three weeks later for $3.99. I had no idea what the additional charge could be for. I asked my wife about it. She didn't know either. But I figured it must be postage, or something like that, so I didn't think any more about it. After all, it was only $3.99. But today I was…
Categories: Business/Finance Comments (64)
Business opportunities I have squandered
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 25, 2008
When someone wants to rent a midget, I'm apparently the first person they contact. I say this because I receive A LOT of email inquiries from people wanting to rent midgets, such as this one I got yesterday: do you know any midget strippers that would do a wake up at a bachelor party or this one from a few weeks ago: Do you know if I could get 2 male midgets at my Lounge for a party this Friday Jan…
Joe Herrick of Gutterman Research
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 20, 2008
Following the release of a company's quarterly earnings report, analysts get a chance to participate in a conference call with the company's management. When I briefly worked in a pr firm, years ago, I had to listen to quite a few of these calls. I thought they were usually mind-numbingly dull. But it sounds like someone has figured out a way to have some fun with them. The Wall Street Journal Reports: At least seven times just the past three weeks, a mystery caller has cleverly insinuated himself into the normally well-manicured ritual of the quarterly calls. As top…
Categories: Business/Finance, Pranks Comments (5)
Tom Jones’s Million-Dollar Chest Hair
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 11, 2008
Last week the Daily Mirror reported that 67-year-old singer Tom Jones had insured his chest hair for £3.5million: With tough tour schedules and big money at stake, It's Not Unusual for stars to insure their bodies. So it should come as no surprise to learn that Sir Tom Jones, 67, whose mop of luxurious curly brown hair has made him a hit with the ladies, has had his chest hair insured - for the princely sum of £3.5million! Top insurance house Lloyd's of London was approached about the deal and, after initial concerns that it…
The Unrecognised States Numismatic Society
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jan 25, 2008
The Unrecognised States Numismatic Society (USNS) describes itself as a "group catering to numismatists whose collecting interests largely focus on coins minted by groups purporting, pretending or appearing to be sovereign states, but which are not recognised as such by established governments." They've got examples of coins from a bunch of unrecognized nations, including the Principality of Sealand, Atlantis, the Confederation of Antarctica, and the Dominion of West Florida, which apparently is "an internet-based micronation created on 29 November, 2005... founded on an eccentric interpretation of actual historic events." The Dominion has a website! My favorite coin is that of the
Categories: Business/Finance, Places Comments (3)
Clarkson’s Account Gets Hacked
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 08, 2008
Jeremy Clarkson, host of Top Gear, (which you can see in America if you get BBC America on cable) publicly mocked a story about some computer discs being lost that held the bank details of 25 million people. He claimed that there was no way hackers would be able to use the information to withdraw money from people's accounts. To show how certain he was of this, he published his own account code and routing number. A few days later, according to Clarkson: "I opened my bank statement this morning to find out that someone has set up a direct debit which automatically takes £500 from my account. The bank cannot find…
Categories: Business/Finance Comments (8)
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