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Con Artists
Occasionally you see news stories like this one about lost cats who are found hundreds of miles from home, having got themselves locked into moving vans by accident. But watch out. If you lose your cat, then later get a call from movers who say they've found your pet in their van, it can be a scam. As the Crimes-of-Persuasion site details, it's known as the Catastrophic Lost Pet Scam. Those movers don't really have your pet. They're just con artists trying to get you to wire them 'gas money' supposedly to help them return your precious baby to its home. But in reality, Snuggles ain't coming home. At least, not with them. Once they get your money, you'll never hear from them again. (via alt.folklore.urban)
Categories: Animals, Con Artists
Posted by Alex on Wed Oct 20, 2004
Comments (3)
How not to run a counterfeit money scam. a) Buy merchandise at Wal-Mart with fake money. b) Return merchandise a few days later and ask for your money back. c) get your fake money handed back to you.
Categories: Con Artists, Law/Police/Crime
Posted by Alex on Tue Oct 05, 2004
Comments (3)
So out of the blue this girl from Russia sends you an email via Yahoo Personals. The two of you start corresponding. She sends you her picture... and she's really freakin' hot! Then she says she wants to call you. But she also insists that you give her your mailing address and full name. Why would she need that? So the question is: are you being set up to be scammed? If so, then what's the scam? That's the real-life question facing Johnny over at LiveJournal. I don't know exactly what the scam is, or even if there is one, though it sounds like one to me. Posting under the username 'hornswoggle' I theorized that Johnny could be faced with either some kind of identity theft scam, or the classic Lonely Hearts Scam. In the Lonely Hearts Scam, men are duped into sending gifts and money to beautiful female pen-pals, not realizing that their pen-pals are never who they claim to be. One of the most famous practitioners of this con was Susanna Mildred Hill, a 60-year-old mother of ten who conned hundreds of men out of thousands of dollars during the 1940s by convincing them that she was actually a beautiful young woman in her 20s.
Categories: Con Artists, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Sat Sep 04, 2004
Comments (14)
image She said she was Princess Antoinette Millard from Saudi Arabia. She was actually from Buffalo, New York. But somehow she managed to con her way into millions of dollars. Her cover was blown when she filed fake insurance claims. It's amazing how the old fake princess con never seems to go out of style.
Categories: Con Artists, Identity/Imposters
Posted by Alex on Mon May 10, 2004
Comments (0)
image I had come to think I was never going to get my Ph.D., but I shouldn't have been so pessimistic. All I need to do is lower my standards a bit and sign up for one of those PhDs that Saint Regis University is practically giving away. A Georgia math teacher did, and she got a $16,000 pay raise. Or you could save even more money and get any degree you want, from any institution of higher learning, from BogusPhD.com.
Categories: Business/Finance, Con Artists
Posted by Alex on Fri May 07, 2004
Comments (0)
Here's an inventive scam. A Miami couple placed ads in newspapers offering $5000 a week for the job of chauffeuring strippers around. They got 43 applicants to wire them deposits of almost $1000 in order to secure this nonexistent dream job. Of course, they could probably have said, pay us $5000 a week and we'll let you drive strippers around, and they would have still netted some victims.
Categories: Con Artists, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Tue Apr 27, 2004
Comments (0)
Kevin Spacey has recanted on his claim that he was mugged in a London park at 4 am and had his cellphone stolen. What he meant to say was that he voluntarily handed over his phone to someone who asked if they could use it to call their mother, but instead ran away with it. Then Spacey tripped over his dog and cut his head. Not quite the same. But saying you were mugged sounds a little more respectable than admitting you fell for what is, quite literally, the oldest con in the book (the origin of the term con, or 'confidence scam,' dates back to the 1840s when a swindler named William Thompson would approach gentlemen on the streets of New York and ask them if they had enough confidence to lend their watch to a stranger. Upon being handed the watch, Thompson would simply walk away with it. Substitute cellphone for watch and you have what Spacey fell for.) (Thanks, Goo)
Categories: Celebrities, Con Artists
Posted by Alex on Mon Apr 19, 2004
Comments (3)
Buying imaginary girlfriends is the trendy new thing nowadays. So this entrepreneur figured he'd shake things up a little and sell imaginary mail-order brides. Unfortunately, the guys who shelled out $1500 a piece for the brides weren't very thrilled that they were just imaginary.
Categories: Con Artists, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Thu Apr 08, 2004
Comments (0)
Lex Cusack is in jail for selling love letters supposedly written in 1961 by JFK to Marilyn Monroe. The problem is that the letters contained zip codes, and zip codes only came into use in 1963. Now the FBI wants to destroy all the letters, and Cusack is crying foul. He argues that even if the letters are fake (he continues to claim they're real), they're still his property and the government can't just destroy them.
Categories: Con Artists, Conspiracy Theories, Politics
Posted by Alex on Sun Mar 14, 2004
Comments (2)
Apparently in a bid to secure the title of 'Stupidest Criminal Ever,' a woman, Alice Regina Pike, handed a clerk at WalMart a $1,000,000 bill and asked to cash it. The clerk refused, so then Ms. Pike tried to buy $1,675 worth of merchandise with the bill. Still no luck. Finally the cops were called in and the woman was taken away. She probably would have had more luck if she had tried with monopoly money, or perhaps one of those $200 George Bush bills.
Categories: Con Artists
Posted by Alex on Wed Mar 10, 2004
Comments (0)
image It seems like whenever I turn on the SciFi channel, there's John Edward talking to the dead. I don't really care if he actually can talk to the dead or not (I assume he can't). I'm more concerned by the fact that his show is boring. But on the start of his Australian tour, a man has sued him, claiming that Edward's show violates the Trade Practices Act which stipulates that suppliers of goods can't make claims that they can't substantiate. In this case, Edward claims he can talk to the dead, but the guy suing him is pretty sure he can't. It'll be interesting to see how the case is resolved.
Categories: Con Artists, Paranormal
Posted by Alex on Sat Feb 21, 2004
Comments (91)
image Alan Williams, a professor at Southwestern Adventist University, received a Ph.D. from Glencullen University. For some reason, he didn't think it odd that Glencullen had no campus, no faculty, and required him to do nothing to earn the degree. In reality, Glencullen didn't even exist. Despite its Irish name and Irish-themed website, it's just a diploma mill based in Romania. Williams claims that he's shocked, shocked to learn this. For some reason, I don't know why, it's hard to believe that he's really an innocent victim.
Update: Brian Kelly informed me that my link to the Glencullen University website is incorrect. The site I linked to originally is actually a spoof site created by him that he uses as an example in a talk about spoof sites. So it's a spoof of a spoof, so to speak. Very confusing. So here's Brian Kelly's spoof Glencullen University site, not to be confused with the website of the real Glencullen University, which is a fake university (and the url of which I now don't know).
Categories: Con Artists
Posted by Alex on Sat Feb 14, 2004
Comments (5)
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