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David Hampton, the man who conned New York socialites by posing as the son of Sidney Poitier, as well as being the inspiration for the play Six Degrees of Separation, died last month at the age of 39.
It sounded awful. Five puppies thrown onto the highway from a moving car. Tracy Lloyd claimed that she managed to save one of them, while other motorists scooped up the other four. Turns out the whole tale was bogus. Lloyd wasn't allowed to keep pets in her apartment, so she had made up a sob-story to convince her landlord to bend the rules for her. Her story was exposed when the person who sold the dog to her saw Lloyd telling about the highway incident on tv.
An Australian woman invented the existence of a child in order to hit up her ex-boyfriend for child support. She even went so far as to provide him with pictures of the (fake) child, and dreamed up a costly medical condition that the kid was suffering from, which she, of course, wanted the boyfriend to pay for.
What happens when criminals cross paths: A man sells a lump of valuable black bronze to a buyer for $64,000. But it turns out the money was counterfeit. No problem. The bronze was fake also.
Mainline Airways was attracting lots of customers by offering super-low fares to Hawaii. But it turns out there was no Mainline Airways. Only a website created by a teenager.
Check out the website of Larry Adams, CPA. He writes a regular column about the jargon and street slang of fraud. Much of this is shared on his website. For instance, we find there the definition of Fat-Finger Dialing: "Fat finger dialing scams take advantage of customers whose fingers are too large for the tiny buttons on the telephones. For example, a customer might unintentionally dial 1 (800) COLLETC, 1 (800) CULLECT, or 1 (800) CALLECT, instead of 1 (800) COLLECT. Class action lawsuits have been filed against several companies that intentionally own knockoff numbers that are just digits away from popular 1 (800) phone numbers." You can also order his book, Fraud in Other Words, which is a collection of fraud slang and jargon.
The adventures of Baron Moncrieffe and the mythical Kingdom of Mombessa. The Baron turns out to be a con man, and the Kingdom doesn't exist.
Update on the criminal career of Christopher Rocancourt. He recently confessed to having scammed people by posing as a member of the Rockefeller family. Why people would have believed that a Rockefeller would be speaking with a thick French accent, I still can't understand.
Laddery on the High Seas. A funny send-up of the Nigerian Bank Scam, in which a couple of lads string-along a scammer.
British authorities report that con men set up a website designed to look like that of a major British bank. Users of the website lost around $100,000. This seems very similar to a case that occurred in South Africa last month, which I posted here at the time. I wonder if it's the same group of con men?
Red Herring reviews Kevin Mitnick's new book, The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security, in which he details the art of the con during the internet era.
Street Scams of Barcelona (link via bloggerheads).