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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Con Artists
Death of a Con Artist
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 22, 2003
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.
Puppy Love
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jul 10, 2003
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.
Categories: Animals, Con Artists Comments (2)
The case of the non-existent child
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 04, 2003
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.
Categories: Birth/Babies, Con Artists Comments (0)
A con gone wrong
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 01, 2003
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.
Categories: Con Artists Comments (0)
Mainline Airways
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jun 13, 2003
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.
Fraud in other words
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jun 03, 2003
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…
Categories: Con Artists Comments (0)
The Kingdom of Mombessa
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jun 01, 2003
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.
The French Rockefeller
Posted by The Curator on Sat May 31, 2003
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.
Nigerian Bank Scam Sendup
Posted by The Curator on Wed Oct 30, 2002
Laddery on the High Seas. A funny send-up of the Nigerian Bank Scam, in which a couple of lads string-along a scammer.
Categories: Con Artists, Email Hoaxes Comments (1)
Fake Bank Website
Posted by The Curator on Tue Oct 08, 2002
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?
Categories: Con Artists, Websites Comments (4)
Kevin Mitnick
Posted by The Curator on Tue Oct 01, 2002
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.
Categories: Con Artists, Technology Comments (0)
Street Scams
Posted by The Curator on Mon Sep 09, 2002
Michael Gambino Pellegrino
Posted by The Curator on Mon Sep 02, 2002
The Sunday Telegraph writes about a recent, literary hoax: the case of Michael "Gambino" Pellegrino, a man who conned Simon and Schuster out of $500,000 by posing as a mafia mobster and selling them a story based on his life experience. It turned out that he was a crook, but was no mobster. (Requires Registration)
Fake Paraplegic
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 28, 2002
In Australia a fake paraplegic faces charges of fraud. He walked into the court house unaided, using his fully functioning legs.
South African Con
Posted by The Curator on Sun Aug 25, 2002
South African con artists recently set up a hoax website pretending to be the official website of the South African Reserve Bank. They used it to scam international investors out of thousands of dollars.
Categories: Con Artists, Websites Comments (0)
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