The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
HOME   |   ABOUT   |   FORUM   |   CONTACT   |   FACEBOOK   |   RSS
The Top 100
April Fool Hoaxes
Of All Time
April Fool Archive
April fools throughout history
Hoax Photo
Archive

Weblog Category
Scams
The latest case of the gross things found in food scam: A man dining at TGI Friday's claimed he found a rotting snake head in his side order of broccoli. But testing has now revealed that the snake's head was never cooked and must have been placed in the broccoli at some point after the cooking process. So foul play is now suspected. The guy who found the head claims he didn't put it there, and since he isn't suing the restaurant, he may be telling the truth.
Categories: Food, Scams
Posted by Alex on Mon May 11, 2009
Comments (4)
There's a report of a pigeon drop scam in which the scammers approached a woman at an ATM and tried to convince her to buy a diamond (that was supposedly such a bargain that she'd easily make a profit if she resold it). But in this case the scammers got tired of haggling with her and eventually just grabbed her money and ran. Which means that the scammers are now guilty of grand theft. [Mercury News]
Categories: Law/Police/Crime, Scams
Posted by Alex on Fri Apr 17, 2009
Comments (6)
Dallas, Texas is home to the latest case of Munchausen Syndrome. Hope Ybarra managed to raise $100,000 by convincing an entire community that she was dying of cancer. She even fooled her family. Apparently the ruse went on for years. To their credit, once her family found out she wasn't really sick they put an end to the entire thing and are offering to return everyone's money. [Yahoo! Video]
Categories: Health/Medicine, Scams
Posted by Alex on Wed Apr 15, 2009
Comments (15)
Faye Shilling is accused of not only buying life insurance policies for people who didn't exist, but also of holding fake funerals for their (fake) deaths. She would fill the casket with "various materials" to make it the right weight, then bury it. And then, because she was afraid authorities would somehow later find an empty casket, she would file fake documents to indicate the body had been exhumed and then file more fake documents to show it had been cremated. [Daily Breeze]
Categories: Death, Scams
Posted by Alex on Thu Apr 09, 2009
Comments (1)
Jill Hunter Pellettieri writes in Slate.com about how she hates those notices you now find in all the hotels asking you to re-use your towels in order to "Save Our Planet." Like her, I find them to be disingenuous. The real beneficiaries are the hotels, not the environment, because the hotels save lots of money on laundry costs, and they don't bother to pass those cost-savings along to the customers. [slate.com]
Categories: Business/Finance, Scams
Posted by Alex on Tue Apr 07, 2009
Comments (24)
Following up on Accipiter's post in the forum about the Acai berry weight-loss scam -- one of the interesting (and sleazy) things about the scam is the proliferation of fake diet blogs promoting these Acai berries. The sites go by names such as kirstensweightloss.com, rachelsweightloss.com, patdietblog.com, etc. etc.

The sites have before and after pictures of the Acai berry dieters, but pictures of the same women appear on different sites... under different names. For instance, the woman below, depending on which site you visit, is named Kirsten Hunt, Ann Conrad, Daniella Conrad, Jenna Patterson, and a bunch of other names.



But according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, her real name is Julia. She's a german model who once posed for a stock photo and has never eaten Acai berries. According to the photographer who took the photos, the "after" photos have been digitally manipulated to make her look skinnier.

The wafflesatnoon blog has a collection of all the fake diet girls who are promoting Acai berries.
Categories: Food, Scams, Websites
Posted by Alex on Wed Mar 25, 2009
Comments (31)
Another case of a victim so stupid they probably deserved to be swindled. When asked why his client continued to pay thousands of dollars to a psychic who promised to build him a gold "anti-negativity" statue, Charles Silveira's lawyer explained, "She gave him positive feedback for him to believe in her representations of what she was saying."

Of course she gave him positive feedback, because all the guy's money ($247,850 in total) had worked an anti-negativity charm on her. Link: NJ.com.
Categories: Scams
Posted by Alex on Fri Mar 13, 2009
Comments (2)
Police in Grand Forks, Michigan North Dakota report that people are finding fake parking tickets on their cars that direct them to go to horribleparking.com to view information about standard parking regulations. When they visit the site, a virus is downloaded onto their computer.

It's not clear what the virus does, but it seems like a pretty elaborate way to infect someone's computer. Also, an expensive way. Printing fake tickets and paying someone to distribute them has to cost a lot more than sending out emails. Link: Grand Forks Herald.
Categories: Law/Police/Crime, Scams
Posted by Alex on Thu Feb 05, 2009
Comments (6)
I'm sure everyone has heard by now of Bernard Madoff's $50 billion Ponzi Scheme, which is being described as the biggest scam in Wall Street history. It's already old news. So here are some other scam-related links:

• Slate offers a brief Guide to Financial Scams, explaining the difference between a Ponzi Scheme and a Pyramid Scheme. (Ponzi schemes funnel money to a single person; pyramid schemes distribute the money among a larger group of people.)

• The Wall Street Journal tells the story of the Ponzi Scheme that wiped out the fortune of President Ulysses S. Grant.

• It doesn't compare to Madoff, but a payroll manager has been accused of embezzling $3 million by depositing wages into the accounts of non-existent employees.

• A California woman had a website on which she was offering bargain rates for advertising space in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. But it wasn't that much of a bargain considering the ads never appeared in either publication.
Categories: Scams
Posted by Alex on Fri Dec 19, 2008
Comments (1)
Here's one for the "If you're this stupid, you deserve to be conned" file: The victim encounters two people in a Wal-Mart parking lot who are engaging in a transaction involving a diamond. The buyer (a man) offers the seller (a woman) $20,000 for the diamond. A normal person would think, "This is an odd location to be having this kind of transaction." Instead, the victim asks if she can buy a diamond also, and gets $1900 from the bank to pay for it. Surprise! She later discovers the diamond is fake. Link: Recordnet.com
Categories: Con Artists, Scams
Posted by Alex on Fri Nov 21, 2008
Comments (2)
We've seen quite a few dubious devices that claim to enhance the performance and mileage of automobiles. The BioPerformance pills come to mind. However, the Magic Power System (aka MPS Power Shift Bar) is something special because it's a product that's not even vaguely plausible. It's on sale on eBay UK for the low buy-it-now price of £34.99 (about $52). All you do is plug it into the lighter socket of your car, and here's the improvements you will see:
  • enhance fuel efficiency - saves gasoline (10-30%)
  • increase engine torque - increase power (2-5ps)
  • reduce car emissions - contribute to the environment unconsciously
  • improve car audio sounds
  • the small device cleans the entire car electrically including its body
  • battery level check function: LED blue light for normal, LED red light for caution
  • silent, no more noise
What a bargain! (via jalopnik)
Categories: Scams, Technology
Posted by Alex on Tue Nov 18, 2008
Comments (10)
Sleazy scam artist trick: Find a picture of a dead soldier. Post the picture in a craiglist ad for a used car. Say the soldier is your dead son. "All I want is to find the right person... who'll love and take care of this car in the same way he did. I'd like to make a person very happy and to light a candle for my son once in a while." From cbc.ca:

It is common for scam artists to pair photos of real soldiers, police and firefighters with fake stories, said Larry Gamache, communications director for CARFAX, a company that collects vehicle histories.
"The story is what pulls you in," Gamache said.
The ads are designed to try to get people to blindly send money to the supposed seller, he said.
"They combine motivators for two different things — our desire to get a great deal and our desire to help somebody out."
But in many cases, the alleged vehicle doesn't even exist, he said. "The car is just the bait."

An ad like this showing a picture of "Sgt. Anderson Shipway Bruce" is currently popping up throughout Canada and New York State. The soldier in the photo is really Sgt. Prescott Shipway who was killed in Afghanistan.
Categories: Scams
Posted by Alex on Mon Nov 10, 2008
Comments (3)
Page 3 of 5 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 >