The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoaxing Hitchhiker, 1941
The Great Electric Sugar Swindle, 1884
Loch Ness Monster Hoaxes
The Great Wall of China Hoax, 1899
Samsung invents the on/off switch
'Solar Armor' freezes man in Nevada Desert, 1874
Jernegan's Gold Accumulator Scam, 1898
Taco Bells buys the Liberty Bell, 1996
The Berners Street Hoax, 1810
Man flies by own lung power, 1934
Fraud in Other Words
I've mentioned Larry Adams's book before, Fraud in Other Words, but I was reading through it again tonight and thought it deserved another mention. The book is an exploration of the language of fraud. Adams has collected together all the jargon and terminology of the culture of fraud, and as you flip through the book you come across one devious scam and ploy after another. For instance, I've always thought it was annoying how those subscription cards fall out of magazines when I'm reading them. I never realized that the cards are designed to fall out. They're called 'Drop Outs.' According to Adams:
If the recipient has to bend over and pick up a card, they are more likely to read it. A drop out is a commonly used gimmick used to attract curiosity in fraudulent and legitimate mail advertising.
Some other definitions:
Suck the Mop: To be left sucking the mop is to be left helpless and hopeless. The victim of any trick. To be left at a complete disadvantage.
Joe Soap: A foolish or a gullible person.

You can read more about Larry's book (and order a copy) at his website.
Categories: Con Artists
Posted by The Curator on Sat Sep 06, 2003
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.