The Museum of Hoaxes
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Lord Gordon-Gordon, robber of the robber barons, 1871
Old-Time Photo Fakery, 1900 to 1919
Mule elected G.O.P. committeeman, 1938
Eccentric's last prank, 66 years after his death, 1900
The Cottingley Fairies, 1917
The Great Electric Sugar Swindle, 1884
Monkeys pick cotton, a 19th-century urban legend
The Olympic Underwear Relay, 1956
The Instant Color TV Hoax, 1962
The most sacred relic: the Holy Foreskin, circa 800 AD
Marl the Stock-Picking Robot
Accipiter already posted about this in the forum, but the story is odd enough that it deserves to be on the front page.

Back in 2007, two teenage twins from North Tyneside, Alexander and Thomas Hunter, began selling a stock newsletter in which they recommended stocks supposedly selected by an AI robot named Marl. Investors could also pay to get advice through a variety of websites run by the twins, daytradingrobot.com, doublingstocks.com, and equitypromoter.com. Or would-be millionaires could get a version of Marl to run on their computer at home. The brothers advertised that "The longer Marl is allowed to run on a computer… The More Advanced He Becomes!"

The reality: Marl didn't exist. It was the twins who were picking the stocks. The home version of Marl simply displayed whatever ticker symbols the brothers told it to. And often they would pick companies that had paid for that honor. Links: Yahoo! Finance, BBC News

The brothers' websites no longer are up, and they were never archived by the wayback machine. But here's a few of their banner ads that I managed to find:



Categories: Business/Finance, Scams
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 23, 2012
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