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121 posts tagged with Scam.
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People thought dot-com...was crazy. Dot-bong is going to be awesome

"The next day, over breakfast, he said: 'At the peak in my account, I was at $640,000, but now I'm at $381,000. But I've taken out five times what I've put in along the way, so now it's like Monopoly money. I'm still buying more shares, though, because of my followers. I'm sticking with it for them. I'm like the Jesus of trading. I'm, like, letting myself get nailed to the cross just because I don't want them to suffer. I mean, I'm not really upset about losing all that money, which is shocking to me sometimes.'"
Meet the Wolf of Weed Street, (@WolfOfWeedST, natch) the man who's introducing stoners to the world of penny stock scams.
posted by Diablevert on Oct 24, 2014 - 32 comments

Cold calling

The Grandparent Scam
Every day, phones are ringing in homes across the country. Maybe yours. On the line: organized teams of con artists trying to bilk you out of thousands of dollars by impersonating your loved ones.

posted by Joe in Australia on Sep 18, 2014 - 81 comments

Sometimes, life is like a box of cacao products

"Enrique Martinez didn't like chocolate, but he was eating as many as 10 pieces a day, drinking chocolate protein shakes and rubbing a chocolate-based skin cream on his face. It was expensive chocolate, too. Martinez and his wife, Michelle, were going through $2,000 in chocolate a month."
posted by reenum on Aug 16, 2014 - 31 comments

"...this is a charity that's supposed to be helping the troops."

ProPublica reports: Pro-Troop Charity Misleads Donors While Lining Political Consultants' Pockets. [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu on Aug 6, 2014 - 47 comments

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain

Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return set a record for the all-time worst opening weekend for an animated film. Executive Producer Greg Centineo attributed the failure to a "conspiracy" of Hollywood's powers-that-be against independent production company Alpine Pictures. In light of Oz's glacially-delayed release schedule and shabby production values, it would appear that the heads of Alpine are completely incompetent…or are they? [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on May 20, 2014 - 115 comments

Science of scams

We have released 7 hoax videos which appear to demonstrate paranormal phenomena. In fact they're all based upon real scientific principles. Over the past few months this hoax footage has been posted all over the internet in an attempt to find out if people would either accept it as genuine or question it in an attempt to discover the real truth. Can you find the hoaxes before we reveal the secret science behind these scams?
Ghost on film (4:28)
Psychic Readings (13:07)
Telekinesis (2:45)
Chi energy (4:00)
Ouija board (5:17)
Brickbreaking (5:31)
Psi Wheel (3:29)
posted by Blasdelb on May 16, 2014 - 114 comments

"Here's how you run a short con, pay attention:"

The Dove Sketches Beauty Scam
"Dude, are you doing the Dove ad now? That was so April 15th...?" Yes, I realize I missed the meme train, but it's better to be right than part of the debate, especially when there is no debate, this is all a short con inside a 50+ year long con. Remember House Of Games? "It's called a confidence game. Why, because you give me your confidence? No: because I give you mine."
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 2, 2014 - 51 comments

offshore companies for everyone!

Want to get away with not paying taxes but don't have the money to make your own offshore company in the Cayman Islands? Fret not - you can hijack an existing offshore company starting from the low low price of 99 cents! [more inside]
posted by divabat on Jan 25, 2014 - 10 comments

1 weird old trick that will make you 100s of $millions

Jesse Willms, the Dark Lord of the Internet. How one of the most notorious alleged hustlers in the history of e-commerce made a fortune on the Web.
posted by gottabefunky on Jan 2, 2014 - 54 comments

WE ARE TOP OFFICIAL OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CONTRACT REVIEW PANEL

A brief history of the Spanish prisoner scam.
posted by Chrysostom on Oct 28, 2013 - 24 comments

Journal of Irreproducible Results

On 4 July, good news arrived in the inbox of Ocorrafoo Cobange, a biologist at the Wassee Institute of Medicine in Asmara. It was the official letter of acceptance for a paper he had submitted 2 months earlier to the Journal of Natural Pharmaceuticals, describing the anticancer properties of a chemical that Cobange had extracted from a lichen.
posted by benzenedream on Oct 3, 2013 - 45 comments

ONE WEIRD TRICK TO GET METAFILTER FAVORITES

Matthowie hates him! Mefite's shocking discovery of how to get 100 favorites in 10 minutes. Up your favorite ratio in 10 days with one weird trick, take your mefi performance to the next level. Click here [more inside]
posted by Carillon on Aug 1, 2013 - 104 comments

Do you want to buy one 30 attack items for $0.99?

Introducing Super Monster Bros by Adventure Time Pocket Free Games! Where the characters are Pokemon (kinda), the gameplay is Mario (kinda), and the content will cost you up to $99.99 to unlock!
posted by Rory Marinich on Apr 29, 2013 - 75 comments

the ultimate in spyware

Meet the men who spy on women through their webcams - "If you are unlucky enough to have your computer infected with a RAT, prepare to be sold or traded to the kind of person who enters forums to ask, "Can I get some slaves for my rat please? I got 2 bucks lol I will give it to you :b" At that point, the indignities you will suffer—and the horrific website images you may see—will be limited only by the imagination of that most terrifying person: a 14-year-old boy with an unsupervised Internet connection."
posted by madamjujujive on Mar 10, 2013 - 172 comments

Nice pyramid you've got there, be a shame if something happened to it...

Pershing Square Capital's CEO Bill Ackman Takes On Herbalife. [more inside]
posted by spitbull on Dec 25, 2012 - 69 comments

Scam-Z

Hammerpoint Interactive released its new MMO The War Z on Steam yesterday. It has not been a good launch. [more inside]
posted by boo_radley on Dec 19, 2012 - 126 comments

Thanks for two hours of your time

"I am calling you from Windows": A tech support scammer dials Ars Technica [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 26, 2012 - 98 comments

Conspiracy to Commit 'Conspiracy' Conspiracy.

'You Have a Smart Face': the $120 Million Wire Transfer, the Octopus, the Silencer, and the Corpse in the Alley. An infamous fake trader fakes his own death, gets caught, is released, gets desperate, and is offered entrance into an apparent world of secret government, secret agents, and secret accounts.

Previously.
posted by darth_tedious on Jul 6, 2012 - 16 comments

Why do scammers say they are from Nigeria?

Why Do Online Scammers Say They Are From Nigeria? A research paper from Microsoft argues it's a method of weeding out the savvy [via Slate]. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Jun 20, 2012 - 39 comments

When visiting ebay, be sure to keep your speakers on.

"STOP! This is NOT a DVD! STOP! This is NOT a DVD! STOP! This is NOT a DVD!"
posted by zardoz on Jun 15, 2012 - 57 comments

Modern snake oil salesmen

Scamworld: in which the Verge investigates "a network of pitchmen who have used the internet and fear of a failing economy to play the ultimate long con."
posted by doublesix on May 10, 2012 - 61 comments

Kickstarter: Countdown to scam city?

Felix Salmon, the Reuters finance blogger, has raised a skeptical eyebrow at some of the latest success stories at Kickstarter (one, two). In a post yesterday pivoting off Kickstarter founder Yancey Strickler's appearance at the Wired con, he wonders: Is Kickstarter ripe for a big scam? [more inside]
posted by Diablevert on May 2, 2012 - 47 comments

Ntaganda: "We didn't kill you this morning."

The Warlord and the Basketball Star When an athlete-turned-humanitarian and an energy executive tried to buy gold in Kenya, they found themselves mired in Congo's dangerous world of conflict minerals -- and totally outmatched. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 1, 2012 - 3 comments

REQUEST FOR URGENT BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP

The true name of the man most famously known as Lord George Gordon Gordon will likely never be known. His name, though false, will nevertheless live in history for pulling one of the great advance-fee cons of all time, swindling in 1872 over a million dollars out of Jay Gould, most unscrupulous of all the robber barons and no stranger himself to a long con. Gould's quest for revenge would nearly lead to a military invasion of Manitoba by the Minnesota state militia. [more inside]
posted by strangely stunted trees on Feb 16, 2012 - 10 comments

Twilight of the Yahoo-Yahoo Boys

You may have never heard of them, but they definitely have your email address. They are the Yahoo-Yahoo Boys; the young Nigerian men who cut wide swaths of cash by preying on the naiveté of moneyed Westerners vis a vis their dreaded 419 emails. ...But if you check your spam folder right now you might notice that it is slightly lighter these days. That's because it's been a tough week for Nigeria’s most infamous internet enthusiasts. Due to the week-long strike action that took place in response to the government’s decision to remove a national fuel subsidy, it has become increasingly difficult for the Yahoos to extract funds from their “clients”. [...] The Yahoos' disposition towards #OccupyNigeria is also worth paying attention to because 419 culture is essentially a street-level microcosm of the institutional corruption that has plagued Nigeria for the past forty years. And although the Yahoos are often blamed for distorting Nigeria’s image abroad, they've also become part of the cultural fabric.
posted by infini on Jan 22, 2012 - 26 comments

The durable Mike Malloy

In 1933, Anthony Marino, Joe Murphy, Frank Pasqua and Dan Kriesberg decided to make money by taking out life insurance on drunks and then letting the victims drink themselves to death. Then they encountered Mike Malloy...
posted by reenum on Nov 11, 2011 - 17 comments

Black Money

The United States Secret Service is warning about an old scam that's recently popped up again in New England: black money. [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack on Nov 4, 2011 - 89 comments

Exploiting Fear

How Two Scammers Built an Empire Hawking Sketchy Software
posted by vidur on Oct 4, 2011 - 23 comments

Anatomy of a Scamhunt.

How to track down a scammer. Two weeks ago, "Ken", a writer at the politics/law/gaming blog Popehat, got a fax in the vein of the toner scam - an invoice from a company he'd never done business with, hoping that the firm would pay the bill anyway out of sheer ignorance. Instead, he decided to use the name and contact information on the fax to expose every detail he could find about their operation. After a series of in-depth searches he found quite a lot - from real names and addresses to criminal records - and wrote up his methodology in detail to help others do the same.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish on Sep 17, 2011 - 22 comments

"Everyone has pain. It's your job to find it."

Start a home business, get rich quick, win financial freedom! If you watch late-night TV, you've heard it all before. But what's the story behind these slick pitchmen and their dubious schemes? Enter The Salty Droid, your ornery metal guide to the corrupt underworld of scam-marketing scum. This charmingly acerbic bot (owned and operated by mild-mannered Chicago dog-lover Jason Michael Jones [inter-view, long talk + transcript]) is a valiant crusader against the vile con-men who bankrupt the elderly and the desperate with beautiful lies. Exposed so far: A shadowy "Syndicate" of frauduct-pushing personality cults polluting the media with blogspam and woo-woo talking points. Boiler rooms in the Utah desert where telemarketers farm credit from easy targets with cunning, probing scripts [PDF]. Powerful politicians bought wholesale. Believers left to die in fraudulent new-age vision quests. It's a soul-crushing beat, enough to make one feel like a regular catcher-bot in the digital rye. But somebody's got to do it -- preferably someone with plasma nunchucks and titanium skin.
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 31, 2011 - 47 comments

We don't have to worry about ISK for a very long time, now.

Phaser Inc., a trading company in space-based MMO EVE online, have absconded with a record-breaking 1 trillion ISK and revealed themselves as a giant ponzi scheme in a remarkably frank open letter. Their haul of the in-game currency translates to just over $50,000, or 242 years-worth, of PLEX (traded for playing time). [via RockPaperShotgun] [more inside]
posted by Drexen on Aug 21, 2011 - 82 comments

I have to show you all my IDs

Fantasy Island: The Strange Tale of Alleged Fraudster Pearlasia Gamboa
posted by vidur on Jul 14, 2011 - 4 comments

When you buy or think pink, know where your green is going.

New York Attorney General: Coalition Against Breast Cancer - "Scam". 'The state of New York sued a breast cancer charity on Tuesday, accusing it of soliciting more than $9 million and spending virtually none of it on the cause.' 'The Coalition Against Breast Cancer, based in Long Island, told donors their money would go toward research and mammogram screenings, but spent most of the $9.1 million it collected over five years on fundraising fees, salaries and benefits and personal goods, the state attorney general alleges.' But what about all those "pink" products that tout a donation to a charity when you buy? [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Jun 30, 2011 - 41 comments

Re-usable grocery bags: A-ok!

A new study finds that re-usable grocery bags don't harbor sickening bacteria as much as previously found. Turns out, the previous study (June, 2010), which reported significant levels of sickness producing bacteria present in the bags they tested, was sponsored by the American Chemistry Council, an organization that represents the interests of the people who manufacture plastic bags. “A person eating an average bag of salad greens gets more exposure to these bacteria than if they had licked the insides of the dirtiest bag from this study,” says an expert.
posted by crunchland on Jun 28, 2011 - 67 comments

Secret FBI UFO document not so secret

As part of making documents available following Freedom of Information Act requests, the FBI has set up The Vault, including documents on unexplained phenomenon. One document in particular, the Guy Hottel memo, had some proclaiming "these are the real life X-Files." Except it's not - the document is real, but the report was based on a hoax that is known by many UFO debunkers.
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 18, 2011 - 12 comments

s/Reed/Redwood/g

University of Redwood sounds a lot like Reed College, down to faculty and building names. And apparently it doesn't exist. [more inside]
posted by klausness on Feb 27, 2011 - 47 comments

The Watcher of the 419

Randolph Carter received an interesting proposition over email. A Nigerian politician offered the scholar a once in a lifetime business opportunity that could provide wealth for both parties if Carter could make a small initial investment. Carter needed the money to finance his research into obscure Polynesian cultures, especially references to a strange god named "Cthulhu"... [more inside]
posted by clockworkjoe on Dec 24, 2010 - 15 comments

Vision Media / World Progress Report = scam?

As first reported on NPR back in April, Vision Media targets non-profits with promises of exposure on PBS stations around the country, but the promised spots (supposedly hosted by Hugh Downs) never actually air. Now, they seem to have resurfaced as World Progress Report, as reported by Public Citizen. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Sep 17, 2010 - 8 comments

How not to get scammed

Last week the playwright Alan Bennett was "relieved" of £1,500 by one of the simplest scams about - the distraction scam. The BBC provides a helpful guide to how not to get scammed while MSN outlines the 13 scams of the summer. For a more in-depth examination of the world of scams, The Real Hustle is an invaluable resource. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Jun 16, 2010 - 91 comments

Reality still eating itself.

Nokia's new ARG ad campaign seems to be co-opting activism for marketing. Written by Tim Kring of Heroes infamy. There's a good summary here. Strangely they managed to troll The Pirate Bay into a response and the bassist from Suede is doing the blog!
posted by debord on May 26, 2010 - 26 comments

My Name is Todd Davis. This is my social security number...

Anti-Identity-Theft Firm Lifelock was fined $12 Million in March for deceptive business practices by the FTC. More bad news: their CEO had his identity stolen 13 times after posting his own social security number in company ads as proof they could protect him. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 19, 2010 - 56 comments

An exclusive interview with Mr. Robert Dutu

"i accept the fact that i am GUILTY… and will not hesitate to be prosecuted when the law catch up with me… and i know my God will forgive because i pray to him to replenish the pockets of my clients with double of whatever they loss" Mike Nash has a surprisingly frank chat with a 419 scammer.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis on May 11, 2010 - 23 comments

Gaming the New York Times

Imagine: your book, a bestseller. A fishy Amazon gift card scheme run by "ResultsSource" apparently helped California Gubernatorial Candidate Steve Poizner get his book to #5 on the New York Times Bestseller list. Reporting by This American Life and Capitol Weekly [more inside]
posted by thisisdrew on May 4, 2010 - 24 comments

California Schemin'

Your dreams of rapping superstardom are stymied by your Scottish sound, so what do you do? Simple: reinvent yourself as a West Coast wild boy, with American accent and history to match. Keeping it real might be murder, but even when it all falls apart, at least you got to tour with Eminem and D12 – and you can salvage something by writing a book about it all.
posted by Len on Apr 18, 2010 - 67 comments

You're both right!

It's a charter school. It's a nightclub. Charter school? Nightclub!
posted by fixedgear on Mar 30, 2010 - 38 comments

The Wolffs At The Door

The Wolffs At The Door An interesting story about a couple of elderly grifters in Massachusetts. The Boston Sunday Globe published a follow-up article today. [more inside]
posted by Mayor Curley on Feb 7, 2010 - 14 comments

"No credit card needed to receive FarmCash within minutes."

"I funded the company myself but I did every horrible thing in the book to, just to get revenues right away." So said Mark Pincus, CEO and founder of Zynga, the company behind social games like Mafia Wars and Farmville. It's the latest revelation in a week-long bit of drama between TechCrunch and the companies running the shady virtual currency that makes the games profitable. [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Nov 6, 2009 - 43 comments

Iraq Swears by Bomb Detector U.S. (Correctly) Sees as Useless

Iraq Swears by Bomb Detector U.S. (Correctly) Sees as Useless. Similar to the now debunked Sniffex (as seen previously on Metafilter), the ADE651 detects explosives, firearms, grenades, narcotics, elephant ivory, bank notes, and according to its manufacturer's website, "human research." [more inside]
posted by Optimus Chyme on Nov 4, 2009 - 52 comments

Your TV would never lie to you, especially about gold

How to value and sell your gold. Probably a waste of time though, those real people who sold their gold on TV seem happy enough.
posted by alan on Aug 28, 2009 - 20 comments

There are zillions of locksmiths in the naked city

High-priced emergency locksmith services clog up local business listings (and Google Maps), driving all the emergency calls to their numbers. It's happened all over the country. E.g., a 'brash new locksmith company' comes to Madison, WI.
posted by grobstein on Jul 8, 2009 - 76 comments

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