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]
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.
"I am calling you from Windows"
: A tech support scammer dials Ars Technica [more inside]
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]
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
"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.
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]
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]
More brazen than Madoff?
Former NYC hotshot attorney Marc Dreier
(he of the now-defunct vanity firm
), was arrested in Canada
in late 2008, charged with spearheading an occasionally daring
series of frauds. [more inside]
Everybody loves Zombies. Everybody loves killing Zombies. Nobody wants to suddenly wake up surrounded by Zombies. Not when you thought you were just playing a video game
Seen something like this on one of your credit or debit cards recently? 09/25 DIGITAL AGE 888-529-98 CYPRUS, SE $24.99
Join the crowd
. You might remember something from earlier in the summer, when CardSystems Solutions
reported a security breach that had gone on for months. Or maybe you remember a bit of more recent news
, when "a California judge ruled Friday that Visa USA Inc. and MasterCard International Inc. don't have to send individual warnings to thousands of consumers whose personal account information was stolen during a high-tech heist uncovered earlier this year."
My family was hit on three different cards from three different banks in less than a week. Doesn't seem to matter if you ever used the card online or not
. Any guesses where "Digital Age" is getting all these valid credit and debit card numbers? Anyone? So, please, check your statements and be prepared to cancel your card immediately if you've been hit, too. Nothing good will come of these criminals being able to make additional charges against your accounts, using different shell companies to hide themselves, continuing to do this sort of thing for years
More problems with credit cards...after you canceled one
Apparently some credit card company may not take you seriously when you say "I want to cancel this credit card".
If the account of the credit card is not "terminated" you may still be charged, even after receiving a letter from cc company confirming you its cancellation. You may also receive "accidental charges" of stuff you never ordered. One more link inside.
"That wasn't me, that was the guy before me!"
This is like "A bear walked in the door and ate it" from a little kid... What scares me is that people are stupid enough to fax him pictures of their credit cards. Wait until they see their next bills!