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Calling Sylvia Browne

James Randi to end the Million Dollar Challenge in 2010. Nobody's won it in 10 years, and the money would work better if it wasn't tied up waiting for the impossible. Many have tried, none have succeeded.... and just so this isn't a single link, here's Randi owning Uri Geller, and Randi owning James Hydrick (using only styrofoam!) [YouTube links].
posted by SansPoint on Jan 4, 2008 - 116 comments

Crafty Cartography

Lost? Why not consult a map? Because, according to a past exhibit at the British Library, the mapmaker might have a political agenda.
posted by Rykey on Nov 12, 2007 - 14 comments

Impostor Syndrome

Do you feel like a fraud? Holden Caulfield used to hunt phonies a few blocks from here, but times have changed. Now the phonies — or people who think they are, anyway — hunt themselves.
posted by davy321 on Nov 5, 2007 - 84 comments

Something smells rotten

Two tales of fraud from the New Yorker. [more inside]
posted by billysumday on Aug 27, 2007 - 39 comments

In Violation of Federal Law, Ohio's 2004 Presidential Election Records Are Destroyed or Missing.

In Violation of Federal Law, Ohio's 2004 Presidential Election Records Are Destroyed or Missing. "The extent of the destruction of records is consistent with the covering up of the fraud that we believe occurred in the presidential election."
posted by chunking express on Jul 31, 2007 - 220 comments

Black is Guilty

Former media baron Conrad Black has been found guilty of obstruction of justice and three counts of mail fraud.
posted by chunking express on Jul 13, 2007 - 45 comments

Brent Kovar's Next Big (Imaginary) Thing

Brent Kovar got investors and employees to believe his invention was the next big thing, but nobody's ever seen it. Mister Kovar had also been appointed in 2003 to the Business Advisory Council of the National Republican Congressional Committee by then-Congressional Majority Leader Tom Delay. Apparently, a DC-9 they co-owned (painted to resemble aircraft from the U.S. Dept of Homeland Security) was busted in Mexico with 5.5 tons of cocaine on board. First link via fark
posted by The Deej on Jul 1, 2007 - 41 comments

Fauxhawk or faux character?

Was American Idol's Sanjaya a fraud? Graduate art student Bill Vendall claims that he created the American Idol character "Sanjaya" as an art project. He claims the character is "a symbol for the self referencing nature of progressive evolution." This is being debated around the internets.
posted by MythMaker on May 24, 2007 - 48 comments

How 'bout some antifreeze in your kid's cough syrup?

Fake Chinese Gylcerin kills hundreds, possibly thousands. So, if you thought melamine in pet food and food chain animal feed was bad, how do you feel about antifreeze in your medicine? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning to drug manufacturers, suppliers and health professionals that counterfeit drug additives have been using diethyline glycol, or DEG (commonly used as antifreeze) as a substitute for glycerin in cough medicine, fever medication and injectable drugs. Hundreds, possibly thousands have been killed.
posted by dejah420 on May 7, 2007 - 79 comments

addicted to conning people

A 13-YEAR-OLD boy who lives with his gran has been exposed as one of Britain's biggest internet conmen. Frank Abagnale Jr. 2.0 ? Citizens United to Find Fugitives with an internet swindlers database. A little about sociopaths and some of the scams they play.
posted by nickyskye on May 5, 2007 - 38 comments

... Karl Rove, a handful of the party's most tech-savvy computer gurus and the former Republican Ohio Secretary of State, created, owned and operated the vote-counting system...

Network Hosting Attorney Scandal E-Mails Also Hosted Ohio's 2004 Election Results --...more than ample documentation to show that on Election Night 2004, Ohio's "official" Secretary of State website -- which gave the world the presidential election results -- was redirected from an Ohio government server to a group of servers that contain scores of Republican web sites, including the secret White House e-mail accounts that have emerged in the scandal surrounding Attorney General Alberto Gonzales's firing of eight federal prosecutors. ...
posted by amberglow on Apr 23, 2007 - 66 comments

Congratulations!

Clive James on Scams and Hoaxes. "If the flim-flam man is sensible enough to offer you a return of only twice as much, the scam might even work. I was once defrauded of a heartbreakingly-large sum by a fellow writer who was smart enough to offer no return at all. True to her word, she didn't return my money either."
posted by Blue Stone on Apr 9, 2007 - 18 comments

Stockman indicted

Stockman agreed that supply-side theory was, in Greider's words, "only new language and argument to conceal a hoary old Republican doctrine: give the tax cuts to the top brackets, the wealthiest individuals and largest enterprises, and let the good effects 'trickle down' through the economy to reach everyone else." Said Stockman: "It's kind of hard to sell 'trickle down,' so the supply-side formula was the only way to get a tax policy that was really 'trickle down' .. . Kemp-Roth [the supply-side tax bill] was always a Trojan horse to bring down the top rate."
Reagon's Budget Director, David Stockman "was indicted for defrauding investors and banks of $1.6 billion while chairman of Collins & Aikman Corp., an auto-parts maker that collapsed days after he quit." via
posted by afu on Mar 30, 2007 - 14 comments

Look into my Lies

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.
posted by Elmore on Feb 18, 2007 - 40 comments

Give the devil two black eyes!

Marjoe Gortner, world's youngest preacher kicked off his religious career by performing a marriage at the age of four and a half. Although he eventually left the evangelism gig and became a hippie, lack of cash led him to take it up again part time as an adult. That is, until a crisis of conscience precipitated a documentary where he exposed the business of evangelical ministry. "Marjoe" won the 1972 Oscar for "Best Documentary" and has been recently re-released. An interview with Marjoe. You tubery inside.
posted by arcticwoman on Feb 18, 2007 - 19 comments

The Trouble with Enron

Open Secrets - the trouble with Enron
posted by Gyan on Jan 2, 2007 - 68 comments

Bringing Bush to Court

United States v. George W. Bush et al. Retired federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega has written a hypothetical indictment for a hypothetical grand jury charging President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell of violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, thereby commiting a conspiracy to defraud the United States by tricking the nation into war. Though a work of fiction, the evidence presented is real. Part 1 is the introdutction, part 2 is the indictment, and part 3 is the beginning of grand jury testimony, with more to come over the next few days.
posted by homunculus on Dec 1, 2006 - 23 comments

Video the Vote

Video the Vote. "Starting this election... people like you and I... will document problems as they occur. We'll play them online, spread word through blogs and partner websites, doing our part to make sure the full story of our elections is told." via Rushkoff.
posted by gsb on Nov 1, 2006 - 15 comments

Your One-Stop Shop for Election Fraud

Fixavote.com Election Consultants "provides unparalleled results by focusing on the outcome rather than the process. Using state-of the-art technology, we overcome the challenges of competition and ensure election results for our clients." (To make it even more evil, it's Flash-based) A food-for-thought satire or something more? When A reporter called the site's 800 number, the person who answered "said that he had been contacted by representatives of about 30 political campaigns to date." (I'm thinking sting operation to catch dishonest idiot politicians. Whad'ya think?)
posted by wendell on Oct 29, 2006 - 14 comments

When Scientists Go Bad

When Scientists Go Bad
posted by MetaMonkey on Oct 27, 2006 - 26 comments

Oh, Cruel Fate To Be Thusly Boned Or How To Steal An Election

A manual for electoral apocalypse in America. Quite a bit's been written both on MeFi and other places about how bad Diebold machines are. Rolling Stone wrote an article about election fraud in 2004 that was discussed here on MeFi. Tonight, Ars posted a very thorough, very clear article about how we are completely screwed if we do not enact expensive, fundamental changes in how we handle elections in America. It's too late to do anything about the elections in a couple weeks, but perhaps steps can be taken to fix things before 2008...
posted by sparkletone on Oct 25, 2006 - 45 comments

Virtual Economies

As virtual worlds economic activity and populations grow, the importance of Real Money Trade comes to the fore. When does fraud inside game worlds become illegal? when do earnings from online worlds become taxable? [discussion], and what happens when real day traders get interested? [more inside]
posted by MetaMonkey on Oct 21, 2006 - 25 comments

You, sir, have the boorish manners of a Yalie.

Impossible Is Nothing. Yale student applies for job on Wall Street, includes video detailing his physical prowess and philosophy of success. Hilarity ensues: "He single-handedly decreased trading volumes over the last two hours of the day because everyone was laughing too hard." Perhaps not surprisingly, there are some problems with his story.
posted by Gamblor on Oct 10, 2006 - 156 comments

Canada's a nice place to live.

Canada's a nice place to live. At least I think so, anyways. And so do, apparently, about 150 delegates from the International AIDS Conference. They've decided that they'd rather stay here than go back to their homes, mostly in Africa, and are claiming refugee status in order to meet this goal. While it's understandable that some of these claims may be legitimate, and that the home countries might not have been as enticingly developed as Canada, it does seem that for some "delegates", their claims are not what they may seem.
posted by Kololo on Sep 1, 2006 - 28 comments

support democracy

SAVE PLUTO
posted by thirteenkiller on Aug 25, 2006 - 91 comments

¿democracia en acción?

Mexico City post-election protests, which began on July 30th at the instigation of López Obrador, former mayor and alleged "loser" of the July 2 federal election, now cover a 12-kilometer (7.5 - mile) stretch of Paseo de la Reforma, one of the main arteries of one of the world's largest cities. Some see it as a party, others see it as ridiculous. In any case, a crisis of legitimacy is at hand, as all eyes await the announcement, due by Sept. 6 from "Trife", the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary, which will either decide the winner, or annul the result and call for new elections. With partisans of Obrador already claiming that the results of the recent partial recount suggest systematic fraud, it's unlikely that a smooth resolution is going to come any time soon.
posted by dinsdale on Aug 23, 2006 - 22 comments

The Hanko system

Matsushita Shuji writes about the latest effort to prop up the Hanko system in Japan.
posted by tellurian on Aug 14, 2006 - 23 comments

Too Much Blood in my stool

TOO MUCH BLOOD IN MY STOOL! THIS COULD BE COLOGNE CANCER! (NSFW) Eddie Reedom's site, www.choppercarsfraud.com claims Josh "Chop" Towbin and Towbin Dodge (known for their silly infomercials and the A&E series King of Cars) defrauded him of $50m to $100m. Among the evidence is photos of his stool, and video of an unruly Australian Buddhist security guard who kicks Reedom's truck. While Reedom may seem a bit nuts, there are tens of millions of Americans with bad credit. If you're one of them, seek some good advice before signing up for any loan. Credit problems are enough to drive anyone insane.
posted by b_thinky on Aug 3, 2006 - 25 comments

Does it matter anyway?

Worst Ever Security Flaw in Diebold Voting Machine A single switch is all that is required to cause the machine to boot an unverified external flash instead of the built-in, verified EEPROM."
posted by Unregistered User on Aug 1, 2006 - 57 comments

I'm absolutely sure that no antibody test in medicine has any absolute meaning.

Dr. Stephen Lanka claims that H5N1 doesn't exist. Or AIDS. Or disease-causing viruses in general. "In humans, in the blood or in other bodily fluids, in an animal or in a plant there never have been seen or demonstrated structures which you could characterize as bird flu viruses or flu viruses or any other supposedly disease-causing virus. The causes of those diseases which are being maintained to be caused by a virus, also those in animals, which can arise quickly and in individuals either one after the other or several at the same time, are known since a long time back. However much you stretch things in biology, there is simply no place for viruses as the causative agents of diseases. Only if I ignore the findings of Dr Hamer’s New Medicine, according to which shock events are the cause of many diseases, and the findings of chemistry on the effects of poisonings and deficiencies, and then if I ignore the findings of physics about the effects of radiation, then there is a place for imaginings such as disease-causing viruses."
posted by Sticherbeast on Jul 24, 2006 - 118 comments

the truth will set you free

Stripping The Gurus. Sex, violence, abuse and enlightenment. Chogyam Trungpa, the Dalai Lama, Zen masters, exposing the reality behind the facade of various spiritual teachers. Geoff Falk also writes about the spiritual beliefs of rock stars.
posted by nickyskye on Jun 5, 2006 - 66 comments

Democracy Inaction

Republicans prevented more than 350,000 voters in Ohio from casting ballots or having their votes counted -- enough to have put John Kerry in the White House.
posted by EarBucket on Jun 1, 2006 - 171 comments

"DEAR SIR, MAY I CRAVE YOUR INDULGENCE TO OPEN THIS BUSINESS DISCUSSION BY A FORMAL LETTER OF THIS SORT. MY NAME IS MARIAM ABACHA..."

[419Filter] The Perfect Mark: After losing thousands and being sentenced to prison, John Worley is still convinced the Nigerian governmental officials and their fortune exist.
posted by mowglisambo on May 9, 2006 - 50 comments

Delivering the Vote, with Dividends

Whooops! While making a required filing to the state ethics commission, Ohio Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Kenneth Blackwell finds Diebold shares in his stock portfolio that he now claims to have bought "accidentally." Yes, that Diebold -- the e-voting company whose chairman promised to "deliver the vote" to George Bush. And yes, that Blackwell, whose state helped deliver the White House to the GOP. Blackwell insists that the humble amount of Diebold stock was in one of those "blind trust" type of arrangements that worked out so rewardingly for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. [newsfilter via RawStory.]
posted by digaman on Apr 4, 2006 - 108 comments

Iraq? Turkey? Ah, who cares, they're all Ay-rabs anyway...

Baghdad is calm, except it's neither. So this guy Howard Kaloogian is running for Congress in California, and he supports the troops. Thinks they're making all sorts of progress that simply isn't reported by the evil lib'rul mainstream media, so he went to see Baghdad for himself, and posted a picture of a calm Baghdad street - See? No terrorists here! Except that certain sleuthing types found something awfully fishy about that photo...
posted by kgasmart on Mar 29, 2006 - 146 comments

The city is ours!

Город наш! The city is ours! Belarussians are using weblogs, online communities, and text messaging to organize, share news and numerous photos, and oppose their corrupt government's fraudulent election. Patriotism, flags, and dark blue is in fashion, whether the government likes it or not.
posted by insomnia_lj on Mar 23, 2006 - 32 comments

You see this watch? It has so many diamonds in it, the hands can't move...

The Secret Agent - whilst talk has gone on for many a year about things like 'bubbles' and 'bursting' on the topic of real estate, never before has it been seriously considered that regular offer-withholding, mortgage-falsifying, and price-gouging to the tune of £50,000 by real estate agents might be affecting the housing market altogether. I challenge metafilter to make the links, and see who's first on that merry conspiracy theory bandwagon. And why is it that people who work with selling or developing buildings are just, well, evil?
posted by jrengreen on Mar 22, 2006 - 65 comments

Princess Caraboo

In April of 1817, a distraught, exotic, bizarre young lady wearing a black turban appeared in the village of Almondsbury, England. She spoke an unintelligible language, and mystified villagers brought her to see the local magistrate. Linguistic experts of the day were baffled: until a Portuguese sailor appeared, who claimed to be able to translate. He explained that she was kidnapped royalty from the island of Javasu. She called herself Princess Caraboo.
posted by Count Ziggurat on Mar 18, 2006 - 11 comments

You should probably buy a shredder today.

The Torn-Up Credit Card Application. Can you get a credit card with a torn-up application? One citizen puts in the minimal effort to find out.
posted by Joey Michaels on Mar 12, 2006 - 49 comments

"This One's For You, Walt!"

Thomas Kinkade, Painter of LightTM, seeks to "to touch people of all faiths, to bring peace, and joy into their lives through the images he creates." Not all of his side ventures have been considered successful. But now the Christian-themed artist is accused of ruthless business tactics and seamy personal conduct, including drunkenly heckling Siegfried & Roy and, um, wantonly marking his territory. Perhaps Kinkade hopes to follow in the footsteps of Jack the Dripper?
posted by maryh on Mar 6, 2006 - 110 comments

New Book Exposes Massive Fraud

$200,000,000,000 scandal? America is ranked 16th in the world in Broadband speed. Wanna know why? Verizon won’t tell you, but Bruce Kushnick will. His latest book, $200 Billion Dollar Broadband Scandal, is a powerful critique that outlines a truly massive case of fraud. The Bell Companies (Verizon, SBC, Qwest, and BellSouth) used trickery and deceit to swindle the U.S. out of a promised 45mbps internet connection. They collected billions of dollars in regulatory fees, and now they are attempting to commoditize the Internet. Kushnick's book uses stunning detail to expose this treachery with accuracy and thoroughness.
posted by sswiller on Feb 1, 2006 - 78 comments

Massive fraud, theft, corruption in Iraq rebuilding

Massive fraud, theft, corruption in Iraq rebuilding ...Iraqi money gambled away in the Philippines...spent on a swimming pool that was never used...US$700,000 in cash in an unlocked footlocker...millions to companies that never submitted required competitive bids or that were paid for unfinished work...paid US$14,000 on four separate occasions for the same job...US$1.3 million wasted on overpriced or duplicate construction or equipment not delivered..."needlessly disbursed more than US$1.8 million" of the estimated US$2.3 million spent for renovating the library...from new auditor reports from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.
posted by Kickstart70 on Jan 30, 2006 - 48 comments

Other literary frauds

Hot on the heels of the JT Leroy and James Frey fracases, here's a list of other literary frauds. Writing is lying, indeed. [via Bookslut]
posted by xmutex on Jan 10, 2006 - 33 comments

You messed my pants!

£45 GBP lost to "compo" in Liverpool - Insurance fraud rife in UK A man who tried to sue a local council after he soiled his trousers tops a list of spurious public liability claims which cost UK local government and insurance companies an estimated £250m each year, reports the UK Guardian. Publishers of said report, Zurich Municipal are tackling the growing issue of fraudulent insurance claims. They found that "Only 16% of adults questioned said that they would contact the police if they knew someone had submitted a fraudulent claim against a council." Knowsley [Liverpool] Metropolitan Council "saw its claims from slips and trips soar ... to £5m annually." - for a borough of 111,000 adults that's an impressive £45 GBP per person per year. Among other factors, Zurich blames the "claims farmers" decried here by our Citizens Advice Bureau but also intriguingly says they are "continuing our campaign to combat school arson through initiatives such as our school theatre programme, ACT...."
posted by magpie68 on Jan 4, 2006 - 25 comments

Those who cast the vote decide nothing. Those who count the vote decide everything.

"After watching his computer expert change vote totals this week, Sancho said that he now believes someone on the inside did the same think in Volusia County in 2000." Leon County, FL election supervisor alleges fraud in the Bush/Gore election. "In Volusia County precinct 216, a memory card added more than 200 votes to George W. Bush's total and subtracted 16,000 votes from Al Gore. The mistake was later corrected during a hand count."
posted by Artifice_Eternity on Dec 15, 2005 - 81 comments

What is the sound of a "No Hearing Hearing"?

California holds a "No Hearing Hearing" on Diebold certification. "In June, over 200 people traveled to Sacramento to voice their concerns at a public hearing before a panel of advisors to the Secretary of State on voting systems. Since then, every scheduled meeting of the Voting Systems Panel has been cancelled, and now the Secretary has simply disbanded the VSP without notice, without hearings, without any type of due process." This isn't the only jurisdiction in which Diebold is attempting to circumvent legal requirements - in North Carolina they filed for and received a broad exemption from new disclosure rules recently passed into law. The EFF are now suing to force Diebold to comply with the law. As if that wasn't enough, an official Certification Test (PDF) for Diebold's Optical Scan voting machines confirms an earlier threat analysis test (PDF) that the memory cards on these machines run uncertified and arbitrary executable code, a charge that Diebold has vigorously denied.
posted by dinsdale on Nov 22, 2005 - 30 comments

Deafening silence over GAO e-voting report, new evidence of abuse.

Mainstream Media to American Democracy: Drop Dead! Brad Friedman ask alarming questions about the complete lack of attention which has been paid to the GAO report on electronic voting technology (PDF link) released more than a month ago, which confirms what security experts have been saying for years: these systems are vulnerable to multiple independent attacks targeting system and network vulnerabilities, access controls, hardware controls, and overall management practices. If you're short of time, at least read Rep. Waxman's fact sheet summary.

Ultimately, there is no real security on these machines; the report shows that overturning election results would not be at all difficult for even a single moderately skilled attacker. And now Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman are wondering if American Democracy has died an electronic death in the wake of massive discrepancies between final pre-election opinion polls and the results of several citizen initiatives designed to reform Ohio's electoral processes.
posted by dinsdale on Nov 16, 2005 - 68 comments

Digital Age Fraud

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
posted by RKB on Oct 13, 2005 - 29 comments

This is what demockery looks like!

Project Censored places "Distorted Election Coverage" at number 3 on their list of ignored news stories of the last year. In more recent ignored news a Diebold insider speaks out (which security guru Bruce Schneier considers "sensationalist" but "good information") - just as Diebold shares plunge and top executives flee. In July Diebold's voting machines were rejected by the state of California after "possibly the most extensive testing ever on a voting system" revealed a high incidence of crashes and paper jams. Not to mention the undocumented backdoor in Diebold's GEMS vote tabulator. Meanwhile, in Ohio, two officials of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections have been indicted by a grand jury on charges that they "did not permit a random selection of precincts for the recount and it did not let witnesses oversee the opening of the sealed ballot cases and the first recount of the votes." And John Conyers is urging Americans to oppose a proposed national ID voting requirement, which he calls a "21st Century poll tax". Is this what democracy looks like?
posted by dinsdale on Sep 24, 2005 - 25 comments

More on Republican fraud in Ohio:

None Dare Call It Fraud: Harpers article on the report Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio.
posted by blue shadows on Sep 9, 2005 - 81 comments

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