You know those fake but real-looking checks for absurd amounts of money that sometimes show up in your mailbox? Go ahead, deposit it. This guy
posted by emelenjr
on Oct 20, 2004 -
The Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Science.
Scientific fraud is everywhere. It is in the government, the courts, the corporations, the universities and other schools, and in public forums, and is often widely publicized as fact. Often, the public embraces it as "better" than the truth, believing what they want to believe rather than what can be proven. So here are seven warning signs
that what is advanced as scientific fact may instead be bogus. But can you apply them to the huge number of "facts" you're bombarded with each day?
posted by kablam
on Oct 11, 2004 -
Forbidden Love: The Romance That Masqueraded as a Bio
In early 2003, a Jordanian woman named Norma Khouri published a book entitled Forbidden Love
(or Honor Lost
in North America). This book was a memoir about how Norma Khouri's best friend, Dalia, was killed by her own father after she fell in love with a Christian military officer, and Norma's subsequent escape from Jordan. Forbidden Love
was a bio that read like a sensational romance, and it sold 250,000 copies around the world and made Norma Khouri a celebrity in her adoptive country of Australia. However, it turns out that the book really was just a romance. Dalia never existed. Norma Khouri left Jordan at the age of 3 and grew to adulthood living in Chicago. So, one very disturbed woman
has exploited Western prejudices about Arab cultures
, fooled the general public
, plunged her publisher into an enormous legal and financial embarrassment, and impugned the very real and serious problem of honour killings. And she got away with it for a full year and a half.
posted by orange swan
on Aug 5, 2004 -
"No voting rights for YOU......boy!"- Florida's illegal purges of voter rolls to continue for 3rd national election? Election head resigns.
While Florida refuses to release the "purge lists" to CNN
, "The head of Florida's elections division resigned Monday amid reports he was feeling political heat over a push to purge thousands of suspected felons from the state's voter rolls." (Tallahassee Sun-Sentinel) " there has been little action
(and worse, really) on Florida's agreement to reinstate illegally purged voters to Florida voting rolls
that resulted from an NAACP lawsuit over the 2000 election ["Many voters said their votes didn't count or they were turned away from polls due to mistakes on voter lists, busy telephone lines at election headquarters, punch-card voting machine foul-ups and other problems...Statewide, the largest numbers of voting problems were found in precincts with high proportions of black and elderly voters."
The NYT editorially acknowledged
the scandal on February 15, 2004.]
On May 21, 2002, Ashcroft's Justice Department began a suit against Florida counties "for purging Black voters from voter rolls and other violations of civil rights"
Now, four years after the 2000 election, illegally "purged" Florida voters will not be notified until it is "too late to have their rights restored for this election
- or are turned away on Election Day", reports the Tampa Tribune. "The vast majority of them are black and would be likely to vote Democratic."
It's difficult for convicted felons to regain the right to vote in Florida
, but many on the "purge" lists were not (in 2000) and still are not felons at all. [ note : Greg Palast
- busy of late - must be most credited with blowing this story wide open. See here here
posted by troutfishing
on Jun 9, 2004 -
With Ahmed Chalabi poised
to take control
of post-occupation Iraq--one year after the start of the war--Congress' General Accounting Office is beginning to ask questions
about the operations of his Iraqi National Congress. A piece of evidence submitted by Chalabi was a list of 108 news items
which were placed in mainstream media by INC-coordinated (and Pentagon-funded) defectors. Who are other Mefites' favorite fraudsters?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly
on Apr 1, 2004 -
Do Most People Even Know What They're Eating?
Pork is served as veal; tilapia as red snapper and who knows what goes into sausages and other processed meat and fish products? You don't have to be an observant Jew or Muslim to be worried. How many years have those chicken pieces been frozen? How much pork and beef
have been added to them? As food is increasingly disguised (fish fingers, chicken nuggets, beefburgers) to hide its origins, feeding on hypocritical popular revulsion with animals' existence, death - and carcasses! - aren't consumers setting themselves up for an ever greater measure of food fraud? That is, if they still care. (And no, it's not just an American phenomenon.) [Via The Daily Gullet.
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Jan 23, 2004 -
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.
posted by elpapacito
on Nov 25, 2003 -
How to Make Money and Influence People. Five workers who made false accounting entries during a huge fraud at HealthSouth Corp. kept silent out of fear after realizing the company was buying guns, grenades and spy equipment, according to testimony Wednesday at the first sentencing in the case. Richard Scrushy
has been mentioned
here before, but his intimidation tactics are a new revelation.
posted by whoshotwho
on Nov 19, 2003 -
Recipient of largest slavery reparations claim sentanced to 3 years in jail
and her father, the accountant who did the paperwork to get the refund received 13 years in jail. The article goes on to report that the IRS estimates the fraudulent reparations payout to be apporx $2.7B.
"It was unjust because we are supposed to get reparations as black people -- just like the Jews got it. What do we get? Jail time,"
said family friend Margaret Roach
What do you think?
posted by cpfeifer
on Oct 24, 2003 -
Impeach "the crazies" now!
"Can there be any greater violation of the public trust than to bear false witness to the people's representatives in pursuit of short-term political gain? Can there be injuries more immediate to society than to send American citizens to their death on a fraudulent pretext? With each shooting of a U.S. soldier in Iraq, the case for impeachment grows stronger."
posted by acrobat
on Oct 10, 2003 -
Important expose and interview runs on Salon today.
"This evening the site the aritcle features is shut down.
As soon as we get that new server up we'll host the materials (yes, we have a copy) that Diebold doesn't want the public to see. Diebold cannot silence everyone. "
The links (2) for this piece can be found at URL given here.
"If you're not outraged you are not paying attention. "
, as usual, is both outraged and paying attention.
posted by Postroad
on Sep 24, 2003 -
How BADLY do you want to be a millionaire?
Badly enough to cheat on a TV game show? An ex-Army Major, his wife and another man have been convicted of 'procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception' - in other words, getting someone to sign a cheque for a million pounds which was won by cheating.
The scam involved a series of coughs at strategic points in the "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?"
game show, guiding the Major to the right answers.
The show was never aired after suspicions were raised but I would be interested to see if it'll now be released so I can make up my own mind about the suspicious, ahem, coughs.
posted by essexjan
on Apr 7, 2003 -
[warning: pop ups] became well known for a few scientifically unexplained phenomena. They are Telepathy... Dowsing... Bending, breaking and softening metal and other solids with the power of the mind, e.g. spoons, keys etc, more rarely plastic and glass; Fixing broken watches and appliances, and using collective power, influencing the Big Ben to stop; Moving compasses with the power of thought; Erasing computer tapes and disks; and Sprouting, causing tiny seeds (mainly red radish) to grow a few centimeters in seconds." Why not thrill to a biography
of this favorite pseudo psychic of the 70s? To be frank, until just now, I wasn't even aware that he was back!
posted by Joey Michaels
on Mar 24, 2003 -
Hangover? Not for long!
Okay, probably not - heard some commercials for this product on my local sports radio station, and during don imus' radio show... It seems this company is promoting their "dawn808" product which you can take after or during drinking, and it reacts to the chemicals that your liver forms while trying to clean up your blood. fascinating. wonder what happens if you take this, the 48 hour hollywood diet, and some ephedra.
at least they're not trying to sell samplers from the 80's.
posted by djspicerack
on Mar 5, 2003 -
The New York Times published on Sunday a very favorable report on Ken Lay.
In it, they argue that he was, at least in part, wrongly chastised for his role in the Enron affair. Apparently, we are to believe that the CEO didn't know what was going on inside the company he ran. After news of the report appeared in numerous U.S. media earlier this week, the BBC today counterattacks brutally
(although perhaps not intentionally), describing some of the most ruthless Enron practices - like placing the combined total salary of the top 200 executives salary at one and a half times the company's total earnings (Lay's went from 15m to 164 mil in that period). My question is simple: just what is going on here?
posted by magullo
on Feb 14, 2003 -
It's about Time
this guy was recognized with accolades as the premiere whistleblower in the US. Just think of all the tax money that could be saved if everyone learned what Postol already knows!
Is NMD more theology than science? It would appear so.
posted by nofundy
on Jan 3, 2003 -
Is the Washington Times perpetuating a fraud?
the Palestine Media Watch is reporting on a rumour that has been floating around for a while, that the Washington Times' "Sayed Anwar" is actually Paul Martin, a correspondent out of their London office. Now while this Times doesn't boast the circulation of the NYTimes or even the LA Times, it still lands on the doorstep of the President of the US every day. How's this for journalistic integrity?
posted by djspicerack
on Dec 27, 2002 -
A Mac user scorned is a dangerous thing...
Gotta hand it to this guy: persistence pays off. After being scammed with $3000 in forged cashier checques in an eBay transaction, this seller took matters into his own hands. How secure do you feel making transaction over eBay and related services? What kinds of internet fraud have you faced or fear? And most interesting of all, to what extent have you gone to correct evils done to you?
posted by tgrundke
on Dec 12, 2002 -
Who Counts your Votes? This book published back in 1992
is a good launching pad to begin the quest regarding elections and election fraud in America. Joseph Stalin had a saying: ``Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.'' When I voted on November 5, I was handed a little card stuck it in to a Diebold voting machine and presto all the votes I submitted were counted correctly right? Well I'm not sure after I read the article Diebold: The face of modern balloting at http://www.bartcop.com/110702otter.htm
and some of the articles at
Perhaps we Americans have handed a bit to much over to computers and the people who own the companies that make the computers and that write the code. Perhaps to restore faith in our Democracy its time to to go back a simple hand counted system, with observers from multiple parties stationed in the local precincts counting the paper ballots.
posted by thedailygrowl
on Nov 9, 2002 -
Florida Machine Records Votes for Wrong Candidate.
OK, I know Matt Drudge isn't exactly a venerated news outlet, but he is
in South Florida. And he's reporting that a West Palm Beach voter called in to a South Florida radio talk show to report that when he voted for McBride this morning the machine counted his vote for Bush. After he'd tried three times, the voter said, an observing poll worker finally acknowledged that the machine would have to be reprogrammed, since earlier voters had experienced the same problem. There is no official confirmation of this problem, but calls to the same radio show two years ago evidently foreshadowed the 2000 election debacle. I'll be keeping an eye on sites like Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo
as the day wears on. In the end, what should the electorate do (in addition to initiating lawsuits) if outcome-determining irregularities surface in yet another Florida election?
posted by maud
on Nov 5, 2002 -
Who is Sergei Konovalov? Healer or crook?
This email came through a mailing list I subscribe to. I found it fascinating but was unable to dig up any more information about this guy. It sounds like what he is doing is similar to the faith healers in America, however there seems to be no reports of him online or in any newspapers that I can find. Perhaps the MeFi collective can debunk (or authenticate!) this guy.
posted by camworld
on Oct 7, 2002 -
A new chapter
in the nigerian letter fraud most recently discussed here.
Yes, someone actually fell for it, and cost her employer $2.1 million in the process. via fark.
posted by Grod
on Sep 21, 2002 -
You've got Jail
is a light hearted, easy summer reading and informative article which explodes the myth that malfeasing CEOs get sent to "Club Fed", a prison so minimum in insecurity that its really like an enforced vacation in the country rather than the more typical round
. Required reading for the Skillings, Rigas, Taubmens and every college student considering an MBA.
(So is the MeFi fascination with Prison life
an idle one
or am I keeping the wrong company?)
posted by BentPenguin
on Jul 30, 2002 -
'Antiques Roadshow' Expert Sent to the Pokey.
"Russell Pritchard III, a militaria expert, pleaded guilty to making the bogus TV appraisals. He also admitted defrauding artifact owners by giving them low appraisals on items, then reselling them at much higher prices and pocketing the profit.
" Pritchard was kicked off the show a couple years ago, when it was discovered that he was faking fabulous discoveries on the show in an effort to gain credibility. Fans of the US version of the show may remember the civil war sword
found in an attic and the owner claimed he used the valuable weapon to cut watermelons. Pritchard could have received up to 135 years in prison, and $5.3 million in fines, but only received a year in prison, and ordered to repay his bilked clients $830k. I've always wondered about the credibility of the experts on that show, and whether they've ever quoted inflated or deflated values for personal gain. [via megosteve]
posted by crunchland
on Jul 13, 2002 -
"The bigger the binge,
the longer and more severe the hangover." A short history of accounting scandals and fraudulent bankruptcies that follow bubble economies.
posted by raaka
on Jul 10, 2002 -
Escrew Service. Worried about getting scammed on an Internet auction? "Just use an escrow service," is the customary advice. Not so fast. The latest auction scam is an elaborate swindle involving creation of fake escrow services, complete with convincing Web sites like www.escrow-is.com
posted by srboisvert
on Jul 9, 2002 -
Show called "Harassment"
results in, well, harassment! MTV and their co-conspirator, the Hard Rock Hotel, are being sued for "invasion of privacy, infliction of emotional distress and fraud, among other things."
posted by ilsa
on Jun 13, 2002 -
U.S. Representative James Traficant
(D-Ohio) has been found guilty on all 10 charges he faced, including kickbacks, fraud, bribery, and racketeering. The Congressman, known for his hatred
of the IRS(God
bless him) and his love of pork barrel projects
, has lit up the Congress with his bombastic
behavior since he was elected in 1984. Controversy has never been far from Traficant, he still claims that the trial is due to the bizarre, humorous, and grotesque story
of his mob-funded election to Sheriff of Youngstown. He claims that he will run as an independent
in the newly formed 17th District in the next congressional election. Will he be out of jail? Does he have a chance? What is Congress
going to do with him?
Fascinating background information courtesy of investigative journalist Dan Moldea's website
posted by insomnyuk
on Apr 11, 2002 -
Why aren't ghostwritten works considered frauds?
Pop historians are on the rack for using unattributed passages, Milli Vanilla were shamed off the charts for lip-synching, Joe Klein was pilloried for playing coy about a book he did
write. Yet Reagan's autobiography, Clinton's "It Takes a Village", and recent works by V. C. Andrews and Lawrence Sanders weren't written by the names on the jackets. Kind of odd, no?
posted by nikzhowz
on Apr 8, 2002 -