The Banyan Tree Foundation
promised to take donations from contributors to be redistributed to worthy Canadian recipients. The foundation also gave donors inflated charity receipts for tax declarations, and donors were encouraged to borrow money to contribute even more, and did... from a company now owned by Banyan Tree president Robert Thiessen. Now, the money has stopped flowing
, and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has called the organization a "sham" and is going after Banyan donors for past charity receipts totalling more than CAD$100 million. [more inside]
posted by Shepherd
on Jun 4, 2008 -
on MetaFilter, "Free Energy" company Steorn
had scheduled a demonstration of their revolutionary, world-changing, physics-defying contraption Orbo to open today at London's Kinetica Museum
. But due to "intense heat" from camera lighting, their fake invention isn't working today. Here's the live web feed
of an empty box. Incidentally, it seems that the Steorn folks have allies in high - very high
posted by Optimus Chyme
on Jul 5, 2007 -
is an auction site with a twist. Pay to bid, then once enough fees have been received, the lowest unmatched bid wins. Shall we play for £500
? Or a house
posted by imperium
on Jun 20, 2007 -
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 -
Craig's List ad causes woman's home to be destroyed.
We have all heard about the numerous Craig's List scams
, but this one takes things to a new low. Vandals ripped apart Laurie Ray's house after an ad posted on Craig's List invited people to take anything, and everything, they wanted. From the light fixtures to the hot water heater, everything is gone - including the kitchen sink.
posted by rodo
on Apr 5, 2007 -
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 -
convinced 22 friends, neighbors and relatives that she could have satellites scan their bodies for disease, then have CIA agents administer secret medicines to them while they slept. [via
posted by brundlefly
on Jan 24, 2007 -
How can a credit card company fool you? Let me count the ways. When Brad Kehn received his first credit card from Capital One Financial in 2004, it took him only three months to exceed its $300 credit limit and get socked with a $35 over-limit fee. But what surprised the Plankinton, S.D., resident more was that Cap One then offered him another card, even though he was over the limit -- and then another and another.
posted by storybored
on Dec 10, 2006 -
Is your podcast being hijacked?
The nature of RSS and podcast content makes it really easy for somebody to create new feeds based on somebody else's content and pass it off as the original through directories like Yahoo's or iTunes; then, of course, they potentially add advertising or use the built-up audience to extort the original podcaster. Podkeyword
, the organization that has sparked concern about the issue, says they're not doing anything illegal or unethical; correspondence between Podkeyword and the guy
whose podcast is at issue is available
. [First pass legal take here
, potential third-party retribution here
posted by aaronetc
on Dec 14, 2005 -
Another class action suit, another lousy settlement.
Are or were you a member of Netflix? Sign up for your benefits under the class action settlement, and receive a free upgrade (or for former members, a free month) of service. That is one whole extra DVD at a time per month. Doesn't sound so hot? It gets better. The next month, they'll keep you on the upgraded plan and raise your bill to match it! Class action settlement, or class action fleecing?
posted by jmccorm
on Nov 2, 2005 -
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 -
opened for business last week, with every intent of taking on PayPal for the title of online payment portal du jour
. But even before the service officially launched, there was already a growing number of people hotly debating
the validity of the enterprise. Will this be the next big thing, or just another lollipop party waiting for the suckers to show up?
posted by deusdiabolus
on Jun 6, 2005 -
An online psycho
(or entrepreneurial genius?) says he's holding a bunny, named Toby, hostage unless charitable animal lovers donate $50,000 to his paypal account. Otherwise, he'll butcher it. So far, he's got $14,000.
posted by nospecialfx
on Feb 17, 2005 -
We've all recieved one of those Nigerian Email Scams, but now we have it in a video format
(qt format) I almost wanted to help him out, but then he never did leave any contact info.
posted by thebwit
on Oct 30, 2004 -
Enron traders caught, on tape, "talking energy" "They're f------g taking all the money back from you guys?" complains an Enron employee on the tapes. "All the money you guys stole from those poor grandmothers in California?"
"Yeah, grandma Millie, man"
"Yeah, now she wants her f------g money back for all the power you've charged right up, jammed right up her a------ for f------g $250 a megawatt hour."
Wacky Enron boys, what will
they say next.....
posted by troutfishing
on Jun 1, 2004 -
This Amazing Software
changed my life...
Then they asked me how they could get it for themselves. Imagine if you had a way to achieve the wealth you've always wanted.
What if you could drift off to sleep knowing that happiness and good fortune was yours and it was as simple as clicking a button ?
SpellKaster is the exciting new software that uses the advanced power of Radionic Energy to make all of your dreams and desires come true.
[WARNING : RADIONIC ENERGY IS A POWERFUL FORCE. THIS SOFTWARE IS NOT TO BE USED FOR ANY MALICIOUS OR ILLEGAL PURPOSES.]
posted by azul
on Feb 4, 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 -
The Coral Calcium scam. Coral Calcium
products are on fire right now, with infomercials and brochures claiming that the miracle supplements can cure everything from fatigue to cancer. Of course there is no scientific evidence
supporting any of these claims and one of the two men featured in the infomercials is a convicted felon named Kevin Trudeau
actions are ongoing and The Mayo Clinic
has just sent out a letter to patients warning that the broad range of benefits claimed by those marketing some Coral Calcium products are simply too good to be true and that if the calcium indeed comes form the Okinawa area as claimed, it could be contaminated with lead.
posted by bargle
on Jun 11, 2003 -
From a theft at the U.S. Mint to a scam artist in Philly, from a playboy Egyptian king to a Secret Service sting at the Waldorf-Astoria, ending up at a record-breaking $7.59 million auction: the fascinating history of a coin
. (via BoingBoing)
posted by Vidiot
on Mar 8, 2003 -
Hmm...this one looks genuine:
I AM GEORGE WALKER BUSH, SON OF THE FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH.... THIS LETTER MIGHT SURPRISE YOU BECAUSE WE HAVE NOT MET NEITHER IN PERSON NOR BY CORRESPONDENCE.
I CAME TO KNOW OF YOU IN MY SEARCH FOR A RELIABLE AND REPUTABLE PERSON TO HANDLE A VERY CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS TRANSACTION....
I AM WRITING YOU IN ABSOLUTE CONFIDENCE PRIMARILY TO SEEK YOUR ASSISTANCE IN ACQUIRING OIL FUNDS THAT ARE PRESENTLY TRAPPED IN THE REPUBLIC OF IRAQ....
posted by Artifice_Eternity
on Jan 31, 2003 -
From 1920 to 1933, Oscar Merrill Hartzell
bilked thousands and thousands of people out of millions and millions of dollars in the midst of a Great Depression. But when he was forcably returned to the US to face trial, the "common man" hailed him as a hero and savior. As the author of (the highly recommended) Drake's Fortune
notes, confidence artists are a perverse echo of the classic Horatio Alger story, as swindlers build wealth by dint of ingenuity, perseverence, and breath-taking chutzpah
. Perhaps that is why we love to read books
and see films
of their exploits. But it doesn't explain why we keep falling for the same ruses
over and over again.
posted by Shadowkeeper
on Jul 17, 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 -
About damn time.
If I ever get another email asking me to go to Nigeria on behalf of Mr.Ngkoskusomethingoranother for some large sum of cash I could just...
posted by lostbyanecho
on May 24, 2002 -