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Users that often use this tag:
Steven Den Beste (3)
the man of twists ... (3)
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orthogonality (2)
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The Things He Carried

The Things He Carried. "Airport security in America is a sham—'security theater' designed to make travelers feel better and catch stupid terrorists. Smart ones can get through security with fake boarding passes and all manner of prohibited items—as our correspondent did with ease."
posted by chunking express on Oct 16, 2008 - 91 comments

The Dollar Auction and Swoopo

An online auction site called Swoopo, once called TeleBid, has hit upon an ingenious way to make money. They are an auction site not entirely unlike Ebay - but using a different auction scheme. Where EBay uses a slightly modified Vickrey auction system, Swoopo uses an auction system based on the "Dollar Auction" game - with interesting results. [more inside]
posted by Zarkonnen on Oct 1, 2008 - 31 comments

Lost in the Forster

"Room With A Screw: My 45-day quest to convince a craigslist scammer to write me a poem-- and how she lost her mind and tried to become my friend"
posted by not_the_water on Aug 16, 2008 - 44 comments

It was wrapped in white paper, I am loosing my mind paniking because that was almost my whole pay how could I possibly recoop that you know|?

I found your money. It's uncanny: the next guy emailing to claim the money that Rob "found" always describes it precisely as Rob described the money to the previous emailer.
posted by orthogonality on Aug 14, 2008 - 78 comments

"That kid at your door with a magazine order form will tell you a story -- part sad, part hopeful."

Winding their way down from California, they lost a few agents. Two were arrested in Albuquerque after they allegedly forced their way into the home of an elderly couple and beat them to death, raping the wife first.... Then, in West Texas, a van flipped, killing one agent and injuring three others. That's seven agents out of commission. That's about a $2,800 loss per day. After they turn in their cash and receipts, two agents, a pudgy girl and a lanky guy, hit the parking lot for a smoke.... It's a blast, they say. You lie all day to sell subscriptions, and you unwind afterward with some smoke. You tell the customers that you live a few streets over, that you go to the local school and play on the soccer team, that you just sold subscriptions to their neighbor, and the idiots buy it because by now you've got it down to a science. And on to the next town. And the next.
posted by orthogonality on Jul 18, 2008 - 68 comments

Charity begins at home. And sometimes ends in jail.

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 - 12 comments

Apple cloner or scammer?

Recently, Psystar Corporation announced the Open Mac, now renamed "Open Computer," a $399.99 Mac clone. Besides violating Apple's EULA, and the license for the emulator that allows Leopard to run on commodity hardware, apparently the company itself seems a bit... shady. Metafilter's own Woz, on the other hand, says he might get one.
posted by MythMaker on Apr 18, 2008 - 42 comments

The Great World of Sound!

Want to be a recording star? The Great World of Sound is looking for new talent!
posted by The Deej on Nov 18, 2007 - 22 comments

"Do unto others what they'd like to do to you... But do it first!"

Soapy Smith was "the king of the frontier confidence men." Born Jefferson R. Smith, he gained the nickname "Soapy" after running a successful scam that the Denver newspapers dubbed "The Prize Package Soap Sell Swindle." He ran criminal enterprises in Colorado and Alaska until his death at the hands of vigilantes in 1898. Every year his descendants hold a wake in his honor. His story has inspired several books and movies. The Soapy Smith Preservation Trust maintains an extensive archive of his life and times.
posted by amyms on Oct 16, 2007 - 20 comments

30-Year Laptop Battery?

Betavoltaic Batteries are supposed to last 30 years, run cool, and be inert and harmless when depleted. The batteries, which generate electricity from radioactive decay, have a 50-year development history, but breakthroughs at the U.S. Air Force Research Lab are said to make the batteries practical for use in consumer applications. So why doesn't the Air Force lab's website feature this discovery? Maybe because it's a hoax, or a scam.
posted by Kirth Gerson on Oct 9, 2007 - 22 comments

This is why we dont build on spec anymore

Columbia Law grad is scammed, along with 78 other professionals, into working for free for weeks. Craigslist, some detective work, and the unusual motivation behind the scam all contribute to this interesting story of internets-related shenanigans.
posted by crunchywelch on Sep 10, 2007 - 64 comments

"Any help we can get with this will be greatly appreciated and, I believe, rewarded in heaven."

Ted Haggard returns --with a cash for heaven offer to support him while he helps "broken people". Unfortunately, the procedure outlined is illegal, and the charity (Families With a Mission) is unregistered and run by a convicted sex offender. Meanwhile, Mike Jones, Haggard's favorite whore, pops up at a dirty bar trivia night (questions about Haggard and him, maybe nsfw, textwise)
posted by amberglow on Aug 25, 2007 - 184 comments

The software awards scam

The software awards scam. I put out a new product a couple of weeks ago. This new product has so far won 16 different awards and recommendations from software download sites. Download it now from PC World!
posted by Armitage Shanks on Aug 17, 2007 - 20 comments

Free Energy Tomorrow

Previously featured 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 - places.
posted by Optimus Chyme on Jul 5, 2007 - 115 comments

Game theory, for money

Humraz 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 - 21 comments

Clitoraid

Restoring a sense of pleasure The Raelian movement has been discussed here before . Clitoraid is their latest scam and you can donate now to adopt a clitoris and help them build the Pleasure Hospital in Ouagadougou.
posted by theemperorhasnoclotheson on Apr 26, 2007 - 21 comments

Ewe won't believe this, folks!

A Japanese actress complains that her new poodle doesn't bark and won't eat dog food. Why's that? Because it's a lamb. Apparently as many as 2,000 people in Japan may have been duped. Let the punning commence.
posted by cerebus19 on Apr 26, 2007 - 106 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

Craig's List woes.

Craig's List ad causes woman's home to be destroyed. We have all heard about the numerous Craig's List scams and pranks, 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 - 79 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

This Is An Ex-Parrot!!! (And Maybe, Just Maybe, An Ex-Scammer)

Monty Python's Dead Parrot Sketch, Scammer-Style. (YouTube, approx. 7 mins.) The video was created by a Nigerian email scammer who thought he was producing a video for a victim he tried to scam. The victim fought back. Read the whole story (it's a long story, with many tangents, but fascinating) in two parts from 419 Eater: Part 1, Part 2. For reference, here's the original Monty Python Dead Parrot Sketch.
posted by amyms on Feb 17, 2007 - 72 comments

How hackers make money.

How the underground hacker economy works. Black hat hackers and other scammers make money through methods ranging from pumping penny stocks to re-shipping rings. Meet the four most wanted cybercriminals.
posted by blahblahblah on Feb 12, 2007 - 13 comments

Where do I sign up?

Stacey Finley 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 - 22 comments

Elaborate Yarn Scam

Blue Moon Fiber Arts, an independent Oregon-based online yarn store, has a sock yarn club that knitters can join and receive a bimonthly shipment of sock yarn and other goodies. They have run it before with great success, and it has grown in popularity to the point that they have a waiting list to get in. When they started it up again for the new year, their bank decided they were running some sort of scam because that many people couldn't possibly be interested in sock yarn. Wrong. You don't mess with knitters. This is a group that has raised over $275,000 in the past year for Doctors Without Borders just because a popular knitblogger asked them to. Not surprisingly, the knitbloggers are pissed. There's already a knitalong underway in protest.
posted by booksherpa on Jan 11, 2007 - 22 comments

New Twist on the Credit Card Game

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 - 104 comments

McNopoly Winners?

Anyone ever win McDonalds Monopoly? Mmmm.... It's McDonald's Monopoly season again! Looking for Boardwalk? Good luck. Where are the winners(pdf) now? Or is it all just a fraudulant scam? Mmm... I'm scoffing it!
posted by Gankmore on Oct 11, 2006 - 26 comments

This secret... it vibrates?

The Secret is the brainchild of Australian TV producer Rhonda Byrne. There's a bulletin board where those in on The Secret can discuss their vibrational progress. What happens when you carry the ideas of positive thinking and the power of intentions too far? Sometimes the results are heartbreaking, other times damned creepy. You may need all three gratitude rocks to soothe your soul if you think about this stuff too much.
posted by fleetmouse on Jul 6, 2006 - 56 comments

Fake money 2000 years ago

Great fakers scammed ancient Italy. An ingenious counterfeit-coin scam has been rumbled by scientists in Italy. But no one is going to jail, because the forgers lived more than 2,000 years ago.
posted by riffola on Mar 28, 2006 - 7 comments

Look into my eyes, Lana Turner...

Murder for hire, hypnotism, celebrity marriage, Federal agents, million-dollar yachts, hang-gliding "accidents", collegiate endowments, and diploma mills. Even the author of the piece has an interesting back-story.
posted by BitterOldPunk on Feb 10, 2006 - 7 comments

Take This Podcast to Havana!

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; via.]
posted by aaronetc on Dec 14, 2005 - 31 comments

Netflix Class Action Settlement

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 - 62 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

Pranking Scammers and other fun stories

The scammer gets scammed in this tale of an ebay auction gone hilarious as well as many other fine pranks. Favorites include the credit card prank and the Chinese tattoo prank. What is also hilarious is when the Nigerian E-mail Scammers target Pro Poker Player Paul Phillips, and get schooled themselves.
posted by Mroz on Aug 23, 2005 - 51 comments

New contender...or great green hype?

Greenzap 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 - 16 comments

Does Open Source = Full Disclosure?

SCANDAL!!! Wordpress caught with Spam and Hot Nacho! Blogosphere Cheesed! (Waxy investigates)
posted by shoepal on Mar 30, 2005 - 56 comments

AAAA++++ WOULD INCINERATE AGAIN!!!!!!!

Haunted Possessed Disney Stitch Teddy Dangerous? No reserve - I just want it gone.
posted by limitedpie on Mar 24, 2005 - 23 comments

Keep your hands where I can see 'em, limpy.

Keep your hands where I can see them. - Can't say Mom didn't warn you. Side effects include: fatigue, stress, thinning hair, eye floaters or fuzzy vision, and tail bone cramps. [via Monkeyfilter]
posted by AlexReynolds on Mar 6, 2005 - 29 comments

Shh, I'm hunting wabbits...

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 - 59 comments

Nigerian Email Scam

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 - 6 comments

The question is - was this illegal?

Scamming in the MMORPG Eve Online
posted by Orange Goblin on Aug 14, 2004 - 18 comments

Greetings!

Anatomy of a 419 Scam. A detailed blow-by-blow account of how an otherwise intelligent and ordinary human being is suckered into losing a grand of his own money.
posted by Blue Stone on Jul 19, 2004 - 49 comments

Enron shoved what up grandma Millie's....

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 - 36 comments

Spellkaster

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 - 17 comments

A new twist on paying for Internet porn

A new twist on paying for Internet porn Although no mention of porn in the CNN story. Anyone ever been threatened like this?
posted by Samuel Farrow on Dec 29, 2003 - 18 comments

Oh no Credit Card troubles again

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 - 26 comments

I've got some ocean front property in Arizona, from my front porch you can see the sea...

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. New FTC 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 - 15 comments

Chasing the Double Eagle

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 - 10 comments

Sick?

She never asked for anything. Everything I ever did was voluntary. Mother tricks community (and her daughter) into believing that her daughter has leukaemia. I suppose scams like this are so successful because you just don't make stuff like this up, right? The article doesn't mention it but is this what they call Munchausen's by Proxy?
posted by jontyjago on Feb 24, 2003 - 17 comments

My friend, I have an important message for you...

A reporter's quest to get to the bottom of the Nigerian email money scam. An amusing read.
posted by psmealey on Feb 22, 2003 - 9 comments

URGENT!

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 - 16 comments

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