The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Business/Finance
Enormous Green Diamond Found
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 29, 2007
A Cape Town property developer, Brett Jolly, is claiming that a mine he owns shares in has found what could be the largest diamond ever, weighing in at 7000 carats. Plus, it's green. By contrast, the largest diamond found to date is only 3106.75 carats. And the largest green diamond only 40.7 carats. Initial reports said that this new diamond was as big as a soccer ball, but a photo of it has now been released, and in the photo it doesn't look quite that large. I'd say it looks only about as big as a softball. Which is still pretty big.…
Categories: Business/Finance Comments (12)
Fake Money For Strippers
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 27, 2007
Damon Armagost probably thought he had a pretty good scam going. He had printed up some fake $100 bills from an image he downloaded off the internet. He was then using this counterfeit money to pay for lap dances at a strip club. He must have thought the strippers would never notice the money was fake. Unfortunately for him, they did and alerted the police, who arrested Armagost and charged him with manufacturing and passing counterfeit currency. Carl Sifakis, in his book Hoaxes and Scams, reports on a similar scam called "tishing a lady." It involves paying a prostitute with tissue paper instead…
Fake Lottery Winner Disappears
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 20, 2007
Fergus Frater told everyone he had won the Euro lottery jackpot. His son was so pleased, believing that his dad would cut him in on a share of the winnings, that he quit his job. Frater's sister also looked forward to getting some of the money. But then the REAL winner of the lottery stepped forward with the winning ticket, and Fergus promptly did a runner, skipping town to avoid the wrath of his relatives. Pretending to win the lottery is, of course, not a new hoax. Our own Cranky Media Guy has done it before. But what I find odd is that Fergus made his own family the primary victims of the hoax. His…
Categories: Business/Finance Comments (2)
Best of the forum - 17th August 07
Posted by Boo on Fri Aug 17, 2007
Well, after my holiday, my laptop went down, and it's only this week that I'm back online. I do extend my apologies for the lack of 'Best of the Forum' posts for the last few weeks. Receive the Holy Oil! (Transfrmr) Forum member Transfrmr found a rather... interesting advertisement in a local free newspaper. The advertisement (see above link) shows the text: "I heard voices calling my name but saw nobody. Sometimes the voices told me to throw myself under a car. To top it off I also suffered with terrible nightmares...I had no peace at all! I did a chain of Prayer,…
Office Prankster
Posted by The Curator on Thu Aug 09, 2007
C.P. Smith, an editor at the Orange County Register, has accepted a buyout and will soon be leaving his job. And during his final days at work he's decided to become a prankster. After all, what can management do? Fire him? When interviews are being filmed in the paper's offices, he becomes "loud, disruptive, and performs antics for the camera." Here's one of his antics, as described by the KOCE-TV news director: During an interview, which will air tonight, with Register reporter John Gittelsohn another…
Categories: Business/Finance, Pranks Comments (5)
Sale of Fake Manure on the Rise
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 03, 2007
I found this news story from India intriguing: Farmers in and around Ooty have expressed concern over the sale of fake organic manure in some fertilizer shops and also by some private parties involved in the fertilizer trade. KN Bhudhi, a farmer of Nanjanad village near here said, "Some fertilizer traders from Thiruchengode area came to our village and sold organic manure. I bought it with the hope that it would enhance yielding capacity. I spent Rs 36,000 to purchase that manure, but it failed to give desired results. This happened with other farmers also." So, correct me if I'm wrong, but…
Categories: Business/Finance Comments (8)
Rent a Pet
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 30, 2007
FlexPetz is a San Diego-based company that allows people to rent out dogs by the day. So if you want to be able to take a dog to the beach on the weekend, but you don't have time to care for it during the week, this is the service for you. Marlena Cervantes, the founder of the company, doesn't like the term "rent-a-pet," according to this AP article. Instead, she likes to think of what she's offering as "shared pet ownership." The service is quite pricey, but it's doubtless cheaper than caring for a dog yourself for its entire life.
Categories: Animals, Business/Finance Comments (17)
A “faster Internet” scam/hoax
Posted by Cranky Media Guy on Mon Jul 02, 2007
So, this guy tells people he has a "revolutionary" technology that speeds up downloading from the Internet by a factor of maybe a hundred times or more. With it, you can download a full-length movie in seconds. He's had meetings with the President and vice-President about it and is working on ways to use it to beef up national security. Who wouldn't invest in a thing like that? He even wheedles money out of his relatives and his wife's family. OK, you can see where this is going, right? The thing's a fake, a phony, a fraud. To be honest, I kind of hesitate to post stories like this since this site concerns itself with hoaxes; this,…
Heir Hunters
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 20, 2007
I receive a lot of email from people I've never heard of telling me that I've won a lottery, have inherited a small fortune, or have otherwise been selected to receive a large amount of cash. Just this morning, for instance, I found out that I had won the "Irish National Lottery" and that the "Ecobank/United Nations Scam Victims Compensation Fund" had decided to pay me $100,000. The money just keeps pouring in. Typically I delete these emails without a second thought, recognizing them to be the scams that they are. But it's exactly this kind of skepticism that makes life hard for those who have the job of informing people that they've inherited money from a…
Categories: Business/Finance Comments (23)
God Metal Scam
Posted by The Curator on Sat Jun 09, 2007
Swindlers conned a Vietnamese businessman into buying $25,000 worth of "God Metal." Apparently, the existence of God Metal is an old folk legend in Vietnam. According to Thanh Nien News: ‘God metal’, also known as ‘black copper’, is almost a myth in Vietnam. Those who claim to have seen it say it is extremely heavy but floats in an iron bucket of water. In its vicinity glass shatters, matches and lighters do not ignite, iron nails are repelled, and gold turns white. The mark for the scam thought he could resell the God Metal for millions of dollars. But first he wanted…
Myexcusedabsence.com
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 31, 2007
Way back when -- almost four years ago -- I posted a brief entry about a doctor who was providing people with fake doctor notes. I titled the entry "Fake Doctor Notes," and soon, for some reason, that post became the number one result on google for the keywords "fake doctor notes." As a result, the comments began to fill with people asking me to provide them with fake notes. This went on for years. I'm sure the moderators remember it well. It only ended when we finally disabled commenting for that post, after the comments had grown to 46 pages and 911 comments in total. I assumed that it would be illegal to actually…
How much of the legend of the 17th-Century tulipmania is true?
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 14, 2007
The tulip craze that hit Holland in the seventeenth century is arguably the most famous financial bubble in all of history. According to the popular account of what happened, prices for tulips began to go through the roof in 1636 as word spread that wealthy people were willing to pay huge sums of money for tulips. Soon the general population joined in the speculative fervor, many people using their life savings in order to buy bulbs, believing they could resell them at windfall profits. At the height of the mania, a single bulb cost as much as a mansion. But eventually reality set in. In 1637…
Categories: Business/Finance, History Comments (13)
Japanese Poodle Scam Revealed as Hoax
Posted by Boo on Wed May 02, 2007
The Japanese poodle scam - wherein thousands of gullible buyers were sold lambs instead of the dogs they were expecting - was first reported in UK Sun newspaper. The story went that rich women were buying cut-price poodles from a company named Poodles For Pets, and were astonished to find later that they were sheep. The story itself was immediately dubious (aside from being in The Sun, which tends to be somewhat lax in the fact-checking department), when you consider snippets like: The scam was uncovered when Japanese moviestar Maiko Kawamaki went on a…
Quick Links: Cow Intestines, etc.
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 12, 2007
Truck Spills 40 Tons of Cow Intestines The title is self-explanatory. Thanks to Big Gary for forwarding the story. He notes, "Nothing hoax-y about this; just more evidence that civilization is doomed." Woman Fakes Heart Attack To Fight Off Intruder The obvious problem with this tactic is that it relies upon the intruder being decent enough to help you out. What if you fake a heart attack, and the intruder just lets you flop around while he continues to rob your house? Fake Blogging to Become a Crime in UK Businesses that post fake glowing reviews of themselves online will potentially face criminal prosecution…
Quick Links: Pac-Man Hits the Road, etc.
Posted by Boo on Sat Dec 23, 2006
Pac-Man Hits The Road Wright County sheriff Gary Miller was amused to see that, where Highway 55 has painted ovals on the road to show drivers how far apart they should be, some anonymous artist had added a Pac-Man. Man Made to Wear 'I AM A LIAR' Sign Having lied to the police about having been abducted, Craig Breuwet was made to walk up and down a busy street wearing a sign stating 'I AM A LIAR', rather than facing trial.
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