The Hoax Museum Blog
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.
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,…
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…
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…
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…
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.
Quick Links: Fake Bill Bills, Vampire Teeth, etc.
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 01, 2006
Fake Bill Man arrested for trying to pass a fake "Bill" bill: "The bill was unmistakably fake due to the fact that the ink was running on the bill, the president's face was missing and for the president's name, it had the name Clinton on it," said Deputy Nathan Stephens. About time a Clinton bill has surfaced. We've already seen too many of those phony Bush Bills. Case of the Inhaled Vampire Tooth Because of Halloween this news story has been going around. Back in 1995 Josh Anderson accidentally inhaled a fake vampire tooth. But doctors couldn't find anything. Sixteen years later "A bronchoscopy produced a mass of…
Billboard Dollars Disappear
Posted by The Curator on Sat Sep 09, 2006
Sportsbook.com placed $100,000 in one-dollar bills inside a plexiglass box on a billboard in Las Vegas. Putting the money there was a publicity stunt to promote their betting business. As part of the stunt, they allowed people to bet on whether or not the money would be stolen from the billboard. And lo and behold, while a guard was on a break a thief somehow broke into the box and took off with some of the money. Although the theft itself sounds like a continuation of the publicity stunt, Sportsbook.com swears that the money really was stolen. And apparently…
Doctor Who Currency
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 28, 2006
Status: Weird News As a long-time Doctor Who fan, I couldn't resist posting about this. It seems there's some phony British currency circulating around on which the Queen has been replaced by Doctor Who. The faux £10 notes bear the inscription "I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of 10 satsumas." Apparently the notes were created by the BBC for use during a scene in which the Doctor causes an ATM machine to start spewing money out into the street. Instead of using real money, which would have been a bit expensive, they printed up some phony notes. But, of course, fans quickly grabbed the loose notes that were floating around. An article in the
Auto Dealer Scams
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 19, 2006
Status: Useful stuff to know if you're buying a car Florida businessman Earl Stewart has started a blog, Earl Stewart On Cars, that's full of useful insights about the auto industry. Some of his observations about auto dealer scams and deceptive sales tactics are particularly interesting. Here's a few of them: • The “Big Sale Event”. If you look in today’s newspaper, you will find that most car dealers in your area are having a sale of some kind. It may be because of a current holiday, “too large an inventory” of cars, to “reduce their taxes”, “the manager is out…
Million-Dollar Bill Tracts Seized
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jun 13, 2006
Status: Strange News Earlier this month the Secret Service raided the offices of the Great News Network (a Texas ministry) and seized 8300 inspirational tracts. The problem with the tracts? They were printed on million-dollar bills. I would say fake million-dollar bills, but since there's no such thing as real million-dollar bills, there can't exactly be fake ones either. However, the Secret Service felt they looked a little bit too much like real currency for comfort. Reportedly someone had tried to deposit one at a bank. Meanwhile, the Great News Network isn't happy and is threatening to sue the government. But they…
Stock Performance Tied To Ease Of Pronouncing Company’s Name
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jun 02, 2006
Status: Unusual Research There's nothing hoaxy about this story. It's just another example of how non-rational people can be... especially investors in the stock market. Two Princeton researchers, Adam Alter and Danny Oppenheimer, have discovered that the ease with which a company's name and its ticker symbol can be pronounced has a strong short-term effect on the performance of its stock. In other words, "a stock with the symbol BAL should outperform one with the symbol BDL in the first few days of trading." "We looked at intervals of a day, a week, six months and a…