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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Con Artists
A con gone wrong — What happens when criminals cross paths: A man sells a lump of valuable black bronze to a buyer for $64,000. But it turns out the money was counterfeit. No problem. The bronze was fake also.
Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2003.   Comments (0)

Mainline Airways — Mainline Airways was attracting lots of customers by offering super-low fares to Hawaii. But it turns out there was no Mainline Airways. Only a website created by a teenager.
Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2003.   Comments (0)

Fraud in other words — Check out the website of Larry Adams, CPA. He writes a regular column about the jargon and street slang of fraud. Much of this is shared on his website. For instance, we find there the definition of Fat-Finger Dialing: "Fat finger dialing scams take advantage of customers whose fingers are too large for the tiny buttons on the telephones. For example, a customer might unintentionally dial 1 (800) COLLETC, 1 (800) CULLECT, or 1 (800) CALLECT, instead of 1 (800) COLLECT. Class action…
Posted: Tue Jun 03, 2003.   Comments (0)

The Kingdom of Mombessa — The adventures of Baron Moncrieffe and the mythical Kingdom of Mombessa. The Baron turns out to be a con man, and the Kingdom doesn't exist.
Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2003.   Comments (0)


The French Rockefeller — Update on the criminal career of Christopher Rocancourt. He recently confessed to having scammed people by posing as a member of the Rockefeller family. Why people would have believed that a Rockefeller would be speaking with a thick French accent, I still can't understand.
Posted: Sat May 31, 2003.   Comments (1)

Nigerian Bank Scam Sendup — Laddery on the High Seas. A funny send-up of the Nigerian Bank Scam, in which a couple of lads string-along a scammer.
Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2002.   Comments (1)

Fake Bank Website — British authorities report that con men set up a website designed to look like that of a major British bank. Users of the website lost around $100,000. This seems very similar to a case that occurred in South Africa last month, which I posted here at the time. I wonder if it's the same group of con men?
Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2002.   Comments (4)

Kevin Mitnick — Red Herring reviews Kevin Mitnick's new book, The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security, in which he details the art of the con during the internet era.
Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2002.   Comments (0)

Street Scams — Street Scams of Barcelona (link via bloggerheads).
Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2002.   Comments (0)

Michael Gambino Pellegrino — The Sunday Telegraph writes about a recent, literary hoax: the case of Michael "Gambino" Pellegrino, a man who conned Simon and Schuster out of $500,000 by posing as a mafia mobster and selling them a story based on his life experience. It turned out that he was a crook, but was no mobster. (Requires Registration)
Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2002.   Comments (2)

Fake Paraplegic — In Australia a fake paraplegic faces charges of fraud. He walked into the court house unaided, using his fully functioning legs.
Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2002.   Comments (0)

South African Con — South African con artists recently set up a hoax website pretending to be the official website of the South African Reserve Bank. They used it to scam international investors out of thousands of dollars.
Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2002.   Comments (0)

McDonald — I remember when McDonalds was promoting its "Pick your prize Monopoly" game. I tried it and didn't even win a free fries. But this guy walked away with $20 million from games at McDonalds.
Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2002.   Comments (0)

Bogus Yellow Pages — A bogus yellow pages scam.
Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2002.   Comments (0)

The Nigerian Bank Scam — For more info about the Nigerian Bank Scam, check out Douglas Cruickshank's article in Salon from August 2001 in which he delved into the strange, seductive poetry of the Bank Scam missives. David Emery also had a piece about them in SF Gate in March 2002, while Ian Kaplan has collected many examples of the scam. Finally, the Embassy of Nigeria actually has a statement on its website from the Central Bank of Nigeria warning people about the swindle.
Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2002.   Comments (0)

Interview with a Nigerian Bank Scammer — Wired also had a good article yesterday about the Nigerian Bank Scam, in which they interviewed a Nigerian student who actually used to compose the letters that were sent out to potential victims. The student says that the letters were purposefully designed to read like offbeat soap operas.
Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2002.   Comments (1)

Robbers Are Liars — Now this doesn't surprise me: Robbery statistics inflated by liars.
Posted: Sat Jul 13, 2002.   Comments (0)

Barry Minkow — Fascinating update and background from the Guardian on Barry Minkow, famous in the '80s for his ZZZZ Best carpet-cleaning scam which he perpetrated when he was only 20. Served 7 and 1/2 years. I wonder if anyone from Enron will serve even a fraction of that time?
Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2002.   Comments (0)

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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.