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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Law/Police/Crime
Fake News Hoax: Zimmerman Arrested in Ferguson
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 26, 2014
The latest fake news story gone viral on social media is the claim that George Zimmerman (who shot Trayvon Martin back in 2012) was recently arrested in Ferguson after following two black teenagers out of a Dunkin Donuts and then aiming a handgun at them when they confronted him. The story originated with fake news site National Report. It's completely bogus. [hoax-slayer]
Bible Didn’t Stop Bullets
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 07, 2014
Back in February, a bus driver, Rickey Wagoner, claimed that he was shot at by three teenagers while he was standing outside his bus. But he survived because a Bible he was carrying in his shirt pocket miraculously stopped the bullets. (The version of the Bible was a translation by Eugene Peterson titled 'The Message'.) Police have now conducted a thorough investigation and concluded that the bus driver couldn't have been telling the truth. According to the Dayton Daily News: Police ballistics tests showed that bullets fired from the handgun - a 25-caliber Raven model semiautomatic - at the same distance as had been fired at Wagoner’s book penetrated the…
Stop and Kiss
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 05, 2013
Satire mistaken as news. Gawker reports that an obviously satirical Onion video about a nonexistent NYPD "stop-and-kiss" policy has sparked some real-life outrage — from people who apparently have never heard of the Onion. (Thanks Bob!) "Stop and kiss ? NYPD need to chill," tweeted one of the many rock-dwellers who took to social media to actually protest a parody video about a fake protest. "i dont understand the stop and kiss program..its taking it a little too far," tweeted another concerned citizen.
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Clown Crime Spree
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 22, 2013
West Yorkshire police denied reports there was a sinister clown on the prowl in Bradford, "peering in windows, committing robberies and even stabbing people." A police spokesman said, "This seems like it might be a hoax. We haven't had any reports of crimes committed by a clown, I can say that much." During the past week, a photo has been circulating on facebook and twitter showing an evil clown standing outside a Bradford McDonalds. This photo has apparently helped to fuel the rumors of a clown crime spree. The Bradford Telegraph and Argus notes that the most popular search term recently on its website has been "clown".
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Man fakes his own abduction to avoid girlfriend’s wrath
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 05, 2013
Not exactly a criminal mastermind. Rahmell Pettway needed a good excuse to explain his two-week absence from his Bedford-Stuyvesant home to his girlfriend. So he faked his own abduction, tying himself up with duct tape on the side of a street. When found, he told police that two men in a light-blue minivan had first abducted him and then dumped him there. The problem? The roll of duct tape was still dangling from his wrists. This made the police suspicious, and soon Pettway confessed the whole scheme. They arrested him for filing a false report. Brooklyn man fakes his own kidnapping to explain two-week absence to girlfriend nypost.com authorities grew suspicious of his…
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Chili Finger Lady back in the news
Posted by The Curator on Fri Feb 22, 2013
Remember Anna Ayala? She was the woman who, back in 2005, concocted the story about finding a human finger in a bowl of Wendy's chili. That story got her 4 years in prison. Looks like she's back in the news, and again for lying to the police. This time she came up with a story about how her son was shot in the foot by an assailant. The truth, however, was that her son shot himself in the foot, but he wasn't allowed to possess a gun because of a burglary conviction, so she was trying to cover for him. If Ayala and her son had told the truth, the son would have been in trouble…
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Lawyer who lied about her age
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 18, 2013
Soma Sengupta has recently been convicted of lying extensively about her past work experience in order to advance her legal career. She claimed that she had previously been an accomplished trial lawyer, although she hadn't been. She also forged reference letters and school transcripts. But what tripped her up was a much simpler lie. She stated on an application that she was 29, but a clerk who was reviewing the form took one look at her and couldn't believe it. Turned out she was actually in her late 40s, and let's just say that she hasn't aged particularly well. (She's now 52.) Once that lie was exposed, all the others were soon found out.
Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (4)
Fake news already spreading about Dorner shootout
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 13, 2013
Hey, did you hear that Christopher Dorner somehow survived yesterday's shootout? Yeah, apparently the charred remains inside the cabin have been identified as female, not male! No credible news sources are reporting this, but there's a blurry TV screenshot of a CNN newscast circulating on twitter & facebook that says it, so it must be true!
Photoshopped Greek Mugshots
Posted by The Curator on Sat Feb 09, 2013
Over in Greece there's uproar over some mugshots of suspected bank robbers. Photos of the men being taken into custody show them badly bruised, but in the mugshots released by the police these bruises have disappeared, and the police admit that, yeah, they photoshopped the mugshots to remove the bruises. Critics say this was done to hide evidence of police brutality. The police say they did it to make the men recognizable. In the photos below, the pre-mugshot pics are on the left, and the photoshopped mugshots on the right. [nbcnews]
Man prosecuted for photoshopping
Posted by The Curator on Fri Feb 08, 2013
Over in Zimbabwe they treat photoshopping as a serious offense, especially if you decide to photoshop your head onto the body of Robert Mugage, as graphic designer Ronald Chikambure allegedly did. The official charge against him was "undermining the authority of the President." Apparently detectives were tipped off that Chikambure was displaying said photoshopped picture on the wall of his office, so they raided his office. They didn't find the picture on the wall, but they did find a copy of it on his laptop, and that was enough to land him in court. Unfortunately, a copy of the photo in question doesn't seem to have been released. I guess they don't have the…
The Disappearance of Matthew Robillard
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 07, 2013
Sounds like the guy got tired of his old life and decided to disappear and start a new one. Matthew Robillard's Lethbridge Disappearance A Hoax: Police huffingtonpost.ca Police in southern Alberta say the disappearance of a young family man late last week was a hoax. Matthew Aaron Robillard's relatives called police Thursday when the 25-year-old Lethbridge man failed to show up for work at a Scotiabank in nearby Picture Butte. His car was later discovered with a smashed window in an industrial area near the Calgary airport. Media reported his keys, wallet and phone had been left in the car along with a strange package of cigarettes. He apparently didn't smoke.…
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Petty theft as a “social experiment”
Posted by The Curator on Sat Jul 28, 2012
From the Bad Excuse file: A New Jersey couple was arrested for stealing outdoor table umbrellas from restaurants around Basking Ridge. They didn't deny taking the umbrellas, but they said it was all for a good reason. You see, it was part of a "social experiment." They were doing a documentary on "doing the right thing." They even had a manila folder with them full of notes about the project. But apparently they hadn't thought through what was going to happen when witnesses "did the right thing" and reported them to the police. Link: Baskingridge.patch.com
A Phony Yacht Explosion, and Other New Jersey Emergency Hoaxes
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jun 18, 2012
Last Monday, the Coast Guard received a distress call reporting that a yacht had exploded. Twenty-one people were said to be floating in rafts 17 miles off the New Jersey shore, and at least three were believed to be dead. A massive rescue operation was launched. But the Coast Guard soon realized that the call was a hoax. It turns out that New Jersey has quite a long history of hoax calls to emergency service providers. The New Jersey Star-Ledger has compiled a list of the most memorable examples. It traces all the way back to what is probably the most famous hoax emergency call of all time, the 1938 War of the…
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The Old Potato/Laptop Switcheroo Scam
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 16, 2012
I'm assuming the scammers must stuff the potatoes inside a laptop box. Otherwise I'm not sure how they convince their victims to walk away with a bag of potatoes instead of a laptop. Manchester police appeal over potato laptop fraud bbc.co.uk Police say at least four people have been approached by two men offering to sell them a laptop or iPhone. One man paid up to £1,400 and walked away with a rucksack full of potatoes. Other victims received bottles of soft drinks. Police said the conmen spoke with an Eastern European accent.
Categories: Law/Police/Crime, Scams Comments (0)
Notice to Thieves, Thugs, Fakirs and Bunko-Steerers
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 10, 2012
Warning notice posted in Las Vegas, New Mexico, March 24, 1882. Had to post it because I love the term "Bunko-Steerers". From New Mexico's Digital Collections (via Kate Nelson).
Categories: History, Law/Police/Crime Comments (0)
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