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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Law/Police/Crime
New phishing scam merges physical and virtual worlds
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 05, 2009
Police in Grand Forks, Michigan North Dakota report that people are finding fake parking tickets on their cars that direct them to go to horribleparking.com to view information about standard parking regulations. When they visit the site, a virus is downloaded onto their computer. It's not clear what the virus does, but it seems like a pretty elaborate way to infect someone's computer. Also, an expensive way. Printing fake tickets and paying someone to distribute them has to cost a lot more than sending out emails. Link: Grand Forks Herald.
Categories: Law/Police/Crime, Scams Comments (6)
Immigrants devise creative methods of hiding
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 26, 2008
Two cases of illegal immigrants finding unusual methods of sneaking into countries have recently been in the news: Case #1: U.S. border police found 13 illegal immigrants inside a fake Budweiser beer van. Case #2: British authorities found four illegal immigrants hiding inside a 32-foot-tall fake Christmas tree in the back of a truck. The tree was made of aluminum and nylon, and had been ordered for a town center display.
Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (1)
Fake Cocaine
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 25, 2008
On June 4 Steven Decker of Muscatine, Iowa sold a white powder to an undercover agent. He said it was cocaine, but it wasn't. It was fake cocaine. In the eyes of the law, this doesn't let him off the hook. He's being charged with "delivery of a simulated controlled substance" and is looking at up to ten years in prison and $50,000 in fines. I'm sure Decker is not exactly a boy-scout, but being charged for selling fake cocaine is a curious concept. Added irony: he was selling a simulated controlled substance to a simulated controlled substance buyer.
Your classmates aren’t looking for you
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 13, 2008
Classmates.com told Anthony Michaels that former classmates were looking for him. If only he would upgrade to a premium membership, they would put him in touch with his school buddies. So Michaels paid the money. Then he discovered that no one was looking for him. Now he's brought a class-action suit against classmates.com for deceptive advertising. There's a fine line in advertising between what's legal and what's not. "Puffery," which is defined as making exaggerated claims that the average consumer would never take literally, is legal. Example: "You'll love it!" However, making specific, factually misleading claims is illegal. For instance, you can't claim that a product regrows hair if it doesn't. Classmates.com…
Fleeing Purse Snatcher Drops Breast
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 04, 2008
Police in Port St. Lucie are on the lookout for a cross-dressing purse snatcher who accidentally dropped a condom filled with water after grabbing a 74-year-old woman's purse. He had been using the condom as a fake breast. That's weird enough. What I can't understand is why he was using a water-filled condom. Wouldn't a regular balloon have worked better? Though questioning the fashion decisions of a cross-dressing purse snatcher is surely an exercise in pointlessness.
Two Stupid Criminals
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 12, 2008
Desperate for free porn A man entered an adult novelty store, told the clerk that he was a detective with the Longmont Police Department's "age verification unit," and demanded that the clerk provide him with pornographic videos so that he could verify the ages of the actors in them. The Longmont Police have no age verification unit. The clerk turned him away, and then the manager called the real police. (Thanks, Bob!) Cheesecake Box Bomb A man entered a movie rental store, placed a box on the counter, and told a clerk it was a bomb that he would detonate unless he was given cash. The clerk refused and the man…
Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (4)
The Knoxville Carjacking Party
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 05, 2008
According to internet rumor, Britney Spears is planning to star in a movie titled The Knoxville Carjacking Party, based on the brutal 2007 murder of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom. Spears would play Channon Christian. The story is a hoax. More specifically, it's a case of satire mistaken as news, having apparently originated as a faux news report from "celebrity snitch, Clarence Star" on the site Ghetto Bragging Rights. Wayne Bledsoe, a columnist for Knoxnews.com, notes that the spread of the false rumor offers a case study in how misinformation is propagated by the online media. Numerous celebrity gossip sites, such as popcrunch.com, reported the false rumor as…
Fake Foot
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jun 24, 2008
I'm still catching up on all the recent hoaxes... So here's another one that a lot of people have emailed me about. The fake foot that washed up on a beach in British Columbia. Five human feet have washed up on beaches in British Columbia during the past year, generating a lot of media interest. After all, who do these feet belong to? It's a mystery. But a sixth foot that washed up turned out to be a hoax. From ctv.ca: A sixth foot believed to have washed ashore on Vancouver Island was not human, although…
Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (5)
Thieves Steal Fake Money
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jun 22, 2008
Thieves used a hammer to break open a plexiglass box being used as a Drop-A-Note donation box in the Kentucky Theatre's lobby, and they stole the money inside. Unfortunately for the thieves, the money they took was fake. From kentucky.com: "It's sad when idiots can't tell fake money from the real thing," said Steve Brown, president of Kentucky's Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ Project, a group dedicated to restoring a Wurlitzer organ and returning it to the Kentucky. Proceeds from the Drop-A-Note box, which is three wood organ pipes with a space for donations in the middle pipe, go to…
An email from SueEasy
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jun 16, 2008
This morning I received an email from SueEasy, a website about which I've posted previously: Hi, This is Andrew Richards, Manager Operations at SueEasy.com We would like to express our discontentment regarding your entry about our company: http://hoaxes.org/weblog/permalink/sue_easy/ We are NOT a hoax of any kind. We have several respected law firms and attorneys signed up with our service & we were hand picked by Michael Arrington (http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1733748_1733758_1735848,00.html) at TechCrunch. here's some press: http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2007/10/19/sueeasy-hey-tort-reform-this-ones-for-you/print/ http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/04/12/sueeasy-goes-live-your-class-action-lawsuit-lottery-ticket/
Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (15)
How to break into a museum
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 04, 2008
This story is a great example of the truism that no security system can be better than the people operating it. Thieves broke into a museum at the University of British Columbia and stole gold artwork worth over $2 million. They got around the security system simply by calling the guards, pretending to be from the alarm company, and telling them to ignore any alarms that might go off that night. From cbc.ca: Four hours before the break-in on May 23, two or three key surveillance cameras at the Museum of Anthropology mysteriously went off-line. Around the same time,…
Your classmate has died—but not really
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 04, 2008
I've previously noted a few cases where extreme shock tactics were used to teach a lesson. (See Fake Attack at Elementary School and Fake Terrorism Drill.) The following case isn't as bad as those earlier examples, but it still comes across as creepy for officials to trick students into believing their classmate had died in order to teach a lesson about drunk driving. From signonsandiego.com: Many juniors and seniors were driven to tears – a few to near hysterics – May 26 when a uniformed police officer arrived in several classrooms to notify them that…
Categories: Death, Law/Police/Crime Comments (22)
Plant Rights
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 14, 2008
An ethics panel commissioned by the Swiss government has determined that the arbitrary killing of plants is morally wrong. From The Weekly Standard: A "clear majority" of the panel adopted what it called a "biocentric" moral view, meaning that "living organisms should be considered morally for their own sake because they are alive." Thus, the panel determined that we cannot claim "absolute ownership" over plants and, moreover, that "individual plants have an inherent worth." This means that "we may not use them just as we please, even if the plant community…
Categories: Food, Law/Police/Crime Comments (16)
Sue Easy
Posted by The Curator on Fri Apr 18, 2008
One of the big problems in modern America is that there are simply not enough lawsuits. A new website promises to end this. It calls itself "Sue Easy," because it makes it so easy to sue someone. The concept is that instead of litigants trying to find a lawyer, which is the traditional way these things are done, the lawyers should seek out the litigants. So if you have a case, or even just an idea for a case, list it on SueEasy, then wait for attorneys to contact you. The site promises "instant legal bliss." Some of the proposed cases that people have…
Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (12)
Thief Hypnotizes Checkout Staff
Posted by The Curator on Sun Mar 23, 2008
The BBC reports that police in Italy are searching for a thief who hypnotizes checkout staff and orders them to hand over money. In every case, the last thing staff reportedly remember is the thief leaning over and saying: "Look into my eyes", before finding the till empty... A female bank clerk reportedly handed over nearly 800 euros (£630)... Italian police believe the suspect could be of Indian or North African extraction. The BBC has a video of the thief in action. It's interesting, because he pulls off his heist in full view of other customers,…
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