The Mysterious Mr. Hokum

The Mysterious Mr. Hokum is a fascinating story about an enigmatic con-man—and the subtle cons that even the most skeptical tech-savvy marks fall for—told by documentarian and internet archivist Jason Scott.

He died of a heart attack at his expensive, beautiful home outside of Indianapolis. He was well off, he was a beloved member of his community, he was a car collector, he was an ISP owner who had recently sold out, and he had his whole life ahead of him. But instead he found himself dying in his bedroom at the age of 41. ... When Bob Hoquim died, they wanted to contact his nearest family members to tell them that he was gone. What they found was that his identification was kind of strange. His Social Security number wasn't real, his town of birth wasn't real. So the authorities trying to track the story of this man down got access to his shipping container. And when they opened it, that's when everything fell apart. "


    1. I agree, the talk iwas probably very boding even with the slides (mr. Scott does not really tells anything interesting) but without them it is just unbearable; i closed long before arriving at part 2.

    1. A transcript wouldn’t be worth it. Some poor speaker just rambles for 30 minutes about unrelated crap and meta-monologue before he tells you he doesn’t really know anything interesting about Mr. Hokum.

      Maybe that makes some people ROFL. I don’t know.

  1. Does that video have anything to do with the story other than it’s of Mr Hokum at a conference?

  2. According to the FREE ONLINE DICTIONARY

    HOKUM (n)  1.  Something apparently impressive or legitimate but actually untrue or insincere; nonsense.

  3. I just watched the whole hour-long talk and there is almost no information in it except what you see in the summary. I’ll save you the hour:

    He ripped some people off in the ’80s by running a FidoNet hub, getting people’s trust and money and then skipping town. He got his finger shot off whilst fighting a policeman in 1989. He stole a rental car hired by his brother during the court case that followed. He ran a (legit) ISP in the ’90s, which he sold in 2000 and filtered off half of the money. He was wanted by the FBI but somehow regularly went to lunch with high-ranking FBI officials without being caught. The shipping container contained a truck and a bunch of fake ID. He bears an uncanny resemblance in his mugshot photos to the bloke giving the talk.

    It’s a semi-interesting story, but it’s a 10-minute anecdote, not a 1-hour talk, and even after watching it I’m not sure why exactly I was supposed to care what this guy did, other than a pretty generic reminder that scammers exist and I should watch out for them.

  4. I really enjoyed this story. Iquest, Hoquim’s company, was my isp from 1994 till whenever.
    I also once knew Tom Jennings who is mentioned in the story, for having built fidonet and later owning world power systems .com. I never met Hoquim but I used to know people who would have worked for him. – arbitrary aardvark

  5. If you’re expecting to hear an hour about Mr. Hokum, forget it. He’s just the thread weaved into a more general talk about scams and the blurred line between marketing and scamming. Personally, I found the entire talk interesting. His delivery of what the “box of rocks” scam is had me ROFLing (video 4, around 6:50 in)

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