Comedian Mike Bobrinskoy creatively outscams OKCupid scammer


This tale of how Mike Bobrinskoy turned the tables on an OKCupid scammer named "Alexandra" is well worth the 9 minutes it takes to watch or listen. Read the rest

Tory Lord tells peers about a weird Internet scam at great length

On February 16th, Lord David James of Blackheath (a Conservative life peer) spoke for 11 minutes in the UK House of Lords about a supposed $15 trillion federal reserve conspiracy that involved more gold than has ever been mined. It turned out he had fallen for a widespread scam.

“Mr. Riyadi has sent me a remarkable document dated February 2006,” Lord James continued, “in which the American Government have called him to a meeting with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.” That meeting, he said, “was witnessed by Mr Alan Greenspan, who signed for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York of which he was chairman, as well as chairman of the real Federal Reserve in Washington. It is signed by Mr Timothy Geithner as a witness on behalf of the International Monetary Fund. The IMF sent two witnesses, the other being Mr Yusuke Horiguchi.”

“These gentlemen have signed as witnesses,” he continued, “to the effect that this deal is a proper deal. There are a lot of other signatures on the document. I do not have a photocopy; I have an original version of the contract.

“Under the contract, the American Treasury has apparently got the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to offer to buy out the bonds issued to Mr Riyadi to replace the cash which has been taken from him over the previous 10 years. It is giving him $500 million as a cash payment to buy out worthless bonds. That is all in the agreement and it is very remarkable.”

Riyadi, as the tale continues, supposedly had 750,000 tons of gold backing the $15 trillion the United States took from him to prop up the U.S.

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Tracking down a con artist with PACER

On Saturday, I posted about Popehat's "Anatomy of a Scam Investigation," in which Ken, a former federal prosecutor, is documenting his work to run down a con-artist who tried to rip him off with the "toner scam." Yesterday, Ken posted a new installment in the series in which he documents the use of PACER, the database of court records, to research crooks. It's gripping stuff. Read the rest

HOWTO track down a con-artist

Ken, a former "fed" (of some description) on the group blog Popehat, received a "toner-scam" (a scam whereby someone sends you an invoice for a service you never ordered or received in the hopes that you'll pay it without noticing) solicitation in the mail at his business. This pissed him off, so he decided to track down the scammers and document, in lavish detail, the process by which he ran them to ground. The series of posts is up to part four now, and it's fascinating reading.
For some reason, this one seriously pisses me off. Maybe its because the fraud is so blatant. Maybe it’s because the weasel-worded disclaimer designed to give them a defense to fraud claims is so perfunctory and lame. Maybe it’s because after I sent an email to the scammer’s lawyer, the scammer himself called me and tried to run a con on me. Like I’m a fucking rube.

So. I’ve decided to dedicate some time and money to investigating this scam and the people and companies responsible for it. I’ve also decided to write about the investigation, and use it as an opportunity to discuss con man culture and how anyone with an internet connection, a few bucks, and some time can investigate an attempted scam — or, preferably, conduct due diligence on a suspected scammer before they can even try to con you.

I’m going to discuss using Google, using PACER (which allows access to federal court records), using state court records, and taking effective action against scammers.

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Copyright complaint as phishing email

An anonymous bank worker writes, "What follows is the content of an email send to the whole company as a warning:"
A fraudulent email has recently made its way into xxxxxxxx entitled “Cease and Desist”. It claims to be from an individual or company informing you that your website is publishing copyrighted materials, and it includes a link to show which portions contain the infringements.

DO NOT click on the link – simply delete the email. See below for a sample of one of these emails.

From: Mark Wahlberg - WMLLP law [] Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 7:39 AM To: xxxxxxxxx Subject: Cease and desist! We hereby inform you that you are infringing on copyrighted material. I represent Phoenix Meresis/MBS LP. It has come to my attention that you have used and/or published on your website (commencing on or about May 18, 2011, pursuant to our information and good faith belief) and continue to publish without permission a number of pieces owned by Phoenix Meresis (webpages, text, images, animated clips, source code, etc.) at your site including, but not limited to, the following url references cited below.


http://www.[website they want you to click]

Mark Wahlberg, Bretz & Coven, LLP

I love that Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch have become a zombie front for a copyright phisher. Read the rest