Tag Archives | Fraud

A Map Of The World’s Best Cheats, Fakes And Flat-Out Lies

The team at Atlas Obscura has customized an interactive Google Map with their choice of “The World’s Best Cheats, Fakes And Flat-Out Lies”:

Map of Frauds. Click to go to Atlas Obscura and interact.

Map of Frauds. Click to go to Atlas Obscura and interact.

From the “Bangkok gem scam” to the fake mining companies of Gold Rush-era San Francisco, if there’s one thing that’s stayed constant throughout history, it’s swindlers trying to make an extra buck.

But certain frauds have a home-grown craftsmanship about them—carefully constructed to best suit their surroundings. Such “artisanal frauds” are staples of a certain place, not found just anywhere. It’s email scams from Nigeria, which would be a joke except for the fact that they still work (and in fact because of the country’s poor reputation, actually better help fraudsters find gullible victims.) Or it’s hired wedding guests in South Korea who are bought by the hour to clap over matrimonial performances and fill church pews of those who want to outdo their friends…

[continues at Atlas Obscura]

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10 of the Most Deceptive Scientific Frauds


Josh Epstein writes at OMNI Reboot:

Charges of cheating, corner cutting, and deception are not new. Many great scientists, including Galileo, Mendel, Newton, and Dalton, have fudged or concocted data to make their theories more compelling or to demolish the arguments of their rivals. But on the whole, science used to resemble the priesthood; individuals were called to the profession, which operated on the honor system. Scientists were, says one Congressional aide, “the white-coated guardians of truth searching after the grail of knowledge.” Researchers chafed at outside intrusions and insisted their self-correcting system of internal checks was enough to catch any miscreants. Research has proved that the following 10 facts were based on scientific frauds.

10. Galileo

Galileo or Gali-liar? Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) is considered the founder of the modern scientific method. But he wrote about experiments that were so difficult to reproduce that many doubt he actually conducted them.
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The NRA’s Brazen Shell Game

The National Rifle Association, or NRA, is one of those American institutions that people tend to either love or hate. According to this Yahoo News investigation, however, even those who love the NRA may balk at it’s brazen diversion of donations to political causes the donors never signed up for:

Occupy the NRA

Photo: Occupy Global (CC)

Early last summer I began making contributions to the National Rifle Association — a dollar here, a dollar there — to see where my money would end up. Some of it quickly found its way into the account of the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund, the NRA’s political action committee. And that was of no small interest, because I never knowingly contributed to the NRA-PVF. For me, this wasn’t a big problem; my contributions were a spit in the bucket for an organization that spent $37 million on the 2014 elections and operates on an annual budget of more than a quarter of a billion dollars.

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Daily Beast Revealed as Propaganda Rag


Shards of Truth in MH17 Investigation (But not at Daily Beast)

Doing what the Dutch investigation has so far declined to do – smear the separatists and Russia – the “Daily Beast” comes up with a belated hit piece, adding exactly nothing new, but taking the opportunity to repeat the US propaganda line…

‘How can you tell it’s a smear job,’ you ask?

The one link to any opposing ideas goes to a discredited piece of obvious disinformation, that infamous Photoshopped picture of an attacking plane [above]. The Daily Beast uses the smarmy jibe, “as some Russian media claimed,” to pretend they’ve actually looked at both sides of the debate. They have not, and will not.

My response there won’t post, so I’m annoyed. Perhaps they have my email and/or IP address on their list as well. But their site won’t put it through, not in Chrome, Opera nor Microsoft Internet Explorer.… Read the rest

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Major Retailers’ Supplements Found Not To Contain Labeled Contents

General Nutrition Centers Store.JPG

Photo: Dwight Burdette (CC)

If you are one of the millions of people who buy and take dietary supplements, you should now be wondering whether or not they actually contain the herbs they claim to. The New York Times reveals that the New York Attorney General has demanded that retail chains like Walmart and Walgreens stop selling common supplements like Ginseng and Gingkgo Biloba that, in fact, do not contain those herbs:

The New York State attorney general’s office accused four major retailers on Monday of selling fraudulent and potentially dangerous herbal supplements and demanded that they remove the products from their shelves.

The authorities said they had conducted tests on top-selling store brands of herbal supplements at four national retailers — GNC, Target, Walgreens and Walmart — and found that four out of five of the products did not contain any of the herbs on their labels. The tests showed that pills labeled medicinal herbs often contained little more than cheap fillers like powdered rice, asparagus and houseplants, and in some cases substances that could be dangerous to those with allergies.

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Detoxing is Bullshit, a Term Hijacked by Charlatans and Entrepreneurs

epSos .de (CC BY 2.0)

epSos .de (CC BY 2.0)

via The Guardian:

Whether it’s cucumbers splashing into water or models sitting smugly next to a pile of vegetables, it’s tough not to be sucked in by the detox industry. The idea that you can wash away your calorific sins is the perfect antidote to our fast-food lifestyles and alcohol-lubricated social lives. But before you dust off that juicer or take the first tentative steps towards a colonic irrigation clinic, there’s something you should know: detoxing – the idea that you can flush your system of impurities and leave your organs squeaky clean and raring to go – is a scam. It’s a pseudo-medical concept designed to sell you things.

“Let’s be clear,” says Edzard Ernst, emeritus professor of complementary medicine at Exeter University, “there are two types of detox: one is respectable and the other isn’t.” The respectable one, he says, is the medical treatment of people with life-threatening drug addictions.

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Tennessee ‘Sovereign Citizen’ Convicted Of Mail Fraud

WSMV Channel 4
Former minister Mark Manuel of Franklin, TN is one of three defendants who have been convicted of helping to swindle millions of dollars out of people desperate for relief from their debts. Manuel is part of the sovereign citizen movement. Individuals associated with the movement often believe they have the right to opt out of the statute law of civil authorities in favor of common or natural law. (More about the Manuel case at the FBI website.)

Via NBC affiliate WSMTV:

Mark Manuel, the former minister at the Community Life Fellowship in Franklin, and two others were convicted in federal court in South Carolina for what prosecutors describe as a scheme concocted by Manuel and his fellow sovereign citizens.

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British Court Charges The Mormon Church With Fraud Over Its Teachings

mormon churhcIf organized religions solicit money from the public while propagating factually untrue claims, do they amount to illegal marketing scams? A British legal challenge is putting Mormonism to the test, the Telegraph reports:

A British magistrate has issued an extraordinary summons to the worldwide leader of the Mormon church alleging that its teachings about mankind amount to fraud.

Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been ordered to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London next month to defend the church’s doctrines including beliefs about Adam and Eve and Native Americans.

A formal summons signed by District Judge Elizabeth Roscoe warns Mr. Monson, who is recognised by Mormons as God’s prophet on Earth, that a warrant for his arrest could be issued if he fails to make the journey from Salt Lake City, Utah, for a hearing on March 14.

The summons suggests that asking members of the church to make contributions while promoting theological doctrines which “might be untrue or misleading” could be a breach of the Fraud Act 2006.

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