comScore

Scams

  1. Weird

    Woman Buys iPad From Stranger at Gas Station, Surprised to Find Mirror Instead

    As a preface, let's just go ahead and say that if you buy anything from a random stranger at a gas station, you're pretty much asking for it. Strangers working the counter are okay, but if they pull up next to you and offer to sell you any kind of gadget, chances are they're not on the up and up. A Texas woman didn't necessarily think the same, and dropped $200 on what she thought was an iPad. Turns out, the "iPad" she bought was just a mirror with an Apple sticker on it.

    Read on...
  2. Tech

    Facebook Brings Hammer Down on Fraudulent Likes

    A number of Facebook pages are about to get less popular. The social network is cracking down on "Likes" that come from spambots, which are not known for their discerning tastes in entertainment or products. Despite this lack of refinement, bots have proven plenty capable of espousing positive opinions about...well, pretty much anything programmers tell them to. Concerned about the effect these fraudulent recommendations may have on the accuracy of their data, Facebook is bringing down the hammer in an attempt to ensure that only actual people are liking things their pages.

    Read on...
  3. Science

    Totally Believable Researchers Claim Brain Area for Gullibility Discovered

    While we are mostly savvy folk who know that the Internet sometimes tells us a lie or three, we have to admit that we come closer to falling for scams than we might like. Before we throw away any scam email, we almost always have to tamp down the little voice in the back of our head yelling "DUDE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? THAT IS FREE MONEY!!!!" We know it's not, but it's still hard to resist sometimes. A paper published this week in the journal Frontiers of Neuroscience may point to why, as researchers are reporting that they have discovered the area of the brain that governs gullibility.

    Read on...
  4. Tech

    Tens of Thousands of Australians Targeted by SMS “Hitman Scam”

    Australian authorities began receiving notifications Monday morning that a number of citizens had received death threats via text message. Every message received was identical and was what is referred to as a "Hitman Scam." This type of scam has been seen before, but rarely on so large a scale.

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  5. Tech

    Condé Nast Wired a Scammer $8 Million After Just One E-Mail

    Apparently, even billion-dollar publishing empires aren't immune to good-old fashioned email fraud. According to a lawsuit filed by the company, Condé Nast transferred $8 million into the bank account of an alleged wire fraudster named Andy Surface. But the company is probably blushing at the ease with which it was tricked into parting ways with its money: Filings say that it all it took was one email from Surface.

    Condé Nast's printer is called Quad/Graphics; Surface had an account in the name of a company called Quad Graph, the actual business of which, if existent, is unclear.

    In early November, Condé Nast received an “Electronic Payment Authorization” form by email at its offices in … New York. The form appeared to have been sent by Quad/Graphics. The form requested that Condé Nast direct payments for Quad Graphics to the Quad Graph Account, and provided account information. Condé Nast filled out the form and returned it by facsimile from its offices in … New York to the facsimile number provided in the form. Following Condé Nast’s receipt of the “Electronic Payment Authorization” form, Condé Nast started making payments for Quad/Graphics bills by ACH transfer from a Condé Nast account with JPMorgan Chase Bank in New York to the Quad Graph Account.

    Hit the link for more groan-inducing magazine title puns than you can shake a stick at.

    (via Forbes)

    Read on...
  6. Tech

    60% of AOL’s Profits Come From People Who Don’t Know That Email Is Free

    Get ready to haz a sad: Ken Auletta of The New Yorker revealed in an article profiling AOL that the company makes 60 percent of its profits through people, mostly elderly people, who believe they need to pay for a monthly subscription to go online and check their email. Is this a scam, or just a case of witholding information -- or in this case, lying?

    Read on...
  7. Tech

    Computer Repair Shop Charged with Bilking Pianist Out of Over $6 Million

    "Over time, prosecutors said, Mr. Bedi told Mr. Davidson about an elaborate international conspiracy that had attacked Mr. Davidson’s computer and was threatening Mr. Davidson and his family. The conspiracy allegedly involved a mysterious hard drive in a remote village of Honduras and a plot to infiltrate the United States government by Polish priests linked to Opus Dei. Mr. Bedi persuaded Mr. Davidson to pay the computer shop not only for data retrieval, but for personal protection, the authorities said. It was, of course, a fraud, officials said. For more than six years, the computer shop, Datalink Computer Products, regularly charged Mr. Davidson’s credit card accounts. The charges totaled more than $6 million, according to the office of the Westchester County district attorney, Janet DiFiore." --After composer and oil heir Roger C. Davidson took his computer in to a repair shop six years ago due to virus troubles, employees Vikram Bedi and Helga Invarsdottir allegedly scammed him for millions. And you thought those fake antivirus ads were bad. (NYT via Fark; title pic via Westchester DA)

    Read on...
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