con artist

12 Stories

Man Faked Quadriplegia in Effort to Duck Court

Alan Knight admitting to stealing $65K from neighbor

(Newser) - Some people work so hard to not have to work: Such is the case of Alan Knight, a 47-year-old Welsh man who conned $65,000 out of his neighbor, an 85-year-old pensioner with dementia. He then went to great lengths to avoid prosecution—claiming to be a quadriplegic and even... More »

Woman Accused of Scam Fundraising After Newtown Shooting

Bronx resident allegedly lied about being related to a victim

(Newser) - Scammers have been quick to exploit the tragedy in Newtown, and the FBI says it has arrested a Bronx woman for just that. Agents busted 37-year-old Nouel Alba today and accused her of pretending to be related to one of the young victims and seeking donations for the family via... More »

Cops Nab Guy Who Posed as Uncle of Adam Lanza

Jonathan Lee Riches has history of weird cons

(Newser) - Police have arrested a convicted felon who drove to Newtown, Conn., and fed false information to the press while posing as Adam Lanza's uncle, The Smoking Gun reports. Jonathan Lee Riches, 35, was on probation for conspiracy and wire fraud when he showed up in Newtown as "Jonathan... More »

Lawyers Have Lost $70M to ... Email Scammers

One will be prosecuted this fall

(Newser) - Even lawyers can be taken in by email scams—and one US Postal Inspector estimates law firms have lost at least $70 million to such scams since 2009, the Wall Street Journal reports. Scammers email lawyers—known for their eagerness to gain new clients, often via the Internet—with a... More »

Well Sure, Strangers, You Can Borrow My BMW

Hooters patron hasn't seen it since

(Newser) - An apparently absurdly kindhearted Virginia man got taken for a ride recently, when he lent out his BMW to people purporting to be travelers with a hard-luck story. The man was at a Hooters in Fairfax City, when a couple came in saying their car had broken down on the... More »

Online Romance Scams: a $50M Business

Those older than 40 and divorced are common targets: report

(Newser) - Scammers conned $50 million out of 5,600 people last year who were searching for love on the Internet, says a new report. That's an average of $8,900 per victim. The way it generally works: Fraudsters hunt for vulnerable targets on dating sites and social networks, and convince... More »

Feds: AT&T Put Fraud on Government Tab

Service for the deaf was abused by Nigerian scammers

(Newser) - The Justice Department has accused AT&T of bilking the government out of more than $16 million by purposely allowing Nigerian fraudsters to abuse a service intended to help deaf Americans. AT&T says it's just following FCC rules requiring it to offer a free IP Relay service, which... More »

Con Artist Launched Google Sting for Feds

Set up fake websites illegally selling medications; firm allegedly helped

(Newser) - Last year, a federal sting against Google resulted in a record settlement—and at the heart of the operation was a convicted con man. Working with federal agents—and still wearing leg irons—David Whitaker set up a fake online pharmacy claiming to sell illegal drugs, and Google helped him... More »

Scammers Sell Woman iPad Made of ... Wood

Imagine her surprise when it turned out to be a wood block

(Newser) - Ashley McDowell probably should have been suspicious when two guys approached her in a South Carolina McDonald’s parking lot and offered to sell her an iPad for $300. She almost certainly should have gotten suspicious when, after she explained she only had $180, the pair still agreed to the... More »

California Man Creates Fake Army, Fleeces Enlistees

He tricks other Chinese nationals into paying to join as path to citizenship

(Newser) - He gets points for imagination: A Chinese national living in California created a fake Army Reserve unit of his very own, then tricked about 100 Chinese nationals into paying for the privilege of enlisting, reports KTLA-TV . Yupeng Dang turned his office into a fake recruitment center in 2008 and doled... More »

Fake Soldiers Scam Facebook Users

Military warns women to beware of impersonators looking for love

(Newser) - Facebook users need to watch out for a shameful scam that appears to be becoming more widespread, military officials warn. Con artists have been using the photos and details of real soldiers to strike up romances with women on the social networking site, the AP reports. The phony soldiers declare... More »

Mom Faked Kid's Cancer to Scam Church

Woman allegedly drugged son to make him appear ill

(Newser) - A Michigan mom was charged with three felony counts today, after allegedly tricking her son into believing he had cancer, and the local church into raising money for him. According to police, Carol Lynn Schnuphase, 47, told her 12-year-old boy he had leukemia, then shaved his head, drugged his food,... More »

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