con artist

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It's Not Easy Leaving a Man Even Strangers Are Terrified Of

Part 5 in the 'Dirty John' series from the 'Los Angeles Times'

(Newser) - "Scariest man I've met in my 70 years," attorney John Dzialo tells the Los Angeles Times in Part 5 of its six-part series on "Dirty John" Meehan, a conman who married a California woman desperate to find love . Dzialo was hired—and quickly fired—by Meehan... More »

Married for a Decade. Then She Met the Real 'Dirty John'

Conman called 'the most devious, dangerous, deceptive person I ever met'

(Newser) - John Meehan became "Dirty John"—occasionally "Filthy John"—in law school. The nickname was bestowed by his classmates for the sheer number of women he would bring home, but it seemed to cover a lot of his unseemly behavior, Christopher Goffard writes in the third installment... More »

Wife to Presidents, 'Mom' to Ivanka, or Maybe Just a Con

Madame Giselle has some stories to tell

(Newser) - “I’d never met anybody like her in my life,” Bob Underwood says. He says his neighbor, known as Madame Giselle, claimed to be the former wife of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and current secret wife of Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi. She told him she was... More »

'Legendary' Con Artist Accused of New Scam ... From Prison

Authorities say Jimmy Sabatino conned stores out of luxury goods over the phone

(Newser) - Prison appears to be doing nothing to change serial con man Jimmy Sabatino. The Miami Herald reports the "legendary" con artist pleaded guilty Friday to running a lucrative scam out of his cell at a federal facility in Florida. Authorities say Sabatino bought cellphones from corrections officers then used... More »

'Fake Love Scam' Costs 92-Year-Old His Life Savings

'I think she was stalking me'

(Newser) - Conning the elderly for financial gain is nothing new, but a scheme dubbed the "fake love scam" has officials on high alert. Authorities near Chicago say 92-year-old Aloysius Mack lost much of his life savings to a woman who first approached him at a McDonald's and eventually tricked... More »

He Was a Rich NFL Star. He Got Scammed in Silicon Valley

Inside the odd story of Eren Niazi, Patrick Willis, and Open Storage Solutions

(Newser) - Open Source Storage is a phoenix of sorts, reborn in 2013 from the ashes of the original Open Source Storage. It was founded by a twenty-something man named Eren Niazi in 2001 and ultimately bankrupted, but not before supposedly working with the likes of AOL, Sony, and the NSA. Niazi'... More »

Cops Found a Head in a Bucket. Then Things Got Weird

In his truck police found cash, firearms, and a bucket with the head inside

(Newser) - The severed head of Llewelyn Lucas, a beloved local pastor in Belize, was on July 16 found stuffed into a bucket in the back of a truck outside a bar. But as police began to investigate, things only got weirder, reports Vice in a lengthy look at last weekend's... More »

Con Man Fooled Soldiers, Lived in Army Barracks for Months

He even assigned rooms and conducted inspections

(Newser) - The Fayetteville Observer has a crazy look at how a 20-year-old con man successfully lived in the barracks at Fort Bragg for months despite never having served in the military. His ruse was apparently so successful he even started assigning rooms to new soldiers and conducting room inspections. The information... More »

Will Smith Is Back in Focus

Smith, Margot Robbie charm in film that lacks sense: critics

(Newser) - Will Smith stars as Nicky, an established con man who takes on a new apprentice, Australian newcomer Margot Robbie's Jess, in Focus. They both love the con game, but who's playing who? Here's what critics are saying:
  • Richard Corliss at Time is a fan. "The mix
... More »

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 »

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