scam

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They Dreamed About an NBA Future. Instead, They Got Scammed

Yearlong Fusion probe into prep school basketball reveals the common cons of the industry

(Newser) - They were young hoops shooters who paid more than $25,000 a year to attend what they thought was an elite basketball academy that would prep them for the NBA. What they got instead, per a deep dive at Fusion , was ripped off. It's a close look by Luke... More »

She Put Life Savings in a Bag, Came Home With Corn Starch

'New Yorker' looks at rising 'blessing scams' in Chinatown

(Newser) - It was a slick con. In Brooklyn's Chinatown, a small group of Chinese women working as a crew found their victim in another Chinese woman, this one a 61-year-old immigrant destined to lose her life savings in a "blessing scam." A story by Jiayang Fan in the... More »

Fed-Up Neighbor Offers Bounty on 'We Buy Houses' Signs

Within 48 hours, he'd maxed out on his $200 limit, at $1 per sign

(Newser) - You've seen 'em. The ubiquitous little signs that say "We Buy Houses" or something to that effect and pop up on street corners and utility poles. One man in Philadelphia got so tired of looking at them that he publicly offered a $1 bounty for every sign... More »

Billionaire Branson Reveals 2 Crazy Scams—and 1 Worked

Conman impersonates him, scores $2M from a Branson friend

(Newser) - Billionaire Richard Branson thinks one conman, apparently a master impersonator, is getting rich off his name. In a blog post , the Virgin Group founder reveals two scams in the last year, one of which worked and netted the con artist $2 million. "This story sounds like it has come... 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 »

'Rotten Scam': NYC Food Fest Flops

State probe launched into the 'Fyre Festival' of pizza

(Newser) - Pizza lovers are blasting a Brooklyn food festival that apparently wasn't what it was sliced up to be. Fans who trekked to a "shady parking lot" for the New York City Pizza Festival on Saturday say they paid up to $75 for tickets, only to receive slices that... More »

Radio Host Faces 45 Years in Prison on Fraud Charges

Craig Carton allegedly scammed investors out of $5.6M to pay gambling debts

(Newser) - “I thought he called in sick this morning, but unfortunately my partner was arrested,” former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason told listeners of WFAN's Boomer & Carton show Wednesday. The New York Daily News reports New York morning show host Craig Carton was arrested Wednesday and charged with... 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 »

Taylor Swift's Ticketmaster Scheme Is a 'Scam'

Critics are calling it 'pay-to-play,' 'almost a Ponzi scheme'

(Newser) - Taylor Swift and Ticketmaster have teamed up to help ensure tickets to her upcoming tour go to her biggest fans, not scalpers. That's so nice, right? Wrong. The complicated process, which utilizes Ticketmaster's new Verified Fan service, asks fans to buy Swift merch or promote her music on... More »

His Pal Rigged the Lottery. He Used Winnings for More Scams

But in ironic twist, Robert Rhodes himself was duped by insurer he sent his cash to

(Newser) - After Robert Rhodes collected a Wisconsin Lottery jackpot that had been rigged by a friend, he used the windfall for an investment scheme that produced more undeserved government money, court records show. Rhodes and Eddie Tipton, former security director for the Multi-State Lottery Association, recently pleaded guilty to rigging the... More »

Annie Lennox Has 'Potential' as Artist, per LA Radio Station

Singer posts weird letter she received telling her she has chance to be a star

(Newser) - What sweet dreams are really made of: receiving a letter from a radio station informing you that you might just have what it takes to become a big star. Of course, when the recipient of such a letter is ex-Eurythmics singer and four-time Grammy winner Annie Lennox, that kind of... More »

Bank CEOs Fooled by Notorious Email Prankster

No sensitive information was shared

(Newser) - Falling for a phishing scam is bad. Falling for a phishing scam when you're the CEO of a major bank, well, that's worse—and the unfortunate reality for Goldman Sachs' Lloyd Blankfein and Citigroup's Michael Corbat. The unsuspecting chief executives, along with Citigroup consumer-banking chief Stephen Bird,... More »

IRS Phone Scam's Mastermind Used American Accents

Man running bogus call centers busted, may have scammed Americans out of $300M

(Newser) - Indian police have nabbed the alleged mastermind behind an IRS scam that bilked Americans out of millions of dollars. Sagar "Shaggy" Thakkar, 24, was arrested in Mumbai on Saturday after a flight from Dubai, where he had been living since police raided nine call centers in October, CNNMoney reports.... More »

2 Charged in Ponzi Schemes Tied to Adele, Hamilton

Joseph Meli, Steven Simmons joked about their $81M 'shell game': FBI

(Newser) - Two men were charged Friday with roles in Ponzi schemes that cheated wealthy people, including some who believed they were investing in ticket businesses for popular shows like an Adele concert and Broadway's Hamilton. Joseph Meli, 42, of Manhattan, and Steven Simmons, 48, of Wilton, Conn., were arrested on... More »

Unfamiliar Phone Number? You May Not Want to Answer

Better Business Bureau warns of new scam

(Newser) - If you get a phone call from an unfamiliar number and someone asks whether you can hear them, you may want to just hang up. The Better Business Bureau is warning people about the "Can You Hear Me?" scam, in which people are recorded answering "yes," WDTN... More »

The Biggest Self-Help Charlatan You Never Heard Of

Napoleon Hill wrote a best-selling book, but he also lived a life of 'countless scams'

(Newser) - Long before Deepak Chopra and Tony Robbins started preaching about how to be the best you possible, Napoleon Hill was peddling his own self-help mantras, penning 1937's Think and Grow Rich and inspiring not just cult-like behavior, but an actual cult. Matt Novak dives into Hill's jaw-dropping backstory... More »

Why People Spent $450K on a Ring That Doesn't Seem to Exist

Indiegogo campaign is shut down, with no BioRing in sight

(Newser) - A ring that seemed too good to be true is apparently too good to exist at all. So reports Vocativ in an exposé about a product that may have never been in the works—and the marketing teams and fundraisers who were seemingly duped by a shiny gadget. The object... 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 »

He Wrote a Gibberish Paper via Autocomplete, Found Success

Looks like anyone can be a nuclear physicist

(Newser) - When New Zealand professor Christoph Bartneck received an invitation to submit a paper to the International Conference on Atomic and Nuclear Physics in the US, he was skeptical given he has "practically no knowledge" of nuclear physics. So he decided to use his iPhone's iOS autocomplete function to... More »

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