SCAMS

Man Sues OkCupid After Being Catfished Out of $70k

Bummer. (Photo: Zazzle)

Some poor man from Queens is suing OkCupid because somebody named “genuineguy62″ fleeced him out of more than $70,000.

Michael Z. Picciano, 65, first received a message from the grifter on Feb. 11, 2013, the New York Post reports. After a month of phone and online communication, he wired his new paramour $24,000 for alleged business expenses, sending the money to “Dennis E. Racer” in Addison, Texas, and an “Edmond Thebeau” in Canada. Read More

Craigslist Goodies

Brothers Orchestrate Thousand Dollar Craigslist Scam But Don’t Think They Did Anything Wrong

Scam alert.

Craigslist, a cesspool for casual hookups and lightly used Ikea furniture, recently became the setting for a scam when two brothers from Pittsburgh took thousands of dollars from hundreds of people. Daniel and David Isabella are accused of duping 250 users by offering them discounted concert and sporting tickets, but never actually delivering on their promise. Read More

Law and Order

Three Men Arrested for Facebook IPO Scam (So At Least Somebody Made Money Off of It)

Lock it up. (Photo: Smedio)

Three men in New Jersey were arrested yesterday for allegedly swindling nearly $7 million from an investor by claiming that they had “special access” to shares of Facebook prior to it going public last May.

Federal prosecutors arrested Aaron Muschel, 63, of Brooklyn, and Alex Schleider, 47 and Eliyahu Weinstein, 37, of Lakewood, N.J. and charged them with wire fraud conspiracy. Bloomberg reports that they offered a New Zealand investor “blocks of Facebook shares” even though the men had no access to them. They preyed off the near deafening buzz, that seemed to promise Great Gatsby-like riches, to those who cash in on the site’s IPO. Read More

Love in the Time of Algorithms

State Department Offers Helpful Guidelines On How Not to Get Catfished

(Photo: sportsgrid)

The Manti Te’o scam, which revealed that the supposedly dead girlfriend of a Notre Dame football player had never really existed, sparked a maelstrom of hype about the dangers of online dating. The New York Post even discovered a Second Life-type virtual reality world where people can have–gasp–virtual sex! (The only drawback, you’d have to say you met on “Utherverse.”)

Now, the U.S. government has jumped into the fray, offering some helpful tips on how not to get Catfished, or–as they put it–“don’t become the victim of a sweetheart scam!” Read More

When Lawyers Send Letters

Revenge Is Sweet: Time Warner Cable Sued Over Modem Leasing ‘Scam’

(Photo: Maximum PC)

When last we heard from Time Warner Cable, a corporation so reviled that even Starfleet captains can’t help but voice their discontent, it was devising its latest scheme to become the most hated company ever by charging a modem rental fee. Now, the New York Daily News reports that not one but two class action suits have been lodged against Time Warner, alleging that the $3.95/month modem leasing fee is essentially a money-making racket. Read More

They See Me Trollin'

Triumphs in Trolling: Scammer Gets Punked by a Tech-Savvy Mark

Basically. (Photo: MTV)

In recent days the FTC has announced a crackdown on a particularly pernicious type of scheme: Scammers who call you up, out of the blue, purporting to be from “Windows Technical Support.” They tell you your computer is lousy with viruses, talk you into giving them remote access, then charge you hundreds of dollars to “fix” it.

If you’re computer savvy enough to be reading this blog, you’d probably see right through this nonsense, but you’re not the target audience for this scam–it’s your unsuspecting, eBay-loving Nana.

Every now and then, though, they call up someone who’s a little more cognizant of how security works.  Read More