Everything Must Go
A farmer's house was cleaned out out after Craigslist ads said that all his possessions were being offered up for free. The man lost thousands of dollars worth of his stuff, and, unfortunately, this isn't the only incident of its kind. Last year, a woman's niece posted a similar ad, which led to people stripping everything from the aunt's empty apartment, including light fixtures. And recently, someone tried the same thing on a Massachusetts family, but they happened to be home when the gatherers arrived.
Photoshopping Dupes America
In 2000, a photo of a giant cat named Snowball was forwarded around the Internet and posted on many Web sites. The accompanying story was that a man had an 87-pound cat that was born to a mother that lived near a nuclear lab. The story spread so far that it was discussed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Good Morning America. Unfortunately, it was just computer-manipulated image made by Cordell Hauglie, the man in the picture, yet people still haven't realized that you can't believe everything you see on the Web.
Stick To Match.com, People!
Getting sexy messages from somebody you don't know should set off some warning bells, but apparently there will always be people, mostly men, who believe they're about to score big. There are loads of tales like this, including a man who showed up naked at a house in New Zealand after misleading text messages and a Saudi Arabian who was robbed by teenagers when he showed up for a good time. Seriously, if it's too good to be true, it probably is.
Still Too Good to Be True
What's better than meeting someone online for love? Getting paid to do it, which is how an Australian farmer found himself kidnapped in . Several men pretended to be a woman, enticing Des Gregor, 53, to come to to get married and receive $85,000 in gold as dowry. When he got there, he was taken hostage and threatened with having his limbs hacked off unless he paid them the same amount. Fortunately, police duped the kidnappers and Gregor was safe. Gregor learned his lesson, apparently – "Just be careful - make sure you check everything out 100 per cent," he said.
Watch Out For Those Cameras
With the amount of people embarrassed or worse by leaked photos and videos of bad behavior online, it's no wonder that they'd be used for blackmail. This is exactly what happened to a 75-year-old Amish widower after he slept with a prostitute. The woman and her boyfriend extorted $67,000 from the man, saying there was a camera installed in his bedroom and that photos of the trysts would go online. Fortunately, the pair and two accomplices were arrested. So much for the Amish being behind in technology.
High Salary, Low Discretion
Seeing a job posting that promises thousands of dollars for at-home work will most likely get a lot of applicants and a lot of non-believers. Still, almost 80 people, including lawyers, were allegedly hired to work for a financial company doing research and all sorts of projects for $14,000 a month. They had conference calls, corporate e-mail addresses, contracts, and direct deposit forms, but after they didn't get paid for a few weeks, they realized it was all fake. There was no such company, the owner disappeared, and nobody knows what happened. So beware – if that job listing sounds amazing, do your research before you end up duped.
Scamming the Scammers
You've probably heard about or even received an e-mail about getting funds from or another African country if you send them a small sum. This is called 419 fraud, and rather than sit idly by, Michael Berry founded 419eater.com as a way to get revenge. The site encouraged people to bait the scammers, often to get the Nigerians to take pictures holding up offensive signs in English. Some users were successful in getting cash sent to them, although this was discouraged. Either way, it's good to know that anyone can be had, even the perpetrators.
Times Gets Owned in Joke Article
The phenomenon of Rickrolling has become so popular that even the New York Times covered it. Unfortunately for that respected paper, the coverage of the story found it getting getting duped by a Youtube video made by a student at Eastern Washington University . The article talked about a video that showed the student interrupting a timeout at a women's basketball game and somehow playing the song over the PA system. Unfortunately, this never happened and the video was a fake. So, an article on a prank ends up getting pranked too. Is there no end to this madness?