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ramonmercadoOnline
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PostPosted: 25-10-2012 11:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Brazil arrests German conman over pseudo-science fraud
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-20076791

Brazilian police have arrested a German conman who claimed to have developed a scheme which he said allowed him to predict lottery numbers, transmit data and improve online banking security.

Hartmut Muller, who had been convicted of a multi-million-dollar fraud in Germany, persuaded people to invest in the scheme supposedly based on gravitational waves.

He fled to Brazil when the evidence against him began to mount.

He is expected to be extradited.

Interpol agents arrested Muller, 58, in the southern city of Florianopolis on Tuesday.

He had moved there in January, fleeing a court case in the German city of Dresden, where he and three of his partners were on trial for fraud.

'Vitality-generators'

Muller conned some 3,000 investors out of about five million Euros ($6.5m, £4m), the court said.

He had invented a pseudo-scientific theory he called "global scaling", which he said allowed him to use gravitational waves to prevent electronic smog, use novel methods of scanning to be applied in medicine, and transmit "information without any limits in quantity, quality or time".

The court said Muller convinced investors with his impressive, and mainly fictitious, CV which included advanced degrees in applied mathematics and physics from the University of Saint Petersburg and "the Vernadski Medal first grade for his scientific achievements".

Muller used his bogus theory to develop a wealth of products, from "wellness devices" which could allegedly protect the buyer from electronic smog to "vitality-generators" to improve one's life force.

Brazilian media say he continued his scams even after he fled there, selling software which he said used his theory to improve internet banking security.

An expert witness who appeared at the trial in Dresden dismissed Muller's global scaling theory, saying:"It has no scientific grounding: it's like astrology, totally made up."

The court in Dresden sentenced Muller to four-and-a-half years in prison.

Brazilian police say they will hold Muller until they receive an extradition request from Germany.
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 08-11-2012 08:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fraudulent Westminster Council parking charge email sent

At least 800 fraudulent emails have been sent telling people they owe Westminster Council money for parking.
Richard Loraine-Smith from Pewsey, in Wiltshire, said he was emailed by an address claiming to be firm PayByPhone saying that he owed the council £33.30.
"How dare they get my details and send me spurious emails. I have never been to that street in my life."

Westminster's contractor, PayByPhone, said it had been the victim of a phishing scam.
Peter Brooker, head of corporate affairs at the firm, said: "The sender of the emails has nothing to with Westminster Council or PayByPhone."
He added: "The majority of recipients are not PayByPhone account holders."

The council said it had received complaints from 800 people saying they had received fraudulent emails. However, it could not provide an estimate for the number of emails that had been sent out.
It added that it had put a warning on the council website and the PaybyPhone website.

Mr Loraine-Smith said he received an email informing him that he had parked his vehicle on St Barnabas Street, in west London, between 12:20 GMT and 13:20 GMT on 11 May 2011.
The email, sent on Wednesday morning, added that he would be charged £33.30.
It also said: "You can access a full list of all your parking transactions in the attached file."

"I rang up Westminster Council and asked to speak to someone in their fraud department," he said.
"I was told, 'We are terribly sorry. We sent out a spam email to lots of people.'
"How dare they take a laissez-faire attitude about it? Westminster needs to find out who is responsible for this message being sent."

Mr Loraine-Smith later received a second similar email on Wednesday afternoon.

Westminster Council's service development manager, Kieran Fitsall, said: "We received a very high volume of calls in a very short amount of time concerning a spam email that was sent by an unauthorised third party pretending to be our contractor PayByPhone.
"PayByPhone are investigating the matter urgently, but the council's advice is to delete the email and run your anti-virus software.
"No payment should be taken but if you have any concerns please contact your card provider or bank."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-20239746
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ramonmercadoOnline
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PostPosted: 13-11-2012 18:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Mother who shaved son's head in cancer scam jailed
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-20311470

A mother who shaved off her son's hair to pretend he had cancer has been jailed for three years and nine months.

The woman from Gloucestershire kept up the pretence for almost three years while the boy was aged six to eight in order to claim extra benefits, Gloucester Crown Court heard.

She admitted one count of child cruelty, eight counts of fraud and one of forgery by faking doctors' letters.

The woman, who cannot be named, claimed disability and carer's allowances.

The woman even put her son in a wheelchair while on holiday in Florida so they could jump queues at a theme park, the court heard.

Jailing the 36-year-old, Judge Jamie Tabor said: "You shaved his head and paraded him in public as a victim of cancer.

"I have no doubt that there have been periods in your life when you have been unwell but also I have no doubt that you have all but lost the ability to tell the truth."

The court was told the woman shaved off her son's hair and eyebrows to mimic the effects of chemotherapy and claimed £85,899.44 in benefits.

These included disability living allowance and carers' allowance, as well as child tax credits claimed by falsely saying other children were living with her.
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ramonmercadoOnline
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PostPosted: 13-11-2012 19:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Monflanquin affair: French 'guru' jailed for swindling family
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20310624

Members of the De Vedrines family are seen here leaving court in Bordeaux

A man who tricked a French noble family into fearing they were victims of an imaginary plot by freemasons has been jailed for eight years.

Thierry Tilly, 48, was convicted of false imprisonment and of abusing the weakness of psychologically vulnerable persons at his trial in Bordeaux.

An accomplice, Jacques Gonzalez, was jailed for four years.

Tilly robbed the De Vedrines family of their possessions, including their chateau, Monflanquin, the court heard.

The victims were dubbed by the French media as the "recluses of Monflanquin" because of the sheltered lives they led as a result of Tilly's scheming.

After gaining access to the family, he made himself indispensable before manipulating each of his dupes "in a diabolical manner", France's Le Figaro newspaper writes.

Described by a family lawyer as an "unusual guru", Tilly robbed them of some 4.5m euros (£3.6m; $5.8m) between 1999 and 2009.

Tilly argued in court he had been trying to protect the family, whom he reportedly described as a "gang of resentful, greedy country nobles".

His own lawyer called for clemency, saying his client, who claimed to be a descendant of the Habsburgs and a former "hostage of the freemasons", was "probably slightly deranged".

'Group paranoia'
Ten of Tilly's victims faced him in court. The 11th, a grandmother named Guillemette, died in 2010 at the age of 97.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

He [Thierry Tilly] is a crook, a highly perverse man, a predator, the Hannibal Lecter of manipulation”

Guillaume De Vedrines
The court heard that the family of Protestant nobles had lived as recluses at Monflanquin, near Bordeaux, after Tilly put them under his "mental spell".

They also spent some time in Oxford, England, still fearing that their lives were in danger.

Explaining the verdict, the court said Tilly had created a state of submission among his victims, encouraging "group paranoia and mental destabilisation".

One of the victims, Guillaume De Vedrines, said Tilly had conspired to turn members of the family against each other.

"Mr Tilly is not a guru and we did not form a sect," he was quoted as saying by le Figaro. "He is a crook, a highly perverse man, a predator, the Hannibal Lecter of manipulation."

Tilly and Gonzalez, 64, have 10 days to appeal against the sentence.
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los_grandes_lutzOffline
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PostPosted: 21-11-2012 14:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

British scientist jailed for four years for smuggling cocaine 'after being stung by honeytrap'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2236277/Paul-Frampton-Jailed-smuggling-cocaine-claiming-stung-honeytrap.html

An acclaimed British scientist caught smuggling 4.4lbs of cocaine at a South American airport has been jailed for nearly five years.

Professor Paul Frampton, 68, claimed he was duped into carrying the drugs in a ‘honeytrap sting’ involving a bikini model.

But the Oxford-educated academic was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison after being convicted of drug trafficking at a court in Argentina.

Mr Frampton, originally from Kidderminster, Worcestershire, was arrested in January after being stopped at Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires as he tried to board a plane to Peru with the large quantity of drugs in his luggage.

The cocaine was found wrapped in gift paper hidden inside the lining of his suitcase.

The divorced physicist told police he had been tricked into carrying the drugs by gangsters who posed on the internet as 32-year-old glamour model Denise Milani.

She had nothing to do with the drug smuggling.

He said in a newspaper interview after his arrest: ‘Perhaps I should have realised earlier but the fraudster was very good and very intelligent.

‘For 11 weeks I thought I was chatting with an attractive woman.’

Mr Frampton, who was teaching at the University of North Carolina, had first travelled to La Paz, Bolivia, where he thought he was going to meet Miss Milani, a former Miss Bikini World, for the first time.

He mistakenly believed he had been chatting regularly with her over the internet after allegedly meeting on dating website mate1.com and had planned to start a new life with her.

In La Paz he met a middle-aged man in a hotel who gave him the suitcase, saying it belonged to Miss Milani.

The following day he travelled to Buenos Aires and was instructed to fly to Brussels where he believed he would finally meet his ‘girlfriend’.

But after waiting 36 hours at the airport for ‘her’ to send him an electronic ticket, he changed his mind and decided to return to the U.S. via Peru.


Thanks to the Daily Mail for providing photos of the very healthy Miss Milani
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 16-01-2013 23:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

US employee 'outsourced job to China'

A security check on a US company has reportedly revealed one of its staff was outsourcing his work to China.
The software developer, in his 40s, is thought to have spent his workdays surfing the web, watching cat videos on YouTube and browsing Reddit and eBay.
He reportedly paid just a fifth of his six-figure salary to a company based in Shenyang to do his job.

Operator Verizon says the scam came to light after the US firm asked it for an audit, suspecting a security breach.
According to Andrew Valentine, of Verizon, the infrastructure company requested the operator's risk team last year to investigate some anomalous activity on its virtual private network (VPN) logs.

"This organisation had been slowly moving toward a more telecommuting oriented workforce, and they had therefore started to allow their developers to work from home on certain days. In order to accomplish this, they'd set up a fairly standard VPN concentrator approximately two years prior to our receiving their call," he was quoted as saying on an internet security website.

The company had discovered the existence of an open and active VPN connection from Shenyang to the employee's workstation that went back months, Mr Valentine said.
And it had then called on Verizon to look into what it had suspected had been malware used to route confidential information from the company to China.

"Central to the investigation was the employee himself, the person whose credentials had been used to initiate and maintain a VPN connection from China," said Mr Valentine.
Further investigation of the employee's computer had revealed hundreds of PDF documents of invoices from the Shenyang contractor, he added.

The employee, an "inoffensive and quiet" but talented man versed in several programming languages, "spent less than one fifth of his six-figure salary for a Chinese firm to do his job for him", Mr Valentine said.
"Authentication was no problem. He physically FedExed his RSA [security] token to China so that the third-party contractor could log-in under his credentials during the workday. It would appear that he was working an average nine-to-five work day," he added. Shocked

"Evidence even suggested he had the same scam going across multiple companies in the area. All told, it looked like he earned several hundred thousand dollars a year, and only had to pay the Chinese consulting firm about $50,000 (£31,270) annually."

The employee no longer worked at the firm, Mr Valentine said.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21043693
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 01-02-2013 19:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blue badges seized after misuse in Plymouth

Ten blue badges have been seized in Plymouth for "improper use", including a driver who used a badge owned by someone who had recently died, an investigation has revealed.

About 500 cars parked in the city have been checked by Devon and Cornwall Police and the city council.
Some drivers have been found to use the badge of a friend or relative despite them not being in the vehicle.

The authority issues about 5,000 disabled parking badges each year.
Councillor Mark Coker, cabinet member for transport said: "We take fraudulent use of blue badges very seriously.
"Misuse of the badges deprives people with a genuine need of access to parking and limits their independence.
"We have a dedicated fraud team who work closely with the police and will prosecute blue badge misuse and fraud, it could mean at fine of up to £1,000 or a prison sentence."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-21293348
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SpookdaddyOffline
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PostPosted: 25-02-2013 20:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a quick heads-up for anyone visiting London (I'm assuming those who live there might already be aware of this): The gold ring scam appears to be reaching epidemic proportions - either that or I look like a soft touch, having been approached three times in the space of about seven days while working around the Holborn/Soho/Fitzrovia area.

For those not in the know, the gold ring scam (which in the past I've always associated with Paris) involves someone 'finding' a ring on the pavement just as you happen to be passing, and then pressing the ring on you because - hey, it's your lucky day, I'm from Poland/Croatia/Albania and if I go into a jewellers and try to sell a gold ring they'll call the police. (Or some variation on that theme).

The original scam appears to have involved larger sums of money - that is, the finder would give some reason why he couldn't sell the ring himself and then offer to sell it to the mark at a reduced (but still fairly considerable) price while emphasising how much profit they could make if they then sell it on themselves. The more recent version appears to involve less of a transaction - it's more of a, hey, this is way too much bother for me, so it's your lucky day, but could you maybe give me a fiver for some food ? The original scam played much more actively on the marks greed, whereas the latter is more about convincing the mark not to look a gift horse in the mouth - similar, I'll grant you, but to my mind they're playing slightly different games.

Anyway, one of the comments on this site suggests that one London jeweller received three fake rings in a four hour period - so maybe it wasn't just about me looking like a soft touch.

So, be warned - and maybe try doing what I do: smile, be nice and polite, look ever so slightly naive, and, if you've got the time, take your time taking up their time and then wait and see if you can spot their expression change when they realise that you're the one scamming them.
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gncxxOffline
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PostPosted: 25-02-2013 23:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

A friend of mine was out driving in the countryside - I was in the passenger seat - when he stopped for a foreign man apparently broken down at the side of the road. He tried to persuade us to give him money in exchange for a ring, but we fobbed him off by telling him to phone the operator for the number of a nearby garage.

He seemed genuinely stuck, though there was no way we were giving him cash, but after reading the above I wonder. Anyone hear of a roadside variation?
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SpookdaddyOffline
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PostPosted: 25-02-2013 23:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

gncxx wrote:
A friend of mine was out driving in the countryside - I was in the passenger seat - when he stopped for a foreign man apparently broken down at the side of the road. He tried to persuade us to give him money in exchange for a ring, but we fobbed him off by telling him to phone the operator for the number of a nearby garage.

He seemed genuinely stuck, though there was no way we were giving him cash, but after reading the above I wonder. Anyone hear of a roadside variation?


I have heard of a variation which involves someone supposedly in car related trouble claiming that they've lost their credit cards and offering, apparently out of desperation, a gold ring in exchange for cash. I think this variation might also be mentioned somewhere in the link.

Sounds very much like your scenario.

Edit: Can't find whatever it is I thought I was looking for in the link but found this elsewhere:

Quote:
Mr Edwards said some had been approached on petrol forecourts by a man who claimed he needed money because his credit card would not work after he had filled up with fuel.

Another parted with £30 in exchange for the ring after being flagged down on the A421 bypass by someone who said he’d run out of petrol. The rings are stamped inside with 18k and 750.


Source.


Last edited by Spookdaddy on 25-02-2013 23:28; edited 1 time in total
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gncxxOffline
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PostPosted: 25-02-2013 23:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like we had a lucky escape. He wasn't there when we drove back the same way later. We did wonder what he was doing out there in the middle of the Scottish nowhere.
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 08-03-2013 07:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

The brass neck of some people is amazing!

Fake bomb detectors sold by businessman, court told

A businessman sold fake bomb detectors to Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Georgia and Niger, the Old Bailey has been told.
James McCormick's Advanced Detection Equipment was based on a golf ball finder device and marketed to military, governments and police, the jury heard. Shocked

Prosecutors said fake detectors sold for up to $40,000 (£27,000) had no grounding in science and made "fantastic" claims.
Mr McCormick, 56, of Langport, Somerset, denies three counts of fraud.

Richard Whittam QC, prosecuting, said brochures featuring men in military-type outfits promised detection of substances from planes, underwater, underground and through walls.
However, he said, the three models - the ADE650, 651 and 101 - were shams and did not work.
The prosecution said scientific tests showed the devices to be completely ineffectual and lacking any grounding in science.

Mr Whittam said the forerunner of the 101, the 100, "was actually a golf ball finder" advertised as a "great novelty item" that could be purchased in the US for less than $20 (£13).
New components were produced for the other models, including sensor cards that slotted into the machines, the court heard.

Mr McCormick had put an International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators' logo on his products, which he was not entitled to use, said Mr Whittam.
The prosecutor added that the devices were variously marketed as being able to detect all kinds of explosives, including TNT, drugs and even ivory, fluids and human beings.
"The devices did not work and he knew they did not work," said the barrister.

Mr Whittam went on: "He had them manufactured so that they could be sold - and despite the fact they did not work, people bought them for a handsome but unwarranted profit.
"He made them knowing that they were going to be sold as something that it was claimed was simply fantastic.
"You may think those claims are incredible."

The court heard after his arrest Mr McCormick said he had been using basic high school physics to devise a mock version of the detector which worked.

The case is expected to last about three weeks.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21701588
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ramonmercadoOnline
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PostPosted: 13-03-2013 02:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Doctor 'used silicone fingers' to sign in for colleagues
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-21756709

Police said they recovered six silicone fingers at the time of the doctor's arrest

A Brazilian doctor faces charges of fraud after being caught on camera using silicone fingers to sign in for work for absent colleagues, police say.

Thaune Nunes Ferreira, 29, was arrested on Sunday for using prosthetic fingers to fool the biometric employee attendance device used at the hospital where she works near Sao Paulo.

She is accused of covering up the absence of six colleagues.

Her lawyer says she was forced into the fraud as she faced losing her job.

The local public prosecutor's office opened an investigation on Monday.

The doctor was arrested by the local police following a two-week investigation in the town of Ferraz de Vasconcelos, and was released on Sunday.

Police said she had six silicone fingers with her at the time of her arrest, three of which have already been identified as bearing the fingerprints of co-workers.


The town's mayor, Acir Fillo, has also asked five employees of the medical service said to have been involved to step aside, while the local council has launched a public inquiry into the matter.

Brazil's ministry of health has said it will launch an inquiry of its own into the local hospital.

Mr Fillo says that the police investigation showed that some 300 public employees in the town, whom he described as ''an army of ghosts'', had been receiving pay without going to work.

A council spokesman has told BBC Brasil that among those believed to be those "ghost employees" - as Brazilians call informally those who receive regular wages without actually showing up for work - are public workers in the areas of health, education and security.
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ramonmercadoOnline
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PostPosted: 23-03-2013 22:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a bit more of a conman than yiur regular vicars.

Quote:
Fake vicar jailed for charity fraud
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-21904777

Gordon obtained an "ordination" certificate from a US website

A conman who posed as a vicar and tricked Merseyside charities out of about £90,000 has been jailed for five years.

George Gordon, 52, of Chancellor Court, Toxteth, Liverpool, earlier admitted 20 counts including fraud and obtaining money transfers by deception.

He conned groups into giving him money for projects that did not exist, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

Judge Stephen Everett said his audacity "takes a person's breath away".

Gordon, who called himself "Reverend Gordon" after obtaining an "ordination" certificate from a US website, obtained the money by applying for various grants from the Merseyside Disability Foundation (MDF).

'Veneer of respectability'
He used fake names and signatures to falsely represent existing community groups or invent organisations, the court heard.

The conman, who was previously jailed for similar offences, then siphoned off the cash and used part of it to buy his flat.

Gordon was so highly respected he became a member of an MDF panel which allocated funding and he sat on panels which determined his own fraudulent applications, the court heard.

Judge Everett said: "You pleaded guilty to a callous set of offences of dishonesty, the audacity of which takes a person's breath away.

"You posed as a responsible and decent individual. You clothed yourself with an air of respectability and trustworthiness.

"In doing so you used that false cloth, that veneer of respectability, to dupe a number of honest, decent and vulnerable persons to achieve your dishonest aims.

"And your dishonest aims were simply to get money for your own ends."
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MythopoeikaOffline
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PostPosted: 23-03-2013 23:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

The money was just resting in his account. Honest! Smile
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