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How a Microsoft font brought down Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif - The Globe and Mail
The document was purported to be written in February 2006 but court-appointed investigators concluded that it was forged, noting that it used the Calibri font, a Microsoft licensed typeface that was not commercially available at the time.
lies  crime  scams 
13 days ago by ramitsethi
The Airline Fee That Exists for No Apparent Reason - WSJ
The surcharge can be much bigger than the fare itself. A $638 Virgin Atlantic round trip between New York and London breaks down to a fare of only $93, a carrier-imposed surcharge of $320 and government taxes of $225.
scams  stupid  airlines 
20 days ago by ramitsethi
Why nobody ever wins that car giveaway at the mall
Here’s what actually happens: 1) You enter the sweepstakes; 2) You have to attend a 90-minute timeshare presentation; 3) You get a scratch-off lotto ticket; 4) If you’re a “grand prize winner,” you get to play a game for a chance to win $100k.

The “game” is that the finalist gets to open 4 “mystery envelopes” with random amounts of cash. Last year’s two “big winners” walked away with checks for $575 and $700 — about enough to buy one side view mirror for your Acura..

That’s the absolute best-case scenario of entering one of these contests. Other aren’t so lucky.

Days after entering to win the car, Maggie Nicholson received a call informing her that her name was drawn. After sitting through a 2-hour timeshare presentation with Boiler Room-like sales tactics, she was told there was no car — but she was eligible for a vacation package.

“[When I declined], they proceeded to tell our 12 year old daughter, ‘I guess your parents won’t take you on your dream vacation!’” she says. Then, they handed over her “prize:” a $25 restaurant voucher that required a $100 minimum spend to redeem.
23 days ago by ramitsethi
The Fiends and the Folk Heroes of Grifter Season | The New Yorker
> Scammers show us the glitzy bullshit intrinsic to stratospheric wealth in America; they show us that the best way to make money in this country is to treat everyone around you like a mark.

> Holmes ran Theranos on bluster and deception for more than a decade, and had Walgreens, Safeway, James Mattis, Rupert Murdoch, Betsy DeVos, David Boies, and a nine-billion-dollar valuation on her side. We want the failure of our scammers to seem inevitable, but Holmes reminds us of how many are likely still out there—raising money, talking a big game at conferences, perhaps reading about Anna Delvey on a private jet.
wealth  inequality  con-artists  scams  theranos  jia-tolentino 
6 weeks ago by tarakc02
Grifters Gone Wild
As Maria Konnikova wrote in her book, “The Confidence Game,” “The whirlwind advance of technology heralds a new golden age of the grift. Cons thrive in times of transition and fast change” when we are losing the old ways and open to the unexpected.We are easy marks for faux Nigerian princes now..Trump voters allowed themselves to believe they had a successful billionaire who knew the art of the deal when he only knew the art of the con. They bought his seductive campaign narrative, that the system was rigged and corrupt and only he could fix it. After winning by warning voters they were being suckered, he’s made them all suckers.. And despite tales of misogyny and sickening transgressions, they wanted to buy Harvey’s grand narrative, that he was a liberal feminist who could raise enough money to help elect the first woman president.With Holmes, people were longing for a young woman to break into the club of boy geniuses conjuring unicorns..With all of these institutions the subject of ridicule, there’s nothing — except Skinner boxes and con artists.”
NYTimes  scams  scandals  opinion 
7 weeks ago by thomas.kochi

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