Posts Tagged ‘scam?’

Beware the ubiquitous PDF? Really?

Oh no! First Flash, now PDF? Do we need to worry? My (profesional) life changed for the better with the widespread adoption of Adobe’s wonderful Acrobat PDF (portable document format). I use it every day — to communicate with others, to archive information or make it available for others … and to print and publish. […]

Uncovering the Scientology cult and its practices

Writing in The New Yorker, Lawrence Wright gives a comprehensive and illuminating account of the cult known as the Church of Scientology. His article is a follow-up the controversy surrounding writer/film director Paul Haggis’s public defection after 35 years as a Scientologist. I quoted Haggis’s resignation letter with its core message: ‘Silence is consent … […]

JP Morgan execs: Useless as [insert expletive here]

In today’s NY Times… Senior executives at JPMorgan Chase expressed serious doubts about the legitimacy of Bernard L. Madoff’s investment business more than 18 months before his Ponzi scheme collapsed but continued to do business with him, according to internal bank documents made public in a lawsuit on Thursday. Oh. My. God. If this is […]

Get your own little piece of the subprime crisis

In my in-box today* from the UK-based property spruiker hawking Memphis distressed real estate … a chance to buy mortgage bonds … at 40% discount! Oh boy! I wonder if this is how they offer “amazing finance packages” (no-questions-asked??) to the offshore suckers … sorry, investors buying up Memphis distressed real estate … um, er, […]

SPAM as an indicator of the economy?

Among all the SPAM touting for anatomy-enlargement and performance-enhancing pills and replica watches (for replica people?) and, oh boy, online casino gambling (!) …. I’ve noticed a recent apparent increase in SPAM messages targeting job seekers … Subject: Job offer match, respond to apply Subject: Job opportunity – hurry to apply! Subject: Employment you’ve been […]

Even more deceitful photoshopping

You may (or may not) recall my posts ‘More deceitful photoshopping‘ and ‘Re-touching to the point of distortion‘ which sought to highlight the distortion of ideas and images of modern-day ‘beauty’ — thus setting an unattainable target for young women wanting to groom themselves to be ‘better looking’. (Jenna Marbles’s ‘How to trick people into […]

Low-ball share buyer Bernard Whimp in action

This ‘operation’ falls into the same dubious half-light as the murky ‘Domain Registration’ scams where plausible-looking documents offering to register your domain for, er, let’s call it uncompetitive prices are sprayed around looking for suckers. Low-ball share buyer Bernard Whimp has made close to $300,000 through an offer made to Vector shareholders by his limited […]

CYBER CROOKS – unmasking the real criminals

There’s been considerable discussion recently here on about so-called internet ‘scams’ and ‘bandits’ and ‘criminals’ … but let’s not lose perspective. The sort of stuff highlighted in today’s NZ Herald technology pages, this report from PandaLabs about selling stolen credit cards —  well THAT’S clearly criminal stuff. WASHINGTON – Cyber criminals are selling stolen credit […]

Fallen hero?

There’s a particular kind of anger and outrage sparked when you feel someone has shafted you financially. I’ve been reflecting on the strength of feeling expressed by some commenters in the thread ‘Is this how Shaun Stenning handles a request for a refund?‘ and the public and private reversal of fortunes experienced by some former […]

Sometimes it seems pretty obvious

In my in-box … an obvious scam… … why would anyone respond?  (But I guess it only takes a small percentage …) PT Barnum: “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

Internet ninja cowboys … spoofing revisited

UPDATED: Check out the comments on this post for ‘interesting developments…’. Some readers might remember an episode that occurred earlier this year:  Internet ninja cowboys … or schoolboys? Hilarious! A few hours after I set up’s new Facebook page yesterday, overnight we had a sudden surge of email… with a lot of ‘Please confirm […]

What a great title! How to Smell a Rat

What a terrific title for a book on keeping yourself safe financially. Naturally, the Madoff and the Stanford scandals feature as sobering lessons… The Five Signs of Financial Fraud are: Sign #1 Your advisor also has custody of your assets Sign #2 Quoted returns are consistently great! Almost too good to be true Sign # […]

Words fail me

Not a good look for the Serious Fraud Office. Disappointing is an understatement.

Bruce Sheppard — closing thoughts?

This looong blog post by Bruce Sheppard is worth reading in its entirety. Part of it reflects on the baby boomer ‘inter generational wealth transfer’ conspiracy promoted by Bernard Hickey et al. A bunch of kids were born in the 1950s mostly, and as a result nappy valleys appeared all over the western world, schools […]

Pattern recognition

An ADHD friend of mine, a medical doctor from New York, once described medical diagnosis as ‘pattern recognition’. That’s why, he said, a competently written computer-based questionnaire can actually be more effective at diagnosing medical conditions than a human being: because the computer will ask ALL the relevant questions, not skipping some that don’t seem […]