Enjoy these instructions for making a very cool little orgami Three Card Monte wallet.
Archive for September, 2009
I’m not sure what it is about organic food that rubs me the wrong.
Maybe it’s the smug people in the organic food shop.
Maybe it’s the little spots that appear on organics apples.
Or maybe it’s the fact that I want to put down my inability to tell the difference between organic and inorganic foods to some sort of global swindle rather than accept that perhaps my palette is less then refined.
So I’m not suprised by the feelings of schadenfreude I have when I read that Neil Stansfeild, director of One Foods, has been jailed for 27 months for buying regular cheap foods from supermarkets repackaging it as organic and then passing it on to consumers at a vastly inflated prices.
My smug pleasure is not at con artist Stansfield’s jail sentence but at the idea of all his hip customers forking over big bucks for bargain bin generic foods and then fooling themselves into thinking they can Really Taste The Difference.
I also wonder whether Stanfield could have defended himself by claiming that, since 25% of organic food contains synthetic pesticides and that there is no evidence that organic food is better for you that he could argue that his fake food was just the same as real organic food.
A little bit like renting a Rob Schneider film only to find out you’ve been given a poor quality rip off. Who can Really Tell The Difference?
It’s a comedy panel show where guests have to do their best to lie and spot lies.
Enjoy this classic episode…
I’m on the move, off to London and Portugal to hunt down some street swindlers I’ve heard about. Then I’m off to Iceland to hunt down some Puffins.
Since I don’t need my car, I’ve sent it off to the scrappers.
Paul from the scrappers tells me that the car recovery is full of swindlers.
He takes the car, drains all the fluid from it and then crushes it into a cube. He then gets paid around $100 for every ton of car he has.
Apparently, some dishonest swindlers will put cinder blocks and lumps of rock in the car before crushing it to artifically up the weight.
His buyers now have to check the make and model of the car before weighing it to make sure it hasn’t been tampered with.
It reminds me of the old Jockey’s trick of holding weights under their saddle to make them appear heavier then they real are.
I love classic con man movies.
It’s one of the reasons why I got into this world in the first place. The narrative structure of film, with it’s twists, turns and emotional manipulation are the perfect medium for exploring scams and cons.
The celebrate, I am creating a series of annotated clips of classic scam movies. Each short clip features pop ups that reveal all the secrets of the scams being played out as well as a few behind the scenes secrets.
First up is The Pickpocket by Robert Bresson.
Be sure to let me know what you think…
This just came through from comedian Lawrence Leung
Just letting you know that my solo show starts this Thursday 17th at the Brisbane Festival.
Sucker by Lawrence Leung
Sept 17 - Oct 3
Cultural Forecourt, QPAC
Grey St (Cnr Melbourne St), South Bank, QLD
“SUCKER”, one of my past shows, plays at the Brisbane Festival for three weeks in a beautiful wooden theatre. It’s nothing like the TV show, but has won an award and has played in the Edinburgh Fringe and the Sydney Opera House - so people quite like it. Come along.
AS FEATURED ON ABC STATEWIDE DRIVE WITH KATHY BEDFORD
I have to step carefully here.
Back in ‘07, when the Australian government brought in the Do Not Call register, I warned people in the Australia media that a new scam might pop up.
Turns out I gave the scammers the idea and soon, swindlers started going door to door charging people to put their names on the free register.
In other words, an annoying marketer sold people a free service that stops annoying marketers from calling you.
And it’s all my fault.
Now, there is a new email doing the rounds surrounding the swindle.
This is legit YOUR CHOICE……….. This is for Australian phone numbers!
REMEMBER: Mobile Phone Numbers Go Public next month.
REMINDER all mobile phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sale calls.
YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR THESE CALLS
Below is a link where you can enter your phone numbers online to put an end to telemarketing calls
In other words, the creator of the email is suggesting that Australian phone companies are selling the names and numbers of their customers to marketers.
Not only that, for some very strange reason, you will be charged for the calls!
Of course, none of this true but is hasn’t stopped the email spreading like wildfire.
Remember all that fake money I was talking about coming into Scotland?
I finally saw some up close.
I was waiting in line at a local cafe and the woman in front of me tried to pay with a fake £20 note.
I listened in as she explained she’d just come from the bank and had been stopped by a man on the way.
“He said he owed his mate a tenner and want to know if I had two tens for his twenty. ”
Since this was the only money she had, she was now in a position where she couldn’t pay for her lunch.
So I did what any self respecting honest con man would do and bought the £20 off of her.
Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t an act of chivalry on my part. I just really wanted a fake 20!
At first, she wouldn’t sell it to me, not realizing that I was prepared to pay £20, probably more, for a genuine fake note. She thought I was just being nice.
I had to explain the whole ‘honest con man’ thing, giving her my website and explain that I travel the world, collecting swindles.
Eventually, she capitulated and sold me the £20 for £15.
As I type, the note sits on the cafe table in front of me. (different cafe…I drink a lot of coffee)
The paper stock is much to thick to be a real note but close enough to fly past a casual examination.
The design has obviously been scanned in a computer and then printed out on an inkjet printer. The image is too low res and a lot of the detail is missing.
The scammer is obviously a bit lazy but was clever enough to use an obscure Scottish note that most people would not have handled before.
My old friend Pablo suggested I try to sell it on ebay to a collector. Maybe make a profit.
Or I could sell real £20 notes and pretend they are genuine fake money.
Fake fake money.
I’ve had the chance to travel a fair bit this year.
But the one place I’m yet to visit is Romania.
Apart from possibly Nigeria, Romania seems to be the global capital for con artists.
Of all of the three card monte swindlers I’ve met, the majority are Romanian.
Immigration at Heathrow keep coming across Romanians trying to enter the country to commit benefit fraud.
Melbourne was hit by a gang of Romanian pickpockets early in the year.
On the Gold Coast, a group of Romanian fraudsters attached skimmers to ATMs.
Romania was voted the most corrupt country in Europe. (It’s so corrupt, the first three online references I found to support the claim were deemed a security risk by Mcafee!)
What is it about Romania?
Why does this small little country produce so many con artists?