Here is an old riddle for you from my previous blog.
Google is cheating.
Imagine you just purchased a Rolex off ebay. It is identical in every way to a Rolex watch. You test the metal content and the gold is real gold, the silver is real silver and the stainless steel is real steel. Unlike the fakes, it weighs exactly the same as a Rolex, down to the gram. The second hand ticks once a second, every second and is perfectly in time with the atomic clock. The watch comes with papers individually certified by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètresand. The box is sealed with an official Rolex seal.
The ‘Rats and Cats’ scam first appeared as an advertisement in The Lacon Local News - an illinois newspaper in 1875. The paper printed a small advertisment offering the following deal:-
We are starting with a cat in ranch in Lacon with 100,000 cats. Each cat will average 12 kittens per year. The cats skins will fetch 30 cents each. One hundred men can skin 5000 cats a day.
Now what shall we feed the cats?
We will start a rat ranch next door with 1000,000 rats. The rats breed 12 times faster than the cats. So we will have four rats to feed each day to each cat.
Now what shall we feed the rats?
We feed the rats the carcasses of the cats after they have been skinned. Now get this! We feed the rats to the cats and the cats to the rats and get the skins for nothing!
You have to remember that this was over one hundred years ago when there were more uses for a cat pelt than just dressing Whitney Housten for court appearances.
Turns out I won’t always love you.
The story was picked up by the AP and run across the US for weeks attracting thousands of would be investors to The Lacon Local News.
However, the business never actually existed. Not because it was scam but because it was a hoax. Willis Powell, the editor of the Lacon, was sick and tired of the various get rich quick advertisements that he was forced to print that he decided to create his own joke version.
It was his way of commenting on the phenomenon without directly biting the hand that feeds him. Of course, it blew up in his face and he vowed to never print hoaxes again.
In 1972, writer Clifford Irving sold a fake autobiography of reclusive millionaire Howard Hughes to publishers McGraw Hill. Despite lie detectors, phone calls from real Hughes and extensive tests by handwriting experts to see if the signature on the contract were really by Hughes, the publishers stood by Irving.
In his account of the hoax, Project Octavio, Irving tried to shift some of the blame onto McGraw-Hill
“A moment in time arrives…when the victim’s willingness may lead him, consciously or otherwise, across the thin dividing line between gullibility and culpability.”
It’s an excuse that con artists from the smallest street hustler to the largest Ponzi schemer uses to excuse their actions and assuage their guilt: - You can’t con an honest man.
It is true that scams, by their very nature, require a certain willingness from the victim. If the victim is not willing, the scam becomes petty theft. The mark must freely hand over the money.
Exploiting the weakness of the mark does not make the mark culpable. Certainly, the mark may be guilty of a crime but not the crime with which we accuse the con artist.
Imagine I tell you I want your help in a card cheating scam. However, the scam is a double bluff and you end up penniless.
Do you deserve to be scammed?
Does being the perpetrator of one crime, make it ok to make you the victim of another?
As a con artist, am I less culpable for my crime because you areparticularly gullible or particularly dishonest?
“Southern California law enforcement professionals assigned to detect new threats to personal security issues, recently discovered what type of information is embedded in the credit card type hotel room keys used throughout the industry.
Although room keys differ from hotel to hotel, a key obtained from the “Double Tree” chain that was being used for a regional Identity Theft Presentation was found to contain the following the information:
a.. Customers (your) name
b.. Customers partial home address
c.. Hotel room number
d.. Check in date and check out date
e.. Customer’s (your) credit card number and expiration date!
When you turn them in to the front desk your personal information is there for any employee to access by simply scanning the card in the hotel scanner. An employee can take a hand full of cards home and using a scanning device, access the information onto a laptop computer and go shopping at your expense.
Simply put, hotels do not erase the information on these cards until an employee re-issues the card to the next hotel guest. At that time, the new guest’s information is electronically “overwritten” on the card and the previous guest’s information is erased in the overwriting process. But until the card is rewritten for the next guest, it usually is kept in a drawer at the front desk with YOUR INFORMATION ON IT!!!!
Information courtesy of: Sergeant K. Jorge,
No, it’s a hoax. The story comes from a quote from 2003 by Sergent Jorge who said:
“In years past, existing software would prompt the user (employee) for information input. If the employee was unaware of hotel policy dictating that such information NOT be entered, it could have ended up on the card in error.”
However, the types of cards that hotels use just don’t have the storage capability to store your credit card number, address or name. They have a single track that includes nothing but a code linked to the room number. That code is wiped automatically when you check out.