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scamopedia

Welcome to the Scamopedia, a repository of the greatest scams, swindles and deceptions from history and the headlines. It is also the home of Scamapalooza, Nicholas’ podcast in which he interviews con artists, magicans, scam historians and other reprobates.

I have five books of illusions to give away…or do I!

Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Macknik’s new book of optical and other illusions culled from the Best Illusion of the Year Contest and their own archives is out! And they have given me five copies to give away.

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What do you call an Irishman offering home repairs door-to-door? A con artist.

That is, at least, according to Victorian Consumer Affairs Minister Marlene Kairouz who this week said that “If anybody knocks on your door that has an Irish accent, automatically ask them to leave” claiming they were scammers who “know where to go, who to target, as soon as they get cash in their hands, they’re gone.”

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Your password is bad and you should feel bad

We all have regrets. Dong Nguyen regrets creating the mind numbingly addictive game Flappy Bird. John Sylvan feels responsible for the environmental affects of coffee pods. I regret that brief period in the eighties I had a rats tail.

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Episode 41 – Fake News with Toby Halligan

We are living in a golden age of bullshit. Nowhere is this more evident than in the media where fake news is now almost indistinguishable from the real deal. So how do you spot fake news? How do you spot it spreading? And how do you deal with that weird relative wanting to spread pizzagate conspiracy theories on Facebook? On this week’s episode, satirist Toby Halligan explains how to defeat lies in the era of fake news.

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Why can’t Donald Trump shake hands?

In recent days, the media has become obsessed with Donald Trump’s complete inability to shake hands like a normal human being. What is Trump trying to do? And why does he look so weird? Why do people look so uncomfortable when faced with his aggressive pumping?

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Scam revealed after con artists infect network with their own malware

You’ve probably heard about fake invoice scams where con artist sends out millions of phishing emails to businesses. The emails have invoices attached which the scammers hope the businesses will pass on to their accounts department without questioning the source. The problem is, as more and more people become aware of the scam, how do con artists convince their victims to pass on the invoice?

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Deceptology at Melbourne Magic Festival

It has been a while since my last update. I have not, as some sources suggest, been ‘disappeared’ by con artists I’ve upset. Instead I’ve been deep in rehearsal for my new show at Melbourne Magic Festival, Deceptology. And I’ve bitten off more than I can chew.

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What the hell is an “honest con man?”

The phrase “honest con man” sounds like an oxymoron. Like “jumbo shrimp” or a “reputable used car dealer.” How can a con artist be honest? And how do they differ from other magicians, mentalists, cardicians, pickpockets and illusions. What the hell is an “honest con man?”

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The Martin Shkreli Hoax: Why we’re the bad guys

On Valentine’s Day, Martin Shkreli, a man unfamiliar with the human feeling like that we call love, took to twitter announcing that he had been scammed out of $15 million by a con man claiming to work for Kanye West. The con artist had offered to sell West’s new album to Shkrelli exclusively. It wasn’t entirely unbelievable. After all, the pharmaceutical mogul had purchased the only copy of Wu Tang clan’s latest album.

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7 Ways To Rig A Coin Toss

Hilary Clinton won the Iowa Caucaus off the back of a coin toss. A coin toss. A major step in the process to choosing the President of the United States of America all came down to same technique used to decided football kick offs and who puts the cat out. But how could either candidate have rigged the toss in their favour?

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Meth heads, identity theft and a bucket of lemons

Jack is a good neighbour. Maybe a little too good. After forty years on the street, he knows everyone and is always willing to lend a hand. He admires hard work and loves a good chat. But, shortly after moving into the neighbourhood, I noticed his behaviour was a little odd.

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