PATH: BS | Business | Get-Rich-Quick

Inside Glenn Beck's Goldline Gold Promotion Scheme

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Glenn Beck has been on the air a lot as of late promoting gold as a "safe investment" in today's trouble economic times. Here's an illuminating view into the scheme he's promoting and how it backfires on his unsuspecting listeners...

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Texas Lawyer Latest Victim Of "Internet Idiot Tax"

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Houston lawyer Richard T. Howell Jr., whose firm was scammed out of $182,500 by a client who contacted and hired him through e-mail, says he is talking publicly about the situation so he can prevent other Texas lawyers from making the same mistakes.

"I'm a capital 'D' Dumbass," says Howell, who has practiced law for 23 years and is a partner in Buckley, White, Castaneda & Howell.

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60 Minutes Uncovers The Real Financial Crisis

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A 60-Minutes investigation reveals "Wall Street's Shadow Market". If you didn't see this the other day, it's definitely worth a look.

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New iPhone App "I Am Rich" Does Nothing, Costs $999

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Apple recently pulled an application from their online store called, "I am rich". This $999 program users could download and install on their iPhone seemed to do nothing more than add a glowing red icon to their display. But this didn't stop 8 people from buying the application, including six people from the United States, one from Germany and one from France.

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Kenneth Copeland Says Only God Can See His Financial Records

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Last fall, Senator Charles Grassley on the Senate Finance Committee, began probing the finances of six TV evangelists whose lifestyles include mansions, Rolls-Royces, and private jets, all paid for out of church funds. Grassley told BBC, “I would not contribute to an organization that is Christian and evangelical with money being wasted that way.”

While some have cooperated, some have not, going to far as to suggest their financial records belong to "God."

Funny thing, according to the bible (Luke 20:25), Jesus disagrees.

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Lifelock Pitch Man Becomes Victim Of Identity Theft

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Hey, remember that guy, Todd Davis, CEO of Lifelock who was so confident in his company's ability to protect people from identity theft that he published his social security number? Ooops!

READ MORE | 4 comments since 2011-01-10 05:56:06 | Comment on this Article

New Domain Purchase Scam Appearing In Your Inbox

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There's an interesting new scam going on right now that domain holders may begin seeing. You're approached by someone interested in purchasing your domain. They ask for a price. You give it to them. They make a very impressive counter-offer, and then the fun begins...

READ MORE | 39 comments since 2015-12-17 19:18:39 | Comment on this Article

Senate Eyes Ministers' Rich-And-Famous Lifestyles

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Sen. Charles E. Grassley, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, has sent letters to six high-profile mega-churches, including Creflo Dollar's in College Park, Ga., requesting that they hand over records of salaries, expense accounts, credit cards, cars and airplanes.

"Jesus came into the city of Jerusalem on a donkey," Grassley said in a telephone interview. "Do these ministers really need Bentleys and Rolls-Royces to spread the Gospel?"

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2008-06-05 13:24:24 | Comment on this Article

How To Make $100k When Your Senator Is Caught With A Prostitute

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Meet Gene Mills, head of the Louisiana Family Forum, a fundamentalist Christian activist group that is seeking "to develop a plan to promote better science education." Their plan basically involves introducing creationism and discrediting evolution and normal scientific principals.

In addition to promoting good, strong Christian values, the Louisiana Family Forum also is in the business of defending Senator David Vitter in the scandal over his use of prostitutes in both D.C. and LA. And what's the reward? David Vitter sneaks an earmark into the US Farm Bill funneling a hundred thousand dollars to the Louisiana Family Forum.

Hello? FBI? Anyone paying attention?

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NJ Teen Unlocks iPhone From AT&T

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A 17-year-old from New Jersey has managed to unlock the iPhone and allow it to be used on different cellular providers. Remember that whole spiel about the Telco Act in the 1990s offering more competition and cheaper prices for consumers? No, it never happened, but the closest we come is when enterprising young kids thwart corporate mafia who lock down the latest technology.

Unlike other sites, we have all the details, including a DIY on unlocking the phone and a link to the eBay auction where the unlocked phone is up for sale... check it out before "the man" starts making this stuff go poof.

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Fake Gods Don't Stop Con Artists

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Want to make $80,000? It's easy--all you have to do is front $45,000, say the rosary for nine days, and build an altar to a God you've never heard of. And of course, don't tell anybody what your doing. Although considering how stupid you're being, you may want to do that last one anyway.

READ MORE | 4 comments since 2008-04-02 17:49:11 | Comment on this Article

Bill Jefferson To Get His Cold Nigerian Cash Back

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A district court ruled that the Federal Bureau of Investigation's 2006 raid of the Congressional office of embattled Louisiana Democratic Representative William Jefferson was unconstitutional. The court will also require the FBI to return all privileged materials seized to Jefferson.

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Nearly One-Third of Congress Has Family On Payroll

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If you think only Rep. "Dollar" Bill Jefferson was an anomaly, for creating shell companies to siphon political money to his family, you'd be wrong. Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics have released an extensive study of one branch of Congress showing more than two-thirds of our leaders are exploiting their position to ensure their family is in the lap of luxury.

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Panhandling Comes To The Internet

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Hey, has your house burned down, or maybe you need $265 for a headstone for your brother's cemetary plot? Maybe you just need $10,000 for some equipment to make movies? Just get behind your computer and go to the Internet's newest site where, in exchange for your dignity, you can pander for cash...

READ MORE | 3 comments since 2007-07-06 09:11:08 | Comment on this Article

White House Launches "Surge" Of Lawyers

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President Bush announced today, the deployment of nine additional lawyers as "Special Counsel to the President", presumably in an attempt to quell the evil insurgent forces in Congress who are seeking classified documents from the administration as part of ongoing investigations.

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"Top Spammer" Indicted

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[Spam]
A 27-year-old man described as one of the world's most prolific spammers was arrested Wednesday, and federal authorities said computer users across the Web could notice a decrease in the amount of junk e-mail.

Robert Alan Soloway is accused of using networks of compromised "zombie" computers to send out millions upon millions of spam e-mails.

"He's one of the top 10 spammers in the world," said Tim Cranton, a Microsoft Corp. lawyer who is senior director of the company's Worldwide Internet Safety Programs. "He's a huge problem for our customers. This is a very good day."

Despite the claim that this "top spammer" has been captured, we see no indication whatsoever that spam volume has been reduced. But it's still a good sign that the government is finally pulling their heads out of the sand and dealing with these criminals.

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If You Shopped At TJ Maxx or Marshalls, Time For New Credit Card

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At least 45.7 million credit and debit card numbers were stolen by hackers who broke into the computer systems at the TJX Cos. in Framingham and the United Kingdom and siphoned off data over a period of several years, making it the biggest breach of personal data ever reported, according to security specialists.

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eBay Scammers Are Out Of Control

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The legitimate eBay community is apparently up in arms about a recent infestation of scams and fraudulent activity online. Rumor has it every time the mainstream media tries to do a story on this issue, the story suddenly disappears and then you see a bunch of eBay commercials on the network *cough* CNN *cough*

A special "eBay phish kit" is now being sold on the black market. This kit is complete with all the tools a scammer needs to set up a phony eBay look-alike site to skim peoples user IDs and passwords. It even includes assorted product images for fake auctions to get the unsuspecting user to click his identity away (or whisk the user off eBay and to whatever nefarious site you want to promote).

The new technique is called "Pharming" and it is rampant and after more than four months, the folks at eBay seem incapable of stopping it.

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"Godless" Washington Dollars Cause Excitement

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What first seemed like a vast "left-wing conspiracy" as reported by some weirdo conservative bloggers has turned into a windfall for some opportunists in select Southeastern states. The U.S. Mint has accidentally let about 50,000 new gold Washington $1 coins get into circulation without the words, "In God We Trust". Collectors and godless heathens are snapping these things up on eBay with the $1 coins going for as much as $600.

On the down side, there appears to be a lot of these coins in circulation, and the mistake relates to the printing not being stamped on the edge of the coins. This promises to be a pretty easy thing to forge, so expect to see tons of these "godless" coins that are merely regular coins with the edge sanded down.

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California Pastor Sells His Church Out From Under Flock

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For nearly a decade, members of Ripon's First Congregational Church bared their souls to Pastor Randall Radic. But clearly it didn't work both ways. There were certain things he wasn't telling them.

That became obvious a year ago, when Radic pleaded guilty to betraying his flock and secretly selling the church and its rectory out from under them. He used the money to buy himself a brand-new black BMW and a laptop -- exploits he later chronicled in a cheeky, almost gleeful blog about his double life as a sinner.

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Yes Virginia, You Can (And Should) Sue Telemarketers

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When André-Tascha Lammé was granted a judgment of $3,500 last month in a Sacramento, Calif., small claims court, he heard gasps.

“You could hear people in the courtroom saying, ‘You can sue telemarketers?’” he said. You can. In fact, you can make some decent cash for your trouble.

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Canadian Company Wants To Photograph Every House In U.S.

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Photographers from a Canadian company are going house to house, shooting pictures of the roughly 300,000 houses in metropolitan Tucson, Arizona.

It's part of an effort to photograph and appraise every house in the country, creating a database that can be sold to banks and insurance companies.

I wonder if everyone is particularly keen on this Canadian company taking pictures of their house and selling them to the highest bidders?

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2007-02-07 14:49:47 | Comment on this Article

The 9 Weirdest Tax Write-Offs

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Did you hear the one about the ostrich? The sperm donor? The dog food?

They're just three of the more ingenious tax deductions that creative Americans have devised over the years to counterpunch the tax collector. A quick Ali shuffle, a feint with the left and an outlandish deduction delivered with a straight face can take the sting out of the annual tax beating -- at least until the Internal Revenue Service catches on.

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Coming To Your Neighborhood Soon: Designer Embryos

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The FDA is investigating a business run by a San Antonio woman who buys select human sperm and eggs and creates high-class embryos for sale out of her suburban home.

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J.P. Morgan Accounts Prove To Be Fraud-Friendly

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One moment Dave DeSmidt had $179,000 in his 401(k) retirement account, the next he had nothing. In an instant, 25 years of savings had disappeared.

With a few clicks, someone raided DeSmidt’s retirement account with J.P. Morgan & Co and ordered a full disbursement to a private checking account.

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Puff Daddy Caught Selling Dog Fur Coats

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Macy's has pulled from its shelves and its Web site two styles of Sean John hooded jackets, originally advertised as featuring faux fur, after an investigation by the nation's largest animal protection organization concluded that the garments were actually made from a certain species of dog called "raccoon dog."

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Nut Theft Ring Cracked

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Thieves who made off with more than $1.7 million in nuts were apprehended recently when a suspicious ware house owner noticed large numbers of squirrels lurking outside one of his rented spaces.

Okay, really he noticed the perpetrators repackaging nuts for shipment, but you have to think that the squirrels were probably onto them long before that.

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The Nigerian Black Money Scam

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There are hundreds of variations on the Nigerian e-mail scams, including one in which the victims are told they've inherited millions, millions in money that has been painted black to smuggle it out of Nigeria.

In the scam, as caught on hidden cameras in Amsterdam, victims are told there is a special, very expensive chemical that can clean the black money so it can be used.

The latest idiots to get caught by this scheme include a California heart surgeon who was bilked out of $340,000 and a fundamentalist Christian church.

READ MORE | 2 comments since 2007-09-10 15:18:20 | Comment on this Article

Kent Hovind Goes Off To Jail

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Jurors convicted fundamentalist creationist preacher, Kent Hovind on 58 counts of tax fraud last night. The founder of Creation Science Evangelism is accused of failing to pay $845,000 in employee taxes at the dinosaur theme park, an amusement park that exposed visitors to Hovind and his followers' view that human and dinosaurs coexisted and that evolution did not occur.

Hovind, who faces a maximum of 288 years in prison, was taken into custody after the jury read its verdict.

Jesus was unavilable for comment.

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How Much Is That Mummy In The Window?

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An eBay auction for the mummified remains of what appears to authorities to be a child was shut down recently and efforts are underway to determine just whose mummy this might be. Selling mummified human remains is against eBay's policies (and gross), although the bid got up to $500 bucks (from an eBayer by the monicker of "Satan's Child," no less) before Port Huron, MI authorities and the eBay staff were notified.

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Yale Student's Video CV A Surprise Hit On Wall Street

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Only the best survive in Wall Street's cut-throat world of investment banking. Alpha males rule the pack and the competitive instinct is essential. A job application to UBS which appears to embrace this philosophy a little too enthusiastically has become a cult hit in the financial world. Purporting to be from a Yale student named Aleksey Vayner, the self-aggrandising document has zipped from bank to bank by e-mail.

See the video everyone is talking about where this guy takes self promotion a little too seriously. But for Aleksey Vayner, impossible is nothing.

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Roman Catholic Priests In Miami Embezzle $8M From Church

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Two Roman Catholic priests allegedly embezzled more than $8 million from their church and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on real estate, travel, rare coins and girlfriends, police in Florida said today.

No word yet if they bought a Stairway to Heaven.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2006-09-29 15:41:45 | Comment on this Article

Cheney Bets On Bad U.S. Economy

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According to Kiplinger's, the Cheneys, who may be worth close to $100 million, have invested the vast majority of their wealth overseas, in markets that do not fluctuate based on the U.S. dollar:

Vice President Cheney's financial advisers are apparently betting on a rise in inflation and interest rates and on a decline in the value of the dollar against foreign currencies. That's the conclusion we draw after scouring the financial disclosure form released by Cheney this week.

Makes you feel all nice and cozy knowing the Vice President has so little faith in the economy he's controlling...

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Jesus Appears In Shrimp Dinner

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Not merely content to grace the presence of highway underpasses, sheet metal, and candles, the holy family has now made an appearance in a California man's shrimp dinner.

Looks like Jesus has put on a little weight doesn't he?

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From Inside the Luxurious Pyramid

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On April 19, 2001, a man named Alyn Waage was arrested at the airport in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, with $4.5 million in his briefcase. Waage had boarded the Learjet intending to fly to Belize to pick up an employee who worked at the mail forwarding office there, then fly on to Vallarta where his company, the Tri-West Investment Club, was based, and then to Latvia where he intended to buy a bank he dealt with. The first two steps of this schedule he completed, but he wanted to deposit some of the money in the bank himself so he took a few million and stuffed it in his luggage. When the jet landed and the customs officials asked to look through his bags, the jig was up.

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New Orleans Threatened By Transvestite Gang

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"Davis said it wasn't supposed to be like this. They survived Hurricane Katrina's Category 3 winds and the ensuing looters. They reopened despite the long odds of doing business in a devastated city. The last thing the Magazine Street shop owners expected to threaten their survival was a crime ring of transvestites....

The transvestites first appeared in March when they raided Magazine Street like a marauding army of kleptomaniacal showgirls, said Davis, using clockwork precision and brute force to satisfy high-end boutique needs."

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Gold Rush: The Latest Scheme To Get People To Watch Commercials

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Mark Burnett, creator of the Survivor and The Apprentice reality shows, and AOL have teamed with CBS to create a web-based treasure hunt titled "Gold Rush". The idea behind the series is that clues will be embedded on various web sites and within commercials on CBS. Burnett seems to think that the quest for hidden gold buillon throughout the country will entice users to watch commercials, if not actually Tivo them and watch them over and over to get clues.

Personally, I'm convinced that Burnett doesn't have a clue either.

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In Debt Over Your Head? Pay Us.

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You've seen the commercials...credit counseling agencies offering to help you get out of the big, fat hole of crushing debt you've gotten yourself into. These largely non-profit agencies are supposed to help people by negotiating between strapped consumers and lenders, making payment of debts more manageable so everybody is happy--consumers pay off their debts, lenders get some of the money they're due, and the agencies take only the amount needed to cover their costs...because after all, they're charitable organizations.

Or are they? The IRS investigated 41 credit counseling agencies, and revoked the tax-exempt status of every single one, finding that they were in business to suck money from these struggling debtors instead of helping them get back on their feet.

Maybe all the spam should have been a tip-off.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2008-11-15 06:53:52 | Comment on this Article

The Perfect Mark

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"Late one afternoon in June, 2001, John W. Worley sat in a burgundy leather desk chair reading his e-mail. He was fifty-seven and burly, with glasses, a fringe of salt-and-pepper hair, and a bushy gray beard. A decorated Vietnam veteran and an ordained minister, he had a busy practice as a Christian psychotherapist, and, with his wife, Barbara, was the caretaker of a mansion on a historic estate in Groton, Massachusetts.

Worley scrolled through his in-box and opened an e-mail, addressed to CEO/Owner. The writer said that his name was Captain Joshua Mbote, and he offered an awkwardly phrased proposition: With regards to your trustworthiness and reliability, I decided to seek your assistance in transferring some money out of South Africa into your country...

Still, Worley, faced with an e-mail that would, according to federal authorities, eventually lead him to join a gang of Nigerian criminals seeking to defraud U.S. banks, didn’t hesitate. A few minutes after receiving Mbote’s entreaty, he replied, "I can help and I am interested."

The New Yorker has a great story about a prominent Christian leader who lets his greed overcome his commmon sense. His reward? Two years in prison and more than $600,000 in fines. When you read those goofy Nigerian e-mails, you think, "Nobody is stupid enough to fall for this stuff right?" Well, it seems that Christians are one of the scammers' favorite targets. They have the right combination of naivety and greed that makes them, "The Perfect Mark."

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2010-04-20 09:43:32 | Comment on this Article

Congress Gets Pay Raise, You Get Pay Raise?

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What a concept--a bill has just been introduced to tie Congressional raises to the minimum wage. Think about it; in order to vote themselves a raise, Congress would have to give the same raise (percentage-wise) to every regular working stiff in the country. Certainly if they need a raise, Joe Schmo down at Burger King needs one, too.

READ MORE | 4 comments since 2007-07-08 20:19:33 | Comment on this Article

R.J. Reynolds Paying People To Sign Petitions

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In order to repeal a non-smoking ban in some area establishments in Ohio, R.J. Reynolds company is actively recruiting people via Craigslist to go out and collect signatures at the polls to petition the state to change the law. What's most interesting about this is that the corporation is paying people $1.50 per signature they obtain from people. Am I the only one who thinks that may be pushing an issue too far?

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2006-05-07 14:22:36 | Comment on this Article

Chinese Group Pirates An Entire Japanese Company

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Piracy is starting to mature when you discover that a group of pirates in China not only copied the Japanese company NEC's products, but were actively developing their own under the knockoff moniker and even handling tech support for their own counterfeit technology!

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It's An Honor To Honor You (and your money)

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The Louisiana Technology Council writes, "The City has had a long-standing tradition of saluting military members in the local area in the form of an Armed Forces Day Luncheon (dating back to 1946). The luncheon was not on the schedule this year. However, the Greater New Orleans Council of Navy League has elected to host this year's luncheon not only to keep that tradition alive, but more importantly to honor those who have done so much over the course of the past year for our fair city and our great nation... We simply can't let that heroism and dedication go without taking time to say thanks to these wonderful servicemen and women for a job well done."

So to honor our military, the LTC and the Navy League has elected to hit them up for $28/head if you're in uniform, to attend a luncheon in your honor. Way to go! I can't wait to be honored myself... I hope I can afford it!

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Report Shows FEMA Wasted More Than $1B Due To Mismanagement

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[Get-Rich-Quick]
Nearly eight months after Hurricane Katrina triggered the nation's largest housing crisis since World War II, a hastily improvised $10 billion effort by the federal government has produced vast sums of waste and misspent funds, an array of government audits and outside analysts have concluded. As FEMA wraps up the initial phase of its temporary housing program, the toll of false starts and missed opportunities appears likely to top $1 billion and perhaps much more, according to a series of after-action studies and Department of Homeland Security reports, including one due for release today.

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Chalmations Looking to Tap Former FEMA Head

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[Beating Dead Horses]
[Get-Rich-Quick]
Michael Brown, disgraced, incompetent former director of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, is negotiating a consulting contract with St. Bernard Parish, the area in New Orleans hardest-hit by Hurricane Katrina.

Katrina spawned floodwaters that inundated the low-lying community between New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico for two weeks after its Aug. 29 landfall there. The storm claimed 129 lives and destroyed 26,000 homes in St. Bernard.

Parish leaders expressed confidence in Brown's ability to help them compete more effectively with large communities for federal funding and speed a recovery they say has been mired in bureaucratic red tape.

Rumor has it Brown's first job as consultant will be to tell St. Bernard residents which fast food places suck the least.

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Sony Rootkit Class Action Settlement

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[Get-Rich-Quick]
[Faulty Products]
We previously reported on Sony's hidden spyware bundled with albums they sold. Well, the EFF has engaged in a class action lawsuit over the issue and YOU may be entitled to free money and music. Of course, the downside is you might have to admit you actually purchased a Backstreet Boys, Celine Dion, Velvet Revolver, Babyface or Brittney Spears album.

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Massive Fraud Uncovered With OfficeMax/CitiBank Cards

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[Get-Rich-Quick]
Mainstream Media Ignored Story: Citibank has put a transaction block on an unspecified number of Citi-branded MasterCard debit and credit cards used in three countries because of fraudulent automated teller machine (ATM) cash-withdrawal activity, the company said in a statement. The security problems were made public after a local blog uncovered the issue.

Rumor has it that OfficeMax may be one of the giant retailers who stored and compromised customers' PIN numbers and security. (Note: This is reason #733 why people should not use debit cards).

The scary part of this is a) Citibank has known about this for more than a month, and b) The Mainstream Media won't report the story and it makes you wonder how many other security breaches there have been that nobody knows about!

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Marines Caught Selling Body Armor on EBay

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A civilian and several Marines have been convicted on charges connected to an operation that stole ballistic vests and other gear from Camp Pendleton and sold it on the Internet, authorities said.

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Osama Bin Laden Launches Book Club

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Many may have heard the news report last week of the latest recording of Osama Bin Laden offering the United States a truce, but what the news media didn't report much, was he recommended a book by an American author that people should read. As a result Rogue State by William Blum has become a huge bestseller. Move over Oprah!

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Nutty Squirrel Lady

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[Lonely People]
[Get-Rich-Quick]
After taking a baby squirrel from its nest, Boca Raton resident Kelly Foxton proceeded to turn the furry tree rat into what she calls, "The World's Most Photographed Squirrel". Sugar Bush Squirrel as he's called, has the dubious pleasure of being photographed, dressed in every imaginable costume Ms. Foxton can dream up to capitalize on current events and attract attention and revenue. You can even run your own regional chapter of Sugar Bush's fan club!

Animal cruelty? Rodent Haut Couture? Obsessive Compulsive Disorder taken to extremes? A harmless animal-friendly hobby? Or merely an attention whore? You be the judge.

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