A bankrupted con-artist from Oregon was able to purchase a bank license and opened a offshore bank in Grenada by claiming to own a 4 pound ruby worth $20 million dollars and a appraisal document proving its worth. The ruby was owned by a man in California who didn’t know the scammer.
During a 1989 Christmas television broadcast, Santa Claus encouraged all children to hold the phone to the TV, tricking them into dialing a 1-900 number that automatically charged several dollars to their parents’ phone bill.
A teenager fooled an entire school and its officials by pretending to be the State Senator. He was chauffeured, given a tour, and spoke to the high school students about being involved in politics. They only found out when the real Senator showed up the next month.
In 2014, a Spanish 20-year-old university student forged police and secret service documents, infiltrated the king’s coronation ceremony, shook his hand, and then impersonated a government adviser to broker a lucrative business deal.
The 1972 Novel “The Day of the Jackal” showcased an easy method of obtaining a fraudulent British passport, which was later used by the IRA and the KGB. This loophole went unclosed until 2007, and may have resulted in up to 1,500 fake passports being issued each year.
The book’s protagonist – the Jackal – trawls three village graveyards looking for the headstone of a baby boy who, had he not died, would have been about the same age as the assassin. Taking the details of the late Alexander James Quentin Duggan to the Central Registry of Births, Marriages and Deaths, the Jackal buys a copy of the deceased’s birth certificate – all the proof he needs to successfully apply for a passport.
The ADE 651; an inert rod of metal with a plastic hinge, was sold as a bomb detector. It was used by the military of Iraq, Afghanistan and more than a dozen other countries for years before anyone noticed that it did nothing at all.
A guy tricked a bunch of scammers into handwriting a whole Harry Potter book.
Nigerian scammers once sold a fake airport to a major international bank for $242 million, and the scam wasn’t discovered till 3 years later.
The Nigerian prince scam is so popular in Nigeria there was a hit song praising it.
Someone tricked a Nigerian scammer into hand writing an entire Harry Potter novel, the whole 293 pages and scanned with a scan width of 1200 pixel. He offered to pay him $100 per page if he was willing to do the work.