Photo of the Day

Soapy Smith

“I Consider Bunco Steering More Honorable than

The Life led by the Average Politician.”

Soapy Smith – Bunko Man of the Old West

Jefferson Randolph “Soapy” Smith II (1860-1898) – The most famous bunko man in the Old West, Smith was a con artist and gangster who had a major hand in the organised criminal affairs and operations of Denver and Creede, Colorado, as well as Skagway, Alaska.

Soapy was one of the most well-known and amoral criminal masterminds of 19th century America. An accomplished con artist from the age of 19, he eventually rose to command a gang network of criminal activity through a combination of wit, charm, and weapons is so respected that even today people gather for a?wake in his honour?on the anniversary of his death.

Pimps, to card sharks, shell game artists, ?simple picket pockets, and Scoundrels have unfortunately always been more than abundant. But, in history, they could often get away with their lies, cheating, tricks, and cons for much longer than they can today, as they moved from place to place, repeating the same old tricks before another new audience.

Without the media technology of today, these thieves and swindlers simply took the same con game to a new place where they weren’t known and repeated it again and again.

Sometimes, they changed their names, but often weren’t even required to, as back in the days of the Old West, most people didn’t ask questions of a newcomer’s past.

In Denver, he ran several saloons, gambling halls, cigar stores, and auction houses that specialised in cheating their clientele. In Denver, Soapy began to make a name for himself across the country as a bad man. Denver is also where he entered the arena of political fixing, where, for favours, he could sway the outcome of city, county, and state elections.

He used the same methods of operation when he settled in the towns of Creede and Skagway, opening businesses with the primary goal of gently robbing his customers while making a name for himself. He died in spectacular fashion in the shootout on Juneau Wharf in Skagway.

Read more »

Photo of the Day

It’s a hundred and six years since the man who stole the Mona Lisa was finally caught, two years after vanishing with the masterpiece. Today it’s easily the most famous painting in the world, but it took a theft to cement its status.

The Mona Lisa

Art Crime of The Century

Even at the beginning of the 20th century ? before mass reproductions, package tours to France and The Da Vinci Code ? Mona Lisa was different from other pictures. The woman with the enigmatic smile got so many love letters that her portrait was the only artwork at the Louvre to have its own mailbox. A heartbroken suitor once shot himself to death in front of her.

So is it any surprise that somebody finally eloped with her?

The surface story is simple: Former Louvre employee Peruggia wanted to restore the “Mona Lisa” to her native Italy. He said it was a matter of national pride (though it seems like profit was a pretty good motive, too). So he went into the Louvre, hid, and snuck the painting out underneath his coat after the museum had closed. It took a day for the Louvre to even notice, and for two years Peruggia kept the painting before being caught when trying to unload it on a gallery in Florence.

He made more money as a handyman than as an artist, but Vincenzo Peruggia?s personally responsible for making the Mona Lisa what it is today. Leonardo da Vinci painted Lisa del Giocondo in the early 16th century, but Peruggia made her famous worldwide by walking out of the Louvre with the painting wrapped in his smock on August 21, 1911. With that daring daylight robbery, the Mona Lisa began her ascent into the stratosphere of cultural fame, while Peruggia sank further and further into the hazy mists of vague infamy. How and why did Peruggia do it? More importantly, what would have happened if he hadn?t?

Read more »

Postie does not want to deliver mail [POLL]

via RNZ

via RNZ

If you are like me, your immediate reaction to a postie not wanting to deliver mail is an immediate “well fire him/her” then.

But this isn’t that clear cut:

The mail woman, who has only been called Carolyn by her union, has avoided a formal warning but has been given a talking to following a NZ Post investigation into her decision not to deliver the mail.

The Postal Workers Union says NZ Post assumed she had opened the letters, but that she actually became aware of the particular scam after one of her colleagues received one of the letters which ask recipients to send money to claim prizes from “winning scratchies”. Read more »


Impertinent question of the day



Greg M asks

Today’s silly question.

How come the majority of “homeless” people, or otherwise known by the media party and other assorted lefty types as “our most vulnerable” seem to be absent from the CBD over the weekends and / or when there is no cruise ships in port?

Could it be that indeed they are not homeless, and are simply scroungers and bludgers coming in to take advantage of the complete lack of policing of such activities?

We?re lonely, greedy and have little self-confidence

It seems Kiwis are lonely, greedy and have little self-confidence, hence they are victims of online scammers promising love and money.

Police are advising people to be on their guard after a fresh spate of investment and romance scams have proved costly for unsuspecting victims duped out of large amounts of money.

A number of serious fraud complaints have sparked police investigations after New Zealanders transferred money into offshore accounts in sophisticated scams.

The latest to cause alarm include an investment scam where people are cold-called from Hong Kong or China and offered shares in well-known companies offering large returns. ? Read more »


Photo Of The Day

Scammer Alert

Scammer Alert.

Scamming the Scammers


“Greetings in Jesus’ name, dear friend, I am the widow of Idi Amin.”

Chances are, you’ve received a scam e-mail like that more than once.

The relative of a rich African dictator is trying to reclaim a lost fortune, or a famous person is trapped somewhere with a billion dollar inheritance just out of reach. They need your help ? OK, more specifically, a few thousand dollars of your cash ? to get started.

Those e-mail cons often originate in West Africa, and are commonly referred to as “419 scams,” after the applicable section of Nigeria’s penal code. Thousands of people around the world fall for these scams each year, and some victims lose thousands of dollars in the process.

But there’s a growing online community of people called scambaiters who seek revenge against 419 scammers.

When they receive a 419 e-mail, instead of deleting, they reply ? then they proceed to waste as much of the scammer’s time as possible. Often, scambaiters will try to humiliate the Internet con artists by tricking them into creating photos, videos, or audio recordings which can later be posted on scambaiter Web sites as “trophies.”

Mike Berry has been scambaiting for years. In that time, he has posed as a priest, a pirate, a scientific researcher ?even an adult-video impresario. He has published the long and often hysterical e-mail chains between him and the scammers he taunts on his Web site, and some are collected in his book:?Greetings in Jesus Name! The Scambaiter Letters. But Mike insists that the site has become more than just a good joke for him; he sees it as a way to keep criminals harmlessly occupied, so they won’t be able to scam real victims.

Mike manages one of many online “scambaiting” sites,?, where he and others mentor aspiring scambaiters.

“Scambaiting is not a sport you want to jump into without previous knowledge,” he says.

And he doesn’t recommend trying this at home. Even experienced scambaiters are in danger when angry Internet con-men realize they’ve been had.

“The golden rule is: Do not give out any real information whatsoever ? your name or your e-mail, the country you live in,” he cautions. “The scammer who’s writing you may live 3,000 miles away, but he may have friends who live near you, and these are not people you want to mess with.”

Read more »

Special Investigation: Charity begins at home

A MAJOR question mark is hanging over a new charity initiative that aims to raise nearly $150 million to alleviate child poverty and animal cruelty ? while at the same time lining the pockets of the people behind the campaign.

The New Zealand Network Charity has announced plans for what it describes as a ?unique and innovative fundraising campaign? offering $2 million worth of ?rewards? to those who sign up to support the charity by becoming ?network members?.

The plans are remarkably ambitious to say the least.

At present, the charity only has four businesses signed up to the scheme and none of the $2 million it is offering in reward incentives.

Under the proposal, it is aiming to raise $146 million from 400,000 ?network members? who?ll be charged $365 a year to belong to the charity. In order to generate interest, the charity is offering a ?Member with Rewards? programme offering ?hundreds of thousands of rewards? to those who support the charity.

The plan is for that money to go into child poverty and animal cruelty programmes along with a $6 million head lice eradication campaign in schools.

The company that supplies the head lice product, U-Go Lice, is part owned by?Angela Sothern, the woman behind the charity.

She claims not to be driven by profit but the ?distressing cry ringing throughout New Zealand to help children living in poverty?. ? Read more »

Want a free phone? Don’t fall for this scam


The case of a Hokitika resident who received an unsolicited new cellphone in the mail from south-east Asia recently serves as a warning, police said today.

The man received the phone in a parcel from Malaysia about a week ago. Read more »


IRD Scam warning

This needs a wider audience

A woman says she was almost swindled out of nearly $1000 by a “very well-rehearsed” scammer claiming to be from Inland Revenue and demanding payments.

IRD says it’s looking into the scam after it received at least 18 reports of scammers calling people claiming to be from the IRD, including a man who says he’s been duped out of $6500 by the scammers.

Clara Iqbal told TVNZ’s Breakfast this morning that a man phoned yesterday and said he was the chief investigating officer at the IRD and that there was a warrant out to arrest her as she owed $987 “and if I didn’t pay within 24-hours they would take me to court which could cost thousands”.

The problem is that this will fluster people into complying.

Ms Iqbal said the scammer knew all of her details and even appeared to be calling from an IRD number.

The scammers have managed to spoof IRD’s 0800 number, making it seem a legitimate call on caller ID.

Knowing everything about someone… well, you know, welcome to being an idiot and putting your life on the Internet. ?But the spoofing of an 0800 number? ?That’s something else altogether. ??? Read more »


Sure you are

I just received this email, pretty sure it is legit…I mean they have branches in the UK, M alaysia and Ghana…what do readers think?

They are reccommended by the general loan lending commission after all…surely it is safe?

I wonder what their fees are? Seems a real bargain.

This is a general notification to the public. We are a reputable and
legitimate loan lender company in United Kingdom,Malaysia and Ghana.We
give out all kinds of loans, such as personal loans,commercial loans,
business loans, investment loans, etc. We offer long and short terms loan
services with an affordable interest rate of 3% only. We offer the best
loan services on the internet,because our loan services are very genuine
and efficient.

We have also been awarded by the general loan lending commission as the
best loan company on the internet. For details about our loan services,
contact us via email for more informations.To apply, send down the details
below to this email:?[email protected]

1. Names in full :
2. Country of Residence/Address :
3. Amount :
4. Duration Of Loan :
5. Age:
6.Phone Number:
7.Applicant Address:

We look forward to your patronage.