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Austrailian Investment Online Hoax Fools 233 30

John Larson wrote in to tell us about This ZD Story about the Australian SEC setting up a Y2k scam web site (selling insurance I guess) that apparently fooled over 200 people, and would have netted $4M had it been real. There are a lot of gullible people out there. Kinda scary. But definitely an interesting form of entertainment.
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Austrailian Investment Online Hoax Fools 233

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Not everyone deserves "what they get" in many instances. Sure there are stupid gullible people out there. But guys that operate scams like these (& similar phone based scams) are professionals that target older people in many instances. They intentionally (sp?) build fear into their vicitms and then capitalize on it. The criminal is the one you should be jumping on here, not the victims.

  • Hmm... that doesn't work either.
  • by drwiii ( 434 ) on Wednesday May 05, 1999 @09:16AM (#1903173)
    Silly zdnet and their changing URLs.. Lets try this link [].
  • You'd think that older people would be wise enough to check something out pretty well before investing their money in it. If you don't know what you're doing with your money, then you're likely to lose it. I agree that the criminals who set up online scams should be prosecuted for it. I also think that it is quite preventable if people would just look before they leap.

  • Hey, there's a bad URL up there, and there are people already posting comments about the article? Geez... are you guys telepathic or something?
  • Here:,4586,2252 308,00.html [] (Took me 15 minutes to get the damn href tag right!)
  • by bjb ( 3050 )
    Slashdump (verb; slASH-duHmp) What happens when the article link provided is malformed HTML and confuses your browser.

    Is it really that bad without Hemos? ;-)

  • While over a thousand people requested more information, 233 people didn't. The site had nothing to back any of it's claims. These 233 people were going to dump $10,000 to $50,000 a piece with minimal information about it??? Essentially giving money away? I know a lot of people are gullible, but hot damn...
    If they're just going to give money away, my address is _________________.
  • Worked fine for me. I wonder if WIPO will make this sort of thing illegal....
  • I wish we'd see more of these, and not just from Australia! I don't know how many people I've seen suckered by these scams. Mostly they are relatively benign, like the "FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO EVERYONE ON YOUR ADDRESS LIST AND GET $5,000 FROM DISNEY" scam I just saw the other day, or "Good Times Virus" warnings I'm still seeing five years later.

    Somehow, people seem to implicitly trust anything they see on a computer. You have to smack them a couple of times before they seem to get the point - Think before you hit that [Send] button!!!

  • Just 'view page source', seek and ye shall find.

  • ..or any other movie or show that has the slick
    talking con artist dupe a town full of people?
    (Such as a traveling medicine show?)

    The ability of people to be fooled is legendary,
    not just the young or the old -- almost everybody
    can be targeted by a good scam. Some of the more
    skeptical by nature may be immune...

    The classic form of con is to discover what the
    people of the area want or fear, and pitch a
    solution to that. Modern scams go a step further,
    attempting to create a want or fear that, lo and
    behold, they alone have the answer to.

    Some people will fall for it. Many won't. Want
    proof? Look at the number of people that forward
    the net legends and hoaxes to you all of the time
    -- hoaxes that can be disproven with just one or
    two mouse clicks.

    Is there a solution? I don't know. Nowadays,
    the psychology of selling is well known to the
    marketers -- it tips the balance heavily in favor
    of those selling to the unprepared. And there
    will always be people who are unprepared.

    When I get forwarded a hoax or scam, not only do
    I reply back to the sender (and often, the entire
    distribution list) the proofs that it is a scam,
    but I also try to give a link or two to sites that
    teach them how to spot scams for themselves.

    Educating the net, one gullible person at a time.
  • Hey, there's a sucker born every minute. I'm not sure what is so scary about that though. Anyone who falls for a scam like this (even if its not real), or some of the other ones you see on the net deserve what they get.
  • Mate, How can you dare question them?

    Ammerika is land of the free, freedom of speech, freedom of spelling, and et.all..

    It's not like Oz is backwards, But I remember in the 80's when all out computers where just light bulbs, a switch and a battery.. those were the days...

    P.S. This is sarcasm. You do know that, right?
  • You have forgotten the "mate", Ostrailia, mate.... Also, it was the ASIC, not ASEC.
  • The actual link is: Here [] at ZD Net
  • and stuff. hey, I think they did a good job for once . . . plenty of publicity, tho, really, there is a strong argument that says "PEOPLE ARE STUPID". I suppose you could ask anyone who has ever worked in tech support.
  • I'm just gonna go cry. I want to hear about suckers and people grifting their money something fiercesome.
  • 1,212 emailed for more information, I don't see how that makes them suckers.
    The 233 who instantly said they would send money ofcourse were complete morons but the article makes it out as if everybody was going to pay.
  • it is actually pronounced 'Straya', and we talk 'strine'
  • Hmmm...yeah...this reminds me of when China was going to take back Hong Kong...during the late 80s there were so many people paying mucho dineros to move elsewhere, even to non-existant countries in Africa. There's probably all sorts of Y2K scams going on, they're just not so high profile...

    On the other hand, a person pointed me to I was just flabbergasted. I thought, this can't be real! And of course it isn't (it's still worth a look tho!!)

  • Shouldn't it be spelled "Australian" ?

"There is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress." -- Mark Twain