Strive Seek Find

If You Believe that I have a Bridge I can Sell You!

July 26, 2021 Chance Whitmore Season 2 Episode 5
Strive Seek Find
If You Believe that I have a Bridge I can Sell You!
Show Notes Transcript

Con men,  flim-flam artists the like, when it comes to movies we revel in their getting away with it  while knowing eventually they will eventually get there comeuppance , it is easy to forget in those situations these people are the worst kind of predator preying on  the susceptible.   Today we are going to look at a few of the worst cases and talk briefly about what they all have in common and what they were looking for.

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In life, we have two choices, to experience or to exist. Every week, each of us makes that choice to either seek a better way to live or to get by. walk alongside me each week on the strive seek find podcast as we continue to seek our own brilliant future. So great news, everyone. I'm quitting my job next week. my new friend, the Nigerian prince is placing money in my account, some sort of lotto winnings. All I had to do is turn over my bank account numbers. What could possibly go wrong? Hey. Welcome to the strive seek find podcast. I'm your host chance Whitmore con men, Flim Flam artists and the like. When it comes to movies, we revel with them getting away with it, while knowing eventually they will get their comeuppance. It's easy to forget in those situations, these people are the worst kind of predator preying on those people that are most susceptible. Today, we're going to touch on a few of the worst. And talk briefly about what they have in common and what they were looking for. Now let's get started. I know this is by no means an extensive list. Just a few examples that stick out to me how they attacked, and those they chose to victimize. I'm not even going to really dig into the whole internet concept of the Nigerian prince scam. Because if you haven't had it hits your email by now. I don't know where you've been for the last 15 years. So let's look back at both some classics, and some things that are ongoing. We're going to start with the gentleman who while he didn't create this scheme, his name is so synonymous with it, that we've renamed it the Ponzi scheme. Charles Ponzi. Basically, you get investors, then you get more investors, use your new investors to pay your old investors. And then very quickly, go find new investors to pay your new investors. And continue this process till the whole thing becomes so top heavy, you get caught, it all falls apart. And a lot of people get ruined. Not gonna say it's an American original. I just gonna say that a lot of people still get duped by this to this day. It's a shell game of sorts. robbing Peter to repay Paul Ponzi took it on himself to collect these investments, and promise huge return on their investments up to and including 100% profit if you stayed with him for 90 days. And as the new money rolls in from people hearing about these returns, he pays back and then gets the money back from these people that he's giving dividends to because they want to reinvest and continue to get more of that 100% return. Just playing off greed, plain and simple. Ponzi lived rich as people continue to invest with him, and reinvest and reinvest until it got top heavy. And in the end, it brought down five banks and approximately $20 million in today's money, at least 250 million pounds. He's not even close to the most successful guy running his own scheme so to speak. Probably the most famous and I'm going to scratch that say infinite Miss person to run this scam is Bernie Madoff who is now sitting in prison for the rest of his life. Having built people out of billions, high returns even if the market fails. Plain and simple. People get built into this with greed. The guy's running these things are the real life Gordon gekkos looking to make as much as they can off the backs of anyone who will give them money and many of these people lose everything. If you want a heartbreaking story read about what's happened to some of Madoff's victims for our next luminary. If that's the right term, we're going to look at into the field of medicine and technology. Elizabeth Holmes, she's a much more recent example. She was a Stanford student who dropped out to follow an idea. Determined to make simple at home testing labs that were work on someone's blood, according to some of the things I read. Even back at Stanford before she dropped out, her professors were telling her it would never work. So she started working on it and starting selling it. And working with investors. She manipulated data. She manipulated people, the kits never worked. She lied, fired people who asked questions, right up to the end, she was trying to make sure to manipulate the data to make sure it looked like everything was working. Her company has since been shut down. She loved to talk to the magazines, to the news to anyone who would listen. And she seemed to love the attention her invention brought to her. She played off the desire that all of us have to make medicine quick and painless, and have the right answer every time. And because she was giving us exactly what we want, many people fell for it. And that's frightening. But all the way through, even when the billions were rolling in. This seems to be in the case of Elizabeth Holmes, more about the fame than it was about the money. Now back to a couple old classics. Count Victor lesfic. He's the man who sold the Eiffel Tower for scrap. and ran the man who scammed people out of 1000s dollars with his money box invention, including the sheriff. And if you're not aware of this little scam, it was brilliant. You build a little box and put a little money inside of it and tell someone to slide their money in and out comes the additional money and they get their money back and they get another $100 bill that's looking fresh and clean out. And you tell them that they can get hundreds of 1000s dollars out of it. And then they pay you 10s of 1000s to get one of these inventions. and off you go and they get nothing. Pure great. This guy was just smooth to the point where the FBI and and the Treasury agents described him as the smoothest person they'd ever met. But he was motivated by money, plain and simple, and eventually died on Alcatraz. And then there's William McLeod, who preyed on tourists and immigrants, doing things like selling the Brooklyn Bridge, or more accurately, the ability to set up a toll booth on the bridge. Official looking paperwork, sell it a few times a month, make bank eventually go to prison, obviously motivated by greed. But this one's so ubiquitous, that it's entered into our group lexicon. We've all heard the and if you believe that I got a bridge I can sell you. So I've touched on the greedy, many flu scam artists and medical huckster and I got one more person I want to touch on today. Finally, today, a scientific fraud. Charles darson was the band who, quote, discovered, unquote, created the Piltdown Man, the fake missing link between humans and apes. Now, he took some teeth, he took a job bone, he aged it up and got people believing it. Now, the impact on this was not just the loss of livelihood for people, it was not just playing for people's hopes and fears. This guy slowed the discovery of real science by protecting his fake science. He was vicious and eviscerating those people who would question his discoveries. And, like most criminals, or people eating potato chips, there can't just be one What he did was then take his fame because he wanted to be a famous archaeologist and use it to create more forgeries, and sell them to collectors. they've discovered at least 38 things that he faked that he sold to the wealthy. He loved the respect. He loved the cash that discoveries bought to him, and in the process, destroyed legitimate science. So some pretty heavy handed examples. You'd think you'd catch on to these, but it all plays off the same thing. If it's too good to be true, it is and should take a deeper look at it. Fear desperation makes people easily targeted. And on the working from the other end of things, money and fame is sometimes too much for people to pass up. Either way, today where fraud is just as easy as turning on your computer, having a critical eye is so important. promo, today's promo comes from the film rage podcast. These guys are awesome. Four of them get together with very different opinions on movies, rate them, talk through them, and tell you whether or not they're worth watching. There's some really great episodes that I learned a ton about the movies that are on. They just hit Episode 100, which in podcast land is a pretty impressive accomplishment. Let's give them a lesson. It's time to feel the rage. Join us on film rage where we talk movies, current releases, coming attractions, streaming and classic films as well. directors and actors be where you cannot hide from the rage. My name is Bryce and I'm part of the film rage crew which also includes Jim Hey, hey, Anne Marie, yo, why don't you always talk all the time? I can't. This is the merman the voice of reason these two can't agree on anything most of the time, some movies or Mondo summer just every week, something is going to make us rage join us every Wednesday and feel the rage. Once again, that spill rage. Check them out after you listen to this show. If you aren't paying attention, too often we shrink our world down to the minimum. Either we're too busy with life for work to realize everything that's going on, or the signal to noise ratio. So much coming at us make us Miss thing. Hence, this new feature for the podcast if you aren't paying attention, a new story that isn't everywhere, but has interesting implications. As always, the articles for this one are on our Facebook page. Recently, an Israeli firm has been selling malware to governments around the world. The program is called Pegasus, and was intended to only be sold to militaries and governments around the world with good human rights records. As with most cases, there are questions once the software is in the wild. And there are additional questions whether anyone needs this kind of access. In general terms, here's what the software does. It accesses everything on your phone, from messages to files, to pictures to phone numbers. It has the ability to activate your camera and microphone at will and turn it into a spine device. Now why should we be paid attention to this? how it's being used. The people who are buying this malware are used to target journalists from CNN to Al Jazeera, including two journalists who were found murdered with Pegasus keeping an eye on him. Allegedly. There are more than 85 political activists who are being tracked by Pegasus right now and hundreds of politicians. The company making the software denies any wrongdoing. But this is a symptom of a larger problem. The genie is out of the bottle and getting it back in maybe impossible. Which makes paid attention and taking basic precautions that much more important. worth mentioning, trashy documentary time. And with today's subject better, it seemed really appropriate. Especially in a fascinating trainwreck sort of way. Netflix is the heist deals with criminals who almost got away with it. And some of these crimes are epic. It is handled with the combination of reenactments, criminal interviews and police interviews. Hearing the thought process on the crimes from both sides, as well as the result is fascinating. We're talking everything from stealing Pappy Van Winkle to hundreds of millions of dollars. That alone makes it worth mentioning. Check it out on Netflix. And that concludes this edition of Strive Seek Find. Thank you for listening. If you enjoyed the episode, or would just like to support the podcast, here are a few ways you can do it. You can leave a review on Apple podcasts or Podchaser. They will help ring more listeners to the odcast. If that isn't your tyle, you can buy me a coffee r purchase some mirch links are n the podcast description. inally, if you have ideas or eedback, please reach out to he strive seek find page on acebook, or to @chancewhitmore on Twitter. Until next time, eep seeking your own brilliant f ture. Have a great day.