Posts Tagged ‘scam’

TV “Psychics” Found to Actually Be Stock Photo Models

After seeing hashtags for a TV show featuring a “Psychic Wayne” all over Twitter, Irish student Alan Rice decided to see what all the fuss was about. Of course, within a few minutes he had already decided that the show was, in his words, tripe. But after watching a little while longer he noticed something else: the pictures of the other off-air “psychics” that people could call looked a lot like stock photos. Read more…

US Gov Sues The Art Institutes for $11 Billion Fraud

The Art Institutes, one of the nation’s largest for-profit school systems where people can receive an education in photography, has come under fire. Last month, the US Department of Justice filed a massive lawsuit against the company behind the schools, Education Management Corporation, accusing it of fraudulently collecting $11 billion in government aid by recruiting low-income students for the purpose of collecting student aid money. Whistleblowers claim that students graduate loaded with debt and without the means to pay off the loans, which are then paid for with taxpayer dollars.
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Inside an Online Camera Store’s Bait and Switch Scam

Photographer Nasim Mansurov’s friend recently ordered Canon 5D Mark II from online camera store AjRichard for just $2,350, but was then called by a sales rep and told that the battery and charger weren’t included. The final order came out to $2,629, which included some unneeded accessories and 3-day shipping. When the order finally arrived in 2 weeks, he found that it was a 5D Mark II + 24-120mm kit box with the lens removed.
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The Dark Side of Wildlife Filmmaking

Remember the controversy last year surrounding the use of a captive wolf in an award-winning wildlife photograph? Turns out this kind of deception might be common practice in the world of wildlife filmmaking.

Chris Palmer — the producer and director of quite a few notable wildlife films — has written a new book titled Shooting in the Wild in which he exposes many of the “dirty secrets” of nature documentaries.

The above video is an ABC Nightline segment in which Palmer discusses many of the tricks used in the business, including using trained animals, dragging dead animal carcasses to locations, digging fake dens, and even telling outright lies in the narration. One shocking example is found in the Academy Award winning documentary White Wilderness: a scene that seems to show lemming suicide was actually created by pushing lemmings off a cliff using a rotating platform.

Palmer also reflects on the question: does the positive good these faked scenes do justify the dishonest tricks used to create them? What do you think?


Update: Seems like the Hulu video above isn’t accessible to those outside the US. Here are a couple more links you can try: ABC News and Link TV.

Photographer Offers Groupon Deal Using Stolen Photographs, Chaos Ensues

It looked like quite a deal — a photographer with an impressive portfolio of photographs offering a $500 photo package for $65 on the social buying website Groupon. The offer was so enticing that all 1,175 packages quickly sold out, generating over $76,000 in revenue. That’s when people started noticing something fishy about Dana Dawes and her photography.
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