What's the name of the kind of con game that involves fake news stories?
August 16, 2017 7:22 AM   Subscribe

So I know that the name of the con where a conman sets up a fake betting parlor, or fake prizefight is called a "Big Store" con. Yellow Kid Weill used to do a thing where he'd get fake copies of magazines printed saying he discovered a mine and insert them into libraries for his marks to find and validate his claims. Is there a SPECIFIC name for that kind of con?
posted by rileyray3000 to Work & Money (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
It puts me in mind of Meinertzhagen's Haversack.
posted by Radiophonic Oddity at 12:02 PM on August 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

There was a fake betting parlor in The Sting, but I think it was referred to as The Wire and didn't depend on fake references in the way you describe.

Closer to the point is a con with a fake treasure map. I dont know what anyone else would call it, bud Id call it a lost mine scam.
posted by SemiSalt at 1:07 PM on August 16, 2017

It puts me in mind of Meinertzhagen's Haversack.

The term used in that Wikipedia article is "Haversack Ruse," FWIW.

Or you could consider it a variant on salting (Wikipedia list of confidence tricks), in which "gemstones or gold ore are planted in a mine or on the landscape, duping the mark into purchasing shares in a worthless or non-existent mining company." I'd call it "information salting" or "reference salting," considering that it consists of salting false reference or misleading information in a known location for valid information, unlike the Haversack Ruse, which relied on someone finding a scrap of paper that was apparently left in a bag accidentally.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:40 PM on August 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

filthy light thief, you're correct; I used the Silicon Valley episode title rather than the standard name.
posted by Radiophonic Oddity at 8:25 AM on August 17, 2017

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