Man in a mask
Scammers used a silicone mask to impersonate France's former Minister of Defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian, and fleece wealthy victims of €80 million ($138m). Le Drian, now minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, is an important but relatively obscure political figure. The scammers would pose as a member of Le Drian's inner circle and convince businessmen to have a conversation with the esteemed "minister" — first by phone, then via Skype. The fake minister was seated far from the camera, in a poorly lit room, to make it harder for victims to realise he was just a guy in a mask. Wealthy businessman thought they were being approached by Le Drian for financial help to pay the ransoms of journalists captured by Islamists in the Middle East. Because France officially does not pay ransoms to hostage-takers, the scammer requested that the money be sent to an account in China, which meant the payments could not be traced.
Michele Daly writes: "When looking at the IPCC [cricket world cup] official results website I found that they have conveniently and very helpfully redesigned our flag for us. Do you think John Key had something to do with this?"
"On holiday one summer I met a nice girl. Puppy love — she was about 16, me about 17. I gave her a 'love bite' — don't know why —but it showed like a red blotch on her neck. Her dad called it a big mosquito bite. Back in Auckland I rang her up, and she says her parents have said she can't see me again. Heartbroken but resolving to get on with my life I turned up at the first maths class of my professional accounting course in the city, walk in the door to discover her dad is my teacher. Skulk to the furthest away corner of the lecture theatre. Across the whole class he names me and calls me on the mosquito bite. I changed classes to one with a less problematic teacher-student dynamic."