Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Sure-Fire "Get Rich Quick" Scheme

When I read this, the lights went off, the sirens rang out, and I saw dollar bills falling on my head like confetti...

From a CBC news report:
Two B.C. men are facing criminal charges for allegedly attempting a high-tech scam to cheat on a medical school entrance exam using secret cameras, wireless transmitters and three tutors, who at first did not realize they were being duped.

According to documents filed in provincial court in Richmond, B.C., Josiah Miguel Ruben and Houman Rezazadeh-Azar are each facing six charges including theft, unauthorized use of a computer, using a device to obtain unauthorized service and theft of data.

Police allege that on Jan. 29, Rezazadeh-Azar sat down in a room at the University of Victoria to write the Medical College Admissions Test, or MCAT, run by the Association of Medical Colleges.

Police allege he used a pinhole camera and wireless technology to transmit images of the questions on a computer screen back to his co-conspirator, Ruben, at the University of British Columbia.

Investigators believe Ruben then tricked three other students, who thought they were taking a multiple choice test for a job to be an MCAT tutor, into answering the questions.

The answers were then transmitted back by phone to Rezazadeh-Azar, as he continued on with the test in Victoria, police allege.

However, the would-be tutors became suspicious because of the poor quality of the images of the test questions, and the fact that they were allowed to discuss the question together before giving Ruben their answers.

When Ruben left the room to transmit some of the answers, the would-be tutors checked online and determined the MCAT exam was being held that day in locations around the world.

They also found evidence on the computer's hard drives that the owner had been looking into pin-hole cameras and wireless networks.

So the three students called campus security and began submitting wrong answers to the scammers while they waited for the officers to arrive and arrest Ruben.
I’ve got a better scheme. I remember when I was a kid about the training of planaria. You educate some extensively, then kill them, and then feed them to other planaria that suddenly “learn” the new skill without any training.

I figure I could set up a company called “Ingesting Education” and offer instant “smarts” to keen new scholars who can’t be bothered by hitting the books. All I need is to get some confederates to lurk around campuses, body snatch the really top PhD students, grind them up, and then I can feed that "knowledge" directly to my clientele. Instant education! No muss or fuss with pinhole cameras or the subterfuge of "tutoring" MCAT exams. And if I use the right tasty sauces, I can advertise as a "gourmet" educational institute and re-name my company Ingesting Sensation Education. Who wouldn't want to learn as they nibbled and gorged through a 3, 4, or 5 course fine dining experience?

How could anything go wrong with such a sure-fire rags-to-riches scheme?

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