Instructionals

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Forget About Getting a Table Here

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Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Fact or Fiction?, Fraud and Deception, How to Pull Off a Prank, Instructionals, Media Literacy, Media Pranks, Prank News, Pranksters, The World of the Prank

The London restaurant so exclusive that no one could ever get a reservation. H/t Bob O’Keefe.

Bonus: Oobah Butler’s Vice play book on how he pulled it off.


‘The Shed at Dulwich’ was London’s top-rated restaurant. Just one problem: It didn’t exist.
By Eli Rosenberg
The Washington Post
December 8, 2017

It was a unique restaurant in London and certainly the hardest to get into. And it beat out thousands of upscale restaurants in the city to earn the top ranking on the popular review site TripAdvisor for a time, drawing a flood of interest.

There was just one small problem: It didn’t exist.

The restaurant was just a listing created this year by a freelance writer, Oobah Butler, who used his home — a shed in the Dulwich area in South London — as the inspiration for a high-concept new restaurant that he posted on TripAdvisor: “The Shed at Dulwich.”

With hardly more than some fake reviews — “Best shed based experience in London!” a particularly cheeky one read — and a website, it had gamed the site’s ratings in London, a highly sought after designation that could bring a surge of business to any restaurant, let alone one in major global capital.

The story has by now traveled around the globe and back, after Butler wrote a piece that exposed the ruse on Vice. It has been hailed as an incredible feat. But in an era increasingly influenced by disinformation online, it also has served as another reminder of the ease with which pranksters and other dishonest actors are able to manipulate online platforms to sometimes unthinkable results. Read more.

White House Email Prankster In His Own Words

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Fraud and Deception, How to Pull Off a Prank, Instructionals, Political Pranks, Pranksters

Here’s a playful and illuminating interview with the anonymous prankster who humiliated Donald Trump’s powerful son-in-law Jared Kushner and ex-Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci with duplicitous emails. It touches on the literary merits of email pranks, the repercussions of sending them, and pointers for engaging recipients in high places.


“How to Prank the Rich and Powerful Without Really Trying”
by Adrianne Jeffries
The Outline
August 4, 2017

On Tuesday, a bright spot appeared in this dark, cruel world when CNN first reported that an anonymous mischief maker had tricked multiple White House officials into responding to prank emails.

The Email Prankster, as he’s branded himself, isn’t worried about getting in legal trouble, he told The Outline in an interview Thursday. He duped several high profile targets earlier this year, including Barclay’s CEO Jes Staley, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, and Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat, and was not contacted by law enforcement.

He was, however, suspended from his job this morning. His company, which knew about the banker pranks, suspected he was involved in this latest round of hoaxes and opened an investigation. “I think they’ll get me on misuse of IT,” the prankster said. “I did send an email to the White House from my work email address because I forgot to switch the email account over in the drop down.”

It’s unclear if the prankster did anything illegal. He did no spoofing or hacking, and lawyers we spoke to in the U.S. and U.K. said it would be difficult to make a criminal case against him. The prankster merely registered addresses that looked semi-legitimate, such as reince.priebus@mail.com and jonhunstmanjr45@gmail.com, made sure his character’s name would show up in the “From” field, and thought up an intriguing subject line. He registered email addresses in the names of senior advisor Jared Kushner, Ambassador-to-Russia designate Jon Huntsman, former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Donald Trump Jr., and Eric Trump, and had them email various White House staff.

The highlight of these pranks was an exchange between the fake Reince Priebus, whose real counterpart had just been ousted, and then-White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci. The exchange, a testy back-and-forth that played on the real rivalry between the two men, ended with Scaramucci telling the person he thought was Priebus to, “Read Shakespeare. Particularly Othello.” Scaramucci was ousted the next day, and The Washington Post called the prank “a final indignity.” Read more.

Aladdin Magic Carpet Prank

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Filed under: Instructionals, Practical Jokes and Mischief, Pranksters

Aladdin in Real Life: Behind The Scenes

See how we did it
Directed by Casey Neistat
PrankvsPrank Facebook

thanks Andrea

Roman Atwood’s “Killing My Own Kid” Prank

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Filed under: Instructionals, Practical Jokes and Mischief, Pranksters

In what appears to be normal for this family: Just for fun, to scare the living shit out of his wife, Roman Atwood throws his son over the balcony. He succeeds in scaring the living shit out of her, and 10+ million people tune in.

Watch the video

How did he do it? Watch his behind-the-scenes video:

Fame on a Budget

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Filed under: Fraud and Deception, Instructionals, Media Pranks, Pranksters

From Mark Borkowski:


How to become internet famous for $68
by Kevin Ashton
Medium.com

The secret of online celebrity Santiago Swallow.

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Santiago Swallow may be one of the most famous people no one has heard of.

His eyes fume from his Twitter profile: he is Hollywood-handsome with high cheekbones and dirty blond, collar-length hair. Next to his name is one of social media’s most prized possessions, Twitter’s blue “verified account” checkmark. Beneath it are numbers to make many in the online world jealous: Santiago Swallow has tens of thousands of followers. The tweets Swallow sends them are cryptic nuggets of wisdom that unroll like scrolls from digital fortune cookies: “Before you lose weight, find hope,” says one. Another: “To write is to live endlessly.”

His Wikipedia biography explains why: (more…)

Fake Marketing Company Announces Fake Naked Photos

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Filed under: Instructionals, Media Pranks

Hoax instructional: How to deceive, deflect and scam the scandal hungry media and the all-believing public. Why? Just because.


The Emma Watson Naked Photo Countdown Was The Work Of Serial Internet Hoaxers
by James Cook
Business Insider
September 24, 2014

A mysterious countdown website emerged on Monday that hinted at the imminent reveal of naked photographs of the actress Emma Watson, stolen using the same iCloud vulnerability that hackers used to steal photographs of stars like Kate Upton and Jennifer Lawrence.

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As Business Insider reported on Monday, it’s highly unlikely that anyone has naked photographs of Emma Watson (we probably would have seen them by now, because she’s a top target for iCloud hackers). Instead the site seemed like an obvious prank designed to discredit 4chan users.

Sure enough, when the countdown came to an end, the site redirected to the website of a company named Rantic Marketing, which appears to be a viral marketing agency. But here’s where this gets really interesting: Rantic Marketing doesn’t exist. This wasn’t a marketing stunt at all, but a social experiment run by the most notorious gang of pranksters on the internet.

(more…)

“Perfect” Fake

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Over 7M views for “29 Celebrity Impressions, 1 Original Song”, by Rob Cantor. Only .5M checked out how the other 6.5M got faked out.


The Guy Perfectly Impersonating 29 Celebrities While Singing An Original Song Is A Fake
by Liat Kornowski
The Huffington Post
July 10, 2014

Remember this incredibly impressive video that popped up all over your Facebook feed earlier this month? You know the one, where one guy does 29 celebrity impressions while singing his original song, “Perfect.” The one that amassed nearly seven million views in under two weeks.

Watch the videos:

Well, this guy, with all his mighty talent and Billie Holiday imitation, is a fake… Rob Cantor, the man behind this well-orchestrated Internet hoax, posted yet another YouTube video Wednesday, July 9, explaining the workings behind the scenes. Read more here.

How (Not) to Fake Your Own Death

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Filed under: Fraud and Deception, How to Pull Off a Prank, Instructionals

Bogus death for big bucks: 7 dumbest mistakes
by Celia Seupel
CNBC
17 October 2013

fakedeath-200For years, faking your own death has been an escape scheme of the desperate and a get-rich scam of the foolish. Some scammers hope to get rich quick on life insurance fraud; others try to escape the law when their other schemes go wrong. CNBC Prime’s “American Greed: The Fugitives” reports on one of the latter: Aubry Lee Price, a preacher turned day-trader, defrauded investors out of millions, then allegedly faked his own death by disappearing off a Key West ferry. Although Florida issued a death certificate, the FBI suspects that Price is still alive.

But insurance companies have wised up, according to Dennis Jay, spokesman for the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. Not only do they investigate suspicious life insurance claims vigorously; they also find that it’s hard for people to stay off the grid year after year. Here are some of the dumbest ways that the bogus “dead” have resurfaced and gotten caught.

1. Don’t use a corpse of the opposite sex

Molly and Clayton Daniels faked Clayton’s death to keep him out of jail and to collect on his $110,000 life insurance policy. They dug up a corpse, dressed it in Clayton’s clothes, then burned it in a car crash. However, DNA testing revealed that the corpse was female.

(more…)

How to Wig Out Friends & Family

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Filed under: How to Pull Off a Prank, Instructionals, Practical Jokes and Mischief, Pranksters

Update from Joshua Darrah, July 16, 2012: The video below is a replacement for the original :30 video posted January 19, 2012. It’s now 6:24.


Submitted by Joshua Darrah January 19, 2012: Here’s a prank I pulled on my friends and family recently:

STEP 1: Secretly shave off your two year long hair.
STEP 2: Glue it into a wig.
STEP 3: pull it off to freak your friends. 40 of them.


I had been growing my hair for a couple of years, and wanted to go back to a shaved head, but I wanted to make it a surprise to my brother that i was suddenly shaving my head. I have NO IDEA where the idea came to me from, but i wondered if I would be able to cut off my long hair, keep it, then hot glue it into a wig. I would then wear that wig of my own hair (yes this is slightly serial killerish i know!) and while hanging with my brother, suddenly pull off my ‘hair’ and be shaved headed in a split second.

I told him I was filming a video project, that way I could film his reaction. And man it went down a treat! I then realised I could wear my wig to every visit with friends and family over the coming 2 months, I eventually pranked over 40 of my close friends and family. (more…)

10 Commandments for Con Men

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Filed under: How to Pull Off a Prank, Instructionals

From Marcy LaViollette as seen on Lists of Note:


“Count” Victor Lustig was a con man of considerable note. Born in 1890, by the 1930s he was wanted by approximately 45 law enforcement agencies worldwide. He had 25 known aliases and spoke 5 languages. He cunningly gained $5k from Al Capone. Better still, in 1925, Lustig posed as a government official in Paris, took five businessmen on a tour of the Eiffel Tower, and then “sold” it to one of them as 7300 tonnes of scrap metal; the con went so well, he tried it again soon after.

He also wrote the following list of commandments for aspiring con men.

  • Be a patient listener (it is this, not fast talking, that gets a con-man his coups).
  • Never look bored.
  • Wait for the other person to reveal any political opinions, then agree with them.
  • Let the other person reveal religious views, then have the same ones.
  • Hint at sex talk, but don’t follow it up unless the other fellow shows a strong interest.
  • (more…)

    A Prank Call Instructional

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    Filed under: How to Pull Off a Prank, Instructionals, Phone Pranks

    Proud art of prank calling still worth mastering
    by Adrian Lahola-Chomiak
    The Gateway
    March 28, 2011

    These days, with the invention of caller ID and text messaging, it seems that prank calls have more or less fallen by the wayside. But I’m not ready to surrender this classic joke just yet; too many hours in my life have been spent trying to decide who to call and which prank to pull. So for all you wide-eyed, greenhorn, wannabe pranksters out there, here are a few tips on how to transform yourself from a refrigerator runner to a master.

    First, let’s review the tools of the trade. There’s the phone, and, well, that’s pretty much it — but you do have to worry about how you use it. You’ll want to mask your voice with a modulator app, like Funny Call from iOKi. This will make you sound like anything from Rebecca Black to a chipmunk. Now that your voice is anonymous — and hilarious — you’ll need to know three simple rules before you call. (more…)

    Consumers: Get Ready to be Marketed by April Fools Day Pranks

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    On the art of the April Fool’s prank
    by Diego Vasquez
    Media Life Magazine
    March 29, 2011

    It has to be far-fetched enough to raise doubts

    If you didn’t happen to remember that the news was coming out on April Fool’s Day, it sounded plausible. On April 1, 2010, Starbucks announced two new sizes called the plenta and the micra, joining such existing sizes as the grande and venti. The plenta, Starbucks said, would hold 128 ounces of coffee, or roughly six times its biggest size at the time, while the micra would hold 2 ounces. Social networking sites were abuzz over the news, while hundreds voiced their approval or disapproval on the Starbucks web site until they realized the whole thing was a joke. Like the best April Fool’s stunts, it was just realistic enough to be possible, but just ridiculous enough to be questioned. In this case, most people laughed it off as a clever marketing stunt, but not all April Fool’s stunts are as well received. In some cases, it can do damage to an advertiser’s brand. Three days before April 1 arrives, Grant Powell, founder and chief executive officer at the digital agency Pomegranate, talks to Media Life about how advertisers can pull off a smart stunt, which ones have worked in the past, and which ones didn’t.

    How can advertisers walk the fine line between showing a sense of humor on April Fool’s Day and not alienating their customers?

    There is indeed a very fine line between a well-received prank and one that will leave customers upset. (more…)

    How to Hack a Video Screen

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    Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Fact or Fiction?, How to Pull Off a Prank, Instructionals

    Video: How To Hack Video Screens In Times Square
    The Gothamist
    March 14, 2011

    This YouTube video claims to reveal a simple, ingenious method for overriding video screens broadcasting ads in Times Square and elsewhere. Is it real? Well, it certainly looks that way, so if this is fake you’ve got to them credit for verisimilitude. According to the video, all you need to hijack the Times Square ad phantasmagoria is an iPhone, a video transmitter, and a video repeater “which takes any signal coming out of the iPhone and boosts it and enhances it.” This gadget overrides any video screen that it’s being held next to, if the YouTube is to be believed:

    So is this for real? One YouTube commenter calls bullshit: “The dongle can’t get enough power through the headphone jack to transmit a video in such good quality 20 meters or more through the air and the massive electro smog on Times Square—just for example. lets don’t talk about the controllers of the screens.” But another expert writes, “I do some motiontracking and I don’t think its fake. The balloon is translucent and interacts with the video source.”

    What do you think: viral ad for the newest iPhone, CNN, and NYC tourism; or an exciting new development in the world of culture jamming? Tune in later week, when YouTube user BITcrash44 promises to explain how he made the prototype.

    Google Demo Slam: How to Mess with Your Friends

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    Submitted by Julian Tippins: Upload an animated gif to google search’s background features to mess with your friends.


    Google Demo Slam: Animated Gif Background
    by Julian Tippins and Richard Langhorne

    Ray’s Pumpkin Carving Tutorial

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    Filed under: How to Pull Off a Prank, Instructionals

    Check out Ray Villafane’s tutorial for making outrageous pumpkins


    If you have yet to try and carve a pumpkin in a 3-D manner you need to. Its fun and everybody enjoys a cool pumpkin. Unfortunately they begin to rot less than a week after carving so be sure to take plenty of pictures. You can experiment with ways of preserving them but I find nothing works better than a nice photo. Some chefs that I have carved for put lemon juice on the faces to help slow down the natural molding process that will occur. Read more…

    Click here for more photos

    thanks Tony