1China tried to pass off footage from the movie "Top Gun" as footage of its Air Force
In January 2011, during a news broadcast, China Central Television showed footage of what they claimed was an air force training exercise conducted a few days before. However, an internet commenter quickly pointed out that the aircraft the J-10 was shown shooting down was an American F-5 – the very one Tom Cruise guns down in a scene from Top Gun. Needless to say, frames from the CCTV broadcast and Top Gun, well, look pretty much identical.
2A zoo tried to pass off a hairy dog as a lion
In 2013, a zoo in Louhe, China, angered visitors by trying to pass off a hairy dog as a lion.
As vistors approached the cage marked "African lion," they were shocked to hear the beast inside emit a bark. It was instead a Tibetan mastiff – a large, hirsuite breed of dog.
"The zoo is absolutely trying to cheat us," a visitor said. "They are trying to disguise dogs as lions." Other species in the park were similarly mislabeled, a newspaper reported, with another dog in the wolf cage, and a white fox on display in the leopard enclosure.
3A man tried to pass off a short ribs recipe as a car inspection sticker
In March 2014, it was reported a Massachusetts motorist tried to pass off a clipping about a recipe for short ribs as his car inspection sticker when he was stopped by officers from the Salisbury Police Department. The department shared the story on Twitter.
The 51-year-old man was charged with operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, forging/misuse of an RMV document, and failing to dim his headlights.
4A 25-year-old man tried to pass himself off as a high school freshman
Ever wanted to go back to high school and be the most popular kid around? In 2013, a guy called Carl Walden tried to do just that. The 25-year-old walked into Dayton High School in Springfield and tried to pass himself off as an incoming freshman, according to police. He told school administers his name was Jason Burns and said he was interested in enrolling.
School officials were immediately concerned, because the 6' 1", 265 pound man before them was clearly not a teenager. To avoid conflict, they handed Walden a packet of enrollment forms and told him to have his parents fill them out.
Police were alerted to the situation. When they later stopped Walden on the street, it was discovered that he had outstanding warrants from traffic tickets, and he was arrested. Walden was charged with criminal trespassing, a fourth-degree felony, as well as disorderly conduct and harassment.
5A dumb criminal tried to pass off ice blocks as iPads at the post office
In 2013, former doorman Nathan Cameron went to his local post office to mail a "special delivery" item. He told the counter clerk the box contained iPads, so she insured it up to value of £2,500.
An hour later, the shocked post office staffers saw water leaking from the parcel. Its contents were revealed to be a bag of ice cubes. "We had a little look and you could see all ice in there,” said the clerk. "He had sent it as iPads. I couldn't believe it, there was all this water and the box was disintegrating."
The dumb criminal later sent a compensation claim to Royal Mail, unaware that the package had burst open at the post office. He was charged with fraud and told the jury he had "absolutely no idea" of the parcel's true contents, as he had posted it for a friend.
6A circus painted two dogs and tried to pass them off as pandas
In December 2014, it was reported an Italian circus took advantage of its patrons' demand for cute animals by painting black patches on the ears and backs of two white Chow Chow puppies to pass them off as pandas.
The puppies, one male and one female, were camouflaged as pandas so children and parents would pay to take photos with them. The kids couldn't tell the difference, but the police did. They arrived to shut down the circus – on tour in Brescia, Italy – after realizing the pandas were fake.
The dogs, imported from Hungary, are in good health. The owner of the circus was arrested and accused of animal abuse, Italian media reported.
7A man tried to pass off Pop-Tart crumbs as cocaine to an undercover cop
In September 2014, police in Halifax, North Carolina arrested 30-year-old Cameron Mitchell after he tried to sell a bag of crushed up Pop-Tarts that he was passing off as crack cocaine to an undercover officer.
Authorities "field-tested" the powder and found no trace of drugs, but a lot of sugary goodness found in the popular breakfast pastry.
8A breeder that passed off fluffed-up ferrets as pedigree poodles
In 2013, it was reported by Argentinian media that a retired man became victim to a scam after discovering the toy poodle pups he bought at a local market were actually fluffed-up ferrets on steroids. The man only found out when he took the two animals to his local veterinarian to be vaccinated.
The ferrets had been given steroids to increase their size and had been groomed to make their coats resemble those of pedigree poodles. The pensioner paid around £50 for his pedigree "poodles," while a genuine one can cost up to £700.
9A smuggler with 22 bears in a car tried to pass them off as dogs
In March 2014, a smuggler was caught in South West China with 22 bears in the back seat of his car, which he claimed were dogs when questioned by police.
When border patrol guards took the bears, Wu Meng told them he would sue, claiming they were rare pedigree Akita puppies — which in fact, look nothing like a bear. Unfortunately for Meng, a vet was able to confirm they were indeed bears.
Meng then claimed to be ripped off by the seller, but under pressure, admitted he was hired to smuggle the bears. Authorities believe the animals would have been used in Chinese medicine, where bear parts are in high demand.
10A woman tried to pass herself off as a Boston Marathon victim
In 2014, Audrea Gause of Troy, New York, was sentenced to up 3 years in prison after admitting to stealing almost $500,000 from a charity established to help victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.
Andrea had submitted a claim to the fund, including several pages of false medical records indicating she was treated at hospitals in Boston and in New York for a traumatic brain injury suffered in the bombings. She then gave most of the$480,000 check she received from the "One Fund" non-profit to a contractor to build a new home.