How Easy is it to Scam Facebook?
2:08 pm, June 4th | by Amy Tennery
When we heard there was some guy saying he’s entitled to 50 percent equity in Facebook, our first thought was why aren’t there more people out there making wild claims like this? It seems easy enough (particularly for someone angling for a little publicity). Armed with a handful of alleged email exchanges from 2003 that purportedly show Mark Zuckerberg handing over half his burgeoning company, Paul Ceglia says he deserves a cut of Facebook’s spoils. Facebook, for its part, calls the emails “amateurish forgery,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
But how easy is “amateurish forgery,” really? As we found, this question isn’t as simple as it seems.
Larry Daniel, a digital forensics examiner who specializes in civil and criminal fraud cases, gave Mogulite the scoop on all things shady in the world of email.
“Anytime someone presents an email only in paper form, is it subject to having been modified or even completely fabricated. With a little work, you can create an entirely fake email using a simple paint program and a word processor,” Daniel said.
Luckily for Facebook, this sounds like it just might be what Ceglia is doing. WSJ noted that a digital archive of Zuckerberg’s email account shows none of the correspondence that Ceglia claims exists.
That being said, creating a phony string of emails isn’t exactly a piece of cake, either, according to Daniel.
“Creating a single fake email from only one side of a conversation is one thing,” Daniel said. ”However, fabricating an entire historical trail of emails between two or more people would be very difficult to pull off.”
So, is Ceglia in the clear? Umm, no. Definitely not.
“Anytime someone claims to have email evidence and cannot produce the originals in electronic form, the email should be regarded with some suspicion,” Daniel adds.
Oh. Sorry, Ceglia. Looks like it’s going to be an uphill climb out of this mess. Also, the fact that you pleaded guilty to possession of hallucinogenic mushrooms in 1997 doesn’t really help your case either. Also, did you think anyone would forget that Andrew Cuomo once sued you for failing to deliver $200,000 worth of wood pellets?