Comment author:gwern
18 August 2012 10:02:36PM
*
1 point
[-]

A scam like this is hard to expose if done right. How would you expose it in the absence of specific actionable information like a name, whose omission can be justified on privacy grounds? (Even a frontal photograph would give you little to go on unless you were lucky.)

Comment author:evand
19 August 2012 01:02:01AM
-1 points
[-]

As NancyLebovitz asked MileyCyrus... would you care to put odds on this being a scam? I see three broad outcomes: exposed as scam, confirmed by CI as not a scam (or similar strong evidence), and something inconclusive. A prediction on all three options (or more, if you see interesting ones) would be nice, or feel free to lump any two together.

I'll give an informal prediction: 5% of scam exposed, more likely confirmed by CI than not.

Comment author:gwern
19 August 2012 01:42:39AM
*
4 points
[-]

Before Hank's claim about the Facebook profile (for which I will take his word), I would've given 75% chance of an underlying fraud. With the years of Facebooking up front, I'd revise downwards to 5-10%. Will CI confirm or will everyone be left hanging? That's harder... She might just be too lazy or events could intervene. I don't have a good guess about that sort of thing, so I'd too only give around >60% odds of CI confirming her.

Still hoping she might get some cryo-financial assistance from her Christian family could have inhibited her from making her identity completely transparent. Becoming a cryonics cause-celebre could also be the last straw in her relations with her parents.

Comment author:Decius
19 August 2012 01:37:11AM
2 points
[-]

So, let's take bets, given those odds: 5% chance of a confirmed scam, 50% chance confirmed not a scam, and 45% chance that evidence is inconclusive.

So, you would gladly accept cash bets where you lose $5 if it is confirmed not a scam and gain $1 if it confirmed a scam. Anyone willing to bet against those odds?

Comment author:evand
19 August 2012 01:58:31AM
2 points
[-]

I think you got the numbers backwards.

I would take a bet where I lose $5 if it is confirmed a scam and gain $1 if it is confirmed not a scam. (I'm assuming the bet is off if there is no confirmation either way.)

At $5 vs $1, I'm not sure the bet is worth the hassle. Make it $25 vs $5, and I'm in. I'm happy to work with payment via paypal or mailed cash or check.

Comment author:Decius
19 August 2012 02:32:54AM
1 point
[-]

Myself, I judge the odds differently: I'd call it about a 20% chance of a scam, but a .2% chance of what I would call confirmation of that; and about an 80% chance that it is confirmed not to be a scam (such as by a independent verification from the CI. I can't describe the criteria which, if met, would result in a inconclusive result, so I won't take any bets on that outcome; I also won't take the small bet, and can't afford the large bet.

## Comments (181)

Best*1 point [-]A scam like this is hard to expose if done right. How

wouldyou expose it in the absence of specific actionable information like a name, whose omission can be justified on privacy grounds? (Even a frontal photograph would give you little to go on unless you were lucky.)As NancyLebovitz asked MileyCyrus... would you care to put odds on this being a scam? I see three broad outcomes: exposed as scam, confirmed by CI as not a scam (or similar strong evidence), and something inconclusive. A prediction on all three options (or more, if you see interesting ones) would be nice, or feel free to lump any two together.

I'll give an informal prediction: 5% of scam exposed, more likely confirmed by CI than not.

*4 points [-]Before Hank's claim about the Facebook profile (for which I will take his word), I would've given 75% chance of an underlying fraud. With the years of Facebooking up front, I'd revise downwards to 5-10%. Will CI confirm or will everyone be left hanging? That's harder... She might just be too lazy or events could intervene. I don't have a good guess about that sort of thing, so I'd too only give around >60% odds of CI confirming her.

Still hoping she might get some cryo-financial assistance from her Christian family could have inhibited her from making her identity completely transparent. Becoming a cryonics cause-celebre could also be the last straw in her relations with her parents.

So, let's take bets, given those odds: 5% chance of a confirmed scam, 50% chance confirmed not a scam, and 45% chance that evidence is inconclusive.

So, you would gladly accept cash bets where you lose $5 if it is confirmed not a scam and gain $1 if it confirmed a scam. Anyone willing to bet against those odds?

I think you got the numbers backwards.

I would take a bet where I lose $5 if it is confirmed a scam and gain $1 if it is confirmed not a scam. (I'm assuming the bet is off if there is no confirmation either way.)

At $5 vs $1, I'm not sure the bet is worth the hassle. Make it $25 vs $5, and I'm in. I'm happy to work with payment via paypal or mailed cash or check.

Myself, I judge the odds differently: I'd call it about a 20% chance of a scam, but a .2% chance of what I would call confirmation of that; and about an 80% chance that it is confirmed not to be a scam (such as by a independent verification from the CI. I can't describe the criteria which, if met, would result in a inconclusive result, so I won't take any bets on that outcome; I also won't take the small bet, and can't afford the large bet.