People Who Embarrassingly Exposed Themselves
Get ready to cringe over these people who embarrassingly exposed themselves!Entertainment
They say ‘the truth will set you free,’ but for conmen and crooks, the truth is their worst enemy, leaving them locked up behind bars or shamed by society. Let's reveal a collection of fraudsters who accidentally exposed themselves, revealing their own lies, crimes and scams.
From fake cancer patients, to the world’s most infamous lip-syncers, let’s take a look at the people who took their lies too far, exposing themselves in the process.
Blind Man’s Bluff
In 2008, a man named John Caltabiano from the town of Catskill, New York decided to play a very literal game of blind man’s bluff. Caltabiano tried to rob the government blind, pretending that he completely lost his vision in a workplace accident; a scam that could’ve earned him up to $1.3 million in welfare.
His claims were backed up by his girlfriend, and when it came time to submit his claim, she took John’s arm and slowly guided him into the courtroom, part of a convincing act that fooled the judge.
While John was awarded the first cash instalment, he should’ve kept his functioning eyes peeled, as he failed to realize that from the moment he won the case, he was being closely watched by two private investigators.
The fraud agents spotted John walking around on his own, peering through a shop window and driving around completely unassisted, exposing himself and his girlfriend as able-sighted crooks.
In the eyes of the law, John had committed fraud, and the court sentenced him to 4 years in prison. Caltabiano’s girlfriend was only sentenced to three years of probation, which was a stroke of blind luck.
Looking back, John probably should’ve waited a little bit longer before hopping in the car and spending his ill-gotten gains. I guess hindsight is 20/20, but then again, so’s John’s vision.
Hilaria A.K.A. Hillary Baldwin
Hilaria Baldwin is an American yoga instructor, entrepreneur, and author. Before 2020, Hilaria had risen to fame as actor Alec Baldwin’s Spanish wife. Her agent’s website said that she was born in Mallorca, and she claimed she only moved from Spain to New York when she was 19.
In interviews, she spoke with a thick Spanish accent, and in one cooking segment on the Today Show, Hilaria even seemed to forget the English word for cucumber. However, people on the Internet soon noticed that her Spanish accent was very inconsistent, and journalists began looking into her background.
Hilaria heavily implied that her family were Spanish, but it turned out, her very American parents had been interviewed previously. They’d gone on record saying that the family only moved to Spain in 2011, when Hilaria was 27, and explained that their family doesn’t have ‘one iota of Latin Blood.’
Hilaria’s old schoolfriends soon spilt the Tolosa beans too, revealing that Hilaria’s real name is Hillary, and she was born and raised in Boston, not Barcelona.
In December 2020, Hilary finally admitted to her lack of Spanish heritage on Instagram, but she also doubled down, describing herself as ‘culturally fluid,’ attempting to justify her actions by talking about her family’s deep love for Spain and Its culture.
Hydrick Blew It
The 1980s were a strange time for a wide array of reasons, one of them being the popularity of James Hydrick. He was a self-proclaimed psychic, who went on stage in mystical pajamas, flipping through the pages of books with his mind.
The neon-wearing public of the 80s ate it up until James Hydrick was challenged by James Randi, a magician who made a career out of exposing fake psychics. Randi offered Hydrick $10,000 to prove that his powers were real on an episode of ‘That’s My Line,’ and the money-hungry Hydrick threw on his robe, combed his bowl-cut and rose to the challenge.
Randi placed packing peanuts around the book to catch whether Hydrick was blowing to turn the pages, and this was the result:
Hydrick later claimed that he couldn’t do the trick as the packing peanuts and the lights in the studio were causing ‘electrical interference,’ but it was clear that the peanuts were simply interfering with his ability to lie. All that talk of Psychic powers, yet he couldn’t predict his own humiliation in the most public way possible.
If Hollywood’s taught us anything, it’s that bank robberies require a ragtag team of criminals, three or four confusing plot twists, and a jaded ex-con who’s coming back for one last score. But it turns out, heists don’t always require so much planning.
In 2021, the doors on an armored truck malfunctioned in San Diego, swinging open and leaving a trail of cash spread out across the freeway.
When drivers came across the scene, most of them pulled over, immediately taking the opportunity to hop out of their cars and fill their pockets.
Demi Bagby uploaded videos of the scene to TikTok, showing herself picking up bundles of cash and throwing them around. She also filmed other people, scrambling on their hands and knees to gather handfuls of money.
It sounds like the perfect crime, but according to the cops, finders' keepers isn’t legally-binding. The California Highway Patrol have stated that this footage is evidence of theft, and the TikTok video may result in several people going to jail.
Bagby claimed she didn’t take any money with her, but if she did pocket some cash, her own TikTok account may act as the case’s star witness!
Becca Beushausen is a once-successful blogger who spun a world-wide-web of lies. In 2009, she claimed to be pregnant, stating that her unborn child had holoprosencephaly, a rare disorder which would likely result in a still-birth.
Her story went viral, well-wishers flooding to Becca’s blog to offer support. The blog was heartbreaking, tragic, and completely made-up. Becca wasn’t pregnant at all; she’d invented her child for a bit of attention. Regardless, Becca started to ask her audience for more than thoughts and prayers, requesting gifts and money to help support her.
The gifts flooded in, but this scam had a use-by date, and as the 9-month mark drew closer and closer, Becca started to panic. When full-term arrived, she bought an ultra-realistic baby doll and posted a photo of it, stating that her ‘miracle baby’ April Rose had survived the birth only to pass away hours later.
Most of her fans believed it apart from Elizabeth Russell, a woman who coincidentally owned the same doll. Russell instantly realized April Rose was fake, so she created her own blog to expose Beushausen’s lies.
As the truth started to come out, Beushausen was forced to come clean. She admitted she’d become addicted to the attention the blog had given her, and once she started ‘getting 100,000 hits a week’ the lies just got out of hand.
The scandal may have ruined Becca’s reputation, but for some other scammers, she was seemingly an inspiration. In 2019, Kaycee and Geoffrey Lang of Pennsylvania copied Becca, stuffing a pillow down Kaycee’s shirt and buying a realistic doll to invent a fake pregnancy, and the subsequent death of their fake child.
The Langs then started a GoFundMe page to pay for a personalized urn, and to plant a tree in their baby's honor, attempting to steal the money for themselves. However, after a tip from one of the Langs’ friends, the police contacted local hospitals and funeral homes, discovering that the Langs’ baby had never existed.
The cops then raided the Langs’ house, immediately discovering the fake baby doll, and busting the phony parents. They were forced to repay the well-wishers, and when the Langs’ stood in court, charged with theft, they probably cried like real babies.
From blurred-out blemishes to drag-and-drop dinners, a lot of influencers like to exaggerate the truth, forming close working relationships with photo-editing software. Out of all these influencers, the catfish Queen is undoubtedly Soya no Sohi, a dishonest tweeter who accidentally exposed a huge secret on Twitter.
Soya is a motorbike enthusiast who created a twitter account in 2019, quickly amassing an audience of over 20,000 followers as she uploaded pictures of her impressive motorbike collection, and a smattering of selfies.
Little did her fans know, shockingly, this beautiful biker was actually a 50-year-old man named Yasuo Nakajima, using a face-swapping app to create an entirely new online identity and gain more Twitter followers.
The plan worked perfectly, until Yasuo posted a photo of his motorbike, failing to realize that his unedited face was visible in the bike’s rearview mirror. Just like that, Yasuo was exposed, and the man behind the woman was revealed.
So, what came next for Yasuo? Embarrassment? Public shame? Not exactly. Despite being exposed as a fake, Yasuo continues to post as a woman, and surprisingly ‘Soya’s’ following has only increased, now boasting over 36,000 dedicated followers, even though she doesn’t technically exist.
To be fair to Yasuo, it isn’t all smoke and mirrors. That flowing hair is all his, and arguably, those luscious locks deserve every follower he gets.
Mom’s the Word
Jordan Cheyenne is a beauty vlogger whose career turned ugly when she accidentally uploaded the wrong video to her YouTube channel. When their family dog was diagnosed with a deadly disease, Cheyenne made a heart-wrenching video with her 9-year-old child, the mother and son both in tears as they described the tragedy from the front seats of Cheyenne’s car.
As the video came to a close, Jordan said goodbye and placed a hand over the camera but in the unedited video she uploaded by mistake, she could be seen removing her hand, the camera still rolling, and what happened next shocked her fans and ruined her career.
The world watched on as Cheyenne forced her crying son to pose for camera, just to create a thumbnail that would gain the video some extra views on YouTube. The backlash was instant, as her fans were unable to believe that she would exploit her child and her sick dog for attention with seemingly no real remorse or emotion.
Cheyenne apologized, but her reputation was ruined, and she eventually deleted her channel and moved away from social media. Hopefully now she’ll worry more about her actual son, than the opinions of strangers online.
Swervin’ the Curve
2018 documentary ‘Behind the Curve’ aimed to expose members of the Flat Earth community, but in the end, the documentary team needn’t have bothered. Once the cameras were rolling, the Flat Earthers did a pretty good job of exposing themselves, conducting two experiments that proved their own conspiracy theories wrong.
First, the Flat-earthers spent $20,000 on a Ring Laser Gyroscope. Inside this hi-tech gyroscope, two lasers are fired in opposite directions around a ring, both racing towards a sensor.
As the speed of light is always the same in a vacuum, the light beams always hit the sensor at the same time, unless the ring is rotating.
If the gyroscope is rotating in one direction, then the sensor will be spinning towards one of the lasers, meaning that that laser will hit the sensor earlier than the other one, which can be measured by a shift in frequency between the two beams.
That means that if you place the gyroscope on an object, it can use this race between the lasers to measure whether the object rotates and how quickly it spins. With sophisticated versions of these gyroscopes, you can trace the rotation of the Earth itself, which measures a rotation of 360 degrees every 24 hours, or 15 degrees in one hour.
Flat Earthers disagree, believing that the Earth is a stationary flat disc, so by their logic, a gyroscope shouldn’t measure any rotation. Surprisingly, after an hour, the gyroscope used by Behind the Curve’s flat-earthers displayed a rotation of 15 degrees, disproving their own beliefs, and flushing $20,000 straight down the drain.
Luckily, the flat earther’s admitted their mistake, changed their ways and became upstanding members of the scientific community. I'm just kidding. They argued that the $20,000 gyroscope wasn’t good enough, and ‘heaven energies’ from the sky interfered with the equipment. So, they decided to conduct a second experiment.
They set up two boards on a completely flat plane of land, drilling a hole through them at exactly 17 feet above sea level. A Flat Earther called Henrique stood 3 miles away on the same flat plane of land, shining a powerful torch at the boards.
If the Earth was flat, then when Henrique held the light at 17 feet above sea level, it should shine straight forward and pass through both of the holes. However, the Earth is actually round, and over three miles, the Earth will curve down approximately 6 feet.
This means that to make the light shine through the holes, Henrique would have to hold the torch 6 feet higher to accommodate for this curve. Predictably, when Henrique held the torch at 17 feet, the light didn’t shine through until another flat Earther reluctantly told him to raise the torch high above his head, and the light was visible then.
To their credit, the Flat Earthers had managed to conduct some real scientific experiments, but unfortunately for them, science did what it does best: prove that Mother Earth is pretty curvy.
Crouching Black-Belt, Hidden Fraud
Becoming a Kung Fu master takes determination, dedication and decades of hard practice or a couple of lies and a fake black belt. Bruce Silva is a supposed blackbelt who showed off his skills on Hawaii News Now in 2016, promoting an upcoming Kung-Fu showcase.
Silva was supposed to chop through a row of blocks, allegedly made of solid concrete. But early on in the showcase, news anchor Steve Uyehara accidentally interfered.
Turns out, whatever the bricks were made from, Uyehara was able to break them with a light tap. The show went from awesome to awkward, and despite being exposed as a fraud, a red-cheeked Silva continued for the rest of the segment.
Belle Gibson was Elle Magazine Australia’s most inspiring woman of 2014, overcoming cancer, cardiac arrest, and a brain tumor. All, she claimed, through a combination of health-foods and natural therapies. She’d partnered with apple and signed a book deal with penguin, telling her inspirational story in a mobile app and companion cookbook ‘The Whole Pantry.’
However, it turned out, that while Gibson had been drinking Kale smoothies and eating avocados, she’d been feeding the public baloney, and just 4 months later, the world discovered that everything she’d said was a complete lie.
The first signs of dishonesty came when Gibson started fundraising, taking $300,000 from her fans to donate to a specific set of charities. Unfortunately, the charities soon revealed they’d never received any of the money, and when Gibson started driving around in a luxury car, people put two and two together.
Soon, people from Gibson’s past began to speak out, claiming that her struggle with cancer was made up too. Journalists followed these claims, soon discovering an old brain scan from 2011, which coupled with other mounting evidence strongly suggesting that Belle had never had a tumor, and that she was totally healthy.
As the pressure mounted, Gibson confessed, and she was found guilty of ‘misleading and deceptive conduct,’ and fined $300,000.
Gibson went from hero to villain, but for one fraudster in the UK, Belle’s crimes sparked an idea. Following Gibson’s lead, Toni Standen, raised over $11,000 on GoFundMe in 2015 so that she and her fiancée could have their dream wedding before she died of terminal cancer.
But, of course, Toni didn’t have cancer. Standen lied to her family and friends, shaving her head, and pretending to be terminally ill for five years.
Everybody thought Toni was dying, but after the wedding, she admitted the truth to her closest friends, thinking that she could trust them. Showing good moral and character, though, her friends immediately shared the news and Standen was exposed, spending 5 months in jail for fraud.
For a brief period in the late 80’s, Milli Vanilli were one of the biggest musical acts in the world. Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus were known for catchy songs and killer dance moves, but nowadays, they’re famous for fraud, becoming figureheads for one of the largest scandals in music history.
In 1988, music manager Frank Farian recorded a song with a group of American singers and released it under the name ‘Milli Vanilli.’ As ‘girl you know it’s true’ climbed the charts in England, Farian discovered two backup dancers, Rob and Fab, living in Munich. The duo looked like models, knew how to dance and were desperate for money. In other words, they were perfect for Farian’s scam.
Farian cast them as the faces of the band, letting them lip-sync at the concerts and act like they sung all the songs. Within two years, Milli Vanilli had three number one singles, and a Grammy award for best Newcomer. Rob and Fab had become world-famous popstars, without singing a single note.
But as Milli Vanilli grew larger, the truth started to come out. Firstly, the pseudo-singers spoke with thick German and French accents, while the real singers behind Milli Vanilli sung the songs like born-and-raised New Yorkers. Every time the duo was interviewed, they struggled to pronounce the names of their own songs, drawing suspicion from journalists.
In 1989, while performing ‘girl you know it’s true,’ in Connecticut, the backing track jammed, looping the same few seconds over and over. Rob and Fab stopped lip-syncing, but their voices continued, booming the words ‘girl you know it’s…’ over and over again, exposing their fraud to a crowd of 80,000 fans.
Eventually, the guilt became too much for Fab and Rob, and they confessed to everything at a public press conference. Their Grammy was revoked, and 27 lawsuits were filed in the United States from outraged fans, claiming that the group and Frank Farian had committed fraud. After that, as the decades passed, ‘Girl you know it’s true’ no longer had the same ring to it.
Meet Falcon Heene, otherwise known as ‘balloon boy’; a 6-year-old who became the center of a huge news story involving the National Guard, Wife Swap USA, and a giant silver balloon.
In 2009, Richard and Mayumi Heene told the police that, in a bizarre accident, their son Falcon had become trapped inside a giant helium balloon, which had been inadvertently released, and was flying through the sky above Colorado.
The National Guard deployed their helicopters, tracking Falcon for 60 miles until the balloon crashed into an empty field. Everybody held their breath, but when police searched the crash-site, Falcon was nowhere to be found.
Shortly after, a relieved Richard Heene made an announcement. Falcon had been found hiding in a cardboard box in the rafters above their garage, and he’d been pulling a prank on his parents the entire time.
Falcon’s practical joke resulted in widespread media attention, but some people started to suggest that the whole thing might’ve been a hoax. It turns out that the Heene’s were no strangers to media attention. The family had appeared on Wife Swap USA twice, and Richard had recently tried to pitch a reality TV show to TLC about his wacky family.
After allegations of fraud started to circulate, the truth was exposed during a shocking interview on CNN. Richard asked Falcon, ‘why didn’t you come out of the garage,’ and Falcon replied, ‘you guys said we did this for the show,’ exposing his parents in front of the entire country.
With this confession and Richard’s past, the authorities realized that Richard had made the Balloon Boy story up to generate media attention, hoping it might finally get the family their own reality TV show.
Well, reality finally set in when Richard was sentenced to 90 days in jail and $36,000 in restitution, covering the costs of deploying the helicopters and police force as they chased after the empty balloon. The Heene’s entire plan relied on a 6-year-old’s ability to lie on live TV, but unfortunately, when it came to honesty, Falcon didn’t take after his father.
Iphone? My Phone.
Alexander Voloshin, a selfless influencer, gave a little girl an iPhone out of the kindness of his own heart, before uploading the heartwarming exchange on TikTok (now deleted) in 2021.
Unfortunately, the little girl’s mother also had a video to share, uploading a behind-the-scenes clip that showed what really occurred after Alexander had finished shooting. After his video wraps up, Voloshin immediately tries to take the phone back from the girl, telling her it was only a prop for the TikTok.
He offers her 70 bucks to give it back, but the mother turns it down, causing Voloshin to resort to ripping the phone out of the youngster's hand and fleeing the scene off-camera!
Alexander might’ve gotten the iPhone back, but he’ll never recover his reputation. His decision to upload the original TikTok, trying to shamelessly paint himself as a hero, resulted in an enormous backlash, and Alexander has since deleted his TikTok and Instagram.
In 2017, the chief of police in Tampa, Florida held a very important press conference, discussing the capture of a dangerous criminal. The chief was backed up by a team of policeman, Tampa’s Mayor, and Derlyn Roberts, the event’s sign language interpreter.
As the chief recounted shocking details of the crime, citizens around Tampa watched on in horror, but members of Tampa’s deaf community were left scratching their heads, when Derlyn started throwing out a mix of gibberish signs, random words, and what seemed like dance moves.
It soon became clear that Roberts didn’t know a single sign and was merely imitating what she thought sign language looked like. For people who knew sign-language, the situation was surreal, as Derlyn stood next to the city’s most important people waving her arms around.
It turns out, Derlyn had simply walked into the building and told the Police Department's spokesman that she’d been hired to interpret. Nobody bothered to check her credentials, but if they had, they would’ve discovered that while she had no sign experience, she did have a history of fraud, with prior convictions.
Once the conference was over, the complaints about Derlyn flooded in, but it was too late, she was nowhere to be found, having fled the scene. Derlyn’s actions weren’t technically illegal, and she wasn’t even paid for the conference, so it’s unclear why she decided to sabotage the event.
Either way, it’s fair to say that it’ll probably be her last interpreting gig. Although, judging by some of those moves, she might just have a future as a backup dancer!