Woman Who Faked Coffee Burns From McDonald’s Now Facing Felony Charges


A 38-year-old woman from Victorville is facing almost two dozen felony charges of fraud after she posted photos on the Internet of an alleged second-degree burn she received from McDonald’s coffee. CBS Los Angeles reports that the photos of her injured hand were not her own.

Selena Edwards claimed she received the burns after hot coffee was spilled on her hand at the McDonald’s drive-thru in January 2013. She said that the cup that was handed to her had an unsecured lid. Edwards submitted photos of a hand with second-degree burns along with the initial injury claim.

It was later discovered by detectives investigating the case that the photos she submitted were copied from a hospital website. It’s presumed Edwards also faked records of medical treatment for her hand.

Edwards is looking at charges for insurance and workers’ compensation fraud.

H/T CBS Los Angeles


1 In 5 Yelp Reviews Are Fake, What Yelp Has to Say About It


According to MarketWatch, 20 percent of Yelp reviews are fake, or as Yelp likes to put it, “suspicious.” In a study dubbed Operation Clean Turf,  NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman led a year-long  investigation that ended in an agreement with 19 companies to cease the practice of creating fake online reviews. The companies also agreed to pay more than $350,000 in fines for false advertising.

Many of these businesses were guilty of paying freelance writers from the Philippines, Bangladesh, and Eastern Europe between $1 to $10 per review. Despite Yelp forbidding the use of paid reviews, a study by Michael Luca, an assistant professor at Harvard Business School, and Georgios Zervas, an assistant professor of marketing at Boston University, reports that fraudulent Yelp reviews rose from 5 percent in 2006 to 20 percent in 2013. The study predicts that the number may have risen to as high as 25 percent, unsettling news for avid fans who use Yelp as a go-to resource.

When a one-star boost on Yelp can lead anywhere from a 5 percent to 9 percent increase in restaurant revenue, it isn’t difficult to figure out why businesses are tempted to hire these companies that pump out faux reviews.

“Our findings suggest that unethical decision making is a function of incentives, rather than of unethical businesses,” Luca explains. “Organizations are more likely to game the system when they are facing increased competition and when they have poor or less established reputations… More generally, this casts light on the economic incentives that lead organizations to violate ethical norms.”

In an email to BGR, Yelp addressed MarketWatch’s report on Luca’s study:

The study confirms what Yelp has long known: businesses will try to submit phony reviews about their business or competitors. That’s why Yelp uses sophisticated software to filter out suspicious and less trustworthy reviews. As a result, Yelp only publishes about 75% of reviews submitted; the remaining 25% — including those highlighted in the study — are relegated to our filter and not recommended. So, while there may be some people who are still surprised to learn that businesses try to mislead consumers with phony reviews, the good news is that Yelp has been on the case since the very beginning.

So how do you tell the difference between a fake and real review sans fancy algorithms? Check out the tone of the review. Is it overly positive or negative? Fake reviews tend to be extreme, as there’s not much incentive for a restaurant to give themselves neutral coverage. The source is also a dead giveaway — if a Yelper writes a particularly damning or laudatory review but has close to zero other reviews, it may be reason to raise that red flag.

H/T MarketWatch + PicThx Yelp


Today I Learned – Cap’n Crunch is a Liar and a Fraud


My whole life has just been shattered into a pile of stale cereal crumbs.

Seriously, guys. Your design team had one job. You couldn’t have at least gotten the old man’s uniform right? Now, adults and children alike are lamenting the fact that the cheery Santa Claus in a blue Napoleon hat is really just a big, fat LIAR. Yes, my fellow Foodbeasts, the “Cap’n” is really just  a “Commander” in disguise.

If you haven’t already, peep the photo above, and note the disparity between the stripes of a captain and those of a commander. Now check out the stripes on Cap’n Crunch’s wrists. One. Two. Three . . . Ugh.

Next you’re going to tell me that Tony the Tiger is really a cranky bald man in a cat suit, or something equally horrifying.

My only solace is that he goes by “Cap’n” Crunch instead of  “Captain.” Still, I’m a little heartbroken over here.


It’s most likely that the Cap’n only has three stripes because he’s a French “Capitaine de frégate” and they technically only have three yellow stripes. Although, that still translates to “Commander” in English . . . and doesn’t explain why he doesn’t speak a lick of le français.

PicThx imgur


Love Kobe Beef? Well, You’ve Probably Never Had It [REPORT]

kobe beef in america doesn't exist

We’re not kidding. According to an article that debuted earlier this week from Forbes, its impossible to have ordered, bought or consumed authentic Kobe beef in the United States. Why don’t you let that sink in a bit.

That’s right. No matter how much you have spent or who your legitimate source was – you’ve been duped. swindled. psyched. bamboozled. hoodwinked. and a lot of other synonyms that could be generated by my prevailing wit, definitely not google and thesaurus searches.

We can all stand to learn a bit more about what true Kobe Beef is and isn’t. It IS produced by some of the world’s strictest legal standards and requires a pure lineage of Tajima-gyu breed cattle. It ISN’T massaged for hours by dedicated sous-chefs as part of the standard preparation of five-diamond restaurants. It IS beef that is born and raised for its entire life in the Hyogo prefecture and always a bull or virgin cow. It ISN’T an argument between the active LA Lakers legend and the most emotional basketball player of all time Pau Gasol.

The imitation beef you have been consumed probably has come from the Midwest, Great Plains, South America or Australia. Here’s the proof:

“It is now illegal to import (or even hand carry for personal consumption) any Japanese beef. Before 2010 you could import only boneless fresh Japanese beef, but none was real Kobe. Under Japanese law, Kobe beef can only came from Hyogo prefecture (of which Kobe is the capital city), where no slaughterhouses were approved for export by the USDA. According to its own trade group, the Kobe Beef Marketing & Distribution Promotion Association in Japan, where Kobe Beef is a registered trademark, Macao is the only place it is exported to – and only since last year. If you had real Kobe beef in this country in recent years, someone probably smuggled it in their luggage.”

Now you know.

(THX Forbes, Photo Credit to Wikipedia)