Talk:Strip search phone call scam

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Law and Order[edit]

Should something be put in the article that this scenario was used in a resent episode of law in order SVU?--Blood Panther (talk) 03:10, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Done. F (talk) 12:28, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

RE: Citation Needed[edit]

In the article under Media depiction it states

These incidents were the inspiration behind an episode of Law & Order: SVU featuring Robin Williams as the hoaxer,
who identified himself as "detective Milgram", a reference to the famous Milgram experiment that tested obedience to authority.

A Citation needed tag is placed there.

I am watching this episode now and beginning at ~5:13 into the episode the following dialog appears.

Detective Olivia Benson: What about this Detective Milgram? He's the one who pulled Dwight's strings.
Detective John Munch: Stanley Milgram? He's dead.
Detective Elliot Stabler: You knew him?
Detective John Munch: Not personally, but the real Milgram was a psychology professor who instructed volunteers to give electroshocks to screaming victims.
Detective Odafin 'Fin' Tutuola: Sounds like a nut case.
Detective John Munch: Well, the shocks weren't real. The real nuts were the people frying their friends because somebody told them to.


Hello, I have a problem with the following quote: "If Stewart was indeed the caller, his occupation as a correctional officer would seem to confirm the conclusions of the notorious Stanford prison experiment.". Considering the fact that i dont see a citation and that wikipedia does critisize the Stanford prison experiment, wouldnt it be better to say that it supports (and not confirms) the Milgram experiment. Personaly i dont see how this incident would in any way support the Stanford prison experiment (other than correctional officers being sadistic), if anything it supports the Milgram experiment which shortly states that people will put their consciousness aside when authority figures tell them so. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Leonidaslundell (talkcontribs) 12:29, 13 January 2007

I agree. -Unsigned —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 01:14, 20 January 2007
  • Detention guards reveal their sadistic side.
  • Even in absence of real constraint, victims easily become very submissive.
--Nnemo (talk) 20:50, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

Removal of Picture[edit]

The picture of the woman being sexually abused should be removed. This is a real person, who is really being raped. I partially disagree. I feel that it should be kept on the article, as it is VERY relevant to the article, and provides a visualization of what went on. However, I wouldn't not object to hiding it behind a "click here for picture" link. (talk) 10:20, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not censored. -- (talk) 07:09, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, wikipedia is not censored, since this is after all 2006. The picture is censored, her name is censored. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 04:19, 12 February 2013 (UTC)


The following is a quote from a cited source: "The first report of such a call came in 1995, in Devil's Lake, N.D.; another came later that year in Fallon, Nev. The caller, usually pretending to be a police officer investigating a crime, targeted stores in small towns and rural communities -- areas where managers were more likely to be trusting."

This is a bullet in the article, not indicated as a quote of any kind: "The first report of such a call came in 1995, in Devil's Lake, N.D.; another came later that year in Fallon, Nev. The caller, usually pretending to be a police officer investigating a crime, targeted stores in small towns and rural communities — areas where managers were more likely to be trusting."

Furthermore, the source cited for the 'quote' appears to have itself taken the quote from the source I am talking about, 2 years later, with minimal attribution. It's not a better source than the original, so if quoting without indicating that it's a quote is valid, the citation should still be changed to the original source of the quote, rather than somebody that is quoting the original source. , the second is here:

It seems likely that there is more in that list, but I'm tired, which is why I didn't check everything and quote as necessary-- but really, who wants a list of quotes instead of 'original' content?Scorchsaber (talk) 17:02, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Thought I would add my surprise that this content is still sitting pretty on the page. almost that entire section is word-for-word an exact copy and paste job of The Courier-Journal's story on the events. i felt pretty confident in my belief that wikipedia does NOT in any way condone plagiarism (i mean, come on...someone took the time to write it in their own words...the least we can do is rewrite it in ours.) could anyone please clear this up ASAP. if this is NOT an acceptable way to present information in a wikipedia entry- nor should it be- i'd be more than glad to rewrite the section Ocrasaroon (talk) 03:00, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Category:American comedy and humor[edit]

This article is not a humorous article and does not belong in this category. Please stop adding it. KiTA (talk) 23:43, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

Removed this category again. KiTA (talk) 14:27, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
I beg to differ. There is a great deal of comedic value in the suffering and humiliation of others. Haven't you ever seen America's Funniest Home Videos? Uncle Dick (talk) 18:50, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
Due to issues with an abusive sockpuppet account, adding that category results in an immediate indef block. OhNoitsJamie Talk 19:00, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Are the reported incidents real? Or this just an example of an urban legend? Is it correct to imply one person was behind this - particularly when he was acquitted. If he was responsible it is reasonable to expect that he would have been convicted. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:33, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Claim that Summers was awarded over a million[edit]

Strangely the article has contained an assertion that Summers, the woman who forced the young girl to strip in the Mt. Washington McDonalds case, was awarded over a million US dollars as part of the victim's lawsuit. I removed it [1]. --C S (talk) 22:48, 30 December 2008 (UTC) You are incorrect. Donna Summers was awarded 1.1 million by a jury. See link: It states: "The jury also awarded $1.1 million to a former assistant manager who strip-searched Ogborn" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:32, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Copyright problem removed[edit]

One or more portions of this article duplicated other source(s). The material was copied from: Infringing material has been rewritten or removed and must not be restored, unless it is duly released under a license compatible with GFDL. (For more information, please see "using copyrighted works from others" if you are not the copyright holder of this material, or "donating copyrighted materials" if you are.) For legal reasons, we cannot accept copyrighted text or images borrowed from other web sites or printed material; such additions will be deleted. Contributors may use external websites as a source of information, but not as a source of sentences or phrases. Accordingly, the material may be rewritten, but only if it does not infringe on the copyright of the original or plagiarize from that source. Wikipedia takes copyright violations very seriously, and persistent violators will be blocked from editing. While we appreciate contributions, we must require all contributors to understand and comply with these policies. Thank you. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 13:20, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Middle name[edit]

David R. Stewart, none of the sources say what the R. stands for? Tyciol (talk) 02:11, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

It's not important. I'd like to ask that you kindly drop this line of inquiry at once. I'm sure that you have much better things to do than this. (talk) 16:08, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, don't think you'd find "david+r.+stewart"+david+stewart+mcdonalds many results outside name search databases. Nevard (talk) 21:40, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Richard. Source: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:20, 18 April 2015‎ (UTC)

Too long[edit]

This page is way too long, and has way too much detail. (talk) 21:52, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

What is “too much”, for example ? --Nnemo (talk) 20:52, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Name of victim[edit]

Why exactly are we seemingly protecting the name of the victim? Does Wikipedia have any policy on that? It's on every reference website! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:11, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

Rape and sexual assault victims are typically not identified by name to protect them. Do you think the article would be improved by including her name? (Wikipedia isn't censored, so technically it could be included - I'm not sure what good it would do.) Buspar (talk) 07:47, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
It's in the sources; not so important here. Cool Hand Luke 16:13, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
Having read the article I noticed the victim was not named. I vaguely assumed the name might have been suppressed in the hearing (and reasonably so), so was surprised that one of the linked-to references gives the name up front. I agree that having the name itself really does not add much, but its omission here is noticeable. Format (talk) 00:06, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

It is the policy of Wikipedia to censor any information that may offend readers. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 04:22, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

No, it is not. However, there are steps taken to preserve the privacy of individuals. This sounds like one of those cases. —C.Fred (talk) 04:25, 12 February 2013 (UTC)


How DARE any one write "A quick-thinking employee dialed *69" if Summers or any other of the three morons dialed it. Overall the article has a disgraceful apologetic tune in it as if it was written by Summers lawyer. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:02, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Quick thinking!!! Not at all. I am in two minds about this entire subject. Either these are scams designed to extort money from McDonald's, or McDonald's must recruit employees with IQ's lower than that of chimpanzees. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:39, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

The residents of small towns in American must be very backward. How could 70 calls be made to McDonald's and in each case the employee's on duty are so stupid as to fall for this scam? Nigerian scams are more plausible, and they only dupe a small percentage of recipients - something like 1 in 1000. How can McDonald's employee's be so thick? Doesn't the company employ anyone with an IQ over 50?


I've upgraded the assessment on the article from Start-class to C-class. It would take very little for the article to be upgraded to B-Class, mostly more inline citations. Thanks. Wildhartlivie (talk) 21:16, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Applebee's Example[edit]

The description of the 26/01/03 incident could be more appropriately worded. While the other examples in the "prior" section clearly show that the recipients of the calls (wrongly) believed they were doing the right thing, the Applebee's example seems to imply that the assistant manager was simply taking advantage of the situation. The only real evidence for that viewpoint seems to come from the fact that the he had received a memo warning about hoax calls a month earlier. Perhaps the current description is accurate, but the single paragraph about it in the citation is ambiguous. (talk) 23:43, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

I edited the entry to match the text from the cited article, not that it's that much clearer. Frankly I will never forgive you, whoever you are, for causing me to click the link and read all those descriptions of what was done in this so called "scam."Modern Primate (talk) 01:32, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

Yeah right[edit]

"I got a phone call telling me to take the clothes off a customer so I did it". Never heard anything so stupid in my life.

Yes, it seems many McDonald's employees are incredibly stupid.

What about the customer? Excuse me miss, but there is a police officer on the phone and he says you need to take your clothes off.. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:48, 14 January 2012 (UTC)


The name is wrong. This is either a scam or a prank. It cannot be both. If the calls were part of a plot to defraud McDonald's (i.e. the "victims" were in on it) it would be a scam. If the calls were made by one or more persons to unwitting (and witless) staff, and relying on the incredible stupidity of McDonald's employees, then it would be a prank. Obviously it is the latter only. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:46, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Not necessarily I think you could rightly call anything where you pretended to be something you weren't a scam with or without personal gain involved. Conversely one could easily argue that this wasn't a prank since one generally assumes a prank to be done for amusement and this seems more likely some sort of sexual gratification or power trip.

However at the very least I think call should be pluralized since obviously there was more then one call.-- (talk) 01:24, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

Wait, are you implying sexual gratification or a power trip isn't for amusement? I agree, scam should be taken out of title. (talk) 06:29, 5 August 2012 (UTC) Sutter Cane

This was neither a "scam" nor a "prank." This was sexual assault. The current title trivializes that fact. Modern Primate (talk) 01:36, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

Wholly agree, Modern Primate. Note: see [2] at en.wiktionary. "Scam" redirects to Confidence trick. Martinevans123 (talk) 11:14, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

Invalid source for content[edit]

The citation Wolfson, Andrew (9 October 2005). "A hoax most cruel" has been overused throughout this article and often the citation has no reference to the text. Specifically in the before incidents. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Soul phire (talkcontribs) 13:24, 20 September 2012

Category:Practical jokes[edit]

clearly so— Preceding unsigned comment added by Wholegood (talkcontribs) 10:39, 30 May 2014‎

Do you have a WP:RS that states that this is seen as "a joke" (of any kind)? Martinevans123 (talk) 11:00, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
"What follows is a series of events .. that, in certain moments, we can’t help but regard .. as darkly humorous"— Preceding unsigned comment added by Wholegood (talkcontribs) 21:37, 30 May 2014‎
hmmm, compliance, eh? ... maybe this was a real cutesy "practical joke" too? "Although Van at one point asks Sandra if what they’re doing is right, he nonetheless complies with Officer Daniels, getting Becky to perform a series of sexual acts, including making her do naked jumping jacks (to see if any objects “fall out”), lie on his lap to be repeatedly spanked, and perform oral sex." hmmmm great, a real gas, I'm sure. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:50, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
Sarcasm's really helpful when you make the request for a reliable source and get served with itWholegood (talk) 23:51, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
The article is already in the category Prank calling which is a child of Practical jokes. We should always use the more specific category per WP:CAT.- MrX 21:55, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
Good point. Category Prank calling is itself a third level subcategory of category Prank calling, which definitively establishes the articles qualification to membership of category American comedy and humor. Wholegood (talk) 23:51, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
Your justification for this behaviour being "humorous" is that the Wikipedia categories fit correctly? My, oh my. A bit of circularity there, don't you think? Martinevans123 (talk) 21:24, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
It's acknowledged as "dark humour" by Macdermott.Wholegood (talk) 22:29, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
[where?] Martinevans123 (talk) 22:40, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
3rd comment in threadWholegood (talk) 04:02, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
So we have one source, Ryan P. McDermott, of Cinespect which provides "Views on the NYC Film Scene". Yes, Cinespect seems an WP:RS which is already used in several other Wikipedia articles, even if Ryan P. McDermott himself (who is, we are told, "based in San Francisco") fails to appear. But the comments relate to the 90 minute film - Compliance (film) which is where they belong and not to the actual real-life series of incidents which "extended over a period of about ten years". So maybe this kind of behaviour is considered "darkly humorous" in New York? But even Mr McDermott qualifies his assertion with "in certain moments". Perhaps the moments when he forgot about the therapy and the $200 million lawsuit for the real life victim. Martinevans123 (talk) 09:44, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
The 2012 docudrama is not something made up and accentuated with comedy: "a message displayed before the action starts .. says that the story, inspired by real events, is so shocking it is hard to believe, but that nothing was exaggerated". While the esteemed reviewier has been able to acknowledge the elements of a practical joke and others do not turn their mind to that, the compromise solution here is to categorise to all of the published reasonable source interpretations: comedy, crime & (if at all) other.Wholegood (talk) 12:28, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but there is nothing you can say here that will convince me that the subject matter of this article is "comedy". It's crime. I suggest the nesting of Wikipedia article categories is a distraction here, not a help. I also suspect that the article title is misleading, as a "scam" generally involves money. Consensus is against you here - currently at a ratio of 3:1. By all means open a WP:RfC thread below if you think that is justified. Martinevans123 (talk) 12:44, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
What a charming child. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:59, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
Who is the above lousy comment directed to, or about, btw?Wholegood (talk) 12:32, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
Why is this "a lousy comment"? [3]. Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 12:49, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
This was a criminal act, not a 'prank'. Neither category is remotely appropriate. AndyTheGrump (talk) 22:00, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
Good point. I removed the parent cat as well.- MrX 22:07, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
There are aspects of what went on which were purely comedic and would never be adjudged a crime by anyone. Tricking the dupes into running on the spot and performing jumping jacks are obvious examples.Wholegood (talk) 10:38, 31 May 2014 (UTC)


The calls were pranks, or false, but not "fraudulent". The word fraudulent does not belong in this article at all.Royalcourtier (talk) 18:30, 7 March 2016 (UTC)