Overly Complicated Cheating Scam Fails Badly

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It's a good thing this guy was caught trying to cheat on the MCAT (the Medical College Admissions Test), because if the scheme he and an accomplice came up with is any indication, he isn't smart enough to be a doctor.

Prosecutors in British Columbia have charged the two men with fraud and various kinds of theft as a result of the scheme, which was high-tech but low-IQ. They allege that the test-taker used a small wireless camera to take pictures of the MCAT questions he was given and send them to the accomplice. The accomplice would come up with answers and send them back. So far, so good, but here's where it gets stupid.

Rather than pick an accomplice with a medical background who could help him directly, the test-taker found somebody who set up an elaborate plan to get the answers from a third party. Or three third parties, anyway, because his plan was to try to fool three medical students into answering the questions by telling them they were taking a test that might qualify them for a job as MCAT tutors.

These people quickly became suspicious, though, because they noticed the images of the test questions were very poor in quality, almost as if they were not official but had been taken with a small wireless camera. It also struck them as odd that their host encouraged them to discuss the answer to each question among themselves, which would seem to defeat the purpose of a test that was supposed to distinguish between them for job purposes. Further, he would leave periodically with their answers (so he could send them to the test-taker) and later come back for more, rather than waiting for the entire test to be finished.

Leaving the room is what sealed his fate, it turns out, because during one of his departures the students hopped online and found that, coincidentally, that happened to be the very day the MCAT was being administered. Also, since the scammer left his computer in the room with the students, they were able to browse through the computer's hard drive and Internet search history, noting that the owner had been looking into spy technology of the kind that could be used to cheat. After finding this information, the students called police and then stalled, pretending to play along but actually giving wrong answers. Both cheaters were arrested.

"What's unusual here," said a cheating expert cited in the report, is that they actually conned the people who [were] going to be supplying the answers." Well, they tried to con them.