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* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/300_million_yen_robbery Japan's biggest bank robbery]] was pulled off in this way in 1968. Four employees of the Nihon Shintaku Bank were assigned to deliver approximately 300 million yen from their branch to the local Toshiba factory, to be used as a cash bonus for the factory workers. A uniformed police officer on a motorcycle approached and stopped the cash transport vehicle, notifying them that their branch manager's house had been blown up and that there was a bomb threat against the cash transport as well. The four men exited the vehicle while the policeman crawled underneath the car to find the bomb. Seconds later, smoke billowed from under the vehicle, the policeman rolled back out, and shouted that it was about to blow. While the four men ran for cover, the "cop" jumped into the driver's seat and made off with the money. The supposed "bomb" turned out to be a road flare the thief set off while under the car. The thief nor the money were ever located.

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* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/300_million_yen_robbery Japan's biggest bank robbery]] was pulled off in this way in 1968. Four employees of the Nihon Shintaku Bank were assigned to deliver approximately 300 million yen from their branch to the local Toshiba factory, to be used as a cash bonus for the factory workers. A uniformed police officer on a motorcycle approached and stopped the cash transport vehicle, notifying them that their branch manager's house had been blown up and that there was a bomb threat against the cash transport as well. The four men exited the vehicle while the policeman crawled underneath the car to find the bomb. Seconds later, smoke billowed from under the vehicle, the policeman rolled back out, and shouted that it was about to blow. While the four men ran for cover, the "cop" jumped into the driver's seat and made off with the money. The supposed "bomb" turned out to be a road flare the thief set off while under the car. The Neither the thief nor the money were ever located.


* A 19th-century Prussian town fell victim to a famous variety of this prank, precisely because the Prussian aristocracy was one of the most militaristic in Europe and had essentially trained the populace to think that anything military was official. A con artist [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_Voigt con artist dressed in the uniform of a German army captain]] and claimed to be an "inspector" In less than an hour, he ordered eleven soldiers to follow him, ordered the local police to stop any phone calls to Berlin for the next hour, arrested the mayor and the treasurer on "suspicions of crooked bookkeeping", and confiscated the entire city treasury. Nobody questioned him; the closest anyone came to checking his credentials was satisfied when he gave them a receipt for the confiscated treasury, using a fake name. He then simply walked away and was arrested 13 days later, only because he bragged about it to a former cellmate. Kaiser Wilhelm II found it ActuallyPrettyFunny and [[RefugeInAudacity pardoned the guy]].

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* A 19th-century An early 20th-century Prussian town fell victim to a famous variety of this prank, precisely because the Prussian aristocracy was one of the most militaristic in Europe and had essentially trained the populace to think that anything military was official. A con artist [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_Voigt con artist dressed in the uniform of a German army captain]] and claimed to be an "inspector" In less than an hour, he ordered eleven soldiers to follow him, ordered the local police to stop any phone calls to Berlin for the next hour, arrested the mayor and the treasurer on "suspicions of crooked bookkeeping", and confiscated the entire city treasury. Nobody questioned him; the closest anyone came to checking his credentials was satisfied when he gave them a receipt for the confiscated treasury, using a fake name. He then simply walked away and was arrested 13 days later, only because he bragged about it to a former cellmate. Kaiser Wilhelm II found it ActuallyPrettyFunny and [[RefugeInAudacity pardoned the guy]].


*** Possibly a dig at the fact that Jackson Pollock's "art" is indistinguishable from a used dropcloth and is still somehow worth millions.

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** Life Guards are usually taught that, if the person in duress is a child, try and send the parent of call. First, the parent is probably panicing and this isn't helping you or the child any, and a 911 operator is trained to talk the parent. Second, the parent knows the child's medical history better than anyone else on the pool, third, it keeps the distracted from further panic as what's about to happen is [[UsefulNotes/CPRCleanPrettyReliable not gonna be pretty.]] For added bonus, to get the rest of the crowd on board, order someone else to go to the gate and flag down the ambulance and possibly designate a third person to be a message runner between the parent and the you.


* Emergency procedures in life-or-death situations actually take advantage of this, to allow people to do crucial things even if they're just civilian bystanders. First, it avoids the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bystander_effect bystander effect]], where individuals might be reluctant to assist because they think someone else ought to do it; [[UsefulNotes/CPRCleanPrettyReliable CPR classes]], for instance, teach students not to yell general instructions ("Would someone call an ambulance?") but point to specific people and give them instructions ("You, in the blue dress, call an ambulance!"). Second, it ensures a proper division of labor and prevents too many people trying to do the same thing or calling for help. Third, it ensures that someone is actually ''in charge'' of the emergency, even before the trained help arrives. All told, using human psychology to make you think that you ''are'' the trained help is a good way to take charge of the situation (and for those first few minutes, you really are the help there is).

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* Emergency procedures in life-or-death situations actually take advantage of this, to allow people to do crucial things even if they're just civilian bystanders. First, it avoids the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bystander_effect bystander effect]], where individuals might be reluctant to assist because they think someone else ought to do it; [[UsefulNotes/CPRCleanPrettyReliable CPR classes]], for instance, teach students not to yell general instructions ("Would someone call an ambulance?") but point to specific people and give them instructions ("You, in the blue dress, call an ambulance!"). Second, it ensures a proper division of labor and prevents too many people trying to do the same thing or calling for help. Third, it ensures that someone is actually ''in charge'' of the emergency, even before the trained help arrives. All told, using human psychology to make you people think that you ''are'' the trained help is a good way to take charge of the situation (and for those first few minutes, you really are the help there is).


* Frank Abagnale, the notorious con artist and inspiration for the protagonist of ''Film/CatchMeIfYouCan'', used this to pull off many of his cons. One instance in particular stands out, in which he purchased a security guard's uniform and stood at a bank's overnight depository, telling patrons that the depository was broken but he would be more than happy to secure their money. According to Website/IMDb, the filmmakers wanted to include this scam in the movie, but during filming, people came up to Creator/LeonardoDiCaprio in costume and [[TruthInTelevision tried to give him their money]]. The trick was effective enough to also be featured in Creator/NeilGaiman's ''Literature/AmericanGods'' and in an episode of ''Series/{{Hustle}}''.
* A 19th century Prussian town fell victim to a famous variety of this prank, precisely because the Prussian aristocracy was one of the most militaristic in Europe and had essentially trained the populace to think that anything military was official. A con artist [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_Voigt con artist dressed in the uniform of a German army captain]] and claimed to be an "inspector" In less than an hour, he ordered eleven soldiers to follow him, ordered the local police to stop any phone calls to Berlin for the next hour, arrested the mayor and the treasurer on "suspicions of crooked bookkeeping", and confiscated the entire city treasury. Nobody questioned him; the closest anyone came to checking his credentials was satisfied when he gave them a receipt for the confiscated treasury, using a fake name. He then simply walked away, and was arrested 13 days later, only because he bragged about it to a former cellmate. Kaiser Wilhelm II found it ActuallyPrettyFunny and [[RefugeInAudacity pardoned the guy]].

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* Frank Abagnale, the notorious con artist and inspiration for the protagonist of ''Film/CatchMeIfYouCan'', used this to pull off many of his cons. One instance instance, in particular particular, stands out, in which he purchased a security guard's uniform and stood at a bank's overnight depository, telling patrons that the depository was broken but he would be more than happy to secure their money. According to Website/IMDb, the filmmakers wanted to include this scam in the movie, but during filming, people came up to Creator/LeonardoDiCaprio in costume and [[TruthInTelevision tried to give him their money]]. The trick was effective enough to also be featured in Creator/NeilGaiman's ''Literature/AmericanGods'' and in an episode of ''Series/{{Hustle}}''.
* A 19th century 19th-century Prussian town fell victim to a famous variety of this prank, precisely because the Prussian aristocracy was one of the most militaristic in Europe and had essentially trained the populace to think that anything military was official. A con artist [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_Voigt con artist dressed in the uniform of a German army captain]] and claimed to be an "inspector" In less than an hour, he ordered eleven soldiers to follow him, ordered the local police to stop any phone calls to Berlin for the next hour, arrested the mayor and the treasurer on "suspicions of crooked bookkeeping", and confiscated the entire city treasury. Nobody questioned him; the closest anyone came to checking his credentials was satisfied when he gave them a receipt for the confiscated treasury, using a fake name. He then simply walked away, away and was arrested 13 days later, only because he bragged about it to a former cellmate. Kaiser Wilhelm II found it ActuallyPrettyFunny and [[RefugeInAudacity pardoned the guy]].



* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/300_million_yen_robbery Japan's biggest bank robbery]] was pulled off in this way in 1968. Four employees of the Nihon Shintaku Bank were assigned to deliver approximately 300 million yen from their branch to the local Toshiba factory, to be used as cash bonus for the factory workers. A uniformed police officer on a motorcycle approached and stopped the cash transport vehicle, notifying them that their branch manager's house had been blown up and that there was a bomb threat against the cash transport as well. The four men exited the vehicle while the policeman crawled underneath the car to find the bomb. Seconds later, smoke billowed from under the vehicle, the policeman rolled back out, and shouted that it was about to blow. While the four men ran for cover, the "cop" jumped into the driver's seat and made off with the money. The supposed "bomb" turned out to be a road flare the thief set off while under the car. Neither the thief nor the money were ever located.
* Australian comedy show ''Series/TheChasersWarOnEverything'' did this to [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Chaser_APEC_pranks get to within meters of the hotel]] where UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush was staying in Sydney for the 2007 APEC meeting. They did it by renting a limousine, sticking miniature Canadian flags on it, and [[TheGuardsMustBeCrazy driving straight through a AU $4,000,000 security perimeter]]. Their security passes were obviously fake (with things like "JOKE" written on them), but nobody checked them. They (and apparently Creator/TheABC and [[OurLawyersAdvisedThisTrope the ABC's lawyers]]) were convinced that someone would stop them at some point. They only got caught right at the entrance of the hotel, when out of amazement at how far they got, Chas stepped out of the limousine -- in full costume as UsefulNotes/OsamaBinLaden. The Chasers [[http://youtu.be/NvH3YQGQwLM recount the incident here]], and were particularly amused by the fact that even after "Bin Laden" had been apprehended, the police seemed more interested in the ''other'' guys in the motorcade.

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* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/300_million_yen_robbery Japan's biggest bank robbery]] was pulled off in this way in 1968. Four employees of the Nihon Shintaku Bank were assigned to deliver approximately 300 million yen from their branch to the local Toshiba factory, to be used as a cash bonus for the factory workers. A uniformed police officer on a motorcycle approached and stopped the cash transport vehicle, notifying them that their branch manager's house had been blown up and that there was a bomb threat against the cash transport as well. The four men exited the vehicle while the policeman crawled underneath the car to find the bomb. Seconds later, smoke billowed from under the vehicle, the policeman rolled back out, and shouted that it was about to blow. While the four men ran for cover, the "cop" jumped into the driver's seat and made off with the money. The supposed "bomb" turned out to be a road flare the thief set off while under the car. Neither the The thief nor the money were ever located.
* Australian comedy show ''Series/TheChasersWarOnEverything'' did this to [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Chaser_APEC_pranks get to within meters of the hotel]] where UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush was staying in Sydney for the 2007 APEC meeting. They did it by renting a limousine, sticking miniature Canadian flags on it, and [[TheGuardsMustBeCrazy driving straight through a an AU $4,000,000 security perimeter]]. Their security passes were obviously fake (with things like "JOKE" written on them), but nobody checked them. They (and apparently Creator/TheABC and [[OurLawyersAdvisedThisTrope the ABC's lawyers]]) were convinced that someone would stop them at some point. They only got caught right at the entrance of the hotel, when out of amazement at how far they got, Chas stepped out of the limousine -- in full costume as UsefulNotes/OsamaBinLaden. The Chasers [[http://youtu.be/NvH3YQGQwLM recount the incident here]], and were particularly amused by the fact that even after "Bin Laden" had been apprehended, the police seemed more interested in the ''other'' guys in the motorcade.



* In October 2010, a dam in Hungary burst, spilling red toxic sludge across the countryside and laying waste to a village. [[http://jalopnik.com/5663773/how-we-helped-hungarys-toxic-sludge-victims One man]] whose house was spared happened to own a Ford Transit fire truck, which he loaded up with food and water to help the victims. He commented that getting through the check points was easy because the authorities assumed he was with the fire department.

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* In October 2010, a dam in Hungary burst, spilling red toxic sludge across the countryside and laying waste to a village. [[http://jalopnik.com/5663773/how-we-helped-hungarys-toxic-sludge-victims One man]] whose house was spared happened to own a Ford Transit fire truck, which he loaded up with food and water to help the victims. He commented that getting through the check points checkpoints was easy because the authorities assumed he was with the fire department.



* In March 1986, eleven students from Harvey Mudd College showed up on the Caltech campus and left with a [[UsefulNotes/FrancoPrussianWar century-old]], 1.7 ton cannon. In broad daylight. They posed as a construction crew and gave multiple different stories to any people who asked, but the real trick was planting people whose job was to look like normal students who didn't think anything was wrong. Twenty years later, MIT repeated the trick by posing as [[{{Pun}} Howe & Ser]] Moving Company.

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* In March 1986, eleven students from Harvey Mudd College showed up on the Caltech campus and left with a [[UsefulNotes/FrancoPrussianWar century-old]], 1.7 ton 7-ton cannon. In broad daylight. They posed as a construction crew and gave multiple different stories to any people anyone who asked, but the real trick was planting people whose job was to look like normal students who didn't think anything was wrong. Twenty years later, MIT repeated the trick by posing as [[{{Pun}} Howe & Ser]] Moving Company.



* Benjamin Franklin himself essentially employed this to ensure the American Revolution a good general to instruct them in how to fight. After meeting the Prussian captain Von Stueben in Paris, and concerned that Congress would not accept a "mere captain," Franklin "doctored" Von Stueben's resume to take along and show Washington a lengthy and impressive career as a former lieutenant general in the Prussian army.

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* Benjamin Franklin himself essentially employed this to ensure the American Revolution a good general to instruct them in how to fight. After meeting the Prussian captain Von Stueben Steuben in Paris, and concerned that Congress would not accept a "mere captain," Franklin "doctored" Von Stueben's Steuben's resume to take along and show Washington a lengthy and impressive career as a former lieutenant general in the Prussian army.



* Legendary electric guitarist Les Paul was unable to get any record exectutives to sign him, until one day he was headed home from yet another unsucessful interview and saw workmen erecting a sign for the newly formed Capitol Records. Paul waited until they were distracted, then walked into the building backwards, figuring that if anyone stopped him, he'd say he was on his way out. He managed to make his way into the offices, and convinced an A&R man to listen to his recordings, upon which the man wrote out a contract on the spot.

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* Legendary electric guitarist Les Paul was unable to get any record exectutives executives to sign him, until one day he was headed home from yet another unsucessful unsuccessful interview and saw workmen erecting a sign for the newly formed Capitol Records. Paul waited until they were distracted, then walked into the building backwards, figuring that if anyone stopped him, he'd say he was on his way out. He managed to make his way into the offices, and convinced an A&R man to listen to his recordings, upon which the man wrote out a contract on the spot.



* Youtube prankster WebVideo/RemiGaillard managed to enter the Final of the French Cup by simply [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TaecFvNiqo using a fake jersey of the winning team]], with no one ever questioning him, even using simple sneakers instead of professional shoes. He touched the cup, gave interviews, shook hands with then president Chirac, and even signed autographs.

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* Youtube prankster WebVideo/RemiGaillard managed to enter the Final of the French Cup by simply [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TaecFvNiqo using a fake jersey of the winning team]], with no one ever questioning him, even using simple sneakers instead of professional shoes. He touched the cup, gave interviews, shook hands with then president then-president Chirac, and even signed autographs.


* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/300_million_yen_robbery Japan's biggest bank robbery]] was pulled off in this way in 1968. Four employees of the Nihon Shintaku Bank were assigned to deliver approximately 300 million yen from their branch to the local Toshiba factory, to be used as cash bonus for the factory workers. A uniformed police officer on a motorcycle approached and stopped the cash transport vehicle, notifying them that their branch manager's house had been blown up and that there was a bomb threat against the cash transport as well. The four men exited the vehicle while the policeman crawled underneath the car to find the bomb. Seconds later, smoke billowed from under the vehicle, the policeman rolled back out, and shouted that it was about to blow. While the four men ran for cover, the "cop" jumped into the driver's seat and made off with the money. Neither the thief nor the money were ever located.

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* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/300_million_yen_robbery Japan's biggest bank robbery]] was pulled off in this way in 1968. Four employees of the Nihon Shintaku Bank were assigned to deliver approximately 300 million yen from their branch to the local Toshiba factory, to be used as cash bonus for the factory workers. A uniformed police officer on a motorcycle approached and stopped the cash transport vehicle, notifying them that their branch manager's house had been blown up and that there was a bomb threat against the cash transport as well. The four men exited the vehicle while the policeman crawled underneath the car to find the bomb. Seconds later, smoke billowed from under the vehicle, the policeman rolled back out, and shouted that it was about to blow. While the four men ran for cover, the "cop" jumped into the driver's seat and made off with the money. The supposed "bomb" turned out to be a road flare the thief set off while under the car. Neither the thief nor the money were ever located.


* In CPR and lifesaving classes, students are taught to use this for good, because individuals may be reluctant to assist in an emergency due to the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bystander_effect bystander effect]]. For example, a rescuer should address a specific person (e.g. "you, the lady in the blue dress") when asking for someone to call for an ambulance, instead of a general request ("Would someone call an ambulance?"). Conversely, this also works to safeguard against a half-dozen emergency calls being placed and potentially delaying help as operators work to deal with the influx.
** A related instruction given in self-defense courses is to never yell "Help!" because of the chance that some people will be less likely to respond if there is a threat of danger. Instead, when threatened, you should yell "Fire!", and/or flip a fire or car alarm, DontTryThisAtHome unless it's life or death, because that will attract more people. (Within reason, obviously--if there are police/security guards within earshot, then "Help" is better because it's more likely to bring professional assistance, who aren't impeded by curious on-lookers. If there are so many people that yelling "Fire" may cause a dangerous panic, then, of course, you should yell "Help!" instead.)
** Depending on where you live, have a look at emergency instructions where you work and you're likely to find that you're actually supposed to accept this in emergency. Many such instructions state that until actual emergency personnel arrives, the evacuation etc. are coordinated by "the appointed personnel, managers, directors, or... the most composed and decisive person". Notice the last part. It often even doesn't require that person to be an employee. Basically, panic and chaos tend to be so destructive in emergencies that almost anyone in charge is better than noone, even if the only authority they hold is their ability to actually take control and look like they know what they are doing. Even if they don't, it's less likely to be fatal than letting panic grow.
* Frank Abagnale, the notorious con artist the book and film ''Film/CatchMeIfYouCan'' are based on, used this to pull off many of his cons. In one instance, he purchased a security guard's uniform and stood at a bank's overnight depository, telling patrons who pulled up to make their deposits that the depository was broken but that he would be more than happy to secure their money. According to Website/IMDb, they planned to include the same scam in the movie, but, during filming, people came up to Creator/LeonardoDiCaprio in costume and [[TruthInTelevision tried to give him their money]].
** The trick was featured in Creator/NeilGaiman's ''Literature/AmericanGods'' and in an episode of ''Hustle''. Danny would've gotten more if he hadn't started opening accounts for people.
* Germany was united in the 19th century by the Prussians, whose aristocracy was arguably the most militaristic in Europe. Their obsession with things military spread across the country. At one point, a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_Voigt con artist dressed in the uniform of a German army captain]] entered a good-sized town claiming to be an "inspector". In less than an hour, he ordered ''four grenadiers, a sergeant, and six other soldiers'' to follow him (of whom no one questioned his authority), ordered ''the local police'' to stop any phone calls to Berlin for the next hour, arrested the mayor and the treasurer for "suspicions of crooked bookkeeping", and ''confiscated the entire city treasury''. The closest thing to "checking his credentials" was him ''giving a receipt'' for the confiscated treasury, using a fake name. Then he simply walked away, and was arrested 13 days later ''only because a former cell mate whom he told about his plans told this to the police''. [[RefugeInAudacity He was later pardoned by Kaiser Wilhelm II]], who found it ActuallyPrettyFunny. There is at least one play and three movies made about this.
* [[AndThatsTerrible A particularly heinous]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strip_search_prank_call_scam prank]] involving [[NoodleImplements [=McDonald's=], a master manipulator, and a telephone.]]
** [[RippedFromTheHeadlines This story has been adapted twice]], first for an episode of ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'', then a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compliance_(film) 2012 movie]].
** Similarly, one man managed to convince at least one person to [[http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/weblog/permalink/rectal_exam_prank_caller/ perform a rectal exam]] this way. Keeping a straight face must have been torture for everyone with a sense of humor.
* In 1948, a Japanese male in uniform entered the Teikoku Imperial Bank and, using this trope, managed to get the entire bank staff to swallow poison. In unison. Detailed in the book ''Flowering of the Bamboo'' by William Triplett and is recounted by Tiger Tanaka to Literature/JamesBond in the novel ''Literature/YouOnlyLiveTwice''.
* On December 10, 1968, four employees of the Nihon Shintaku Bank were assigned to deliver approximately 300 million yen from their branch to the local Toshiba factory, to be used as cash bonus for the factory workers. A uniformed police officer on a motorcycle approached and stopped the cash transport vehicle, notifying them that their branch manager's house had been blown up and that there was a bomb threat against the cash transport as well. The four men exited the vehicle while the policeman crawled underneath the car to find the bomb. Seconds later, smoke billowed from under the vehicle, the policeman rolled back out, and shouted that it was about to blow. While the four men ran for cover, the "cop" jumped into the driver's seat and made off with the money. Neither the false policeman/thief nor the money has been definitively located. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/300_million_yen_robbery More on the Other Wiki]].
* ''Series/TheChasersWarOnEverything'' and their controversial APEC stunt: they rented a limousine, stuck miniature Canadian flags on it, [[TheGuardsMustBeCrazy and marched clean through]] [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome a AU $4,000,000 security perimeter]]. It may be found in all its glory [[http://youtu.be/NvH3YQGQwLM here]].
** To go into more detail: The stunt was approved by Creator/TheABC's lawyers because they assumed the fake motorcade would be stopped and turned around at the first checkpoint; none of the team could believe they got as far as they got. They had fake security passes that said "joke", "Insecurity", and "It's pretty obvious this isn't a real pass" and got within meters of the hotel where UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush was staying. They were only caught when, realizing they were not going to be stopped by the police, they tried to turn around and Chas got out of the car ''dressed as UsefulNotes/OsamaBinLaden''. And, even then, they left Chas alone for a while and instead converged to arrest the one not dressed as bin Laden, as remarked on by The Chasers themselves.
** [[RefugeInAudacity The bigger the lie, the easier it is to believe]]; Julian Morrow had done a number of pranks on a smaller scale and often managed to fool members of the public, but never the employees of whichever establishment or organization he claimed to work for.
* On 2 July 2000, 15 men dressed in senior officers' uniforms driving civilian jeeps painted up to look like military vehicles entered a Malaysian army base using this method. They apparently convinced the base armory personnel to hand over more than 100 assault rifles and grenade launchers to them and left before anyone realized something was wrong. See [[http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/818403.stm BBC News]].

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* In CPR and lifesaving classes, students are taught Emergency procedures in life-or-death situations actually take advantage of this, to use this for good, because individuals may be reluctant allow people to assist in an emergency due to do crucial things even if they're just civilian bystanders. First, it avoids the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bystander_effect bystander effect]]. For example, a rescuer should address a specific person (e.g. "you, the lady in the blue dress") when asking for effect]], where individuals might be reluctant to assist because they think someone else ought to call do it; [[UsefulNotes/CPRCleanPrettyReliable CPR classes]], for an ambulance, instead of a instance, teach students not to yell general request instructions ("Would someone call an ambulance?"). Conversely, this also works ambulance?") but point to safeguard against a half-dozen emergency calls being placed and potentially delaying help as operators work to deal with the influx.
** A related instruction given in self-defense courses is to never yell "Help!" because of the chance that some
specific people will be less likely to respond if there is a threat of danger. Instead, when threatened, you should yell "Fire!", and/or flip a fire or car alarm, DontTryThisAtHome unless it's life or death, because that will attract more people. (Within reason, obviously--if there are police/security guards within earshot, then "Help" is better because it's more likely to bring professional assistance, who aren't impeded by curious on-lookers. If there are so many people that yelling "Fire" may cause a dangerous panic, then, of course, you should yell "Help!" instead.)
** Depending on where you live, have a look at emergency
and give them instructions where you work ("You, in the blue dress, call an ambulance!"). Second, it ensures a proper division of labor and you're likely prevents too many people trying to find do the same thing or calling for help. Third, it ensures that you're someone is actually supposed ''in charge'' of the emergency, even before the trained help arrives. All told, using human psychology to accept this in emergency. Many such instructions state make you think that until actual emergency personnel arrives, you ''are'' the evacuation etc. are coordinated by "the appointed personnel, managers, directors, or... the most composed and decisive person". Notice the last part. It often even doesn't require that person trained help is a good way to be an employee. Basically, panic and chaos tend to be so destructive in emergencies that almost anyone in take charge is better than noone, even if of the only authority they hold is their ability to actually take control and look like they know what they situation (and for those first few minutes, you really are doing. Even if they don't, it's less likely to be fatal than letting panic grow.
the help there is).
* Frank Abagnale, the notorious con artist and inspiration for the book and film ''Film/CatchMeIfYouCan'' are based on, protagonist of ''Film/CatchMeIfYouCan'', used this to pull off many of his cons. In one instance, One instance in particular stands out, in which he purchased a security guard's uniform and stood at a bank's overnight depository, telling patrons who pulled up to make their deposits that the depository was broken but that he would be more than happy to secure their money. According to Website/IMDb, they planned the filmmakers wanted to include the same this scam in the movie, but, but during filming, people came up to Creator/LeonardoDiCaprio in costume and [[TruthInTelevision tried to give him their money]].
**
money]]. The trick was effective enough to also be featured in Creator/NeilGaiman's ''Literature/AmericanGods'' and in an episode of ''Hustle''. Danny would've gotten more if he hadn't started opening accounts for people.
''Series/{{Hustle}}''.
* Germany was united in the A 19th century by Prussian town fell victim to a famous variety of this prank, precisely because the Prussians, whose Prussian aristocracy was arguably one of the most militaristic in Europe. Their obsession with things Europe and had essentially trained the populace to think that anything military spread across the country. At one point, a was official. A con artist [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_Voigt con artist dressed in the uniform of a German army captain]] entered a good-sized town claiming and claimed to be an "inspector". "inspector" In less than an hour, he ordered ''four grenadiers, a sergeant, and six other soldiers'' eleven soldiers to follow him (of whom no one questioned his authority), him, ordered ''the the local police'' police to stop any phone calls to Berlin for the next hour, arrested the mayor and the treasurer for on "suspicions of crooked bookkeeping", and ''confiscated confiscated the entire city treasury''. The treasury. Nobody questioned him; the closest thing anyone came to "checking checking his credentials" credentials was him ''giving satisfied when he gave them a receipt'' receipt for the confiscated treasury, using a fake name. Then he He then simply walked away, and was arrested 13 days later ''only later, only because he bragged about it to a former cell mate whom he told about his plans told this to the police''. cellmate. Kaiser Wilhelm II found it ActuallyPrettyFunny and [[RefugeInAudacity He was later pardoned by Kaiser Wilhelm II]], who found it ActuallyPrettyFunny. There is at least one play and three movies made about this.
the guy]].
* [[AndThatsTerrible A particularly heinous]] An anonymous caller once [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strip_search_prank_call_scam prank]] involving [[NoodleImplements [=McDonald's=], convinced a master manipulator, and manager at a telephone.]]
** [[RippedFromTheHeadlines
local McDonald's]] to conduct a strip search of an employee like this, without anyone questioning him. This story has been adapted twice]], first was RippedFromTheHeadlines for an episode of ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'', then ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'' and a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compliance_(film) 2012 movie]].
** Similarly, one man managed to convince at least one person to [[http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/weblog/permalink/rectal_exam_prank_caller/ perform a rectal exam]] this way. Keeping a straight face must have been torture for everyone with a sense of humor.
* In 1948, a Japanese male man in uniform entered the Teikoku Imperial Bank and, using this trope, managed to get the entire bank staff to swallow poison. In poison -- in unison. Detailed The event is detailed in the book ''Flowering of the Bamboo'' by William Triplett and is recounted by Tiger Tanaka to Literature/JamesBond in the novel ''Literature/YouOnlyLiveTwice''.
* On December 10, 1968, four [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/300_million_yen_robbery Japan's biggest bank robbery]] was pulled off in this way in 1968. Four employees of the Nihon Shintaku Bank were assigned to deliver approximately 300 million yen from their branch to the local Toshiba factory, to be used as cash bonus for the factory workers. A uniformed police officer on a motorcycle approached and stopped the cash transport vehicle, notifying them that their branch manager's house had been blown up and that there was a bomb threat against the cash transport as well. The four men exited the vehicle while the policeman crawled underneath the car to find the bomb. Seconds later, smoke billowed from under the vehicle, the policeman rolled back out, and shouted that it was about to blow. While the four men ran for cover, the "cop" jumped into the driver's seat and made off with the money. Neither the false policeman/thief thief nor the money has been definitively located. [[http://en.were ever located.
* Australian comedy show ''Series/TheChasersWarOnEverything'' did this to [[https://en.
wikipedia.org/wiki/300_million_yen_robbery More on org/wiki/The_Chaser_APEC_pranks get to within meters of the Other Wiki]].
* ''Series/TheChasersWarOnEverything'' and their controversial
hotel]] where UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush was staying in Sydney for the 2007 APEC stunt: they rented meeting. They did it by renting a limousine, stuck sticking miniature Canadian flags on it, and [[TheGuardsMustBeCrazy and marched clean through]] [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome driving straight through a AU $4,000,000 security perimeter]]. It may be found Their security passes were obviously fake (with things like "JOKE" written on them), but nobody checked them. They (and apparently Creator/TheABC and [[OurLawyersAdvisedThisTrope the ABC's lawyers]]) were convinced that someone would stop them at some point. They only got caught right at the entrance of the hotel, when out of amazement at how far they got, Chas stepped out of the limousine -- in all its glory full costume as UsefulNotes/OsamaBinLaden. The Chasers [[http://youtu.be/NvH3YQGQwLM here]].
** To go into more detail: The stunt was approved by Creator/TheABC's lawyers because they assumed
recount the fake motorcade would be stopped incident here]], and turned around at the first checkpoint; none of the team could believe they got as far as they got. They had fake security passes that said "joke", "Insecurity", and "It's pretty obvious this isn't a real pass" and got within meters of the hotel where UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush was staying. They were only caught when, realizing they were not going to be stopped particularly amused by the police, they tried to turn around and Chas got out of the car ''dressed as UsefulNotes/OsamaBinLaden''. And, fact that even then, they left Chas alone for a while and instead converged to arrest after "Bin Laden" had been apprehended, the one not dressed as bin Laden, as remarked on by The Chasers themselves.
** [[RefugeInAudacity The bigger
police seemed more interested in the lie, ''other'' guys in the easier it is to believe]]; Julian Morrow had done a number of pranks on a smaller scale and often managed to fool members of the public, but never the employees of whichever establishment or organization he claimed to work for.
motorcade.

* On 2 July 2000, 15 men dressed in senior officers' uniforms driving civilian jeeps painted up to look like military vehicles entered a Malaysian army base using this method. They apparently convinced the base armory personnel to hand over them more than 100 assault rifles and grenade launchers to them and left before anyone realized something was wrong. See [[http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/818403.stm BBC News]].



* "I once had a fellow network geek challenge me to try to bring down his newly-installed network. He had just installed a powerful and expensive firewall router and was convinced that I couldn't get to a test server he added to his network just for me to try to access. After a few attempts to hack in over the Internet, I saw that I wasn't going to get anywhere that way. So I jumped in my car and drove to his office, having first outfitted myself in a techy-looking jumpsuit and an ancient ID badge I just happened to have in my sock drawer. I smiled sweetly at the receptionist and walked right by my friend's office (I noticed he was smugly monitoring incoming IP traffic using some neato packet-sniffing program) to his new server. [[CuttingTheKnot I quickly pulled the wires out of the back of his precious server, picked it up, and walked out the door]]. The receptionist was too busy trying to figure out why her e-mail wasn't working to notice me as I whisked by her carrying the 65-pound server box."--From the [=CompTIA=] A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide by Michael Meyers.
* An Englishman named Derek Williams managed to [[http://www.theguardian.com/football/2008/jul/17/mexico impersonate Swedish football manager Sven-Göran Eriksson, who at the time trained the Mexico national football team]], fooling every manager, player, and member of the press he encountered. Nobody discovered the deception until the Mexican football federation themselves released a statement later in the day.
** Parodied by Ant and Dec in the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4NzmMycZIM video]] to their novelty World Cup tie-in single.

to:

* "I Michael Myers explains exactly how this can be done in the [=CompTIA=] A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide:
-->"I
once had a fellow network geek challenge me to try to bring down his newly-installed network. He had just installed a powerful and expensive firewall router and was convinced that I couldn't get to a test server he added to his network just for me to try to access. After a few attempts to hack in over the Internet, I saw that I wasn't going to get anywhere that way. So I jumped in my car and drove to his office, having first outfitted myself in a techy-looking jumpsuit and an ancient ID badge I just happened to have in my sock drawer. I smiled sweetly at the receptionist and walked right by my friend's office (I noticed he was smugly monitoring incoming IP traffic using some neato packet-sniffing program) to his new server. [[CuttingTheKnot I quickly pulled the wires out of the back of his precious server, picked it up, and walked out the door]]. The receptionist was too busy trying to figure out why her e-mail wasn't working to notice me as I whisked by her carrying the 65-pound server box."--From the [=CompTIA=] A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide by Michael Meyers.
"
* An Englishman named Derek Williams managed to [[http://www.theguardian.com/football/2008/jul/17/mexico impersonate Swedish football manager Sven-Göran Eriksson, Eriksson]], who at the time trained the Mexico national football team]], team, fooling every manager, player, and member of the press he encountered. Nobody discovered the deception until the Mexican football federation themselves released a statement later in the day.
**
day. Parodied by Ant and Dec in the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4NzmMycZIM video]] to their novelty World Cup tie-in single.



* [[{{ComicStrip/Dilbert}} Scott Adams]] said that he'd tell women he was interested in that he was an expert on handwriting analysis. He'd get them to write their name and ask them to write the things they liked about him. Once they were in the mindset of thinking appreciative things about him, some would include a phone number.
** Not the only time Adams has taken advantage of this tendency, either. Wearing only a toupée and a fake mustache as a disguise and peddled as a consultant by Logitech's co-founder, he got into a high-level meeting at the company and spouted a wide load of nonsense. Everyone nodded along and he succeeded in getting them to create a completely-meaningless mission statement before the hoax was revealed.

to:

* [[{{ComicStrip/Dilbert}} ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}} creator Scott Adams]] said that he'd Adams has done this frequently:
** He would
tell women he was interested in that he was an expert on handwriting analysis. He'd get them to write their name and ask them to write the things they liked about him. Once they were in the mindset of thinking appreciative things about him, some would include a phone number.
** Not the only time Adams has taken advantage of this tendency, either. Wearing only a toupée and a fake mustache as a disguise and peddled as a consultant by Logitech's co-founder, he got into a high-level meeting at the company and spouted a wide load of nonsense. Everyone nodded along and he succeeded in getting them to create a completely-meaningless completely meaningless mission statement before the hoax was revealed.



* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phishing Phishing]]. By far the biggest reason why any online service tells you that representatives will ''never'' ask for your password.
** Working at a call-in help desk, you have to actively ''dissuade'' people from giving you everything from their password to their SSN. Telling them that you don't ask for security reasons only encourages them to offer it.
** This even happens with jobs where you call outward, like when a research company is contracted by a bank or an insurance company. Even with a blocked caller ID number (as is standard with companies using a dialer system to call outward), they still assume you're the right people just because you say you are and you have a professional tone and pacing (saying "Hello, my name is <blank> calling on behalf of <blank>, may I please speak with <blank>" works wonders), go along with pretty much any questions you have as long as you don't start questioning the questions, then start spilling information that you don't even ''ask'' for, like account numbers.
** Taxi dispatch works much the same way. One will often have to stop people mid-credit-card-number to tell them that looking up a taxicab doesn't work that way and that, even if it did, the dispatcher can't access that information, please do not give it to them!

to:

* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phishing Phishing]]. By far the biggest reason why any online service tells you that representatives will ''never'' ask for your password.
** Working at a call-in help desk, you have
Phishing]] uses this to actively ''dissuade'' get people from giving to give you everything from their password personal information -- passwords, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, what have you. It's remarkably easy to their SSN. Telling them do, not only because people will believe that you don't ask for security reasons only encourages them to offer it.
** This even happens with jobs where you call outward, like when a research company is contracted by a bank or an insurance company. Even with a blocked caller ID number (as is standard with companies using a dialer system to call outward), they still assume you're the right people just because
are who you say you are and if you have a professional tone and pacing (saying "Hello, my name is <blank> calling on behalf of <blank>, may I please speak with <blank>" works wonders), go along with pretty much any questions you have as long as you don't start questioning sound confident over the questions, then start spilling phone, but also because they're willing to give this information that you don't even ''ask'' for, like account numbers.
** Taxi dispatch works much the same way. One
out without being prompted. Anyone who has worked at a call center for a bank or IT company will often have customers start to give their passwords out over the phone and have to stop people mid-credit-card-number to tell cut them that looking up a taxicab doesn't work that way and that, even if it did, off. Bottom line: no reputable company will ''ever'' ask for your password over the dispatcher can't access that information, please do not give it to them!phone or email.



* The story of Pacific Tech's [[http://www.nucalc.com/Story/ Graphing Calculator]], in which a couple of ex-contractors managed to get Apple to release their software by pretending they still worked there. One of the best examples from the article: "[Greg] told his manager that he would start reporting to me. She didn't ask who I was and let him keep his office and badge. In turn, I told people that I was reporting to him. Since that left no managers in the loop, we had no meetings and could be extremely productive."
* Many of Joey Skaggs' greatest pranks are predicated on these. The best of these was The Solomon Project, where Skaggs (as Dr. Joseph Bonuso) got on CNN to shill a computer that could replace judges. Even better, though, was the fact that ''this was the fifth time Skaggs had snowed CNN this way''.
** A similar trick was pulled on HLN by Jon Hedren, a comedian posing as a political analyst [[https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/oct/01/edward-snowden-edward-scissorhands-comedian-hijacks-slot-us-news-jon-hendren-hln offering insight on Edward Snowden]] - but instead discussing Film/EdwardScissorhands.

to:

* The story of Pacific Tech's [[http://www.nucalc.com/Story/ Graphing Calculator]], in which a couple of ex-contractors managed to get Apple to release their software by pretending they still worked there. One of the best examples from the article: "[Greg] article:
-->"[Greg]
told his manager that he would start reporting to me. She didn't ask who I was and let him keep his office and badge. In turn, I told people that I was reporting to him. Since that left no managers in the loop, we had no meetings and could be extremely productive."
* Many of Joey Skaggs' greatest pranks are predicated on these. The best of these was The the Solomon Project, where Skaggs (as Dr. Joseph Bonuso) got on CNN Creator/{{CNN}} to shill a computer that could replace judges. Even better, though, was the fact that ''this was the fifth time time'' Skaggs had snowed CNN this way''.
** A similar trick was pulled on HLN by Jon Hedren, a comedian posing as a political analyst [[https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/oct/01/edward-snowden-edward-scissorhands-comedian-hijacks-slot-us-news-jon-hendren-hln offering insight on Edward Snowden]] - but instead discussing Film/EdwardScissorhands.
way.

Added DiffLines:

* Youtube prankster WebVideo/RemiGaillard managed to enter the Final of the French Cup by simply [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TaecFvNiqo using a fake jersey of the winning team]], with no one ever questioning him, even using simple sneakers instead of professional shoes. He touched the cup, gave interviews, shook hands with then president Chirac, and even signed autographs.


** He also managed to escape a POW camp by simply walking out.

Added DiffLines:

** He also managed to escape a POW camp by simply walking out.

Added DiffLines:

* A common expression/tactic among the various revolutionary groups of the 60's and 70's: "A black man with a smile and a mop can walk into any building in America!"



to:

* Youtuber Jevholution and his friends prank a [=McDonalds=] by dressing up as a "regional interior coordinator" and hanging a poster depicting themselves on the wall. The poster stayed up for 51 days without being noticed.

Added DiffLines:

{{Bavarian Fire Drill}}s in real life.
----

* In CPR and lifesaving classes, students are taught to use this for good, because individuals may be reluctant to assist in an emergency due to the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bystander_effect bystander effect]]. For example, a rescuer should address a specific person (e.g. "you, the lady in the blue dress") when asking for someone to call for an ambulance, instead of a general request ("Would someone call an ambulance?"). Conversely, this also works to safeguard against a half-dozen emergency calls being placed and potentially delaying help as operators work to deal with the influx.
** A related instruction given in self-defense courses is to never yell "Help!" because of the chance that some people will be less likely to respond if there is a threat of danger. Instead, when threatened, you should yell "Fire!", and/or flip a fire or car alarm, DontTryThisAtHome unless it's life or death, because that will attract more people. (Within reason, obviously--if there are police/security guards within earshot, then "Help" is better because it's more likely to bring professional assistance, who aren't impeded by curious on-lookers. If there are so many people that yelling "Fire" may cause a dangerous panic, then, of course, you should yell "Help!" instead.)
** Depending on where you live, have a look at emergency instructions where you work and you're likely to find that you're actually supposed to accept this in emergency. Many such instructions state that until actual emergency personnel arrives, the evacuation etc. are coordinated by "the appointed personnel, managers, directors, or... the most composed and decisive person". Notice the last part. It often even doesn't require that person to be an employee. Basically, panic and chaos tend to be so destructive in emergencies that almost anyone in charge is better than noone, even if the only authority they hold is their ability to actually take control and look like they know what they are doing. Even if they don't, it's less likely to be fatal than letting panic grow.
* Frank Abagnale, the notorious con artist the book and film ''Film/CatchMeIfYouCan'' are based on, used this to pull off many of his cons. In one instance, he purchased a security guard's uniform and stood at a bank's overnight depository, telling patrons who pulled up to make their deposits that the depository was broken but that he would be more than happy to secure their money. According to Website/IMDb, they planned to include the same scam in the movie, but, during filming, people came up to Creator/LeonardoDiCaprio in costume and [[TruthInTelevision tried to give him their money]].
** The trick was featured in Creator/NeilGaiman's ''Literature/AmericanGods'' and in an episode of ''Hustle''. Danny would've gotten more if he hadn't started opening accounts for people.
* Germany was united in the 19th century by the Prussians, whose aristocracy was arguably the most militaristic in Europe. Their obsession with things military spread across the country. At one point, a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_Voigt con artist dressed in the uniform of a German army captain]] entered a good-sized town claiming to be an "inspector". In less than an hour, he ordered ''four grenadiers, a sergeant, and six other soldiers'' to follow him (of whom no one questioned his authority), ordered ''the local police'' to stop any phone calls to Berlin for the next hour, arrested the mayor and the treasurer for "suspicions of crooked bookkeeping", and ''confiscated the entire city treasury''. The closest thing to "checking his credentials" was him ''giving a receipt'' for the confiscated treasury, using a fake name. Then he simply walked away, and was arrested 13 days later ''only because a former cell mate whom he told about his plans told this to the police''. [[RefugeInAudacity He was later pardoned by Kaiser Wilhelm II]], who found it ActuallyPrettyFunny. There is at least one play and three movies made about this.
* [[AndThatsTerrible A particularly heinous]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strip_search_prank_call_scam prank]] involving [[NoodleImplements [=McDonald's=], a master manipulator, and a telephone.]]
** [[RippedFromTheHeadlines This story has been adapted twice]], first for an episode of ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'', then a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compliance_(film) 2012 movie]].
** Similarly, one man managed to convince at least one person to [[http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/weblog/permalink/rectal_exam_prank_caller/ perform a rectal exam]] this way. Keeping a straight face must have been torture for everyone with a sense of humor.
* In 1948, a Japanese male in uniform entered the Teikoku Imperial Bank and, using this trope, managed to get the entire bank staff to swallow poison. In unison. Detailed in the book ''Flowering of the Bamboo'' by William Triplett and is recounted by Tiger Tanaka to Literature/JamesBond in the novel ''Literature/YouOnlyLiveTwice''.
* On December 10, 1968, four employees of the Nihon Shintaku Bank were assigned to deliver approximately 300 million yen from their branch to the local Toshiba factory, to be used as cash bonus for the factory workers. A uniformed police officer on a motorcycle approached and stopped the cash transport vehicle, notifying them that their branch manager's house had been blown up and that there was a bomb threat against the cash transport as well. The four men exited the vehicle while the policeman crawled underneath the car to find the bomb. Seconds later, smoke billowed from under the vehicle, the policeman rolled back out, and shouted that it was about to blow. While the four men ran for cover, the "cop" jumped into the driver's seat and made off with the money. Neither the false policeman/thief nor the money has been definitively located. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/300_million_yen_robbery More on the Other Wiki]].
* ''Series/TheChasersWarOnEverything'' and their controversial APEC stunt: they rented a limousine, stuck miniature Canadian flags on it, [[TheGuardsMustBeCrazy and marched clean through]] [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome a AU $4,000,000 security perimeter]]. It may be found in all its glory [[http://youtu.be/NvH3YQGQwLM here]].
** To go into more detail: The stunt was approved by Creator/TheABC's lawyers because they assumed the fake motorcade would be stopped and turned around at the first checkpoint; none of the team could believe they got as far as they got. They had fake security passes that said "joke", "Insecurity", and "It's pretty obvious this isn't a real pass" and got within meters of the hotel where UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush was staying. They were only caught when, realizing they were not going to be stopped by the police, they tried to turn around and Chas got out of the car ''dressed as UsefulNotes/OsamaBinLaden''. And, even then, they left Chas alone for a while and instead converged to arrest the one not dressed as bin Laden, as remarked on by The Chasers themselves.
** [[RefugeInAudacity The bigger the lie, the easier it is to believe]]; Julian Morrow had done a number of pranks on a smaller scale and often managed to fool members of the public, but never the employees of whichever establishment or organization he claimed to work for.
* On 2 July 2000, 15 men dressed in senior officers' uniforms driving civilian jeeps painted up to look like military vehicles entered a Malaysian army base using this method. They apparently convinced the base armory personnel to hand over more than 100 assault rifles and grenade launchers to them and left before anyone realized something was wrong. See [[http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/818403.stm BBC News]].
* Convicted hacker Kevin Mitnick used this as his primary criminal method. Among hackers and computer security professionals, this is called "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_engineering_(security) social engineering]]".
* "I once had a fellow network geek challenge me to try to bring down his newly-installed network. He had just installed a powerful and expensive firewall router and was convinced that I couldn't get to a test server he added to his network just for me to try to access. After a few attempts to hack in over the Internet, I saw that I wasn't going to get anywhere that way. So I jumped in my car and drove to his office, having first outfitted myself in a techy-looking jumpsuit and an ancient ID badge I just happened to have in my sock drawer. I smiled sweetly at the receptionist and walked right by my friend's office (I noticed he was smugly monitoring incoming IP traffic using some neato packet-sniffing program) to his new server. [[CuttingTheKnot I quickly pulled the wires out of the back of his precious server, picked it up, and walked out the door]]. The receptionist was too busy trying to figure out why her e-mail wasn't working to notice me as I whisked by her carrying the 65-pound server box."--From the [=CompTIA=] A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide by Michael Meyers.
* An Englishman named Derek Williams managed to [[http://www.theguardian.com/football/2008/jul/17/mexico impersonate Swedish football manager Sven-Göran Eriksson, who at the time trained the Mexico national football team]], fooling every manager, player, and member of the press he encountered. Nobody discovered the deception until the Mexican football federation themselves released a statement later in the day.
** Parodied by Ant and Dec in the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4NzmMycZIM video]] to their novelty World Cup tie-in single.
* [[http://telstarlogistics.typepad.com/telstarlogistics/2006/09/what_is_telstar.html Telstar Logistics]] can park ''anywhere'', despite not existing beyond a vinyl logo on the side of a car and some T-shirts, stickers, and pens.
* [[{{ComicStrip/Dilbert}} Scott Adams]] said that he'd tell women he was interested in that he was an expert on handwriting analysis. He'd get them to write their name and ask them to write the things they liked about him. Once they were in the mindset of thinking appreciative things about him, some would include a phone number.
** Not the only time Adams has taken advantage of this tendency, either. Wearing only a toupée and a fake mustache as a disguise and peddled as a consultant by Logitech's co-founder, he got into a high-level meeting at the company and spouted a wide load of nonsense. Everyone nodded along and he succeeded in getting them to create a completely-meaningless mission statement before the hoax was revealed.
** Once he did this entirely ''involuntarily''; he had to fill out some paperwork at the company he used to work for, and sat at his old desk to do so. Someone rushed in, dropped paperwork on the desk, said they needed it by five, and left.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phishing Phishing]]. By far the biggest reason why any online service tells you that representatives will ''never'' ask for your password.
** Working at a call-in help desk, you have to actively ''dissuade'' people from giving you everything from their password to their SSN. Telling them that you don't ask for security reasons only encourages them to offer it.
** This even happens with jobs where you call outward, like when a research company is contracted by a bank or an insurance company. Even with a blocked caller ID number (as is standard with companies using a dialer system to call outward), they still assume you're the right people just because you say you are and you have a professional tone and pacing (saying "Hello, my name is <blank> calling on behalf of <blank>, may I please speak with <blank>" works wonders), go along with pretty much any questions you have as long as you don't start questioning the questions, then start spilling information that you don't even ''ask'' for, like account numbers.
** Taxi dispatch works much the same way. One will often have to stop people mid-credit-card-number to tell them that looking up a taxicab doesn't work that way and that, even if it did, the dispatcher can't access that information, please do not give it to them!
* A story of a kid trying to do this with Steam on an online chat client (and winding up [[OutGambitted losing his own account]]) [[http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/10/31/1655259 is recounted in this Slashdot article]].
* Creator/DaveBarry and a few cartoonists once got into the 2000 Democratic National Convention by dressing up in dark suits with sunglasses and sticking phone cords in their ears to pretend they were the security detail for Richard Riordan, then-mayor of Los Angeles. (The mayor was in on it, but the convention's security detail and doormen were not.)
* The story of Pacific Tech's [[http://www.nucalc.com/Story/ Graphing Calculator]], in which a couple of ex-contractors managed to get Apple to release their software by pretending they still worked there. One of the best examples from the article: "[Greg] told his manager that he would start reporting to me. She didn't ask who I was and let him keep his office and badge. In turn, I told people that I was reporting to him. Since that left no managers in the loop, we had no meetings and could be extremely productive."
* Many of Joey Skaggs' greatest pranks are predicated on these. The best of these was The Solomon Project, where Skaggs (as Dr. Joseph Bonuso) got on CNN to shill a computer that could replace judges. Even better, though, was the fact that ''this was the fifth time Skaggs had snowed CNN this way''.
** A similar trick was pulled on HLN by Jon Hedren, a comedian posing as a political analyst [[https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/oct/01/edward-snowden-edward-scissorhands-comedian-hijacks-slot-us-news-jon-hendren-hln offering insight on Edward Snowden]] - but instead discussing Film/EdwardScissorhands.
* Prior to the 2017 Presidential Inauguration, Fox News host Tucker Carlson interviewed a man going by the name "Dom Tullipso" (he insisted it be pronounced "tu-yipp-so") who claimed to be a protestor who was being paid to cause violence at the event. Carlson asked Tullipso why he had provided no ID or proof that his organization was even real, to which Tullipso responded that he didn't need to, as simply claiming to be a paid protestor with no proof had gotten him ''multiple'' appearances in various media outlets, in which he had claimed to support "our national heroes like Peyton Manning" and demanded the Roswell records be declassified. ''And he was still booked.''
* A somewhat-famous theft from the Hudson's Bay Company building in downtown Winnipeg involved two people walking in, taking a canoe, putting it over their heads as though they were simply moving the display, and walking straight out the door with it, never to be seen again.
** For that matter, a common burglary tactic is to dress up as employees of a moving company or simply have a logo-ed van and do the job in broad daylight.
** There was an instance where a group was able to steal the money from an ATM sitting in a fast food location. While it would take hours of work to break open the ATM, they simply walked in wearing unmarked blue coveralls, unplugged the ATM, and wheeled it out on a dolly to open at their leisure later. No one stopped them or were able to give a good description.
* A German news magazine tested this with an actor. He would stop cars while talking into a normal cellphone and claim to be a police officer needing the car for an ongoing chase, as his partner is already pursuing the criminal with their patrol car. Even more disturbing than the number of people immediately handing over their keys were the ones handing over the car after checking the ID. It was a cheap plastic card with the picture badly glued on it and the word "police" misspelled.
* Way, way too many cases of people hijacking a helicopter and simply flying into the prison yard to pick up allies. So many guards assume the helicopter is there officially.
* Zug.com's self-described "[[http://www.zug.com/pranks/super/index01.html most ambitious prank in history]]" where the site's owners broke into the Super Bowl, conned security--including a Federal agent--into believing they were there on official business from [=PepsiCo=], and placed an advertisement for their website ''into the middle of Prince's halftime show''.
** It gets even better. They conned one whole side of the audience into doing it ''for'' them!
* According to many anecdotes, it was possible before around 1960 to gain a professorship at Harvard simply by finding an empty office, showing up at faculty meetings, and acting like you know what you're talking about. ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' makes reference to this a few times when mentioning professors of the Unseen University.
* The incident where [[http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/nov/26/obama-dinner-gatecrash-security a socialite couple simply walked into President Obama's state dinner]]. They started a conversation with Vice President Biden and the Secret Service took the fall. Apparently, they did it to get noticed and to get their own reality program.
* Creator/EricIdle has told how he used to "sneak" out of school as a teenager by just putting on his school cap and walking purposefully out the front gate, whereupon he'd go downtown and see a movie. He notes that [[RefugeInAudacity as long as he looked like he didn't expect to be stopped, everyone assumed he was running an errand or something]].
* Creator/StevenSpielberg must like this trope, as he used to spread "[[BasedOnAGreatBigLie highly embellished]]" stories about how he'd gotten his start in Hollywood by walking onto the Universal Studios lot wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase and acting like he was supposed to be there. In some versions, he set up shop in an empty office, put his name on the building directory, told the switchboard operator to give out his extension to people, and wasn't discovered for two years.
* Gatecrashing the Obama White House had [[http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34690470/ns/politics?GT1=43001 become something of a hobby of tourists]]. The Secret Service had admitted the wrong people no fewer than three times in a three month period.
** Quite creepy considering that Obama was getting three times more assassination threats than George W. Bush.
* While researching for his film ''Film/InTheLoop'', director Armando Iannucci crashed the U.S. State Department offices by showing the guard a fake BBC press pass and saying "I'm here for the 12:30."[[http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/5295148/Comedian-sneaks-into-US-State-department.html He then walked around taking photos]] for the set designers. He remarked (in the linked article) "Part of me thought it was fun, another part thought it was probably international espionage."
* [[http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/blogs/thelede/posts/barak.mp3 This clip]] is a recording of people's responses to a...slightly baited question that relied on two facts: first, that [[UsefulNotes/BarackObama "Obama"]] and [[UsefulNotes/OsamaBinLaden "Osama"]] sound a lot alike, and, second, that [[IdiotPlot people are idiots]]. It wouldn't have worked today, of course, since the former is much less obscure.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Churchill Jack Churchill]]. Using nothing more than this trope and a big-ass sword, he captured 42 men.
-->'''Jack Churchill:''' I maintain that, as long as you tell a German loudly and clearly what to do, if you are senior to him, he will cry "Jawohl!" and get on with it enthusiastically and efficiently, whatever the situation.
* The Germans were not always the victims of trickery in the Second World War. In August 1942, famed Brandenburger commando Adrian von Fölkersam was ordered to secure Maikop Oil fields intact. He and his unit liberated NKVD uniforms from POW's, captured Soviet trucks, and drove over the lines to Maikop. They ran into a group of deserting Soviet troops and frightened them into following them to the oilfields. Folkersam then handed the Soviets over to the local Red Army commander. The commander not only believed Fölkersam but, the next day, gave him a personal tour of the city's defenses. By August 8, the German spearheads were only 12 miles away and the Brandenburgers made their move. Using grenades to simulate an artillery attack, they knocked out the military communications center for the city. Fölkersam then went to the Russian defenders and told them that a withdrawal was taking place. Having seen Fölkersam with their commander and lacking any communications to rebut or confirm his statement, the Soviets began to evacuate Maikop. The German spearhead entered the city without a fight on August 9, 1942.
* [[http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4564161n Sergeant Bill]] came to Gerald, MO, to arrest meth dealers. He had made a bunch of arrests over a two-month period. The problem was that he was a security guard with no authority to arrest anybody. His claim to be involved with a "Multi-Jurisdictional Narcotics Task Force" was lifted from ''Film/BeverlyHillsCopII''.
* A young woman once walked into the White House and asked to see UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy. Since Kennedy had so many girlfriends, nobody even thought to check her for weapons until she was only a few rooms away from him. She had a knife in her purse.
* An old {{Urban Legend|s}} has a guard at a salt quarry check for mining equipment possibly being smuggled out in salt shipments. One particularly-skeezy guy was checked every day for 30 years. The guard and the guy built up a rapport, and, on the guard's final day, he asked the guy what he was smuggling out, because he knew he had to be smuggling something. The guy coolly replied, "[[KansasCityShuffle salt]]."
** Another variation involves a man taking out a bunch of product in a wheelbarrow for years, only for the guards to determine that everything he had was surplus junk he was welcome to take. He was, of course, stealing wheelbarrows.
** Yet another variation describes a little boy carrying bags of sand over the US-Mexico border every day on a bicycle, then walking back every night. The customs officials naturally checked the bags of sand, and the boy made a killing off of the bikes.
** A (likely apocryphal) version of this story made it into Doonesbury from Desert Storm. It involved [=MPs=] thoroughly searching a tank to make sure the US crew wasn't smuggling loot or mementos out of Iraq. The police gave the tankers the all-clear, certifying there was nothing illegal in the tank--which was a Republican Guard T-72.
** This story may be very old indeed. A variation is also told of the Mullah Nasruddin--the Sufi [[UsefulNotes/{{Islam}} Muslim]] [[TheTrickster trickster]], who goes by the name Juha in Arab countries--involving donkeys carrying loads of hay across a border. Every day Nasruddin cheerfully admits to the border guard that he is "smuggling", but refuses to elaborate. The border guard never finds anything hidden in the hay. Years later, when both of them are retired, Nasruddin confesses to the guard that he was, of course, smuggling donkeys.
** In the beginning of 1941, iron junk was constantly delivered from Germany to the Soviet Union. The customs only paid attention to the metal, while, in reality, the Soviets wanted the oiled rag it was wrapped in--formerly used to clean German weapons (they wanted to know whether the Reich was switching to oil that can hold in the Russian winter).
** Referenced in ''Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles'' when Dundee suspects that the film ''Lethal Agent'', being filmed at that time, is a cover-up for a smuggling operation. He has the frames of the painting used in the film as props tested for drugs, and, when the tests come back negative, mentions this tale. [[spoiler:In the end, he's right--the paintings themselves are being smuggled]].
** This even pops up in a ''Franchise/StarWars'' ExpandedUniverse with one bit on Han Solo in his smuggling days. He keeps taking ships past Imperial customs inspectors sure he's up to no good who are unable to find any contraband. Finally, it dawns on them that he's smuggling the ''ships'', but, by then, it's too late.
*** This variant was also used in ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga''; Miles planned this operation based on the legend. He intended to personally lead this operation, but [[CloningBlues other events]] meant that he had to hand this off to a subordinate. We never find out if Jezek succeeded.
** And in movies. In ''Contraband'', the corrupt ship's captain searches the van Mark Wahlberg and his crew were using to transport forged banknotes and is ticked that all he finds is a used painter's dropcloth. [[spoiler:The dropcloth is actually a Jackson Pollock painting the crew stole from a drug lord and is worth millions.]]
*** Possibly a dig at the fact that Jackson Pollock's "art" is indistinguishable from a used dropcloth and is still somehow worth millions.
* Comedian Howie Mandel was expelled from his high school for impersonating a member of the school board and getting a construction company to make some additions at his school.
* In Creator/GeorgeCarlin's Class Clown routine, he described how he could mimic the priests of his Catholic school, doing one so well that he always wanted to sneak into the confessional booth before he got there and hear a few confessions, because he knew that "if anyone really thought I was Father Byrne and really wanted to be forgiven...and performed the penance I had prescribed...they would've been forgiven!"
** Do not try this at home, though, as impersonating a priest is a sin that incurs automatic excommunication.
* In October 2010, a dam in Hungary burst, spilling red toxic sludge across the countryside and laying waste to a village. [[http://jalopnik.com/5663773/how-we-helped-hungarys-toxic-sludge-victims One man]] whose house was spared happened to own a Ford Transit fire truck, which he loaded up with food and water to help the victims. He commented that getting through the check points was easy because the authorities assumed he was with the fire department.
* According to Creator/{{Banksy}}, the best way to make illegal street art is to go out in broad daylight wearing a Day-Glo vest, listening to a small transistor radio, and acting like you're supposed to be there. If anyone bothers you, just mutter something about how you aren't paid enough to put up with it.
* Wonderfully lampshaded by Tom Paxton in his song "I Don't Want a Bunny Wunny", in which he asks the audience to sing along, then to do it by themselves. With excellent timing he says "Isn't it amazing what people will do if you just ask them to? Now go and invade Poland!"
* In 1942, Kazimierz Piechowski and three other inmates escaped Auschwitz [[DressingAsTheEnemy by managing to steal SS uniforms]] [[RefugeInAudacity and Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss's own staff car]] and driving towards the main gate. When they reached the gate, they became worried when it didn't open. Piechowski leaned out of the car far enough for the guards to see his rank insignia and began yelling at them to open the gate. The guards obeyed and the four men simply drove away.
** The story of Wernher von Braun's escape to the Allied lines has a similar event in it: while von Braun was in fact an SS colonel, he was moving his convoy on forged papers, and had to use his rank (the only time he did so in his time working for the German government, supposedly) to demand that they be allowed past a checkpoint.
* There is a story about Steve Jobs dropping out of Reed College after one semester. He continued to stay on campus, sleeping on his friend's floor, eating other students' leftovers (an institution at Reed dubbed "The Scrounge"), and auditing classes. However, it's highly likely that everyone knew what he was doing and no one cared.
* Reed's close cousin Evergreen is well known among students and alumni for being lax about non-students being on campus as well. Through the late 1990's at least, a new, unregistered, or just plain bizarre student (chicken suit, real-life WesternAnimation/StrawberryShortcake, army uniform) could easily walk into many classrooms, sit down, and look like they belonged there, and many professors--if they even noticed--didn't bat an eye and went right on teaching. Sometimes for weeks. Whether this was because they [[WeirdnessCensor thought the student really did belong there]] or because they [[BystanderSyndrome just didn't bother kicking them out]] or questioning them is up for debate. Many dorms and other campus institutions had similar policies whereby a non-student could just walk in, give someone a line about forgetting their ID card, and get a free meal by looking like they belonged there. Possibly a campus-level case of WeirdnessCensor or even a miniature CityOfWeirdos.
** Even at more buttoned-down institutions, most lectures work this way; so long as you're not disruptive, nobody will notice if you're enrolled or not. You could easily accumulate much of a college ''education'' by just showing up to lectures, doing required readings, and asking questions of the professors, many of whom do not know their students' names. You would not, of course, be able to get any feedback on assignments, or, more importantly, any credits toward a ''degree''. This works best at a college where most classes are large enough for no one to notice, which is most of them.
** If you know when a film studies class is scheduled, you can even get away with seeing free movies.
*** This is apparently something the singer Music/{{Kesha}} made a habit of: simply walking into classrooms, listening (and participating) in lectures, and no one was the wiser.
*** According to the article "The Nonstudent Left" (collected in The Great Shark Hunt), Creator/HunterSThompson spent several years attending Columbia University in this manner. The focus of the article as a whole is the influence of un-enrolled students on the anti-authoritarian movements that sprung up on many college campuses during the sixties.
* There is an [[http://www.snopes.com/crime/clever/carpark.asp apocryphal]] [[UrbanLegend story]] that goes something like this: there was a toll parking booth outside a city zoo where a nice old man worked tirelessly for years. One day, he stopped showing up for work, so the zoo informed the city council that they needed a new operative. The city council replied that they had assumed that he worked for the zoo. It was estimated that the man made off with at least several million.
* A reporter used this technique to get into the Bohemian Club. Reports of tight security turned out to be heavily exaggerated as, simply by wearing a business suit, he was not only able to get in but to ignore the only apparent security measure (a rule that everyone has to sign their name at the registry) without ever being questioned.
* The pacifist Bloomsbury Group, including writer-to-be Virginia Woolf, famously disguised themselves as Abyssinian princes and "inspected" the flagship of the Royal Navy, the ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreadnought_hoax HMS Dreadnought]]''.
* One man found he could get into any club without standing in line or paying cover charge by [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoIL2x6slC8 claiming he was a DJ]]. Unfortunately, it didn't work so well on the bus.
* The infamous 1961 Caltech Rose Bowl Hoax involved students posing as reporters to find out how Washington cheerleaders were arranging their instruction cards.
** In 2004, Yale students managed to convince Harvard to spell out "We Suck" with cards during the middle of the Harvard-Yale football game; MIT did the same thing in 2009.
** And in 2013, Harvard students [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqsTatw-RTI pranked them back]] by giving mocking tours of Yale to completely-unfazed tourists, simply by showing up in Yale paraphernalia and pretending to be an official student organization.
* Rearranging the orange cones in a parking lot into maze-like structures and watching frustrated drivers' reactions [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial is not funny whatsoever]].
** An entire mall parking garage in the Danish town Hillerød was "shut down" for several hours because a bunch of drunken teens had "blocked" every single entrance with that kind of cones during the night. The story goes that it took several hours with pissed-off drivers in a queue before someone cleared up the mess.
* It is possible for common people to pose as certain companies to supply a DMCA takedown for certain videos. This has happened with Nyan Cat (After which the real Prguitarman stated he was not responsible for the takedown) and several videos from ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' from [[http://www.equestriadaily.com/2011/08/youtube-fully-confirmed-for-trolls.html Habsro Inc.]] This, and other cases, have been used as examples of Website/YouTube being too "cowardly" or some other adjective to check the claims for legitimacy. Checking the claims one by one would cost a good deal of time and money.
* In March 1986, eleven students from Harvey Mudd College showed up on the Caltech campus and left with a [[UsefulNotes/FrancoPrussianWar century-old]], 1.7 ton cannon. In broad daylight. They posed as a construction crew and gave multiple different stories to any people who asked, but the real trick was planting people whose job was to look like normal students who didn't think anything was wrong. Twenty years later, MIT repeated the trick by posing as [[{{Pun}} Howe & Ser]] Moving Company.
* There was a warning that there was a gang operating at Gatwick Airport. Wearing hi-viz jackets, they would approach people parking cars in the "car hire return" car park, inspect the cars, hand over a receipt, and...calmly drive away, since they had nothing whatsoever to do with the hire car companies involved.
* In his first book, ''Up Front'', Bill Mauldin tells the story of an expatriate Austrian nobleman serving in the US Army who would sneak into blacked-out German command bunkers at night, and, in his well-educated accent, in his most arrogant tone of voice, demand to know the situation and plans.
* Filming ''Romanoff and Juliet'' in Rome during the 1960 Olympics, Peter Ustinov would bluff his and other company members' way into the Games by arriving in the Rolls-Royce flying the flag of the fictitious country in the film, fitted with fake diplomatic plates.
* This probably has something to do with the saying "confidence is your most attractive asset" or something along those lines when trying to get your love interest to notice you.
** Also works for job interviews. This is part of why [[SharpDressedMan business attire]], [[SlouchOfVillainy posture]], and [[PolitenessJudo etiquette]] are the most common advice for an interview; you want to ''look and act'' as confident and intelligent as possible, even if your previous education and experience don't directly apply to the job you're interviewing for.
* As mentioned in the ''Eroica'' entry above, Claude François de Malet [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malet_coup_of_1812 nearly took over the First French Empire]] this way: while Napoleon was in Russia Malet, a former general discharged and placed in a sanitarium for sedition walked to the commander of a National Guard cohort in Paris, told him that Napoleon had died in battle on October 7, and, using forged documents, took command of the cohort and started arresting the government. Of all the people he arrested (which included the Minister of Police himself), [[OnlySaneMan only general Pierre Hulin thought about checking his orders]] (he got shot in the jaw), and the coup was stopped only after colonel Doucet, who knew for a fact that Napoleon was still alive after October 7 and recognized Malet, managed to get alone with him, kick his ass, and tie him up before ordering his troops back to their barracks. When informed of the attempted coup, Napoleon had only one question: why did nobody think of shouting "The emperor is dead, long live the emperor!" (i.e., his son Napoleon II)?
* This is the whole basis of Creator/DurwoodFincher's shtick. He goes up to famous celebrities and athletes, or just average people on the street at major events, and pretends to be a reporter wanting to give them an interview. They comply and listen to his questions--only for him to spout off completely nonsensical gibberish. The interviewees are so convinced of his legitimacy (or at least too polite to verbally ponder otherwise) that they always give answers to whatever question they think he's asking.
* A significant minority of retail shoppers are apparently unable to tell whether or not a given person within a supermarket-type store is or is not an employee of said store. Even when the store has a very distinctive and visible uniform. Even when the alleged employee is pushing a trolley containing a large quantity of assorted goods and an infant in the baby-seat, and has additional young children clinging to each leg. The trope is invoked because being mistaken for an employee seems to happen more often to people who are, in fact, employees in other retail establishments, suggesting that the "aura of competence" that these people project is what the offending shoppers pick up on.
** Creator/ImprovEverywhere exploited this in their Best Buy operation.
* In February 2011, someone calling himself "Paz" went straight into Paris Hilton's Birthday party, using a red wristband with the letter "P" on it. He got drunk, took pictures, and eventually walked out with her birthday cake by pretending to be part of the catering personnel. The cake was donated to a homeless shelter a few days later.
* This often happens with unscrupulous customers trying to get preferential treatment, or even free merchandise, by posing as the owner or a close friend or relative. As Website/NotAlwaysRight shows us, this can easily fail if the employee is on his/her toes or [[ConfrontingYourImposter just happens to be the person they're claiming to be]] (or a close relative). This trope is one reason why the owners of establishments especially prone to this (such as hotels, hostels and restaurants) often set rules such as that the employee should always call them in such instances or even that no friend/family of them will ''ever'' be given special treatment unless the employer themselves is with them.
* Some particularly evil malware programs will claim to be legitimate security software. For example, rootkits and viruses posing as antiviruses. At least one Website/NotAlwaysRight story has the customer ''paying'' for an antivirus service that is actually a virus in disguise and adamant that the computer tech they're consulting about it is just lying that it's a fake antivirus program in order to sell them something (like, you know, a ''real'' antivirus program).
* There's an internet video of someone waking up an apparently-drunk guy, putting a banana in his mouth, and handing him a pillow and bedding while telling him to go in an urgent voice and gently pushing him into a closet. The guy goes into the closet willingly. When he hears people laughing, he comes out and immediately goes back to sleep.
* At one point, two men walked into the Macy's in NYC and brought a canoe all the way down to their car from the floor it was on without anyone suspecting that it hadn't been paid for. It wasn't until they went back for the paddles that they were caught.
* ''Magazine/PrivateEye'''s owner and longtime editor Peter Cook was a master of this trope. His finest hour was leading a raid on the ''Mirror'' offices at a time when Maxwell had tried to force the magazine off the newsstands (and succeeded with WH Smith, a large British newsagents chain). He and some cohorts, including current editor Ian Hislop, convinced the doorman and security at the ''Mirror'' offices that they were there to see Robert Maxwell. They used this to vandalize Maxwell's office, steal the master copy of a planned spoof Not Private Eye smear-job piece Maxwell had been producing (they had previously sent the journalists involved with the project a case of whisky, with predictable results), order a champagne lunch to be delivered at Maxwell's expense, and, finally, very drunk, phoning Maxwell personally in New York and saying "guess where we are".
* Put on a black t-shirt that says "Event Staff". Wear dark cargo pants (or khakis, depending on preference). Proceed to get into far more private events and off-limits areas than you should be able to.
* More than one commander in UsefulNotes/TheNapoleonicWars was fooled into abandoning vital positions or letting an enemy army slip away because someone from the other side told them that there was an armistice. One notable example is found in the 1805 campaign when Marshals Lannes and Murat took a crucial bridge (which was both heavily guarded and stuffed full of explosives) near Vienna by just crossing it on foot, in their dazzling full dress uniforms, telling the Austrians that an armistice had just been signed and the bridge was now supposed to be handed to the French. When one sensible NCO wanted to light the fuses anyway because there was no way these two Frenchmen were telling the truth, Lannes and Murat proceeded to humiliate all the Austrian officers present by asking if a mere NCO could now countermand a general's orders. The Austrian general in charge of the bridge was arrested and imprisoned for gross incompetence, but perhaps he felt vindicated knowing that Murat fell for the exact same trick a few days later, courtesy of the Russians.
* One technique used in Urban Exploration and other activities is to wear a hard hat and a fluorescent vest, a sort of HighlyConspicuousUniform, perhaps combined with a ClipboardOfAuthority or a camera. Sure, people will notice you, but they'll assume you're supposed to be there because you've got the proper gear.
* The principle behind camouflage passports; official-looking passports from countries that kind of have a familiar ring to them but don't actually exist, like Spanish Guinea or Zanzibar. The idea is that being able to provide what looks like a passport might get you out of sticky international situations where, for example, being known as American or Israeli might get you beaten up or worse.
* In Russia, if one is dressed in a military-looking greatcoat and a serviceman's ushanka, it is wholly possible to get out of being arrested by looking angrily at the police, demanding to know what ''they'' are doing, and they saying you're going to their commander with it. On rare and lucky occasions, you might even get given vodka to buy your silence. But if you're unlucky, you're in a big trouble.
* April 10, 1940 was the day after [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII the German invasion of Norway]]. This particular day was nicknamed "panic day" in the Norwegian capital, Oslo. For decades, Norwegians believed rumors that British bombers were about to attack that morning, and people panicked, packed their belongings and rushed out of town. That would be something like most of the population in that city. Only recently it was revealed that the whole incident was one gigantic example, a diversion to get a known German anti-fascist, Ernst Wollweber, out of town. The Norwegian communist faction actually hired a truck, drove it through town and yelled "The British are about to bomb!" In the imminent confusion, everybody believed this, and panicked. The communists succeeded in getting Wollweber to Sweden, and also in stirring up some 200.000 Oslo inhabitants. One of the greatest fire drills in the twentieth century.
* This [[http://edition.cnn.com/videos/us/2015/07/05/oklahoma-wal-mart-armored-car-driver-heist.koki?sr=fb070615brazenheistwalmart10pVODLink thief]] marches into a Walmart wearing only a security officer's uniform, and manages to get away with 75,000 dollars by convincing employees he was with an armored truck company.
** A fairly common tactic - a thief in walked into a Detroit area Target store dressed in the black collared shirt and khaki pants of a Target Mobile employee, strolled into the back room and checked out the cell phone locker, walked back to the front of the store (exchanging greetings with an employee as he exited the backroom) and retrieved a pair of bolt cutters and a jacket from a vehicle parked outside, took a cart (bolt cutters under the jacket) back to the cell phone locker, cut the latch that secured it shut, and absconded with thousands of dollars worth of Android and iOS smartphones. No one noticed anything was amiss, not even the employee who saw him mid-scheme, until long after he was gone.
* Averted by the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Orders_for_Sentries General Orders for Sentries]] in the US Military, which have been carefully designed to prevent Bavarian Fire Drills. For instance, the rules say that a senior officer cannot just walk up to a sentry and start issuing orders; the sentry must contact their immediate superior instead. And of course, all the officers know this, and the sentries know that they know, so anyone dressed in a General's uniform who orders a sentry to "come with me" is immediately suspect.
* Benjamin Franklin himself essentially employed this to ensure the American Revolution a good general to instruct them in how to fight. After meeting the Prussian captain Von Stueben in Paris, and concerned that Congress would not accept a "mere captain," Franklin "doctored" Von Stueben's resume to take along and show Washington a lengthy and impressive career as a former lieutenant general in the Prussian army.
* A [[http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/09/us/minnesota-burger-king-prank/index.html prank caller]] dials up several fast food restaurants and convinces the employees there to smash out their restaurant's windows by pretending to be a fire department official who's been alerted to a dangerous gas leak at the restaurant that will result in an explosion if the building isn't depressurized by smashing out the windows.
* Legendary electric guitarist Les Paul was unable to get any record exectutives to sign him, until one day he was headed home from yet another unsucessful interview and saw workmen erecting a sign for the newly formed Capitol Records. Paul waited until they were distracted, then walked into the building backwards, figuring that if anyone stopped him, he'd say he was on his way out. He managed to make his way into the offices, and convinced an A&R man to listen to his recordings, upon which the man wrote out a contract on the spot.
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiEMcjSQOzg This video]] shows that you can get into a surprising number of places, even in casual clothing, if you're carrying a ladder under your arm. People simply assume you're there to fix something.

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