des moines Travel Guide

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The Fresh E-mail Scam Involving the United Nations and US Airports

August 28, 2012 at 9:03 AM | by | ()

By now most people know better than to even bother reading those emails that begin with a plea to help an African prince claim his rightful inheritance and end requesting bank information or up-front cash. Alas, as we collectively grow smarter about email scams, the scammers seek to stay one step ahead, evolving their scams with better English and more plausible schemes.

A recent such scam fell into our own inbox and, though we'd typically click "delete" in a flash, this one caught our eye for its mentions of the United Nations, Des Moines International Airport and the Treasury Department. Hmmm.

The sender, a "Mr. Scott C. Tooley, Assistance Inspection Director, Des Moines International Airport" (, makes a lengthy and detailed case for getting you involved in an unclaimed shipment of cash left at the airport by a diplomat. He requests a 30% share of what should be "$1 Million to $1.5 Million" in two "Metal Trunk Boxes." Of course this would leave you accepting a box or two of cash of at least $700,000 after paying fees of $3,800. Spoiler alert: It is not real. It is a scam, duh.

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Demi and Ashton Can Be Obnoxious in Middle-America, Too

May 31, 2006 at 9:15 AM | by | ()

Cradle-robber Demi Moore and MTV jester Ashton Kutcher made a surprise roadside stop at a West Des Moines bar this weekend. Stars--they're just like us! If you live in Iowa, that is.

The ambiguously preganant couple was traveling through town to see some of Ashton's old friends from Homestead when they stopped off for a few cold ones at a joint called Aura--and stayed till closing time.

We say this is actually pretty cool of them, keepin' it real in Iowa. Unfortunately they blew it when they demanded a helicopter to take them home. (And you thought it was hard to get a cab to take you to Brooklyn.) The bar manager called every pilot he knew, with no luck, and eventually some poor security personnel had to drive them the 100 miles back to Ashton's crashpad. Let this be a lesson: Always secure your helicopter ride home before a night of drinking, lest you find yourself in Des Moines without a flight home.

Related Stories:
·   Demi and Ashton pop in at bar in Iowa [AP]