It’s easier to fool people with a hoax when real human organs have already been involved.
Authorities in South Africa were fooled by pamphlets saying: "We pay the best prices for all your body parts and organs."
Interested people were directed to a website with photos of the surgical procedures, which said: "Stop suffering in silence. Rush to get that cash you need. If not for you, do it for your loved one."
Prices were listed, offering money for a pair of eyeballs, a tongue or testicles. Police tried to track down the responsible party, one "Dr. Uba."
But none of it was real. It was all a publicity stunt for an upcoming horror film.
Many were fooled and others thought the stunt was in bad taste. Less than 6 months previously, there was a story in the South African press about a real scheme to give illegal kidney transplants from the poor to wealthy Israelis:
"Israeli citizens in need of kidney transplants would be brought to South Africa for transplants at St. Augustine’s Hospital. They paid kidney suppliers for these operation . [the kidneys] were initially sourced from Israeli citizens, but later Romanian and Brazilian citizens were recruited as their kidneys were obtainable at a much lower cost than those of the Israeli suppliers."
The private hospital group that was involved in the illegal organs trafficking, its CEO, and five doctors have been charged with multiple counts of fraud, forgery and other crimes.
– South Africa falls for horror cash-for-organs stunt – The authorities in South Africa have been duped by a "cash-for-organs" hoax, which turned out to be a publicity stunt for an upcoming horror film, BBC>>
– Netcare charged in organs-for-cash scam – CEO, doctors, transplant unit staff implicated, Times Live>>