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The Perfect Scam
49 minutes | 2 days ago
Archive Episode: Robocall King Meets the FCC
In this 2019 episode, curious about the barrage of robocalls he himself receives, journalist Alex Palmer decides to look into how robocalls work and why they’ve become so popular. Alex discovers the case of a set of illegal robocalls that temporarily stalled a Virginia-based paging provider, disrupting the ability of hospitals to get in touch with emergency services personnel. As a result, local doctors, nurses, EMTs and firefighters were at risk of missing critical pages. Due to the resulting public safety hazard, the Federal Communications Commission made tracking down the source of these robocalls a top priority. Meanwhile, travel-review website TripAdvisor is being inundated with complaints from customers that it is soliciting them through robocalls to use its travel rewards program. But TripAdvisor isn’t making the calls and doesn’t have a rewards program. With its reputation at stake, TripAdvisor puts its top fraud experts on the case. The FCC and the travel site will eventually learn that they are on the hunt for the same man, Adrian Abramovich.
31 minutes | 16 days ago
Honolulu’s Power Couple Caught: Mortgage Scam, Part 2
In part 2, Gerard Puana stands accused of stealing the mailbox of his niece, the deputy city prosecutor, Katherine Kealoha. Surprisingly, this strange crime will lay bare that Katherine’s luxurious lifestyle is fueled by a reverse mortgage on her grandmother’s home, and that her husband, Louis, is using his power as police chief to cover up the crime.
34 minutes | 23 days ago
Honolulu’s Power Couple Caught: Mortgage Scam, Part 2
Gerard Puana stands accused of stealing the mailbox of his niece, Katherine Kealoha, a deputy prosecutor in Honolulu. Surprisingly, this strange crime will lay bare that Katherine’s luxurious lifestyle is fueled by a reverse mortgage on her grandmother’s home and that her husband, Louis, is using his power as police chief to cover up the crime.
12 minutes | a month ago
Autocomplete With Frank Abagnale
In this bonus episode, fraud expert Frank Abagnale joins us to use Google’s autocomplete function to ask some of the internet’s most burning questions, such as How do you spot a scam on Facebook marketplace? What are scammers doing with gift cards? And… Did Frank really escape from a plane?
33 minutes | a month ago
A Cruel Con: Life Insurance Scams
Five days after her husband’s funeral, Janet gets a call. The woman on the line claims to be from the state retirement system calling about a $50,000 life insurance policy belonging to Janet’s husband. But there’s an issue: A few late payments mean that the system can’t pay out the policy unless Janet comes up with $4,450 to pay the overdue balance.
39 minutes | 2 months ago
Addicted to Love, Pt 2
After being a widow for almost a decade, Debbie tells her kids that she’s interested in looking for love again. She finds a match on a dating site, so when another man she chats with while playing an online game expresses interest in her, she tells him she has a boyfriend. Little does Debbie know, both men are scammers, and it will take her family’s best efforts to pull her out of their web.
33 minutes | 2 months ago
Addicted to Love, Pt. 1
What do you do when you learn your parent is being scammed? Christine’s mother is a giving, caring woman who never raised her voice in anger throughout Christine’s childhood. But when her mother starts online dating, her personality changes. Now she’s up at all hours of the night texting with a man she’s never met. She’s dismissive and easily angers if family members question the relationship. When her mother begins giving this new online boyfriend her hard-earned money, Christine really starts worrying, and with good reason. Christine’s mom, it turns out, is addicted to her online relationships forged with multiple scam artists. Across the country, another family deals with a similar issue.
35 minutes | 2 months ago
An Email Could Cost You Your Home: Mortgage Closing Scams
Every year mortgage closing scams cost homebuyers millions of dollars and, tragically, sometimes even their homes. These scams aren’t new, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been a rise in this type of fraud. We hear from Paul, who moved back to his hometown to care for his mother but finds that his life savings and his new home are in jeopardy because of a scam. We speak with experts and victims about how these schemes work, who’s operating them, and what to look out for.
22 minutes | 2 months ago
The Credit Card Con Queen
Credit card con artist Lisa Reid’s methods are sophisticated, creative and callous. After gaining credit card information from the wealthy seniors she targets, Lisa goes on lavish shopping sprees at high-end retailers, leaving her victims with bills of hundreds of thousands of dollars. But when one of her victims teams up with the FBI, this credit card con queen is finally brought to justice.
33 minutes | 2 months ago
Pet Scams Are Big Business
Danny searches for a new four-legged best friend after his beloved Weimaraner dies of cancer. Alison looks for a second Maine coon to keep her current cat company after a difficult move. Both families find themselves caught in the web of online con artists riding the rising wave of pandemic demand for pets.
31 minutes | 3 months ago
Changing of the Guard: Guardianship Abuse
Even though they live in different states Larry Davis, 74, regularly speaks to and visits his 85-year-old stepmother, Kise, so he is stunned when her neighbor calls to inform him that someone came and took her away. Larry, who is Kise’s power of attorney, is even more shocked to learn that without his knowledge someone else has been named both Kise’s power of attorney and professional guardian. Determined to help his stepmother, Larry embarks on a long legal battle to bring Kise home.
32 minutes | 3 months ago
The Heiress of Ireland, Part 2 : Serial Con Artist Poses as Royalty
Reality TV producer Johnathan Walton discovers that his neighbor and best friend, Mair Symth, is not who she claims to be. Not only is Mair lying about having a multimillion-dollar inheritance, she’s using these lies to extract money from Johnathan. As her web of lies unravels, Johnathan discovers Mair’s other victims and makes it his mission to stop his former best friend from hurting anyone else.
26 minutes | 3 months ago
The Heiress of Ireland: Serial Con Artist Poses as Royalty, Part 1
Reality TV producer Johnathan Walton has worked on shows like American Ninja Warrior and Shark Tank. But for Walton, the most vicious shark he ever encounters comes in the form of a new neighbor, Mair Smyth. Claiming to be Irish royalty, Smyth said she was battling her family for a $25 million inheritance. The two develop a friendship, but over the years Mair cons multiple victims, including Walton, out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
15 minutes | 7 months ago
You’ve Got Mail with Frank Abagnale, Third Edition
In this bonus episode, fraud expert Frank Abagnale is back once again to address your questions on scams. Frank sorts through viewer emails to answer questions about the latest swindles, including an Amazon impostor scam and how to spot PPE (personal protective equipment) fraud.
32 minutes | 7 months ago
Scammer Targets Friends in Real Estate Ponzi Scheme, Pt 2
Over several years the Savastano’s have poured nearly a million dollars into their close friend Monique Brady’s real estate endeavor and are shocked to learn the business is a scam. Monique is not flipping foreclosed houses as she claims to be, she’s actually running a Ponzi scheme. Concerned for their friend of two decades as well as getting their money back the Savastano’s reach out to Monique, but she stops taking their calls. As more details come forward about her scheme the Savastanos learn that Monique has stollen more than ten million dollars from her close friends and family.
36 minutes | 7 months ago
Scammer Targets Friends in Real Estate Ponzi Scheme, Pt 1
Kim and Sal considered Monique Brady family. Their children were close friends, and the families even vacationed together. Despite her booming house-flipping business, everyone who knew Monique described her as generous and down-to-earth. Monique’s success and go-getting personality convinced Sal, who worked in mortgages, to invest in her projects. But when the IRS shows up at Sal’s office asking questions about Monique, everything the they think they know about their good friend begins to unravel.
33 minutes | 7 months ago
Serial Con Artist Impersonates Psychiatrist: Part 2
Kathy discovers that her therapist, Dr. Scott C. Redman, is not what he seems: Not only is he not a psychologist, he’s been practicing for years without any real credentials. Rather than accept that he’s been caught, Redman assumes a new identity and sets up shop at another clinic. This time he poses as a psychiatrist, prescribing medications to his new patients. However, the authorities are on to Redman and are determined to stop this serial con artist.
30 minutes | 8 months ago
Serial Con Artist Impersonates Psychiatrist, Part 1
When Kathy’s former therapist announces he’s leaving, she does her due diligence to find a replacement. She searches online and reads patient reviews before settling on Dr. Scott C. Redman. Over the next 2 1/2 years, Dr. Redman treats Kathy. Then, one day, Kathy finds out that her doctor isn’t who he claims to be. In fact, he’s a professional con man who’s impersonated psychologists for a decade.
24 minutes | 8 months ago
Archive Episode: Married and Betrayed
In this 2018 episode, Andrea’s husband secretly operates a Ponzi scheme for 15 years, stealing millions of dollars from investors, including their family, friends and neighbors. This is her story of how she found out about the scheme and what’s happened to her life since.
38 minutes | 8 months ago
Scammer Relentlessly Targets Equifax Victim
Marni is one of the 147 million Americans whose personal information was exposed in the Equifax data breach. She immediately takes action, freezing her credit and signing up for a credit monitoring service. Marni thinks the ordeal is behind her until she finds that despite her efforts new accounts have been opened in her name. Marni’s scammer has found a way to unfreeze her credit. Marni takes additional action to protect her credit, but the scammer is just getting started.
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