The Perfect Scam


  • 46 minutes
    A Mexican Drug Cartel Runs Time-Share Scam, Part 2

    In part 2, James is becoming suspicious of the people who are “helping” him sell his Lake Tahoe time-share. After several months of paying fees, he learns that he’s in the middle of a common, and dangerous, time-share resale scam. The people he thinks are real estate agents are actually members of a notorious Mexican cartel who have shifted their business from drug trafficking to the even more lucrative business of scams.

    7 June 2024, 4:01 am
  • 38 minutes 6 seconds
    A Mexican Drug Cartel Runs Time-Share Scam, Part 1

    When James receives a call from a company offering to sell his Lake Tahoe time-share, he jumps at the chance to off-load it. They find a buyer in Mexico and draw up a contract through an escrow company in New York City. James is told he only has to pay a fee to transfer the property, which will be reimbursed by the buyer. Unexpected fees and expenses continue to pile up, but James does not get any closer to completing the sale. Little does he know that his time-share sale is connected to a dangerous Mexican drug cartel.

    31 May 2024, 4:01 am
  • 45 minutes 3 seconds
    Criminals Cash In on Couple’s Credit Card Points

    Jody and her husband love to travel, and they love to save up credit card reward points to make their family vacations more affordable. When they start getting notifications that some of their points have been redeemed without their permission, they are led on a monthslong ordeal to secure their accounts from criminals who are turning those hard-earned points into cash.

    24 May 2024, 4:01 am
  • 45 minutes 48 seconds
    Scammers Defraud Small-Biz Owner in Arrest Warrant Scam

    The pandemic is tough for Victor’s small business, but the loan he receives from the Paycheck Protection Program is a lifeline. Years later, he receives a call from someone claiming to be from the sheriff’s office. The caller says Victor's loan application has been flagged as fraudulent and he must pay the money back right away or face arrest. Victor doesn’t realize that his loan information is public and easily accessible to scammers, who use it to their advantage.

    17 May 2024, 4:01 am
  • 40 minutes 6 seconds
    Utility Bill Scam Targets Grieving Family

    Lorraine is grieving her father when she receives a letter claiming to be from Florida Power & Light notifying her to contact them. A kind "operator" named Anna walks her through the process of switching the account from her father to setting up a new one in her name and paying a deposit. A few weeks later, a notice from the real Florida Power & Light arrives in Lorraine’s mailbox and she realizes Anna wasn’t who she said she was. The criminals have gotten away with the $300 deposit, and the information they have stolen is much more valuable.

    10 May 2024, 4:01 am
  • 21 minutes 50 seconds
    Bonus: Six Scams on the Rise

    Amid quickly changing technology and social trends, criminals are constantly developing new methods of defrauding consumers. In this bonus episode, Bob talks with Amy Nofziger of the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline to discuss six of the fastest-growing scams. These include new forms of check fraud, celebrity impersonation, sweepstakes and grandparent scams, along with the technology of voice printing and scams related to the upcoming summer Olympics.

    3 May 2024, 4:01 am
  • 39 minutes 46 seconds
    Inside the Dark Web

    The criminal side of the internet, the Dark Web, is unknown to most of us. This week’s guest, criminologist David Maimon, takes us behind the curtain into a world where criminals talk to one another anonymously and the personal identifying information of thousands of unsuspecting victims is up for sale. Learn how Maimon’s research warns of emerging trends and how consumers can protect themselves.

    26 April 2024, 4:01 am
  • 43 minutes 10 seconds
    Romance Scammer Impersonates Korean Celebrity

    After a divorce, Nancy moves to North Carolina and takes a job as a caregiver for older patients who are in poor health. The work is rewarding but challenging, and to help her unwind after long days, a roommate introduces her to Korean television dramas. She becomes a fan of one actor in particular, Paul Ahn, and follows him on social media. So she is thrilled when she receives a Facebook message from someone claiming to be Paul. They exchange messages, and the relationship quickly becomes romantic. Paul invites Nancy to visit him, but there is a catch: She must pay a reservation fee of $18,500. As she prepares for the trip, he asks for more and more money for travel expenses, leading Nancy to wonder if he really is who he seems. 

    19 April 2024, 4:01 am
  • 45 minutes 2 seconds
    From Tech Support to Crypto ATM, Scammers Steal Thousands

    Marlene is suffering from terrible back pain and preparing to have surgery in a few days when her computer suddenly begins flashing a fraud warning. The tech support operator tells her that her account has been compromised. Fearing the money she needs for her surgery will be lost, she pushes through the blinding pain and races to her bank and a cryptocurrency ATM in hopes of saving her money.

    12 April 2024, 4:01 am
  • 42 minutes 42 seconds
    Job Hunting? Look Out for These Scams

    Employment scams are one of the fastest growing types of fraud. The recent surge can be traced to several post-pandemic factors that make these crimes even easier for criminals. In this episode, we will hear from a job seeker and an employer who’ve both been affected, as well as an expert who shares the red flags job seekers should be on the alert for.


    5 April 2024, 4:01 am
  • 37 minutes 56 seconds
    Archive Episode: Oil Tycoon Con Artist Steals More Than Hearts, Part 2

    In Part 2 of this 2021 episode, young ICU nurse Whitney Kirkpatrick’s life is turned upside down when the police show up at her door looking for her boyfriend of nine months, Gregory Thomas. He is not the wealthy, successful oil executive he claims to be. Instead, Gregory has spun an elaborate web of lies — and he’s been funding his extravagant lifestyle with Whitney’s money. With the support of family and friends, Whitney finds the strength to move on and to educate others about identity theft and white-collar crime. 

    29 March 2024, 4:01 am
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