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French Psychic Scams the World: Part 2

8/17/2018
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CNN journalists Melanie Hickens and Blake Ellis have spent years investigating psychic Maria Duval. Letters in her name were sent to millions around the globe promising psychic protection in exchange for money. In 2016, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service permanently shut down the fraud scheme in the United States, but investigators have yet to find Maria, leaving Melanie and Blake to wonder whether she even exists.

Duration:00:24:40

French Psychic Scams the World: Part 1

8/10/2018
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A letter arrives in the mail from a woman claiming to have psychic abilities. She warns you of danger but promises good fortune — if you send her money. This is the setup for one of the longest-running scams in U.S. history. These predatory letters were sent to millions of Americans and raked in over $200 million. At the center of it all is the elusive French psychic Maria Duval. Who is Maria Duval, and is she really the mastermind of this fraud scheme? Or has she unknowingly lent a face...

Duration:00:25:25

Scammers Drained the Life out of Our Mother: Part 2

8/3/2018
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Valerie, a 90-year-old retiree, believes she’s won the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. She’s handed over tens of thousands of dollars to scammers in order to collect a prize that doesn’t exist. No matter how her daughters try, they can’t convince their mother she’s being scammed. With the stress from the scam damaging Valerie’s health, her daughters take drastic measures.

Duration:00:24:45

Scammers Drained the Life out of Our Mother: Part 1

7/27/2018
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Valerie, a social and energetic retiree, can’t believe her luck when she receives a letter stating that she’s won the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. When Valerie shares the news with her adult daughters, they don’t think much of it. Then large sums of money start disappearing from Valerie’s bank account, her telephone rings nonstop, and she retreats from social life. Concerned, Valerie’s daughter’s launch their own investigation and discover that their mother has been sucked into a...

Duration:00:27:27

Nominate Us and Take the ‘Perfect Scam’ Quiz!

6/29/2018
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We’ll be back with new episodes of The Perfect Scam on July 27. In the meantime, enjoy this bonus episode featuring the producers of the podcast showing off their fraud-busting skills in a pop quiz. And don’t forget to nominate The Perfect Scam for The People’s Choice Podcast Awards at www.podcastawards.com. Nominations open July 1.

Duration:00:13:49

Frank’s Favorite Scams & Tips From Fraud Watch Network

6/22/2018
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In this episode of The Perfect Scam, Frank discusses his favorite scams. Then Will speaks with AARP Fraud Watch Network experts Kristin Keckeisen and Amy Nofziger to learn more about being on the front lines and helping victims who’ve been scammed.

Duration:00:26:03

A Scammer Tells All

6/15/2018
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In this episode of The Perfect Scam, we pull back the curtain on call centers and learn about the rise and fall of one call center employee who scammed victims daily. We’ve talked a lot about scams but not big-news breaches. Frank discusses major online breaches such as at Equifax, checking your credit scores, and monitoring your kids' credit/identity.

Duration:00:31:31

Ann’s Credit Card Re-Scam

6/1/2018
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Ann was the victim of something called a re-scam. The scammer claimed to be from her credit card company and was calling to notify Ann of fraudulent charges on her account. Ann is normally wary of giving out information over the phone, but her husband had recently been diagnosed with cancer — so she was distracted and let her guard down. By the time she realized it was a scam, it was too late. The scammer used the information she provided to steal thousands of dollars from Ann’s bank account.

Duration:00:31:03

George & Sandra’s Accident Scam

5/25/2018
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George and Sandra are retirees in Santa Monica, Calif. On a typical afternoon drive, they are confronted by a driver who claims George and Sandra hit his car. He demands that they pull over, and when a second driver pulls up claiming to have witnessed the accident, George and Sandra are shocked. But these two aren’t gullible. They tell the drivers to follow them, and when the fraudsters realize they are being taken to the police station, they quickly drive away. TIPS: Intimidation and...

Duration:00:27:57

Beth’s Russian Hack

5/18/2018
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Beth receives a phone call and a follow-up message on her computer from a man claiming he’s from Dell. The message is strong: Her bank account is being hacked by Russians, and if she doesn’t pay up, they’ll steal even more of her money. Typically, Beth is able to pick up on scams, but Dell is a client she works with regularly — so her guard is down. The “Dell” representative tells her that she owes $3,998. “He gives me an address. I write the check out and mail it.” After quickly learning...

Duration:00:25:28

Married and Betrayed

5/11/2018
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Andrea’s husband secretly operated a Ponzi scheme for 15 years and stole millions of dollars from investors, including their relatives, friends and neighbors. This is her story of how she found out about the scheme and what’s happened to her life after her husband was convicted.

Duration:00:22:25

Tracy’s Romance Scam

5/4/2018
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Tracy is looking for companionship when she makes a connection online with a widower. They begin talking every day. Her new boyfriend tells her he must leave the country for work, but once he's overseas he starts asking Tracy to send money and electronics. Tracy thinks she is helping him with his business, but really she is being scammed. She sends him thousands of dollars in products before she learns the man is a known scammer. Despite her best efforts, she never gets her money back.

Duration:00:27:06

Grace’s Gold and Silver Scam

4/27/2018
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After her father dies, Grace is in charge of investing his lifetime savings. She decides to put the money into gold and silver. Along the way, she realizes the investment isn’t what she had thought it was.

Duration:00:27:24

New Episodes Arrive April 27

4/13/2018
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Starting April 27, more victims share their stories on The Perfect Scam.

Duration:00:00:11

Alex Goldman’s Call Center Scam

4/6/2018
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Alex Goldman is the host of the Reply All podcast. When he gets a peculiar phone call from someone claiming to be from Apple tech support, Alex quickly realizes it’s a scam — and he wants to learn more about the scam artist and the industry he works in. Alex goes on a deep dive into the shady world of call centers and makes some startling discoveries.

Duration:00:34:12

Martha’s Jury Duty Scam

4/6/2018
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Martha gets a message from the police department saying she's missed jury duty and there’s a warrant out for her arrest. In order to avoid being arrested, she needs to send $1,000 to the courthouse immediately. Wanting to do the right thing and not get in trouble with the law, Martha follows the instructions from the man on the phone. After a frantic chase around town — in which she purchases reloadable money cards and fears the police are following her — Martha sends the money.

Duration:00:34:33

Grandparent Scam

4/6/2018
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Richard is a retired journalist who receives a call from someone claiming to be his grandson in jail. The young man on the other end of the line tells Richard he needs money to help him get out. By asking the right questions and not giving in, Richard discovers the man is a con artist.

Duration:00:28:42

AARP Presents The Perfect Scam

3/21/2018
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Coming soon from AARP, The Perfect Scam launching Friday April 6th, 2018.

Duration:00:02:21