Medical Scams!

How can someone lie about a cure for cancer? Cancer is a devastating illness, and yet if you look you can find all sorts of cures. And tell me….truly… when struck by this horrendous diagnosis, who wouldn’t try just about anything to be rid of it?

Yes, I believe this has to be the lowest of all scams. Taking advantage of someone at their most vulnerable. They promise their “miracle” will cure! Quick! Easy! No pain! And all you have to do is follow 10 easy steps… and of course pay tremendous amount of money.

Cancer is not the only disease these charlatans shout their “cures” at. Ads may claim their products can cure arthritis, Alzheimer, solve your weight problems, and keep you looking like a youth. They never mention the possible side effects of course! That wouldn’t be a good marketing move now would it? Telling you their products could actually hurt you!? Not!! Legitimate drug companies must scream their products interactions and side effects loud and clear. Why do the miracle cures hide theirs? And in fact tell you there are little or no side effects? Because they want to separate you from your cash!

One of the more unforgivable things they may be guilty of: They delay you seeking qualified medical help, and may actually worsen your condition by putting off that Doctor’s visit. If nothing else, they’ll leave you with the sick feeling that you’ve been swindled.

Remember just like anything else, if a medical product sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Be skeptical of ads claiming “to be scientific breakthroughs”
Be skeptical of “miracle cures” you can use at home
Ask a qualified physician for advice

Pigeon Drop!

A stranger comes up to you and asks for a favor. This person somehow (the game changes regarding the item of value), has come in possession of something very valuable, but for reasons that sound plausible s/he cannot cash in on the item. The stranger is very willing to give you the circumstance in which s/he has obtained the item of value and equally willing to explain why s/he cannot cash in on it. S/He will also share with the you why the money is needed immediately.

S/He asks for your advise and help. S/He offers to share the profits if only you will help. Another person unknown to you and seemingly unknown to the person who has the valuable item comes into the conversation. The third person says he overheard the conversation and has an idea of how to help and would also like to share in the profit. The third person says he knows where he can sell, transfer or otherwise obtain cash for the item. He offers “good faith money” to the person with the item for the period of time he has the item until it is converted to cash and split up. The third person asks you to put up the same amount of “good faith money” to the first person, just as he has, so that the owner of the item will not feel as if he might lose the item’s value.

You are faced with a decision. Do you put out $500.00 (or what ever amount determined), to a stranger to get back a $1,000.00 in twenty minutes. If you give them the money, you’ve LOST it.

Of course the first unknown person knows the third unknown person. They are wonderful actors and very convincing. This scam has been going on for decades and will continue as long as people try to get rich quick or obtain something they do not deserve.

Other Variations of this Con:

When someone tells you they have just found a large amount of money and wants to share it with you — but you have to put up some of your own cash in order to show good faith, RUN! do not walk. Escape with your wallet where it should be. In your pocket!

If a stranger offers to bless your money or perform a secret ritual which will cause it to double in value, remember, if you give this person money, it is magic all right! Disappears along with the individual you gave it to.

My advice is to know: When it sounds too good to be true, it is a scam, and the best thing to do in that situation~RUN! don’t walk to the nearest Police Station, report it! Save another person the pain of being ripped off by some smooth talking crook!

Learn more on the concept of Pigeon Drop here.

Charities? Legitimate? Lining Their Own Pockets?

Someone calls you on the phone. They give a canned speech about homeless, hungry children. How if you gave just a dollar a day, to this worthy charity, they could feed a dozen children! They pull at your heartstrings. They tell of squalid living conditions that you $ could set right….for the child…

Or they tell of bibles that could bring Christ to the unsaved. The ease of giving is amazing! Just give them your credit card number. It is as simple as that! Of course it will be charged every month. And who knows what kind of charges an unscrupulous “fund raiser” might stick on your card?

When they ask you for money, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Find out who the person is calling FOR. Many times the charity claimed is for the police or highway patrol officers. Check references. Know who the individual is you are talking to. Get the phone number, the address and all the information about the charitable organization who is recruiting your funds as possible. Find out how much goes to administrative cost, and how much ACTUALLY goes to the worthy cause. Too many times only a couple pennies out of that dollar you gave actually goes to the organization to actually help whatever cause they are pushing at you. A vast majority goes to “Administrative Costs!”, which of course means….they line Their pockets with your hard earned cash!

It is wonderful to what to help those less fortunate, but be careful! Give to those charities you KNOW to be worthwhile. Don’t give your cash to CrooKs!

Nigerian Bank Scheme!

This is an international scam that has recently whittled more than $100 million in documented losses from Americans. The scam from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), seeks access to people’s bank accounts in return for a commission. The con artists mail letters to victims and ask them to fax their bank account number and the telephone and fax numbers of their bank.

The letters have a variety of themes, but generally state that you or your company were chosen because of a “reliable recommendation” to assist them in a business transaction that involves $35 million that was supposedly left from over-invoicing. By assisting them in this transaction, the scam continues, NNPC will grant a 20- to 30-percent share of the total dollar amount that is to be transferred. The victims never see a dime of the money. Some victims have even been coerced into flying to Nigeria to receive their payment, where more money is extorted from them to let them go free.

This scam started more than a decade ago. Although it is reported that fewer than 1 percent of recipients fall for the scam, the numbers could possibly be higher because some people may be too embarrassed to report the crime.

Con artists are, by nature, very persuasive people.

More on Nigerian Scam.

Bank Fraud!

You are sitting comfortably at home….watching tv, making dinner, reading a good book.  Feeling secure in your castle.  The phone rings.  A voice, official, authoritarian, identifies himself/herself as a bank security officer.

S/He weaves a tale of theft occurring at the branch you commonly use. This story tells of a teller stealing customers’ deposits and s/he would like your help in collecting evidence of the thefts. The plan is then laid out for you.  Quite a simple plan really.  S/he asks if you would  withdraw  $1,000.00 in cash (or whatever amount the Con is trying to take) from your account. This person then tells you the teller is suspected of making the bank records look like you withdrew $2,000.00.   Now you feel you have been into a trust by the bank. The smooth talker at the other end of the line says the teller is suspected of pocketing the difference, ultimately stealing from the customer.

The security officer assures you, s/he will be with you the whole time, and right after you make the withdrawal, s/he will verify the transaction as being a $1,000.00 withdrawal. S/He will take the money and the receipt as evidence and audit the transaction made by the teller. The bank security officer guarantees the money you withdraw will be credited to your account and the theft will be caught.  Would an official of the Bank, one who trusts you enough to share with you the special problems they are having with the evil teller thief?

If you make that cash withdrawl and meet the bank security officer at the pre-arranged meeting place, you have made a very costly mistake.  Your money and the REAL thief will disappear, never to be heard from again!

This scam has been worked for a long time. It is usually employed on the elderly; however, many young victims have fallen for the scam.

The best advice in this situation, call the police.  Let them know about the phone call, and the details.  Never, ever give your hard earned cash to a stranger unless you know who you are dealing with and exactly what you are getting for your money!

Computer Scams and Swindles

This information comes directly from a press release by the Better Business Bureau:

May 28, 1997 — The Columbia, South Carolina Better Business Bureau warns consumers who own a computer of a disturbing crime wave going on in Raleigh, North Carolina that could spread to other communities. Victims say the scam starts with a phone call to their home. The caller claims to represent a software company and offers to provide the prospective victim with free software to test for the company. If the victim owns a computer and is interested in the software, the caller goes to work.

He asks questions about the victim and his or her computer, eventually determining where the victim lives and what kind of computer he or she uses. Then within a few days, the victim returns home from work to find that his or her home has been entered and the computer equipment gone.

These thieves are using the promise of free software and the guise of needing to determine compatibility to determine whether your equipment is worth the break in. And of course, if they want your stuff, they only need to ask for a street address for shipment of the free software.

The best defense here is obvious.

  • Don’t release such personal information over the phone to somebody you don’t know or trust.
  • If you’re interested in such an offer, ask the caller for his or her name and the company’s name, address and telephone number, tell the caller that you will return his or her call.
  • Verify that the company exists and is a reliable business by calling the BBB.
  • Then contact the company to find out if the caller does indeed work for the company, and that the company is making the offer available to consumers.
  • Report any suspicious telephone calls to your local police or sheriff’s department.