Scams & Cons

Scams & Cons

Why would anyone give thousands of dollars to a Nigerian prince? Or play a well-known scam like Three Card Monte? Scammers and con artists convince people to do it every day. We will tell you why people become suckers and how it is done.

Episodes

September 22, 2022 18 min

In Greek mythology, The Sirens were beautiful women with the upper bodies of humans and the lower bodies of birds whose bewitching songs lured sailors to their doom. Their singing lured sailors would try bringing their ships close to shore where they would either crash their ships or sailors would jump overboard and drown.

Today's sirens are cult leaders, their methods draw you in, convince you they can ease your pain and making...

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Scammers and con artists generally trick suckers into handing their money over willingly. Blackmail is intended to have you believe you have no choice but to pay up, even though you know they'll be back for more.

Experts nearly universally believe that blackmailers should not be paid and they rarely come through on their threats. But at the time, you're scared and afraid to turn to anyone for help because you must confess wh...

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Scams & Cons will be back in two weeks, but before we return, it seemed timely to talk about voter registration fraud.

Registration fraud is different from voter fraud in that it seeks to change documentation. Voter fraud is when someone who is ineligible attempts to cast a ballot.

We're apolitical here, but we do want to make sure that everyone who is eligible to vote, gets to vote. Listen in a find out how to protect your r...

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August 11, 2022 15 min

The new season of Scams & Cons begins Sept. 8 with an episode about Blackmail, but in the meantime, we thought we'd share one of our most popular episodes -- Parking Lot Scams.

Parking Lot Scams
Some would say parking lots themselves are scams: $20 for two hours. Really?!!!

They are also places where, for at least a short time, you’re trapped. When backing out of your parking space, someone could rap on your window, and ask fo...

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Summer is for kicking back on the porch with some cheap wine and hot wings -- that is unless you live here in the Southeast where temps of 90+ have been common for about three weeks now.

Instead, we'll be kickin' back here at the ranch reflecting on the ending of Scams & Cons' second season and the upcoming Season 3 coming this fall. We're already well at work with stories about blackmail, cults and the Musta...

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The hills are alive with the sound of scammers

Singing lies and deceits that are decades old.

Their songs fill my heart with hopes of stardom,

But they just steal my songs and leave me broke.

Musicians that travel to Nashville, Los Angeles, New York, Austin and other music centers are looking for a break and scammers step right up to boost their egos and brag about the now-famous who became stars only after meeting them.

It’s quite a te...

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You open a letter that tells you that you've won a huge about of money in a sweepstakes you don't remember entering. Just send some money to cover taxes and fees and those riches will be  yours.

You're a winner, but only if you toss that piece of mail in the trash. Sweepstakes scams come in many shapes and forms and we all want to believe that fortune has smiled upon us, but it likely hasn't. Particularly if that let...

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If an FBI agent appeared at your door, flashed a badge and said she had a few questions for you, would you comply? Would you ask to see the badge again. Would you know what an actual badge should look like?

Those badges, diplomas on the wall and other credentials can be easily faked. We'll tell you how and what you can do to protect  yourself. I'm qualified to do it. I have a PhD in Philosophy from Springfield University. It...

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May 19, 2022 15 min

Those little slips of paper -- coupons -- are real money and someone has to pay for the discount you just received. It could be the store, the manufacturer or someone else. You may have paid for it before you left the house.

The world of coupons is complicated and there are lots of ways scammers can creep in. The average person is the most common way. It happens when we buy coupons online or try to print our own.

Then there is the co...

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May 5, 2022 17 min

Three-card-monte can take all your money in fewer than eight minutes. Long cons can take days, weeks, months or years -- just ask Bernie Madoff.

The con artists generally have to put up significant amounts of money to pull it off.  They usually enlist others and must gain use of offices and facilities.

On top of that, they have to think on their feet because many things can happen over time. 

You've got to be good to run a long co...

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April 21, 2022 14 min

Don't you just hate it when the new $5,000 sex doll you ordered turns out to be a cheap knock-off? Or that super-fun-pack of condoms you bought is counterfeit?

Men thinking with the wrong head are mostly the victims of these crimes, but their variety may surprise you. Like that help-wanted ad you saw for a sex toy tester. I don't want to spoil this one -- you just have to listen.

Vice article about online adult games

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April 7, 2022 18 min

Art scams are like no other. They are like a theatrical play with scammers and art forgers producing, writing and directing the show. Even the suckers are part of the script, anxious to play their roles, even when they suspect there may be an unhappy ending for them.

The majority of the rules that apply to most scams, don't apply here. Some people get involved for fame, some for ego and others for fortune. Those that are in it f...

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March 24, 2022 13 min

Most cons are well planned. After all, the con artists don't want to go to jail.

But sometimes, things come together in such a way that the scams have to be pulled off quickly while the con artists make things up on the spot.

Today we'll tell you the story of three scams that were run only once. OK, there's a fourth one, but you'll know it when you hear it. Listen closely.

The Kitchen Table Historian

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Recently -- and I kid you not -- I found a $100 bill as I got into my car after buying groceries. It was on the ground beside my door, folded in thirds. I immediately thought someone was setting me up for a Pigeon Drop, but no one approached and no other people were around, so I put the bill in my pocket.

It took weeks before I used that money. Finding $100 is just too rare a thing. I wondered if it was counterfeit. I eventually wen...

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February 24, 2022 15 min

The idea of unconditional love is unknown to scammers, unless you're talking about a sucker's money. There's never a trick they aren't willing to perform for a treat -- except being told to "stay."

Doggone it, we should have seen it coming, but there's more involved than companionship. Our emotions get wrapped up and that makes us perfect suckers.

Listen in and we'll tell you how to protect yourself.

Co...

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Falling in love is a risk, but on Valentine's Day, we're all suckers. We're sharing our love by telling what to look out for.

A scammer's poem

Words of love from my keyboard make your heart take flight,

So don’t mistake my plea for money as a reason for fright.

My needs are genuine and my motives are clear, 

So please wire your money so I can disappear. 

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Season Two of Scams & Cons begins Feb. 10 with an episode on Valentine's Scams. It will be good to see you again, but don't feel as if you need to send flowers.

While we were putting that episode together, something caught our eye -- QR code scams. It requires no human interaction and there are only a few ways you can see it coming, so we decided to do this mini-episode telling you all about it.

XOXO

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Scams & Cons will be back with new episodes in February, but until then, we thought we’d share some information about the man pictured in the corner of our logo – Victor Lustig.

Lustig conned Al Capone and sold the Eiffel Tower twice. That's how he earned his corner seat. 

Other con artists have sold public monuments, so to tide you over until the new season, we’re sharing their stories.

Buy Me A Coffee

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I have sand between my toes, a perfectly positioned  chaise lounge and plenty of suntan lotion. It's a welcome break to mark the end of Season 1.

Fear not! I've already begun work on Season 2 with stories about ... well, listen in to this 3-minute episode where you can join me on the beach and I'll tell you all about it.

Until next year, be happy, healthy and watch out for scammers and con artists.

And stay safe.

P.S.  I ne...

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November 18, 2021 11 min

Carpenters need hammers and saws. Cooks need pots and pans. Con artists need a good story to tell and a mark to believe it.

In this episode, you’ll learn about the basic skills a con artist needs to succeed. Strap your tool holster on for this apprentice class on how to set up and execute a successful con.

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