Romance Scams

“I’d like to chat with you, if you don’t mind.” Who talks like that! This is a typical opening line of a romance scammer. If asking to continue a conversation, most people don’t say, “If you don’t mind.” Anyone can be the victim of a romance scam, but the criminals...

The Grandparent Scam – A Victim’s Story

Following a recent presentation, a member of the audience told me that his mother received a phone call from a person claiming to be a grandchild who had been arrested for fishing without a license. He asked the victim not to tell other family members about the arrest...

The Grandparent Scam

This scam starts with two preconceptions: first, that a grandparent will come to the aid of a grandchild in a time of crisis, and second, that most grandparents don’t live with their grandchildren, so they are not always aware of their whereabouts. The scam starts...

You’re Computer Has Been Hacked – Not!

Your computer has been hacked, This is according to the unsolicited phone call you receive, of course. The caller may claim that they are from a software company such as Microsoft, and that they have become aware of a breach on your computer. “Hacked” can mean...

Fake IRS Phone Call

There are variations on IRS fake phone call scam, but most often, the potential victim receives a phone call (also referred to as a “robocall,” which is short for “robot call”). If the call is answered or picked up by an answering machine, a computer-generated voice...

Emotions Can Lead to Fraud

Shortly after I began my career as an FBI agent in the Bureau’s Kansas City Division, I heard an interesting recounting of a conversation that two mobsters had on a phone line that was wiretapped by the FBI. The mobsters, who I will call Tony and Joe, had this...