Skip to content
The Perfect Scam web banner

AARP’s weekly podcast The Perfect ScamSM tells the stories of people who find themselves the target of a scam. Host Bob Sullivan introduces listeners to those who have experienced scams firsthand, as well as leading experts who pull back the curtain on how scammers operate. 

The Perfect ScamSM is a project of the AARP Fraud Watch Network, which equips consumers like you with the knowledge to give you power over scams.

Contractor Defrauds Wisconsin Homeowners

After a fire, Royce hires Tyler Hansen to rebuild his Wisconsin home. A series of delays and excuses leave Royce with no choice but to go to law enforcement, revealing a pattern of fraud across the state.

International Fraud and Money Laundering Ring Exposed, Part 2

In Part 2, Mary Marr, the head of a fraud and money laundering ring, leads law enforcement on an international chase. Homeland Security Agent Justin Deutsch eventually brings her to justice.

International Fraud and Money Laundering Ring Exposed, Part 1

Homeland Security Agent Justin Deutsch follows tips about suspicious bank accounts in Florida, exposing the leader of an international fraud and money laundering ring that defrauded hundreds of victims.

Lawyer Fights to Regain Identity from Timeshare Resale Scam

Todd Alper, a retired lawyer, discovers his identity is being used by scammers in an elaborate timeshare resale scam. Devastated, he begins the long fight to regain his identity and a sense of control.

Archive Episode: I Borrowed Money for the Russian Mob, Part 3

After realizing he’s been caught up in a luxury car scam involving the Russian mob, Therin Miller turns to the FBI and turns FBI informant. Will his life ever return to normal?

A Luxury Car Venture Becomes a Nightmare, Part 2

Therin Miller’s exciting new luxury-car venture with his roommate has become a nightmare: He’s committed serious crimes, there’s a notorious crime boss involved, and now he fears for his life.

National Guardsman Lured Into a Luxury Car Crime Ring, Part 1

Therin Miller placed an online ad for a roommate. He never dreamed he’d be drawn into a luxury car crime ring with ties to the Russian mob.

Couple and Homeless Man Conspire on Viral $400K GoFundMe Scam

Kate McClure and Mark D’Amico raise more than $400,000 on GoFundMe to benefit homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt. When things don’t seem to add up, investigators quickly learn this story was all based on a lie.

‘National Geographic’ Photographer Paul Nicklen Warns About Social Media Impostors, Part 2

In part 2, social media impostor scams target world-famous wildlife photographer Paul Nicklen and a veteran. Learn why these scams are so common and difficult to defeat.

'National Geographic' Photographer Paul Nicklen Warns About Social Media Impostors, Part 1

Photographer Paul Nicklen is known for his portraits of polar wildlife. But his large and devoted social media following attracts the attention of scammers who operate hundreds of impostor accounts.

YouTube Star Kitboga Fights Fraud With Humor

YouTube star Kitboga delights his 3.3 million followers with his many characters and laughs at the expense of online criminals. Bob sits down with him for a humorous and enlightening conversation.

SIM Swapping: A Multimillion Dollar Scam

The media dubs a 15-year-old "Baby Al Capone" after he steals millions from Michael Terpin's cryptocurrency wallets

Holiday Scams: What to Look Out For This Season

In this bonus episode, Bob sits down with AARP’s Amy Nofziger to discuss the most prevalent scams targeting consumers throughout the holiday season and what to be on the lookout for.

Phone Scams and the Human Trafficking Connection

There could be something far more sinister behind the common scam calls we all receive. Many scammers are human trafficking victims who are lured to Southeast Asia and locked up in prison-like compounds.

A Veteran Rebuilds His Life After a Scam Takes Everything

David’s online friendship with a woman in the Philippines leads to the loss of his home, his business and his friends, but he finds healing through helping others.

Criminals Deceive Search Engines With Fake Results

When Marcia needs help with her Amazon order, a search for the company’s customer service number goes very wrong. Criminals deceive search engines, presenting consumers with fake results that look very real.

AI, Voice Cloning and Scams: What You Should Know

In this special episode, we learn how criminals are using artificial intelligence to their advantage and what to look out for. We use examples with Bob’s own voice to show how it’s being done.

Psychic Mail Fraud Scheme Enabled by One of the World's Largest Data Firms

Bob checks in with USPIS Inspector Clayton Gerber for an update on the Maria Duval psychic impostor mail scam and learns the role Epsilon, one of the world’s largest data firms, played in the scheme.

Dog Hospice Targeted by Fake Bank Texts

Caring for ailing dogs is a passion for Helen, but her nonprofit dog hospice is threatened when she receives a message from her bank that turns out to be a sophisticated bank impersonation fraud.

Honolulu’s Power Couple Caught: Mortgage Scam, Part 2

An unusual court case reveals that Katherine Kealoha’s affluent lifestyle is fueled by a reverse mortgage on her family’s home, and her husband, Louis, is using his power as police chief to hide the crime.

Couple Masterminds a Reverse Mortgage Scheme

Katherine and Louis Kealoha live a lavish lifestyle in an upscale neighborhood in Honolulu. But the strange case of a stolen mailbox exposes their secrets and a terrible case of family financial fraud.

Previous Episodes

How to listen and subscribe to AARP's podcasts

Are you new to podcasts? Learn how to subscribe to AARP Podcasts on any device.

About the Fraud Watch Network

Whether you have been personally affected by scams or fraud or are interested in learning more, the AARP Fraud Watch Network advocates on your behalf and equips you with the knowledge you need to feel more informed and confidently spot and avoid scams.




Membership Perks

Help Support The Perfect ScamSM

AARP members help make possible free podcasts like The Perfect ScamSM and the resources of the AARP Fraud Watch Network. Not a member? Join with an automatic renewal and save 25% on your first year of membership PLUS you’ll receive a FREE RFID-blocking wallet.

Fraud Expert

Graphic illustration of Bob Sullivan

Bob Sullivan is an independent journalist and the author of five books, including New York Times Best Sellers, Gotcha Capitalism and Stop Getting Ripped Off! He spent nearly two decades working at and NBC News, where he created and wrote the popular Red Tape Chronicles blog, covering cybercrime, privacy, and other consumer issues. He has won a Peabody Award, a Society of Professional Journalists Public Service Award, and a Consumer Federation of America Consumer Media Service Award. He was the host of Breach, a podcast about history's biggest hacks, and So, Bob? a podcast about the unintended consequences of technology. He now writes The Red Tape Chronicles column at and can be reached at