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.

Bonus: Top 5 Things to Know About Crypto Scams

In this bonus episode, Bob chats with prosecutor Erin West, of the REACT task force, about the top five things everyone should know about cryptocurrency scams. The answers may surprise you.

Boat Captain Falls in Love With a Ghost

Keith, a Cape Cod boat captain, is surprised to find romance online with Anna. But her offer of an investment opportunity in foreign currencies pulls him into an elaborate cryptocurrency scam.

One Woman’s Story of Attempted Suicide and Survival After a Scam, Part 2

In part 2, after a devastating scam wipes out her family’s savings, Kathy attempts to take her own life. The support of family and health professionals and sharing her story help Kathy heal.

One Woman’s Story of Attempted Suicide and Survival After a Scam, Part 1

During the pandemic, an online friendship gives Kathy a needed diversion but leads to the devastating loss of her retirement funds. This is the story of one woman’s survival from the darkest of days.

Scam Victim Turns Movie Star

After a threatening call from Chinese government impostors, Jerry Hsu wires his life savings to protect himself. With the help of his filmmaker son, Jerry stars in a film about the experience.

Taylor Swift Fans Targeted in Concert Ticket Scams

Lisa is determined to find highly sought-after Taylor Swift tickets for her daughter. After a lengthy search, she buys four tickets from a local man, only to find out at the box office that they are fake.

'Garbage Into Gold’ Ponzi Scheme

Mantria Corp. draws in investors hoping to get in on the ground floor of a green energy revolution that promises huge returns. Is the “garbage to gold” scheme too good to be true?

Private Investigator Helps Take Down a Psychic Scam Operation

When a psychic steals her $28,000, Debra enlists the help of Bob Nygaard, a private investigator who specializes in psychic scams. Together, they bring psychic scammer Sylvia Mitchell to justice.

New York Psychic Drains One Woman's Bank Account

After an especially bad day, ballroom dancer Debra decides to visit a psychic. Instead of finding answers, she finds herself on a five-year quest to get back $28,000 that is stolen from her.

A Reality TV Star’s Telemarketing Scheme

Penny’s hopes of building her hobby into a business are dashed when she is targeted by a telemarketing scam run by Real Housewives star Jen Shah.

An Old Scam Is Making a Comeback: Check Washing

Learn why the old-fashioned crime of check washing is making a dramatic comeback.

DEA Impostor Steals Montana Woman’s Life Savings

After retiree Susan moves to a new home in Montana to be closer to family, a call from “Amazon” and an investigation by a man claiming to be a DEA agent put all she has, including her home, in jeopardy.

Team of Women Takes Down Serial Romance Scammer, Part 2

Linda and Missi discover that the man they both dated is a serial romance scammer

Team of Women Takes Down Serial Romance Scammer, Part 1

Linda meets her dream man on a dating site and their romance progresses quickly, but a troubling message from another woman reveals he is a serial romance scammer.

The Perfect Scam Podcast Celebrates 5 Years

This April marks five years of “The Perfect Scam” podcast! Since launching in 2018, we’ve brought you stories of fraud told by the people who lived them, stories of trauma but also of bravery and triumph. With the FTC reporting a staggering $8.8 billion in losses to scammers in 2022, we remain committed to continue bringing you the very latest information and resources to give you power over scams.

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