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Scammers Drained the Life out of Our Mother: Part 1

Valerie receives a letter stating she’s won the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes, but everything is not what it seems.

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Valerie, a social and energetic retiree, can’t believe her luck when she receives a letter stating that she’s won the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. When Valerie shares the news with her adult daughters, they don’t think much of it. Then large sums of money start disappearing from Valerie’s bank account, her telephone rings nonstop, and she retreats from social life. Concerned, Valerie’s daughter’s launch their own investigation and discover that their mother has been sucked into a dangerous scam.

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Full Transcript

[00:00:00] Will: Coming up on AARP: The Perfect Scam - Part 1 of our two-part episode.

[00:00:04] When Publishers' Clearing House Award's one of our major prizes and we award those throughout the year, we contact our winners in person just as you see on the television commercials. Our Prize Patrol shows up with their van with a big check, a bottle of champagne and flowers. If you're being asked to send money, pay taxes, Homeland Security fee, customs fee, any amount to collect a prize, you know it's not real and it's certainly not from the real Publisher's Clearing House.

[00:00:28] It was almost like cultish. It was like somebody had gotten into her brain. She is now, you know, not going with her friends, not trusting the people who love her, and she gave up.

[00:00:40] Cause she, she had a really strong will, amazingly strong energy, will, and then she didn't.

[00:00:49] Will: Welcome back to AARP: The Perfect Scam Podcast. I'm Will Johnson and I am back again for a fresh batch of scams and frauds, all new shows with my cohost, the AARP Fraud Watch Network Ambassador Frank Abagnale. Frank, how are you?

[00:01:02] Frank Abagnale: Great, good to be back.

[00:01:03] Will: Good to see you again, yes. Uh, our first round of shows, I gotta tell you, after doing those and having a few weeks, a few months to hear feedback and hear from people and people who have been listening and family and friends, I know a little bit about what it's like to be Frank Abagnale, just in the sense, a tiny miniscule amount that people come up to me and ask, tell me about fraud a lot, and scams in their own lives. I mean, and I remember you mentioned in the first, in one of our first shows, uh you know you get into a taxi and that's what you hear.

[00:01:31] Frank Abagnale: Exactly, and uh you know, it's just amazing to me and I can see the popularity of the show simply because so many people were scammed. So many people uh believe they're being scammed and most of the time they're right, and they're looking for a resource to explain to them what's going on or how do I protect myself from being scammed, so I think there's a lot, a lot of people from all walks of life, not just seniors, from all walks of life that want to know you know, how do I protect myself from someone stealing money or my assets from me? So I think this is a great resource. It's never been before, so I'm really glad to be part of The Perfect Scam with AARP. I think it's great that we can get these messages out to people.

[00:02:11] Will: Well, you're a big part of the draw, I will tell you, and people who are able to, who listen to the shows uh were really excited to hear your feedback and all the stories you told us. We've got a lot more to talk about, so I'm really excited to get into this, this next round. We have stories about, a story about a senior drug mule, an infamous world-wide psychic scam, also an outdoorsman con man, and a whole lot more, so I hope you're ready.

[00:02:35] Frank Abagnale: Yeah, absolutely.

[00:02:36] Will: I'm sure you are.

[00:02:38] Will: Okay, are you ready for our, our story this week?

[00:02:41] Frank Abagnale: Absolutely.

[00:02:42] Will: I'm going to tell our listeners and you about a really cool amazing woman. Her name is Valerie. She's active, social, the mother of six children, was widowed at 39 and did her best to raise thoughtful, caring children. Her kids are now scattered around the country. One lives on an island in Maine, another is a single mom raising a daughter in Brooklyn, another still lives in Newport, Rhode Island, where the family grew up. But they're united by their love and care for their mother who has moved to Florida where she's healthy and happy. Valerie's daughter, Alison, owns an art gallery in Maine.

[00:03:13] Alison: She was very independent, very strong-willed, very um, able to take care of herself. Um, smart, creative, yeah, she was very, and I would describe her as very happy and contented with her life.

[00:03:27] Will: In New York, Alison's sister Abbie describes her mom as doing well in Florida.

[00:03:31] Abbie: At first she was just um, going there in the winter, and then she really came into her own, I think, in Florida. She met a lot of um, like-minded people and in her church and really, you know, intelligent people and I think she just really felt comfortable there.

[00:03:49] Will: Was your dad, has he passed away or were they divorced or were they together?

[00:03:52] Alison: My dad died when I was 11, Abbie was still

[00:03:56] Abbie: In utero.

[00:03:57] Alison: She was in utero. My mom was 8 months pregnant when my dad died, and my mom had five kids to bring up, you know, actually six kids, after Abbie was born, to bring up without um, a husband.

[00:04:11] Abbie: And she never remarried.

[00:04:12] Alison: She never remarried. She did it, you know, she's a really strong woman.

[00:04:15] Will: Who's got time for a relationship with five or six kids?

[00:04:18] Alison: Exactly.

[00:04:19] Will: Valerie's daughter, Kitty, still lives in Newport, Rhode Island, Valerie's home before moving to Florida in 2003.

[00:04:25] Kitty: She was never the type of person that would, you know, put a lot of money into anything.

[00:04:32] (SEGUE)

[00:04:35] Will: The story begins to unfold in the fall of 2016 when each of the sisters has separate conversations with their mom, and they begin to hear her mention a letter.

[00:04:44] Will: Kitty, let me ask you, from your perspective, when did this first come to your attention that she was being scammed?

[00:04:50] Kitty: The first time she mentioned the Publisher's Clearing House was in September, and she said, "I got this letter," you know, and all excited, and then she said, "I think I've won Publisher's Clearing House." And she said, "I don't want to go on TV, but you know, it's, I won 1 point ..." whatever it was, "...million dollars. That's a lot of money." And she kept thinking about the money, and I said, "You know, it is, but if, if uh, if you think in any way that's going to, you know, you don't want to go on TV, you don't need the money, you know, you, you're comfortable, and you don't need to be investing at this stage of your life," um, I said, "don't..." I just said, "Whatever you do, don't give them any money." "Oh, oh no, I'd never do that," you know, and then it wore off, you know, I didn't hear about it and then she said, mentioned it one or two times after that, um, and I didn't, you know, I just kept repeating myself, "whatever you do, don't give them money, cause it's, if they ask for money, it's a scam." And you know she kind of went, "Oh no, I, oh I know that," you know that kind of thing.

[00:05:50] Will: Abbie tells a similar story.

[00:05:52] Abbie: Yeah, I just thought she was just talking about the day to day things, like what was in the mail and I didn't, cause everyone knows that those are fake. And so I didn't think that she um, there was a scam.

[00:06:06] (SEGUE)

[00:06:12] So the sisters are all hearing these stories about a letter from their mom and giving her a little feedback and advice, but then another sister, Dede, who had been out of the country got a notice from her mom's bank. It was around Christmastime.

[00:06:27] Kitty: She was in Italy, and she had been actually notified that her accounts were empty. She called my sister, Suzy, who then told me at Christmastime. She said that my mother had gone through her entire savings in this one bank account or maybe two, and that's when I went, what is up? And then we were worried about like who she's giving money to and why. You know, she gives money to the church, she gives money to, you know, charities that she likes, but it's never been to a point where she's emptied out her bank account.

[00:06:58] (SEGUE)

[00:07:00] Abbie: There was money leaving her account, like a lot of money started leaving. There was $10,000 increments being sent to Ohio, to this Francis Adams.

[00:07:10] Will: So Valerie is writing checks to someone named Francis Adams. It was discovered that these checks were being cashed by an elderly couple in Ohio, who were presumably being scammed as well. This is all another weird twist to the complex web of a larger scam, but another dead-end as the family dug deeper.

[00:07:29] Kitty: All I can think of is, she was, you know, slipping a little. I don't know. I mean I just, I don't know why and how she ever started writing these big checks, but they really were very good and skilled at what they were doing. So then it was just who and what are they doing?

[00:07:45] Will: So the sisters fully aware now that money is disappearing and their mother is being scammed go into action.

[00:07:51] (SEGUE)

[00:07:56] Kitty: We started organizing trips, and I went down with my sister Suzanne, the one that I was at her house, I went down, we, we both went down to Florida. We got to her house and she has a group, she's a very social person, so she has her book clubs, church friends, and every Thursday night she goes out to dinner with her book club, and every Wednesday night she does something else, and yada yada. Well that Thursday night we came in, it was about 8 o'clock, and we decided, you know, we'd just get in the door and you know maybe get us something to eat. We knew she was out to dinner, and so we walked in, and she was not out to dinner, and um, she was in a bed um, looked about, I don't know 10, 15 years older than the last time I saw her, just absolutely, I don't know what it was about her, but she said, I am not going out to dinner with them. They think I'm being scammed, and I'm not being scammed.

[00:08:53] (SEGUE)

[00:08:58] Kitty: So it, to me, looked like some, it was almost like cultish. It was like somebody had gotten into her brain. She is now, you know, not going with her friends, not trusting the people who love her, and you know, basically a, aged, she was physically and, and just physically aged so much in that, in those six months or whatever that I had seen her last; in bed at 8 o'clock, it was just bizarre to me. It, it just, I looked at Suzy and I just went, what just happened? You know, and I can only, it, I, I almost, it almost looked like a kid with a cult, you know, a kid in a cult. It was like that, that crazy. Like, you know, she wasn't listening, wasn't listening to reason, wasn't listening to the people who loved her, what just, just somehow got, I don't know... brainwashed! She, I think when you, when you're that age, and you start to um, you start to isolate yourself from your friends and family, your health goes, whoosh, down the hill.

[00:10:04] Will: But it, it, well it sounds like the people, whoever it was who was doing the scamming on the other end of that phone line, became like her lifeline.

[00:10:12] Kitty: Yeah, yeah, it was like everything, nothing else mattered. Nobody else, nobody else mattered, nothing else mattered and, and she, she was the only one, she and those people were, were going to save the world, basically. And you know she was going to get all this money, she was going to help her sister who was sick. She was going to give us all things and you know, we all, I kept saying, "Mom, we, we're big kids now, you know, we don't need you to, to fix our family and fix, you know, and give us money. You, you just need to enjoy yourself, enjoy your life." But the trip in January lasted a week. After that, the one night we realized we have a lot more than we bargained for and so we kept trying to get her to open up and she would not. She would go only so far but would never tell who it was, what she was doing, uh just that we are going to be really happy one day, and you know, no, I'm not being scammed and I, you know I, and she would get very, you know, very emotional if, if we tried to push much further, [00:11:14] so that trip, my, sister Suzanne um, ended up trying to investigate, you know we couldn't really reason with my mother, so it became an investigation of, you know, what, what is she doing now? Is she trying to take out loans? Is she trying and, and then she was actually trying to get a loan on her house, and so we, we kind of stopped that by talking to the condo association and explaining what's going on, and you know so we were just trying to play sort of um, clean up a little bit, you know, damage control.

[00:11:46] Will: Kitty and Suzanne went back home to their lives, and Abbie and Alison picked up on things. Abbie likens the visits to a sting operation.

[00:11:54] Abbie: We came down together. She was kind of upset. Um, cause Alison had been talking to her on the phone telling her that it was a scam, and she didn't want to hear that. And then we actually found the original Publisher's Clearing House thing and she told me that someone came to the house, and they had a suitcase, a briefcase full of all her prizes that she was going to win, cause what we think happened is that she got the Publisher's Clearing House thing with the phone number. She called back, so they were phishing. She called back, and then this person came to the house, showed her a briefcase full of stuff, and we know it was--, must have come to the house because she told me about seeing the briefcase full of stuff, but she doesn't go on the internet, so it wouldn't have been on the internet. And then um, I know that initially she was telling me that it started out with money orders and small, or not money orders... wiring and small wiring, you know, small amounts of money wired to Jamaica.

[00:12:48] Will: What a really difficult situation for all of you to be in to be watching this from the outside and not being able to get uh really very much information from her.

[00:12:56] Alison: Oh, so frustrating, and she you know ended up like being so angry at us at the end of our visit, she just like, slammed the door and said, good riddance.

[00:13:07] Will: That must have been really emotional. I mean I really can't even imagine it.

[00:13:09] Alison: It was, it was.

[00:13:11] (SEGUE)

[00:13:15] Will: Why, why was she, what was their excuse for her sending her money in the first place?

[00:13:20] Kitty: Apparently, she had a car in some garage that needed uh fees for keep storing the, the car, and people who are working on the car, I guess it was a Mercedes or something, then just, I believe, and I'm not sure because she was so secretive, but I think she was doing a lot of um, going to the bank and withdrawing money and then doing a bank check for Western Union, wiring. I don't know how she really did the rest of them, but it seemed to work for her. She seemed to think, you know, this was legitimate. They needed this, they needed that, and again, she wasn't terribly, she didn't tell me a whole lot.

[00:13:59] Will: The scammers then convinced Valerie to buy them Christmas presents for all the hard work they've been doing for her. Kitty explains. Tell me when you found out, let's talk about the jewelry story and what the scammers were asking for.

[00:14:13] Kitty: She went down to the jewelry store, and with her phone in her hand, and the scammers were on the other end of the phone; she handed the phone to the salesperson, and the salesperson basically took the order. It was watches, jewelry, gold chains, a lot of gold chains; uh, gold and watches. I don't know whether there were many diamonds. I think it was mainly gold and, and watches. This is a woman who used the credit card for an occasional dinner and grocery shopping. She has now racked up in one day a $20,000 bill. That's a loan, sorry, that's a $20,000 credit card and you didn't flag it? It's, I mean you know this is practically a loan. You're giving a 94-year-old woman a $20,000 loan to buy jewelry. If that isn't a red flag, I don't know what is.

[00:15:06] Will: Abbie says they tell her mom to send the jewelry to an address in Union City, New Jersey. Someone named Germaine and then cover her tracks.

[00:15:15] Abbie: But what the people made her do when we told her that you're being scammed, and she told them that my children think I'm being scammed, um, they made her put the, it, all the um, receipts and the information she wrote down, the address and everything into the sink and burn it.

[00:15:33] Will: So, burning up stuff that scammers are telling you to do away with on the phone or as far as your mom was concerned legitimate people, she's in what uh at AARP they refer to as, as the ether. They're under the ether, meaning really reason is out the door.

[00:15:52] Abbie: Yeah.

[00:15:53] Will: Alison, let me get your thoughts on what it was like when you heard that, I assume at some point you heard that she had done this with the address?

[00:16:01] Alison: Right, yeah, Abbie told me.

[00:16:02] Will: And what, what did that feel like? What went through your mind if you can recall?

[00:16:07] Alison: Well, basically what you said, I mean she's, she's not herself. She's not acting, I mean she wasn't herself when we went to visit her. She wasn't acting like herself at all. It's almost like being in a cult or being controlled by, I don't know it was just, it was shocking to me.

[00:16:22] (SEGUE)

[00:16:27] Will: In a way it seems like everything was leading up to those jewelry store receipts; a briefcase full of prizes, money, a television appearance, all of it seems to lead up to this moment of burning the receipts. Doing something that seems so strange, but at the same time made sense to their mother.

[00:16:47] Abbie: And I asked her, wasn't that a red flag for you, Mom? And I think she, she agreed it, it was but she um, I guess I guess she just trusted them so much, and it was like this weird thing. If anyone found out about it, then she would lose everything. It was like when you called her on the phone even to talk to her, it, she was distant, like she was distant. She wasn't the same person that she used to be. She would cut the calls a little shorter and be more like superficial on the phone.

[00:17:19] Will: But are you still more or less in the dark after your visit? You don't have a lot of information? You said you found the original letter than came from Publisher's Clearing House, though, right?

[00:17:27] Alison: Yeah, we found like, it was like a file, one of those accordion paper files, it was like her secret file that she would stash away, and it had all the, everything to do with what she was doing to get the money for these guys.

[00:17:39] Will: But it was kind of like she was living a secret life.

[00:17:43] Abbie: Yeah.

[00:17:44] Alison: I think in a way it might have been exciting for her.

[00:17:46] Will: Did you ever worry about her physical safety?

[00:17:48] Alison: Yes, all the time. We had neighbors watching out for her, like we had, you know I (inaudible) across the street to you know call us if any suspicious cars or anything going on.

[00:18:00] Next time on The Perfect Scam, we'll tell you the drastic steps the sisters take to try and pull their mother back to reality and save her from a relentless scam.

[00:18:12] (SEGUE)

[00:18:13] Will: So Frank, we will come back next week for the conclusion of the story of what happens with Valerie. This Publisher's Clearing House scam may be not uncommon, and her story it's a, it's, it's difficult to listen to, certainly from the perspective of her daughters.

[00:18:29] Frank Abagnale: Yes. And certainly not uncommon, and unfortunately it happens every single day, and it, to me, who's listened to these scams for years and listened to people call me and people who've sent me emails about being scammed in scams like this, it is truly basically a cult. These are people who make their living doing this, and they pick a victim and they stay on the victim till they drain that victim dry, until they can't get any more out of the victim, and then they're gone. What's amazing to me is I know people personally that these things happen to and it's so frustrating to me. I have a friend whose father won a Mercedes, but he had to pay so much money in taxes first.

[00:19:11] Will: Similar to what happened to Valerie.

[00:19:12] Frank Abagnale: Right.

[00:19:12] Will: Where there's a car waiting somewhere.

[00:19:14] Frank Abagnale: Right, where there's a car waiting and we'll deliver it, and first of all, the man is extremely wealthy. He doesn't need a Mercedes. If he wanted to buy a Mercedes he could buy 15 of these Mercedes, and he kept sending money no matter what we said to him, including me, that it was a scam. He just kept sending them money until eventually we had told him that you sent them more money than the actual cost of the car.

[00:19:34] Will: Is that a fact? Literally sent more than...

[00:19:34] Frank Abagnale: Yes, he did. He literally sent more money than the actual cost of the car. I have a neighbor next-door, her husband's a doctor, her mom lives in Iowa, very intelligent woman, she's 70, won a Jamaican vacation. She kind of realized after she sent money it was a scam, so she called back complaining it was a scam and wanted her money back, and they said, "Well listen, if you think it's a scam, you can call this law enforcement agency, here's their number."

[00:20:00] Will: And wait, who gave her the number again?

[00:20:02] Frank Abagnale: The people that were scamming her.

[00:20:03] Will: Oh, I see.

[00:20:04] Frank Abagnale: And unfortunately... yeah, she...

[00:20:06] Will: Oh, that's tricky.

[00:20:06] Frank Abagnale: Yes, she calls...

[00:20:07] Will: Obnoxious.

[00:20:08] Frank Abagnale: Right. She calls this 800 number, and this gentleman answers who claims he was a retired FBI agent, gives her this big story that I, I investigate these things and I'll be happy to come out and talk to you. You have to pay my travel expenses to come out there. So she sent him a check for $1500. Uh, he told her he was coming on a certain day but he couldn't come to her little town. Could he meet her in Des Moines which was a big city he could fly into; so she drove an hour into town. She waited and waited. He never showed up. So she went back and then he eventually called her, said, "I apologize. I had something come up." And he gave his background as being a retired FBI agent, so the folks that live next-door to me, because of my relationship with the Bureau, they came to me to ask me, and I said, let me check on it. I went back and said, "No, there is no FBI agent by that name, and certainly not one that's been shot and forced to retire." I said, "Let me just speak to your mother personally." So I got on the phone with her mother. [00:21:08] I explained that to her. And the mother said, "Well I appreciate that," and I said, "if you hear from him again, whatever you do, if you want to talk to him, if you want to visit with him on the phone, that's fine, but do not send him anymore money." Well she called back about a week later and said, "Look, I spoke to him. He called again. He said he just made up that story, he's actually a private investigator out of Maryland, and this is his real name." So I said, "Well, you know, before you send any more money, let me check on that."

[00:21:36] Will: So is this, this guy's come back with another...

[00:21:38] Frank Abagnale: Another story. So I called the Attorney General's Office in Maryland, I know the Attorney General there. I asked him to check for me. They said, no, there was no licensed private investigator by that name. So, at this point the mom actually came to visit the daughter next--, next-door to me, so I personally sat down with her in my own home and said, "Look, I checked this out, there is nobody in Maryland that's a private investigator with this name." And I said, "Again, please do not send this man any money. If you want to talk to him on the phone, cause you're lonely or you want to speak conversation, fine, but do not send him anymore money.”

[00:22:12] Will: What did she seem like when you talked to her?

[00:22:13] Frank Abagnale: She said, “Well, you know, I don’t know why he keeps changing the story. I probably won’t talk to him again.” But a week later she called me and said she had spoken to him again, and this time he, he said it was the same name, but he was living in Maryland, but licensed in New York as a private investigator. So I said, “Look, I’m going to check one more time for you...”

[00:22:32] Will: Very nice of you. An advantage of having Frank Abagnale as your neighbor.

[00:22:34] Frank Abagnale: Right, so I, I did check; there was no licensed private investigator. And uh I told her that. And I said, “That’s all I can do.” I said, “It’s obviously this guy is just trying to scam you, and again, all I can say to you is do not send him any money.” That was about three months ago, so when I saw, spoke to the neighbor just a few days ago, she said, “No, she’s still talking to the guy on the phone.” She said, “I don’t know if she’s sending him any money. My sister and I are trying to watch her bank account, uh to make sure she’s not, but she’s still talking to him on the phone.”

[00:23:03] Will: So this is, a, a topic, a theme that we will be getting more into this season, but it’s this idea and, and one of the daughter’s mentions it, you mentioned it as well, feeling of like, it’s like a cult, but a feeling of where someone is um, is, is taken by someone’s story and maybe there’s a degree of isolation. We don’t know. I’m not commenting on, on your neighbor’s mother, but there’s a connection that someone has with somebody. Maybe there’s some isolation going on, but there’s also maybe a little bit of excitement about the whole thing.

[00:23:37] Frank Abagnale: But what’s so frustrating is that these are intelligent people, so when you sit down and give them written proof that this is not true, it’s not what they say, and they still continue to do it, that’s when you have to believe that there truly is some type of a cult atmosphere where they’re actually taking over the way they think and the way that they, all reason goes out the door, and that it’s okay to do this. And that’s so frustrating when you realize you can’t do anything about it.

[00:24:04] Will: Well, it speaks to the expertise, the prowess, the skill of the scammer.

[00:24:08] Frank Abagnale: Exactly.

[00:24:08] Will: As opposed to you know, we underscore it can happen to anyone.

[00:24:12] Frank Abagnale: Right, and as I mention to people, these scammers are well prepared. They’re, they’re work out of boiler rooms, it’s not just one guy, it’s five or six people. They have all these various numbers, so if you start to question them, they go, well, why don’t you just call here, you can call the bank, they have somebody answer and say this is Capital X-Y-Z bank. Yes, let me let you speak to that bank officer. They connect it to the other person who comes on as a bank officer.

[00:24:37] Will: They’re ready to go.

[00:24:38] Frank Abagnale: I mean they have all the background checks to convince you that they are who they say they are.

[00:24:42] Will: I want to talk about a few things. The jewelry store where they make her go or they ask her to go buy Christmas presents. I mean, that’s crazy, but, but...

[00:24:50] Frank Abagnale: Yeah, they’re getting to the end of the scam, so they’re basically what’s the last thing I can get? What’s the, what else could I do to get from this woman?

[00:24:58] Will: Right.

[00:24:59] Frank Abagnale: So they know she has a credit card; she probably has good credit, so they tell her go buy these things and send it to them, and they’re just looking at the last means of what, how they can take the last advantage of her.

[00:25:09] Will: Well, and the daughters were furious because uh the, the jewelry store actually lets her go in and buy $20,000 worth of jewelry, and then gets a store line of credit for $10,000. That’s a case where we talk about how there can certainly be store owners, people who are aware of an older person or anyone coming in and maybe buying something above their means.

[00:25:27] Frank Abagnale: We would hope that a legitimate, yes, a legitimate decent person would start to question those things and that’s, you have to hope that you run across that person.

[00:25:36] Will: There’s a lot of indecent people.

[00:25:37] Frank Abagnale: Exactly.

[00:25:38] Will: Burning the receipts, uh, certainly a red flag like her daughters bring up, but again, she’s getting deeper and deeper into this.

[00:25:45] Frank Abagnale: Right, and again, even in the end of all of this scenario, when you’ve convinced the person that they actually were in fact scammed and you have all the proof and documentation it was a scam, uh they still are going to insist they weren’t scammed. You know, so that’s what I mean. It’s, it’s simply a taking over your mind that they’re able to do and people don’t realize that people are capable of doing that until it’s actually happened to them.

[00:26:10] Will: Alright, we’ll come back next week, Frank, and share with you and our listeners what happens to Valerie, what the daughters do to try to bring an end to this as they watch their mother fall deeper into the scam. So uh again, join us next week. The AARP Fraud Watch Network Ambassador Frank Abagnale, good to have you back.

[00:26:26] Frank Abagnale: Great to be back, thank you. Great

[00:26:28] Will: Please be aware how important it is to the AARP Fraud Watch Network team to educate people about sophisticated scams like the one we heard today so that you and loved ones can recognize scams like this and refuse them. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a scam, you can always call AARP’s Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 877-908-3360. Again, that’s 877-908-3360. For AARP: The Perfect Scam, I’m Will Johnson. Just a reminder to all of our listeners and fans, please, if you’d like to vote for us for the Podcast Awards, the People’s Choice Podcast Awards, you can go to Simply click on “Listener Nominations” right there on the home page and you can nominate our podcast for the People’s Choice Podcast Awards.

[00:27:16] (SEGUE)


TIPS:  If you think you’ve been a victim of a scam or would like to report fraud call The Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 877-908-3360Anyone can become the victim of a scam, it’s important to be vigilant and know your vulnerabilities. For instance, if you are looking for a job you are more vulnerable to a work-at-home scam.

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