Crimes of Persuasion

Schemes, scams, frauds.

Frequently Asked Questions

Although I would like to answer every single enquiry in detail, sometimes my schedule just does not allow it. Rather than delay a response or provide an unsatisfactory one I have established this page which may help us both.

I will list the most common questions asked, then try to provide as much info on the topic as possible, continually filling in gaps and adding new resources as I find them, or as they are kindly provided by my readers.

I try to at least thank submitters for sending in new examples of scams but I apologize if I fail to get back to you. After my monthly updates you may just see your name listed as a contributor once I have had time to work on it.

Letter from Nigeria offering to share 30% of millions of U.S. Dollars
E-mail Scams
Checking out a company.

Online Auction Scams
Gifting Clubs
What is your background?
Why don't you cover current operations?

Who do I report these scams to?
How do I get my money back from scammers?
How can I get one of your books?

I got this e-mail and I wonder if it is a scam?

The most common e-mail scams fall into these main categories.

blue bullet point Nigerian Advance Fee Frauds
blue bullet point Work-at-home offers
blue bullet point Business opportunities
blue bullet point Money-making MLM style schemes
blue bullet point Credit Repair, Credit Card and Loan offers
blue bullet point 5 Reports Chain Letter

I have provided links here to direct you to the relevant sections for more details. I sadly do not have the resources to forward these on to authorities. See the Reporting section.

How do I check out a company to see if it is a scam?

Try doing just what I would do if you asked me to do it for you. First I would do a search in the BBB Database of Complaints. Then I would try the FTC database and finally, or actually probably my first choice, if truth be told, Google. Remember to use quotation marks to narrow your search if the initial results are too numerous. ie. "ABC Modeling"

I got scammed at an online auction, what can I do?

I recommend that you first of all contact the support people at the auction site. They have a vested interest in keeping the system honest. Then do a search using "online fraud", "auction fraud" at the search box at the bottom of the page. A listing of reporting agencies is on my Reporting Scams page.

A good source of info and related links is also available at Workz.

Are Gifting Clubs illegal?

You would be surprised how upset people get when they try to justify this poorly disguised pyramid system. For the full details go to Local Pyramid Clubs.

What is your background?

Usually the question is much ruder, like "Who the hell are you to know so much?" You must be a scammer yourself. What's the catch? To put your mind at ease see Author's Background.

Why don't you cover current operations?

Quite frankly I do, even though I dread the thought of being sued by some organization which has millions of dollars of stolen money just waiting to pounce on its detractors. These operations rely on time to gather, then hide, their winnings.

I usually wait until they have been convicted to get a fairly safe assessment of how they did it.

I have discovered, over the two years it took to develop the book, that fraud operations fall into general categories which I have laid out for ease of understanding. My research expertise is in categorizing and evaluation of court transcripts, not necessarily investigative journalism or forensic accounting.

Note: I was recently sued for $3 million dollars and spent four months in legal proceedings for my coverage of an investment firm, the settlement details of which are confidential.

Who do I report these scams to?

First it depends on whether you have lost money or whether you simply want to help stop these operations from defrauding others. Then it comes down to what type of fraud it is and which agency is responsible. Of course the right country helps as well. It is really confusing and to date I am still not sure who really does what most effectively. I will try to steer you in the right direction though. Reporting Fraud

How do I get my money back from scammers?

Two sections to start with are Scam Victim Restitution and Reversing Fraudulent Bank Charges.

How can I get one of your books?

So glad you asked!Book sales are the only revenue source keeping me and this site operational at this time. If sales do not keep up with expenses I will likely be forced to restrict access to only those who have purchased a book.

They make a great gift for people who don't get online or those who like to read in the bathroom or in bed without having a computer monitor on their laps.

[ Home ] [Up]