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The Perfect Scam

True-crime • Society-and-culture

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 professional con artists and leading experts who pull back the curtain on how scammersRead more

Popular episodes

Miami Property Scammers, Part 1

Dec 3 • 25:00

Miami’s historic West Grove neighborhood has recently become a hot real estate market. So hot, in fact, that it has attracted the attention of scammers. It wasn’t always so. Shirley Gibson’s family has owned property in West Grove since her great-grandmother immigrated from the Bahamas over 100 years ago. Now in her 80s, Shirley had hoped to pass on the property to her nie...

Knock Knock, Where’s My Puppy?

Nov 19 • 47:37

Rochelle scores a great deal on a house in northern Virginia, only to have her dream home transformed a few months later into Pet Scam Central. Day after day, strangers show up on her doorstep, claiming they’ve arrived to pick up a puppy they paid for. Some have driven over six or twelve hours with their family. Unfortunately, Rochelle must break the news that she has no p...

Oil Tycoon Con Artist Steals More Than Hearts, Part 2

Nov 12 • 37:31

Young ICU nurse Whitney Kirkpatrick’s life is turned upside down when the police show up at her door looking for her boyfriend of nine months, Gregory Thomas. He is not the wealthy, successful oil executive he claims to be. Instead, Gregory has spun an elaborate web of lies — and he’s been funding his extravagant lifestyle with Whitney’s money. With the support of family a...

Oil Tycoon Con Artist Steals More Than Hearts, Part 1

Nov 5 • 30:23

Recent graduate Whitney Kirkpatrick is starting her career as a nurse when she meets Gregory Thomas, young and driven, and already the CEO of an oil company. His Southern charm, ambition and lavish lifestyle win over Whitney, her friends and her family. Then strange things begin to happen: large withdrawals from her bank account, calls from creditors late at night and piec...

One Daughter’s Fight Against Charity Fraud

Oct 29 • 42:33

When her parents begin to show signs of memory decline, Kay Bransford steps in to help manage their finances. She quickly discovers a caregiver’s nightmare: An abundance of questionable charities have homed in on her generous parents. Angered that her parents are being targeted because of their cognitive challenges, Kay creates a system to help other caregivers protect the...

Fans Targeted in Reality TV Real Estate Scheme

Oct 22 • 27:38

Dave Lieber is intrigued when he receives an invitation to attend a real estate seminar hosted by Tarek and Christina of hit HGTV show Flip or Flop. The event is packed with fans and hopeful real estate flippers, but instead of meeting their favorite stars, attendees sit through a pitch for get-rich-quick seminars costing thousands. Dave, a journalist for the Dallas Mornin...

Virtual Romeo Doesn’t Have a Heart of Gold, Part 2

Oct 15 • 34:42

When Isabella realizes the man she loved is a fraud, she turns her heartbreak into a determination for justice. Working with local law enforcement and the FBI, Isabella uncovers information linking her case to a large organized crime syndicate. Her tenacity pays off when Robert Asante and accomplices are arrested and charged with stealing millions of dollars. Isabella now ...

Virtual Romeo Doesn’t Have a Heart of Gold, Part 1

Oct 8 • 39:05

When 70-year-old widow Isabella finally tries online dating, she’s quickly swept off her feet by a handsome man named Michael who’s been hired by General Petraeus for an important mission in Afghanistan. When his luggage is lost, including a vital piece of equipment, Isabella steps in to help, lending Michael more than $17,000 to replace it. Thanks to her, the mission is a...

Special 100th Episode

Oct 1 • 36:43

In this 100th episode, host Bob Sullivan revisits some of the most popular episodes and welcomes special guest Amy Nofziger, AARP’s director of victim support. Bob and Amy hear from listeners who have used what they’ve learned to avoid becoming victims and offer tips for protecting yourself from scammers. They also discuss why it’s so important to change the narrative of v...

The Business of Scams With Brett Johnson

Aug 20 • 16:52

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