fraud

Dissecting the Art of the Con in Maria Konnikova’s ‘Confidence Game’

Lee Polevoi

Readers may pause and reflect on whether they have fallen victim to a cunning fraud at some time in their lives. Others, acutely aware of past victimhood and the significant loss of hard-earned funds at the hands of a confidence man (or woman), won’t find any of this hard to believe. Konnikova’s goal in The Confidence Game isn’t to chronicle spectacular examples of the con, but instead, to offer “an exploration of the psychological principles that underlie each and every game … from the moment the endeavor is conceived to the aftermath of its execution.” 

Consumer Scams of 2015: A Year-End Review

George White

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) obtained a settlement from a federal district court in Los Angeles that bans four “mortgage modification scammers” from offering relief services, resolving charges that they deceived homeowners facing foreclosure. The settlements stem from an FTC complaint against HOPE Services and HAMP Services, which are based in Lake Forest, in Orange County. Pretending to be a “nonprofit” with government ties, HOPE and HAMP stole the mortgage payments of consumers who were promised mortgage modifications, deceptions that contributed to homeowner foreclosures and bankruptcies, the FTC said.

Lawsuit Brings to Light Discrimination Tactics at 7-11 Corp.

Sunita Sohrabji

On July 11 — as 7-Eleven (also known as 7-11) stores across the nation were giving away free Slurpees to celebrate the company’s birthday – the Franchise Owners Association of Greater Los Angeles filed a lawsuit against the giant, multinational corporation, alleging racism, ageism, and unscrupulous business practices. The suit said it represents 1,200 franchisees in the area, the majority of whom are South Asian American.

IRS Phone Scam Targets Indian-Americans

Sunita Sohrabji

Indian Americans and other South Asian Americans are being predominantly targeted by scam artists pretending to be Internal Revenue Service officials who threaten to send out an arrest warrant if money is not paid to them immediately over the phone, the Federal Trade Commission reported in a bulletin released Mar. 21. J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, also issued a warning to consumers the same day, indicating that more than 20,000 people have been victimized by this scam and have paid out over $1 million.

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