RECOMMENDED READING/VIEWING: Washington Post/Bloomberg Report On ‘The Ponzi Schemer Next Door’; FINRA/AARP Share Tale Of Purported ‘Bank President’ Who Lured Victims While ‘Craving Cocaine’ At Pay Phones From Which He Set Up Marks

This man purported to be a bank president. In reality, he was an investment fraudster who used pay phones to lure people into scams as he was craving cocaine, according to a remarkable video airing on the Internet and PBS stations.

The Washington Post and Bloomberg published Bob Carden’s story about how smart people get sucked into investment scams. The story is titled, “Investment fraud isn’t relegated to Wall Street: Beware the Ponzi schemer next door.”

Carden produced the video “Tricks of the Trade: Outsmarting Investment Fraud.” Editor John Warnock assembled the package, which shows some of the things FINRA and AARP are doing to educate the public about the plague of fraud schemes and how to avoid them.

Read the story here.

And make sure you set aside some time to watch Carden’s pointed video (below), which is running on New Hampshire Public Television and elsewhere. The video shows footage of actual scammers talking about how they plied their trade and includes audio of scammers making pitches, including rude ones. You’ll learn about the buttons they push, the manipulation tactics they employ and how people who would seem to know better get duped.

The video features commentary from psychologist Robert Cialdini, commentary from fraud victims, commentary from fraud perpetrators and commentary from fraud-busters, including Joe Borg of the Alabama Securities Commission.

Borg, among other things, is famous for prosecuting the case against Greater Ministries International, a colossal Ponzi scheme that traded on faith and operated from Florida.

Among the many interesting things in the video is footage from the old Candid Camera TV show in which passersby were persuaded the entire state of Delaware was “closed.”

Watch the full episode. See more Making Sense New England.

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7 Responses to “RECOMMENDED READING/VIEWING: Washington Post/Bloomberg Report On ‘The Ponzi Schemer Next Door’; FINRA/AARP Share Tale Of Purported ‘Bank President’ Who Lured Victims While ‘Craving Cocaine’ At Pay Phones From Which He Set Up Marks”

  1. Patrick:

    The video link is not working. It only runs for for about 30 seconds then I get this error message: The requested video is not available. We apologize for the inconvenience.

    I was looking forward to watching the full program, but got the same message as the link.

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  2. Hi Lynn,

    It still seems to be working on my end. Here’s hoping you’ll be able to access the video.

    Patrick

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  3. Patrick:

    Finally was able to get it to work. I hope everyone who visits your blog takes the time to view the entire presentation. If they do, they will not be a victim of these scammers/frauds/Ponzi’s.

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  4. Hi Patrick,

    I found the video riveting and SO TRUE to life but it brought back very painful memories of the time when I was targeted by an International confidence trickster. He used the tactics described in the video ie persuasion and persistence. If it had not been for my husband and New Scotland Yard, I could have been one of his victims.

    I had some spare office space to let and the person who answered my advertisement had all the right qualifications and references SO I THOUGHT. I had glanced at his passport and noted the name of one (Sir Sacheverell De Houghton) My husband and I quite liked the man and we also had no objection when he asked if we had a room in our house to let.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/pounds-20m-kidnap-and-murder-plot-1362636.html

    and seen references from one of his business partners Lord Gormanson

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-GB%3Aofficial&channel=s&hl=en&source=hp&biw=1024&bih=551&q=lord+gormanson&btnG=Google+Search

    Why was I targeted? The police told me that I was on a list of people in this country who are known in polite circles as “the decayed gentry”. Sir Sacheverell whom we affectionately called Sasha knew that people like me would be very likely to advertise any family silver or paintings which we had for sale in a little known British publication known as The Country Gentleman’s Association.

    http://www.aucott.com/?page=shop/flypage&product_id=32980&CLSN_949=13004007509492dcb1c0d1c0cd31cd9b

    The joke was that my husband came from a very different class, one that is known as the left wing intellectual branch of British society. We listened to “Sasha’s stories about life at Eton most evenings and my husband smelled a rat. He said that Sir Sacheverell’s account of life at Eton had been borrowed from the jazz singer Humphrey Littleton’s autobiography.

    Sasha asked me to give him a reference so that he could open a bank account in the UK and it was fortunate that I had enough common sense to refuse.

    He asked me to visit an old aunt of his who lived in a small museum to pick up some silver that the poor old lady with dementia had forgotten was not hers but his. Luckily I refused to do that.

    To cut a long story short, the next chapters were urgent phone calls from Brixton prison. Sasha rang us both to tell us that he had been wrongfully arrested and needed money urgently. He wanted me to visit him in prison. My husband offered to go instead and he listened to Sasha’s appeals for money from his prison cell. He gave “Dear Sasha” enough money to buy what he claimed he really needed to make a spell in a British prison which was enough to buy a tube of toothpaste!

    These con artists do a lot of research to find their victims but I was very lucky to have been married to a man who was a jazz fanatic and recognised that the man was a Humphrey Littleton mimic

    Judy

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  5. Judy Hortin: Fascinating to read your story. I was friends with the late John Gaze, whom De Houghton, kidnapped and would be very interested to know what became of the con artist. Do you have any knowledge of what happened to him when and if he left jail?

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  6. I happen to know he is well and truly still serving his life sentence. With his history, would be doubtful if he ever sees the light of day outside again.

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  7. Matthew Steeples:
    Judy Hortin: Fascinating to read your story. I was friends with the late John Gaze, whom De Houghton, kidnapped and would be very interested to know what became of the con artist. Do you have any knowledge of what happened to him when and if he left jail?

    I have only just seen this reply on Patrick’s blog. I wish that I had seen it sooner. Wasn’t John Gaze the unfortunate man who was held naked in his own hall cupboard while DeHoughton claiimed that he was the owner of the property?

    Perhaps you or Partick or would consider writing more about De De Houghton as it is such a good wasy of illustrating the fact that co-operation with legal authorities can save lives like the life of the unfortunate John Gaze.

    I am a regular contributor to RealScam.com and so is Patrick. If you joined RealScam we could get together with Eagle and Heather Dobrott to illustrate the wat that these International criminals work. Eagle has written an excellent article on the mindset of con artists.

    I have encountered two people running criminal Empires in my life. DeHoughton and Bogdan Fiedur of Adlandpro

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