Con Men in Your Church, Gym or Grocery Store

Con Men in Your Church, Gym or Grocery Store
Trouble in River City. 

Not all scams and scammers appear in email, a letter or a phone call.  Some approach you where and when you least expect them: in church, at school, in a grocery store or gym.

Below are links to report from victims of these scams.  Here's how it works:

  1. The scammer needs to gain your confidence, your trust, so that you will give him money or access to something (like your bank account, house, workplace, etc.) that you would not ordinarily do.

  2. He tells you a story, shows you a document, give you something that appears to be valuable to hold for him as collateral (such as a check, a jewelry, car, etc.), or has other people agree with him (testimonials from confederates who are part of the scam)

  3. Once he has access to your bank account or house, money, your signature or confidential information; he is gone and can not be reached.

  4. The collateral turns of to be worthless or he did not have legal ownership of it.

This type of scam has been around for generations. Rent "The Music Man" with Robert Preston for a classic Hollywood movie version of how a con scam works. Classic examples are con men selling the Brooklyn Bridge to tourists in New York, or selling swampland in Florida to property speculators.

What can you do to defend yourself from scams, frauds and identity theft? Whether you think you have been the victim of a fraud or scam or want to be proactive in protecting yourself, here is a list.

Examples and victim's stories:

  1. The Total Gym scam - offering to sell you something far cheaper than normal retail price, so you can resell it at a profit
  2. God, Trust and Money - Did a stranger approach you on the street, needing to find "two honest Americans, to fulfill the conditions of a will", so he could inherit a huge sum of money?


And please let us know about any suspicious calls or emails you receive.  We look for patterns so that we can alert the authorities and victims to new scams, before it is too late!




For a comprehensive list of national and international agencies to report scams, see this page.