Bernie Block: Frauds, Frauds, Everywhere

It’s amazing the number of different types of scams and frauds that are
being perpetrated on the public.

I have been keeping track of them through the years at more than a
dozen websites which cover the subject.

There are over 60 different types of fraud listed on the FBI list. According to them, they are adding more links and information as times goes on, so they recommend to check back often.

That’s a mess of scams, schemes, frauds and stealing going on. Some I am very familiar with; however, I see the one I got pulled on me isn’t on the list. I would call it the “Travel Agency Fake Trip Scheme.” Let me tell you about this one from a very personal point of view.

At one time in my career I worked for a travel magazine. One day I got a call from an individual looking for someone to help him put out a Travel Club Newsletter. I said I could help him, which I did for about a year, and was paid well for the work. My wife and I even went on a trip to Italy for six days with his Philadelphia travel club group. It was a great trip.

He wanted to expand and found a backer; he also offered us the South Florida franchise, but did not ask for any money. A few months later he called and said everything was through since his backer changed his mind! There went the part time job I had putting out his newsletter, plus the  opportunity of owning part of an idea that seemed to be working.

I was very disappointed. A few weeks later, I saw an ad in the N.Y. Times classified for someone offering areas for travel club investors. I called, met with the group in Atlanta, GA (for which I was paid back when I went to see them) and bought the local South Florida territory for $10,000 after checking with some of his other area owners before sending the check to cover the area purchase price, and for which I was to receive a slide projector and slides showing the group’s previous trips to help sell memberships.

After a few weeks in which I did not receive the promised projector/slides, I called to remind them of what I was supposed to receive. The promise was filled a few weeks later.

My wife and I proceeded to hold meetings after advertising for club members, and organizers and had about 50 members signed up for membership, with the promise of developing a trip when we reached 80 members.
When we were nearing our projected goal, we called Atlanta to make them aware that we would need their help in planning the trip (booking charter flights, hotels, guides, etc.). The phone we found was disconnected! That was the last we ever heard about the Atlanta Travel Club. In fact, when we called some of the other local clubs we had contacted previously, they too were worried that they could not reach the main headquarters in Atlanta.

In addition, we learned from another franchiser that he had also bought the same South Florida area we had purchased. So, there was no club, fake trips, and a big hoax.

A year later the head of this Atlanta group was caught in another fraud plan. He was sentenced to 10 years for fraud, plus he was supposed to reimburse all the area club owners. Never happened, and we lost all of our money we had invested, even though we had checked around before we sent off our money.

Analyzing what occurred, I learned that you have be very careful who you give your money to even though it looks very legitimate and even with all the checking in the world.

You know what happened last week. I got an E-mail from a company that claimed I won a lot of money on a lottery held in their country. They were going to send me a check that I could cash and then return them the service fees and money for the country’s taxes. You better believe that I closed that e-mail as fast as my little fingers could go over the keyboard.

Yep, it was a lottery scam. Do you know how many people fall for it? Lots. I hope you’ll never be one swindled with a fraud scheme. If it’s not that one, it may be another. You never know!

Find out your Google history; company has just consolidated a lot of their features into the new “My Account” area that lets you view and erase your history as well as change security settings– (6901034), or go to and log in.)

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OYFL20)…”Best book I’ve ever seen covering this subject–BB”
HUMOR ONE LINERS…I’m very good at telling stories…over and over and over and over.

Bernie is a real person who resides in one of our Brookdale communities. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Brookdale Senior Living.


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