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Prevention Summaries & Fraud News

Fraud Frenzy’s educational and FREE news exposes fraud events from all over the world. Building your fraud awareness by reading about these events is one step towards fraud protection. You will find some of the latest fraud summaries in our Fraud News section. We update our database of fraudulent events daily, so be sure to visit regularly!

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Editorial and FP101 Blog

What is the first rule of negotiation?

Negotiations, Satchmo and me. “There came then one of the most surreal moments that I have ever known — and there have been a few.” I have a very early memory of falling in love with “Satchmo”. I was one of those kids who, from the minute I learned to walk, could show up just about anywhere. It was a chilly January evening in 1960 and I was on my way to the nearby newsagents on a short errand. Passing the only electrical store in the town, I spotted this big, sweaty guy on the display black and white TV blasting away on his trumpet for all he was worth. For some reason, I could not resist this vision and waltzed into the store as only a four and a half year old kid will and straight into the window display to turn up the volume. I was mesmerized by this guy until the song he was belting out (“When the Saints go Marching in”) finished and from that day to this, the pure charisma of Louis Armstrong has always held me in a warm and rapturous spell. Even now, he remains the greatest person I never met and I have met many in a life full of adventure. Fast forward sixteen years to another freezing winter evening in January 1976 on the brow of a hill in [...]

Fortnite Fraud Frenzy

How the latest freemium game craze has created multiple fraud scams within a fraud. “Fortnite Battle Royale is the completely free 100-player PvP mode in Fortnite” trumpets Microsoft marketers. So, if something is “completely free” then one should expect not to pay anything. Assuming this to be true, then how can something pitched as “free” and “free to play” generate as much as $300 million per month? That is the amount that the freemium game “Fortnite” has been making as of January 2018. While there is a paid version, most of its revenue comes from the well touted “free” version. It is currently the number one online video game taking the world by storm. With more than 125 million players, children, teens, adults, and even celebrities have been lured into it. The game’s highly addictive nature has led to it being banned from some schools. Many working professionals have also reported extensive losses of productivity because of this so-called “free” product. In FP101, we learn about the deep psychology behind freemium game addictions and how it works. While the game is heavily defended in the media (maybe because most of their writers are Fornite addicts themselves) people should be aware that these addictions are planned and deliberate. All for profit. Anonymous game developers have explained how targeted and strategic these games are in engaging with their [...]

Life lessons from a degenerate poker player.

There was a period in my life when I was very loyal to the game of poker. My interest in the game peaked one “after” morning when I realized my commitment was well down the road to that of a degenerate gambler. This was something of a crisis because I was on a major winning streak at the time. The thought did not sit well, especially for the unwelcome choices it created. Reality surely does bite!   About seven years earlier, with just a passing knowledge of the game, I decided that I wanted to become a skilled poker player and with that, I started playing the small shady games around Dublin. As my game developed, I expanded my horizons, played and won many tournaments including the Omaha Irish Open in 1990 and made it to several final tables in many other international tournaments.   My real skill was developed and honed to precision in cash games, particularly in Omaha which is considered to be the “crack cocaine” of poker games. There were several years of 3 day/2 night trips to the Victoria Casino in London to play the cash game there and then following the big bucks to the Aviation Club de France for another year or so, all very profitable.   What’s not so blissful about all of this are the angst, discipline and [...]

Has anything changed 10 years on from the Lehman Brothers crisis?

September 2018 marked the 10-year anniversary of the Lehman Brothers bank collapse. At the time,  was the fourth largest investment bank in America. But it had almost as much debt ($619 billion) as it had in assets ($639 billion). Dubbed, the “Lehman Weekend”, the world witnessed the largest bankruptcy in US history. It led to a huge Recession and a near meltdown of the global economy. In its wake, millions of ignored victims. Everyone remembers the housing market crash of 2008. It was the biggest US economic crisis in nearly 70 years. Like all such man made disasters, the root causes are greed and fraud. It was never investigated as such. It was simply too big a fraud event for that. In the early 2000’s the US housing market was booming. More people were owning homes than ever before due to “subprime mortgages.” A subprime mortgage is a loan given to people with low credit scores and incomes. These are individuals would not normally qualify for standard “prime” loans. Subprime mortgages carry more risk so typically there are unfavorable interest rates attached to these loans. During the housing boom, banks were giving out mortgages left and right with very low requirements. This is because it brought in quick and easy money. Anyone and everyone could get a mortgage. Lots of mortgages meant that banks bundled them [...]

How Publisher’s Clearing House (PCH) created a “legitimate” multi billion dollar business out of defrauding the elderly and children.

If you were a child of the 80’s or 90’s living anywhere in the USA then you need no introduction to Publisher’s Clearing House (PCH). You may recall those iconic manilla-envelopes with bold-lettered proclamations about winning cash prizes. Often, their mailers exposed check-like printed paper through a see-through cellophane address window. Maybe you were drawn to their fun-colored, sticker-like magazine subscription stamps. All this could be enough for an innocent young mind to dream of his or her family winning PCH. Is it the same psychology behind the immoral practice of children-targeted marketing by tobacco, fast food, and mobile gaming companies? After all, youth targeting is an accepted part of PCH’s marketing strategy today. PCH has been the subject of many lawsuits for deceptive marketing. This shows the company as another example of mass fraud as a criminal enterprise. It also fits the bill for senior fraud, freemium fraud, and fraud against children. Publisher’s Clearing House is a criminal enterprise because it is mass fraud posing as a legitimate business. As the FP101.net course states, “For a long fraud, they have to play the long game. [Fraudulent businesses] all use corporate fronts with billions of dollars in political lobbying and plenty of brilliant lawyers to create a legitimacy and respectability.” As a billion-dollar business, you can guarantee that PCH is not short of lawyers and lobbyists [...]

How A-B-C, “Always Be Closing” became a cultural shift and a red flag for fraud.

Here’s how avoiding this popular catchphrase can be a powerful fraud prevention tool. The ABC of sales arrived somewhere in the late fifties with the arrival of washing machines and new types of consumer finance. Every (sales) person worth a grain of salt has applied this ideology at some point in their lives. Highlighted in the film adaptation of Glengarry Glen Ross, “Always Be Closing”, it quickly became the official mantra in all types of hard selling. (Those of us who transitioned early into the art of the soft sell in those days were a gifted breed!).   The movie centers around four really desperate real estate salesmen who resort to all kinds of trickery and deception to make a sale. They are informed from “uptown” by a riveting Alex Baldwin that their jobs are gone. This is how the pep talk starts. The only way they can save them is by closing deals. Baldwin’s delivery of this now famous “Always Be Closing, (ABC)” monologue relives the boiler room environment perfectly—right down to “second prize is a set of steak knives”. For people who have to work for a living. The movie's message is that making money by any means trumps everything in this, our capitalistic economy. This is where focusing on quick profits is hotly pursued in a positive light. Material wealth is [...]

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Written by David Tracey.

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