2009 Shows

With the country facing economic woes, many Americans are on the lookout for ways to generate extra cash. But are those lucrative offers to work from home and get-rich-quick ads legitimate, or scams designed to swindle consumers? Corbie found out the hard way when she says she registered online to become a mystery shopper. The job came with a check for $4,000, so how did she lose $5,000? Next, Blair says she surfed the Net for a part-time job she could do from home. She was hired for a data entry position paying $35 an hour, so how did this one-time high school valedictorian end up losing thousands? Then, Richard and Cynthia say they were about to retire at 59, but were devastated to learn that they lost everything in an alleged Ponzi scheme. Now Richard fears he and his wife will have to pinch pennies in their golden years. Can the couple get over the guilt of losing their investments and move on? Plus, attorney Steven J. Weisman gives you the tools to protect yourself from con artists, and don’t miss the top 10 most popular scams! Join the discussion.

Find out what happened on the show.
Replied By: zulpie on Apr 16, 2009, 4:50PM
Today in the mail, I recieved a check for $3,876.65 from a company called ALL-TEX, out of Dallas Texas.  There was an enclosed letter explaining how I was chosen to be a mystery shopper, and the check was all mine!  I looked at the check, and noticed it was real, with water marks and everything.  Then, all the red flags went off, and thinking back to this show, I was able to laugh at how poorly planned this scam really is.  First off, the envelope was postmarked from Canada, and the "check" is from a company in Texas.  Upon further reading, the Mystery Shopper company is located in Atlanta, Georgia!  Wow, what a global company!  I looked up the company on the check, and they seem to have a real business, and I think they might not even know that their business is being used.  I called their office already to let them know, but it was after hours.  The other company, "Fairtrade Monitoring & Research Group", does not appear to be legit, or even be a real company for that matter.  I am happy that I am smart enough to notice the scam, but feel so bad for the people who will not.  Thanks to this show, a light bulb automatically went off and I was able to take it for a scam.  I hope other people will do the same!!!
Replied By: sapphire151 on Apr 6, 2009, 3:23PM - In reply to carleyhiggins
I use to be a mystery shopper since the early 80's but stopped in 2006 due to being scammed. I was sent a shop assignment to take a $3500 check to moneygram at walmart.  Instead of going to my bank, I went to the neighborhood check cashing place. I called the phone number on the JP Morgan Chase check to make sure it was valid. Then I took it to the check cashing place and they called to get validated and they even got a confirmation number. Well, weeks later I received a letter from the check cashing place stating the check was counterfeit. I went to the police station and talked to a detective and he stated that because they called and got a confirmation number, that it was between the check cashing place and the bank that they called. Well, because I did not get a business card and can'y remember the detectives name to prove what was told to me, I am now going to court to fight this cause I am bein charged with five (5) different felony counts. I am a victim just as much as the check cashing place. There has got to be some government agency department to help consumers wth this crime.
Replied By: drea91 on Mar 13, 2009, 2:45PM - In reply to bkgonz
Blair, I am in the same position as you. I was wondering if you have had any more luck since you were on Dr. Phil. I am just about ready to give up with my case because no one is able to help me.
Replied By: drea91 on Mar 13, 2009, 2:27PM
I was the victim of a craigslist scam last year. I was being naive, I admit ( I'm a college student and needed money desparetly).  I received a check in the mail and was told to send the money via western union and money gram and keep a percentage of the check, which totaled $5000. The check turned out to be fraudulent and bounced. Now I'm paying the bank back.  I have contacted every agency, police station, and even higher authorities than that and NO ONE wants to help me out. I don't know what to do. I know the people are operating out of California, at least that's where the money was picked up from and the checks mailed from.  I have so much information, including IP Addresses but can't do anything with it.  Is there anything I can do. Can anyone help me?
Replied By: whodathunkit on Mar 2, 2009, 2:13PM
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is very committed to investigating identity theft, internet, telephone, and mail fraud.  The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers report, spot, stop, and avoid them. 

Education is a key tool to prevent consumer injury.  The following link to the FTC website, you'll find publications with advice on avoiding scams and rip-offs, as well as tips on other consumer topics and reporting identity theft, internet and consumer fraud.


To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit www.ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. 

The FTC enters identity theft, internet, telemarketing, mail and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
Replied By: ladytiger on Feb 27, 2009, 8:52PM
i have been a victim of being scammed before. i have been goin the net trying to find simple work from home jobs cuz i am in need of money plus i am goin to school (23 yrs old). i cant seem to find anything, it is all scams! ive had ppl contact me about work at home biz, i would do research on the company, find out bad stuff about them. tell those ppl about their wonderful company how much of a liar they are and then they curse me out lol!
Replied By: carleyhiggins on Feb 26, 2009, 7:24PM - In reply to daisykid
What companies, what websites? I need work, have looked all over, but going to school also...
Replied By: carleyhiggins on Feb 26, 2009, 7:23PM - In reply to drphilreply
You know, I was working a part time job, going to school full time. I was desparate to make some extra money that wouldn't really take up any time. I used to work in a grocery store, where they always had a couple of mystery shoppers a month. I thought it was legit, but turned to not be. My mistake, but I'm paying for it. Just because you're trusting doesn't mean you're an idiot... yeah it was stupid, but I was desparate to survive in this economy...
Replied By: carleyhiggins on Feb 26, 2009, 7:08PM
I too have been scammed by inconsiderate people. This was a mystery shopper advertisement on the internet. It seemed legit but when he wouldn't continue communication with me.
He sent me a check of $3500. I was to go to MONEY GRAM and WALMART. I was to wait until the check cleared. Bank of America, my bank at that time, cleared it to the point to where I could take the money out right away, without actually clearing it. So when I money grammed  the money back and went to walmart and sent my evaluation, he sent me another check. It wasn't until I went to the bank the second time with another one of these checks and found out I was in the negative about $2500. I was so angry. I was so depressed... I had to borrow money from my dad. I never have done that before, and with this economy, my husband who is a carpenter, wasn't working.
I suggest anything on the internet, don't do it!!! It's not worth it...
Replied By: smatie39 on Feb 26, 2009, 11:52AM
Last week the dog had pups I placed an ad in the local paper. I received a Relay call that very first night. I assume that the person was possibly deaf. I continued with communications where he arranged to purchase a puppy. He sent my a check for a much larger amount and I immediately become suspicious and called the bank the check came from, to find (to no surprise) that the account was frozen. and communication begin to send the extra for courier service to transport the dog.

Now I contacted my local police thinking this is the beginging part of the scam. Local Police tells me it is not in their Jerisdiction and would probably be fruitless to follow through, but I am Livid! so I google different agency and Get a hold of the FTC and report information. Meanwhile the guy is still contacting me getting more pushy. I am continuing to just forward everything.

I just was given the impression no one will do anything about this. Nothing can be done. Seems very wrong. Why can't there be something that can be done. I mean besides the buyer beware warnings. With I personally VERY glad to have heard them in the background. (BTW Thanks Dr Phil and your guest and their stories) It verified what I already suspected. 

Yes I am now rambling on out of frustration. Someone should Nab this Creep before he get to others.
Showing 1-10 of total 108 Comments