WORK-LIFE BALANCE / JUL. 16, 2015
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10 Most Horrifying Scams

Unfortunately we live in a society where people love to take advantage of unsuspecting victims. The best thing to do is acknowledge their existence to become more attentive of their trickery. If you thought those emails from an Arabian Prince claiming he wants to give you millions of dollars were annoying, just be thankful you haven’t fallen victim to one of these ten horrifying scams.

See Also: Medical Billing Job Scams

1. Fake Surgeries

The idea of going under the knife scares many, and we put a lot of trust in our doctors. Dr. Spyros Panos, who was practicing at Saint Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, New York, exploited this trust. On numerous occasions, Panos, either performed surgeries of an incredibly poor quality or faked operations by sedating a patient, opening them up and then stitching them back up without doing a single thing.

2. Changing the Definition of 'Sick'

Sick
Shutterstock

Staff at the Health Management Associates in Florida figured out a way to make themselves extra money. Using some sort of complex software, they were able to admit a large number of patients, most of whom didn’t require any medical treatment. For example, they treated an infant for fever when the child’s body temperature was only one-tenth higher than normal. They’ve since been busted.

3. Fake Family Scan

Family
onlymyhealth

Around 40% of women taking part in the online dating scene are single mothers, so this next scam happens regularly. Men go online and take advantage of a woman’s mothering instinct by telling them they have children that they want to send off to college but can’t afford to do so. They then ask for money to cover tuition fees. Other times the scammer will claim they’re overseas and need money to fund their child’s wedding

4. Unnecessary Chemo Treatments

taking blood
Flickr

We all know about the horrible side effects of chemotherapy, so it’s usually only reserved for those who truly need it. Oncologist Farid Fata however chose to make money off it, and gave cancer-free patients the harsh treatment. He also prescribed lifelong drug treatments for people who could have had surgery to solve their problems. He was then able to send the lengthy bills off to Medicare.

5. Fake Hospital Renovations

Grey's Anatomy
randomstory

Online dating scams are one of the biggest in our society at the moment. An unfortunate Australian woman who fell victim to one, was Jill Ambrose. Believing she was talking to a health commissioner based in Nigeria, Ms Ambrose gave over $300,000 throughout a four-year period. The scammer knew Ms Ambrose was an interior designer and had her believing the money was going towards renovating poor hospitals in his area.

6. Forcing Drug Addicts Into Psychiatric Care

Requiem for a dream
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Drug addicts attempting to turn their lives around can be extremely vulnerable, and unfortunately some have decided to take advantage of that. Kallen-Zury and Christian Coloma, owners of the psychiatric hospital Hollywood Pavilion in Broward County, Florida, paid bribes and draw up fake documents to get patients in. These addicts were then left locked in insect-infested rooms for weeks on end and would receive little or no treatment. They were then thrown around when their Medicare benefits ran out.

7. Chinese Flower Basket Scam

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Flickr

Chinese women aren’t safe from online dating scammers either. In this scam, a ’middle-aged man’ will start an online relationship with a woman and will eventually claim he wants to marry her. He will say, however, that they can only get married if the woman shows a gesture of good faith to his parents by purchasing an expensive flower basket, some of which can cost up to $20,000. The conman will direct the woman to a local florist who is also involved in the scam and the two will split the money afterwards.

8. Double Dipping Health Scam

Dr House
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Looking at another online dating scam, where the victim has fallen in love with the scammer, that person will claim they have been struck with some kind of serious illness or been involved in some terrible accident. They will then ask for money to help with their treatment or to help them travel to a specialist hospital. The victim gets struck again when someone, who claims to be the person’s doctor, contacts them asking for even more money.

9. Scamming The Homeless

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A bunch of medical facilities based in Los Angeles gathered homeless people off the streets promising them free treatments. At the hospital the people receive either extremely poor or zero help, before being piled into an ambulance and dumped in Skid Row. These fake treatments were then able to be billed to Medicare. 

10. Killer Romance

Mr and Mrs Smith
glamourvanity

In what could possibly be the most horrifying scam of them all, Jette Jacobs, ended up dead after being involved in a fake online relationship. After developing their cyber-romance for four years, Jacobs went to Johannesburg to meet the Nigerian man she’d been talking to, Jesse Orowo Omokoh. Having sent around $90,000 during those four years, Jacobs was found murdered just days after meeting Omokoh with her money, credit cards, and jewelry all missing.

See Also: The Envelope Stuffing Scam

Both the real world and cyberspace are filled with people looking for ways to make a quick buck. So, if you’re ever unsure about something, never hand over your money so easily and always get a second opinion. 

Have you ever fallen victim to a scam? How did you handle it? Share with us your experiences in the comments section below.

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