Episode 64: True Crime: Scammed Out of $50,000


In 2023, Americans lost more than $10 billion to fraud. This is the largest annual loss in US history.

In terms of dollars lost, investment scams emptied consumers’ bank accounts more than any other scam at $4.6 billion.

But a close second was imposter scams at $2.7 billion.

In this episode of Privacy Files, we look at the tragic story of former New York Times journalist Charlotte Cowles.

On Halloween of 2023, Charlotte became the victim of a very elaborate imposter scam that cost her $50,000 USD.

This is one of those stories that highlights how anyone can be targeted for fraud and just how susceptible we are in the perfect storm.

In past episodes, we have underscored how scams are growing in sophistication, which makes it even more important to understand how they work so you can identify them before it’s too late.

We also discuss the psychology of imposter scams to better understand why people fall for them, even when there are so many noticeable red flags in the beginning.

Finally, this story is another excellent example of why it is so important to minimize your digital footprint so you can reduce your chances of encountering a fraudster in the first place.

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