The Deception of Perception
By Andrea Schlack & Robbie Burch
Objects in mirror are closer than they appear, or in ‘credit speak’ don’t allow perception deception to turn your company’s profit into road kill.
Over the years we at PICB have provided Printers with the nasty truth about Cons, explaining how they use motive, opportunity, and other means to lie, cheat, swindle, and steal. Perception is yet another tool criminals will use as a means to an end, which, in this case, is getting their hands on your money!
Here is this year’s “Con-Stars:”
THE KARDASHIAN: IMAGE IS EVERYTHING
Often times the criminal will imply they are ‘well connected’, related, or in-fact famous themselves and, in the age of the Internet, EVERYTHING & ANYTHING is verifiable. A recent story about an “investor” shows that anyone can be duped. An NBA player with the Miami Heat was approached by a man that claimed he worked for the Saudi government and had been charged with investing and finding investors for projects ranging from real estate to computer chip manufacturing. Instead of doing some follow ups to support the claim the NBA player ended up losing millions. If a claim cannot be verified then assume it is not true.
THE ROCKEFELLER EFFECT: I AM SO WEALTHY I DON’T NEED CREDIT
This con brags endlessly about what he has. Any recent acquisition will be crowed over – relentlessly. He wants his swagger to impress and lull a victim into becoming ‘easy pickings’. Recently a printer-victim did just that when the Perp arrived at the Printer’s facility driving a new Ferrari, boasting about how he had paid cash – he was so rich! The printer was so enamored by the lure he forgot to check the facts (which he only discovered after losing $250,000). It turns out the Ferrari was an unpaid leased car and the Con skipped town leaving no traces of his whereabouts or the Printers’ money.
THE ARETHA FRANKLIN – CRY LIKE A BABY
This ‘trauma-drama’ Con-Artist knows no natural disaster or catastrophe that is off limits to exploitation of the public. After Sandy and Katrina, there were THOUSANDS of cons who fraudulently sought compensation for damages they never had (eventually they were caught and convicted). Printers were not immune either, as many were hired to print and distribute flyers, brochures, and business cards for these nefarious culprits, none of whom were ever paid, and this eventually added MILLIONS to the uncompensated losses. Remember white collar criminals usually suffer no more penance than a slap on the wrist, so to sucker punch a Credit Con, check them out before they get you! Don’t let a dramatic circumstance keep you from checking the facts before any work is done.
THE ED MCMAHON – YOU WON A MILLION DOLLARS!
Fall for this hustler and you WILL NOT be a winner! Since the dawn of the Gutenberg, unsuspecting Printers have fallen victim to this Prize. Legitimate sweepstakes do not require ‘Pay to Play.’ Unfortunately, a group targeting Midwestern Printers managed to have millions of phony announcements, submission forms, envelopes, return envelopes and secondary announcements printed and distributed before anyone became the wiser or got paid. When something is too good to be true, it generally isn’t. Just because you print it, does not mean you will be paid for it! Printing something in furtherance of a scheme is never profitable. Don’t be an unwitting accomplice. Take notice of the project, and if something doesn’t make sense to you, there may just be something wrong with the project itself.
THE JIM BAKKER: TRUST ME I KNOW GOD
These charlatans PREY upon Printers’, and others’ goodwill, by insisting their superior morality dictates they MUST pay what is due when it is due. Sadly, the unsuspecting victim has faith until the money due becomes a tithe paid to this Devil’s pocket! How many creditors lost how many millions of dollars when Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker (the religious fakers) filed for bankruptcy? How many victims did Bernie Madoff troll from his Temple, hiding his true intentions behind false faith? How many other schemes pretending to be ‘good work’ are actually designed to profit a religious schemer? Not-for-Profit charities are ALWAYS registered and disclose public statements regarding assets and liabilities. If your potential customer claims to be ‘Charitable’ make sure he is not the sole-beneficiary. One unsavory customer had 10,000 Bibles and ‘Donation Request’ forms printed and shipped to an Island Mail Box. Naturally, the Charity did not exist, and by the time PICB was alerted the box was already closed (UPS wasn’t paid either). In the end, there was no trace of this despicable demon.
Don’t let these wiley illusionists trick you!
Stay aware and do your due-diligence!
PICB is here to help,
with our CRA’s and Collection team,
whenever you may have crossed paths with a
“Con-Star,” remember :
Never let the Deception of Perception
turn YOU into a victim!