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article imageOp-Ed: You've Been Scammed says the BBC

By Alexander Baron     Nov 16, 2011 in Crime
Con men who rip off the elderly and vulnerable then pass on their details to other con men? All human lowlife is here, and the BBC is happy to bring them right into your living room.
Why would an 86 year old man want to shell out a four figure sum for solar heating panels, especially when he is already using the same technology to heat his water?
It could be that he is just dumb, or it could be that there is a scam out there with his name on it, the same way there is one with yours. The secret is to avoid the scammer, and the first step on that road is humility, realising that however smart we think we are, we can all be conned, heck, half the time we manage to dupe ourselves.
The gent mentioned above, John, didn't actually have any solar panels installed, the company took the money and ran, straight into liquidation. It was what is known as a phoenix company, ie it dies, then rises from the ashes, takes your money, then dies again, und so weiter. After taking John's money, it sold his name on to a sucker list, which resulted in him receiving call after unsolicited call from other predators.
Other scams discussed in this programme are the will writing scam, and one called the BT phone scam. The people behind the will writing scam, Messrs Butcher & Nash, were brought to book last year. They received three and a half years each in separate trials.
Last year, David Nash was described by a Daily Mirror blogger as “This grave-robbing lowlife [who] admitted stealing £415,000 from dead clients of his dodgy will-writing firm.” Coming from a tabloid newspaper, that is quite an insult. Nash was no stranger to this sort of fraud, according to the same writer.
The third episode of You've Been Scammed is currently available on BBC iplayer. One scam not discussed in this programme is Prelaunch Australia. That may just be because what is arguably the longest prelaunch in history has not actually launched yet. And the reason for its no-show may just be that so many people have rumbled it before it can properly get off the ground, though it is probably too late for those who have already “invested” in this product that is so magnificent that nobody actually knows what it is.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about phoenix companies, PreLaunch Australia, david nash, Con man, Con men
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