Monday, October 1, 2018
The New Yorker has a podcast that offers another take on a topic that we often explore on this Blog: Why do older persons sometimes "fall" for an obvious con job, such as as offshore lotteries or stranded grandchild scams? The wilder the facts, the greater the "obvious" risk, but that doesn't deter some "investors." One daughter is determined to get to the bottom of her deceased father's tragic loss. of his entire life savings. I recently heard the first of a two-part podcast called "The Long-Distance Con" (it aired for the first time 3 days ago) and found it pretty darn interesting. Here's a summary of the first part:
On the day that Maggie Robinson Katz learned that her father had only a few days to live, she also found out that her wealthy family couldn’t pay his hospital bills: his fortune had disappeared. Katz didn’t learn how until several years later, when she began listening to a box of cassette tapes given to her by her stepmother.
The tapes record her father, Terry Robinson, speaking on the phone with a man named Jim Stuckey, a West Virginian based in Manila, about a kind of business proposition. Hidden in jungles and caves in the Philippines, Stuckey said, were huge caches of gold bullion, uncut U.S. currency, and Treasury bonds; if Robinson put up the money to pay the right people, Stuckey could get the treasures out.
It seemed absurd to people around Robinson, and the Treasury Department warns of scams that sound just like this.
But Robinson, a successful retired executive, fell for it hook, line, and sinker. His daughter Maggie struggles to understand why and how, talking with TheNew Yorker’s Maria Konnikova and others.
This is part one of a two-part series. Here is the link to the first, 27 minute podcast.