If you’ve hung out in therapy Facebook or LinkedIn groups for awhile, you’ve surely seen therapists discuss various scams that are going around.
Psychologist Steven Lazarus forwarded this one to me today. He responded to the email, and saw the telltale signs.
I think it’s good for all of us to be aware that ANYTIME someone wants to send you a bunch of money ahead of services being delivered, there is a catch. Don’t go there.
Here is what happens.
Step 1: The scammer reaches out to enquire about your services:
Step 2: You reply
Step 3: They send something like this:
- Greetings! Thanks for your quick response to my message. I would have love to call you to brief you but, i’m not comfortable with that because it’s a sensitive matter, but I’ll try to be detailed enough in this message. My name is , I’m 54 years old and my wife’s name is , she is 48 years old, we are Canadian. We always celebrate our wedding anniversary on vacation every year, in different cities here in Canada or in other countries, for the past 24 years of our marriage, We chose Colorado for this 25th anniversary vacation because my wife grandparents are from Colorado, she always want to visit Colorado. The reason we need your service is because our marriage has become boring since about 6 years ago, we believed things will get better over the years, but instead for our relationship to get better it has become worsen and we are presently consederring divorce, divorce will break our children hearts, destroy us and everything we built together. I seek for my father inlaw’s advice, he advised us to seek for a professional help, from a couple/marriage counselor, he said counselling is the best way to repair a broken relationship. We decided to seek for couple counseling when we’re on vacation in your city in Colorado, We prefer to have our counselling while on vacation, because there is absolutely no time to spare here in Canada because of our work schedule, but our 6 weeks vacation will give us a great opportunity, I have 100% believe that this is the best solution, because we can’t continue living together like strangers in the house, that’s why we need your help. We are going to be in your city in Colorado for 6 weeks from 27th of July to 10th of September 2016, we want 10 counseling sessions within 6 weeks of our stay in Colorado, We can have the sessions twice a week if it is convenient for you, for the period of 6 weeks and any time of the day or night is perfectly okay with us, as our schedule will be flexible once we arrive on the 27th of July. Please calculate the cost and let me know the total amount, also I want you to please setup the schedule that works best for you. We would suggest the following: Week-1: 2 sessions (Please select the day and time you like) Week-2: 1 sessions (Please select the day and time you like) Week-3: 2 sessions (Please select the day and time you like) Week-4: 2 sessions (Please select the day and time you like) Week-5: 1 sessions (Please select the day and time you like) Week-6: 2 sessions (Please select the day and time you like) Again, I want you to understand that our time/programs will be flexible during our stay over there, so you can fit the sessions into schedules that will be convenient for you, either Morning, Afternoon or Evening sessions will be fine for us. Our hotel will be close to your location, so coming for our sessions on time won’t be a problem. Please respond to this message with the total cost of 10 counselling sessions. Thank you so much.
Step 4: You reply regarding scheduling.
Step 5: They send another email about giving you a large amount of money.
- Hello, Perfect. As i said before, any two days of the week and any time of the day you choose will be perfect for us, so I’m very happy and full of joy now that we have you as our counsellor. For sure, this is going to be a perfect vacation. We are ready to make a deposit payment in other to secure our counselling sessions with you. I need your name and address for me to mail the 50% deposit payment as soon as possible, inform of a certified cheque, money order or bank draft. It’s important to mail payment to you now because we will not be able to take much cash with us and the cash with us will be use for food, movements etc, so it’s important to settle your own payment now, so that can be off our budget to worry about. A certified cheque, bank draft or money order will be the best method of payment and it will be mailed to you by express as soon as possible, you will receive it within 2 to 3 working days. I’ll be waiting for your name and address in order to mail payment soon. Thank you.
I know that in addition to this couples therapy scam, there was another one going around recently where a man was looking for intensive therapy for his daughter.
Sometimes these folks are so compelling, that it’s easy to get pulled in emotionally, so be very careful.
This topic is a big bummer so if you want to find some levity in it, watch this YouTube video: