09 - 48 Hours - Season 16 Episode 9 - Scammed!

Summary: Did you know that one in three American familites is victimed by fraud each year? We'll be exposing a series of consuer rip-offs including one investigated by correspondent Harold Dow. Here's a note from his producer, Marcie Spencer: The story about self-proclaimed psychic Linda Marks is one I'll never forget. Correspondent Harold Dow and I found Ms. Marks to be a very smooth operator. She was gracious and eager to tell her story... and even allowed us to spend many hours in her home, but there was always something suspicious about her behavior. When we arrived for our initial meeting with Linda Marks, our camera suddenly stopped working. We discovered a test pattern in the lens we had never seen before, which of course, made us think maybe her "psychic powers" caused our camera to break. We knew she really didn't have any "psychic power," but it was certainly a strange phenomenon. The interviews with her former customers/victims, Lynn Boys and Delores Hoffert, widow of the late Leroy Hoffert, were heart wrenching as you'll see. Ms. Hoffert is so angry that she wanted to make sure everyone knew how Ms. Marks scammed Leroy out of more than $300,000. Delores is one spunky, gutsy 71-year old. I will never forget her. Unfortunately, her late husband Leroy's encounters with Linda Marks have destroyed her dream of retiring without any financial worry. Leroy Hoffert and Lynn Boys were smart, educated people who were desperate and vulnerable and unfortunately got sucked in by a con woman's game. After watching "Scammed," we hope you'll understand what happened to Leroy and Delores could happen to anyone.

Aired: 8 Nov 2002

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