Marriage and Family Therapist
August 21, 2021
-Active Scam Warning –
Person Offering To Pay For Several Sessions Up Front
Have you ever gotten an email from a potential clients saying something along the lines of “My kids are going to be in town for 2 months and I’d like to pay for several sessions up front for them”?
Don’t fall for it! This is a common scam that has been going around for years and often targets therapists. The following is a detailed account of a time in early 2020 when someone was sending out these kinds of scam emails through SacWellness.
Hello! this is Joe Borders from SacWellness, just giving you a heads up that I have gotten several indications today that someone is attempting a phishing scam through SacWellness.com.
If you get any suspicious emails, please disregard them!
Today, in the last several hours 72 emails were sent through the site.
3 therapists contacted me with concerns about identical emails they received.
For confidentiality concerns I am going to omit the name of the sender, but the original message is as follows:
Someone has contacted you through your SacWellness listing:
>> Name: M C
>> Message: Do you have openings and accepting referrals for services? I\’d
>> love to hear about your available date, areas of practice, specializing
>> working with, years experience, costs per hour, practice location, your
>> cancellation fee for each missed appointments, etc. I look forward to
>> hearing back from you at your earliest convenience. Thank you for your
>> time. sincerely MC
Upon responding to this message all three therapists received the following response:
Thank you for the email. I am seeking for one-on-one private sessions
for my daughter. I got your name while searching through your location
for a private therapist, my daughter is coming to your area, she will
stay for 8 weeks and i will like to know if you can help her in
one-on-one practice sessions. Her name is Joanne, she is 19 years old,
i have someone that will always picks her up from home stay and drops
her off for her practice and take her back to the home stay. So kindly
let me know your charges cost per hour in order for me to arrange for
her payment before she travels down to your area soon, not on
insurance, private/self-pay only. She will be staying for 4 weeks, she
will be available at any times/days schedules for the practice
starting from Feb 18th, 2020. You can take her on any day convenient
for you for 60 minutes practice a day, 2 time per week for 4 weeks.
You can just take her at your convenient schedule. I hope to read back
from you soon.
This is a common scam that you may have seen before.
It basically works like this: person says their kid is going to be in the country for a set amount of time. During said period they want you to see their kid as often as possible. They then send you a check for the total. A day or two later they cancel the trip and ask for a refund. You refund the money, but it happens too quickly for your bank to process the original check and realize its a fake. Thereby you end up short the money they appeared to be sending you.
Please disregard any email you ever receive that looks like this!
This is one of the benefits of having a small local directory like SacWellness. As a part of the community, I am able to respond quickly to things like this and let people know.