Have you ever been scammed? If so, you’re far from alone.

Last summer, my husband Doug got one of those special coupons for x-rays and chiropractic services. Now I have a wonderful chiropractor, but Doug thought this offer would be a good deal for his aching back, especially since this other chiropractor was a member of one of those networking business organizations he belonged to. You know the ones where everyone is supposed to support everyone else?

Doug charged the first appointment on our credit card – $39.95 for the x-rays, adjustment and consultation on June 17. It was a good deal, he was right, and his back felt better. But when he returned for another adjustment, the chiropractor (I’ll call him C) convinced him he needed a whole series of treatments—about 105 of them–as well as headgear that was supposed to stretch out his neck and help with the headaches. Doug’s understanding was that the bill for the treatments would be submitted to his insurance. Anything that wasn’t covered there would be paid for in exchange for work he was going to do for C, developing his web site and getting him up to date on social media marketing. With this understanding, he signed a contract with C for the treatments.

Gulp.

Apparently, about the time he was walking out of the office on that second visit, C put the cost for the entire series of treatment and the head gear on our credit card – $3,170.00. So now he had our credit card number and insurance information.

By the time we got our credit card statement, Doug had seen C a total of 4 times. He immediately went to see C and explained that he never understood that his share was going to be paid for in anything but web work. Doug was still willing to honor that, but the credit card charge had to be removed or we had to be reimbursed for that money.

By that time, C had collected $3,170 from the credit card (along with Doug’s original $39.95 = $3,209.95). He finally agreed to reimburse us, but said he had to do it in payments. We received a check for $1,000 marked “partial payment” in September 2010. In October we began to receive statements from our insurance company: C had billed the insurance company $1,080 for the 4 visits that he charged us $3,209.95 for! The insurance paid him $317. At this point C was up $2,527. In November, C pled poverty and gave us $100. He said he was expecting a big check in December and would pay us then.

Multiple telephone calls, emails, and visits have resulted in nothing. Then this week we received another statement from our insurance. C is back at it – trying to bill them again – this time for a visit on January 5, 2011, that Doug never made!

My husband is an honorable man, always available to help someone in need. He tends to believe the best of everyone until proof otherwise is indisputable. I admire that in him, but I’m not so nice. Can you guess what will happen next?

Can you say FRAUD, boys and girls?