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The Perfect Scam


Oct 13, 2023

In 2018, The Perfect Scam brought you the story of the French psychic Maria Duval mail fraud impostor scheme. For decades, criminals, led by a man named Patrice Runner, used Duval’s name and image on letters sent all over the U.S. and the world, promising good fortune in exchange for regular payments, and threatening disaster for those who ignored the solicitations. Federal investigators estimate the scam impacted 1 in 300 Americans and raked in over $200 million. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service finally put a stop to the letters in 2014, but even when we covered the story in 2018 Runner was still on the run. In this episode, Bob checks in with USPIS Inspector Clayton Gerber to find out how the fight for justice is going, and learns how one of the world’s largest marketing companies, Epsilon, played a major role in the scheme.