Fraud Busting: Watchdog Nation- Consumer Fraud Protection
Dave Lieber visits Fraud Busting. He’s the consumer watchdog columnist for the Dallas Morning News and fills us in on what happened in 2005 to increase consumer fraud and what the most crooked business in the country is now. And he reveals exactly how to get big companies who have done you wrong to make it right. We also talk about the power of storytelling in business and about his 2 new live plays.
After listening, You’re gonna want to be sure to get his book Watchdog Nation. Enjoy!
Here’s the full transcript:
Traci Brown: Dave, thank you so much for coming on Fraud Busting today! I’m just thrilled that you took the time to join me.
David Lieber: Well, you know, I’m a big fan of yours. I saw you give a speech last year and I wrote an article about you in the Dallas Morning News. I think you’re one of the best speakers in America.
Traci Brown: Oh, that meant a lot to me! We have a mutual admiration society going on, and you’re in my hometown of Dallas. That’s where I grew up. I spent a lot of time reading the Dallas Morning News. Why don’t you tell us, what are you up to now? Because you’re up to a lot of things that I want to talk about, some pertaining to fraud and some just other cool stuff that you’re doing, so take it way, let us know who you are.
David Lieber: I ran a column for the Dallas Morning News called The Watchdog, and I’ve been doing it there for seven years. Before that, I did it for 20 years in the Fort Worth Star Telegram and then before that I worked 10 years at the Philadelphia Inquirer. This is my 45th year as a working journalist. Basically, what I’m doing now is focusing on coronavirus, the Floyd stuff, and things that are going on in society today. I write two columns a week, and I’m in quarantine essentially. I don’t go out that much, maybe once a week on errands. I’m just basically trying to be . . . I changed my Twitter profile to a wartime columnist because I do think we’re in kind of a wartime right now. I’m just trying to write stories that resonate with people, that give them information that they don’t know, and with a strong point of view by me as the columnist. That is my main focus in my job.
Traci Brown: Wow. What do you see, because we’ve got to talk about fraud a little bit here, or a lot, as the case may be, you’ve been doing this for a long time, so what do you see now, because you’re the guy that people talk to, to investigate things, like when something’s not right in society, you’re the first person that they may call. What do you see now versus even three months ago? What’s the trend? What are you hearing out there? Who’s taking advantage of who? Tell me all about that.
David Lieber: Well, you know, it’s not really three months. It’s basically, what my theory is, is around 2005 society began to shift to the point where, before 2005 you had a better than even chance of whoever you were dealing with, whether it be the phone company, the electric company, the guy at your door, they were probably going to be honest and they were probably going to treat you correctly and fairly. But then around 2005 until now, it’s the opposite. You can’t trust anybody. You have to assume that even the car company that you bought the car from or AT&T or whoever it is, is going to mistreat you, and you have to go the opposite way. I was brought up to believe that give everybody the benefit of the doubt. Fool me once, shame on me, you fool me twice, shame on me. But now it’s like, fool me, fool me, fool me, that’s just what’s going on all the time. It’s harder than ever to find an honest person. The way that’s most exhibited is in home contracting. I don’t know how it is for the viewers and listeners and readers who are following this podcast, but here in Texas if you hire a home contractor to come into your house to maybe put on a roof or to redo your kitchen or something like that, there’s a very, very good chance, I mean, we’re talking 40% chance that the person will take the money from you and not complete the job because there are no real rules, there’s no licensing for them, there’s no way they’re going to be held accountable, and the police aren’t going to go after them. I constantly here from people who’ve been screwed really badly for lots and lots of money by guys who showed up who promised to do a job, took the money, and then didn’t complete it. This is happening to a lot of people, not only the elderly, but to folks who are younger, but the elderly especially are losing a lot of money in stuff like this, and it’s just heartbreaking and I can’t keep up with it.
Traci Brown: Wow. Let’s back up a little because I do want to talk about this, because you know my parents are down there, and storms come through all the time and hail and tornadoes. It’s a contractor’s dream down there for home damage. What do you think happened in 2005? Was it one event? Was it a cultural shift somehow, like a shift in thought? Because you’ve seen the trends for years. What do you attribute that 2005 shift to?
David Lieber: Okay, it’s a year that I’ve picked without scientific study, but just based on anecdotal feeling, and what contributed to it was the fact that these guys who do this, whatever we want to call them, they basically began to use the internet as their main tool to attract and they also began to use Google which has been incredibly slow in picking up on the fact that it was easy for crooks to game Google. That’s really what happened and now Google has started to clamp on the fraudsters who were using their website and search engine rankings. Here’s how it would work. One of the most crooked businesses in America, and I don’t think a lot of people realize this, is garage door repair companies.
Traci Brown: Really?
David Lieber: Yea. Because a couple of companies have basically bought up hundreds and hundreds of domain names, so say in Dallas you have this very well known, decades long company that’s very reputable called Overhead Door Company of Dallas. These other companies buy names like Dallas Overhead Doors so they have words in there but they flip it so when you go to Google and you’re looking for the company that you want, but you end up on somebody else’s website who’s pretending to be them, and when you ask them if they’re them, they lie and say, “Yea, we’re them.”
Traci Brown: Oh, wow.
David Lieber: Then they come to your house and they charge you $2,000 for a job that should cost $200. That’s happening in a lot of professions now. Locksmithing, you want to go to your neighborhood locksmith, but you’re not going to find him because somebody’s bought all those different domains. You’re going to get confused and you’re going to go to the wrong one. It even happens in government. When you want to get your Texas driver’s license, the chances of you ending up at a middleman fake site that’s not the Texas government are very high. You’ll end up paying for the driver’s license plus you’ll pay a finder’s fee, and you won’t even realize that you were not on the government website. They game the system and they push their stuff up higher. In another area, like in electricity, we have this website called PowerToChoose.org which is put out by the state of Texas to help you shop for electricity with all your plans and all the different companies. What some of the crooked electric companies do is they use the words Power to Choose in their name or in their summary, their metadata, so when you look for PowertoChoose.org you end up with one of the other companies and you don’t realize it and you’re not at the place you want to be. It’s real easy to fool people. In your life, for example, let’s say you’re looking up Disneyworld. You want to take the kids to Disneyworld. The first couple of sites may be ticket sales for Disneyworld that are through middlemen. You have to go three, four, five spots down to actually find the Disney site that you’re going to because there is packet is up on top. A lot of people don’t realize that and they click on the first one they come to, and they don’t realize that it’s not the actual site, so when I buy tickets for a play or something like that, you all these middlemen ticket guys that show up before you get to the box office of the theater. I only want to buy from the box office of the theater, but to get there I have to crawl past all these other guys that are pretending to be them but they’re going to charge much higher fees. That’s a summary of how the deception using the internet is essentially making it much easier for crooks to defraud you.
Traci Brown: Wow. Okay. So then people contact you when something hasn’t gone right.
David Lieber: Yea. When they contact me, they’ve tried a bunch of ways to fix whatever it is they’re trying to fix. I created this consumer rights movement that is called Watchdog Nation. What it does is it teaches you how to protect yourself so that none of this stuff happens to you.
Traci Brown: Now, is that like a website people can go to, or . . . ?
David Lieber: Yea. There is a website called WatchdogNation.com, but my primary site for this stuff is at DallasNews.com/Watchdog. Let’s say, I got a letter yesterday from somebody and I did, who had some problem with some company. They couldn’t get a refund on some travel trip they made, and that’s really an issue right now during this period is people put in these vacation plans. They paid a lot of money for taking certain whatnot, and they’re having a hard time getting a refund, so I created this technique called Flood the Zone. I teach them that what they need to do is complain to these various entities about this company and the company will then start to get heat from these regulators, these entities, and they’ll give you your money back because you’re not worth the trouble. I’ll give you an example, let’s say Company ABC has taken your money or something, and you can’t get it back, the trip or whatever, so you figure out where the company is headquartered and you file a complaint with the attorney general of that home state, you file a complaint with the attorney general of your home state, you file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, you file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, and you file a complaint if there’s a regulator for that company too, a state regulator or a federal regulator, and all of a sudden these complaints go out and there’s ConsumerFinance.org which is the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, that’s another one, and all these complaints that you send out online, they all go out and eventually the company starts hearing from these entities. They get letters saying, “We’ve got a complaint about you.” Most of the time the company will just say, “Oh, this ain’t worth it” and they just give you back your money because you flooded the zone. See.
Traci Brown: Oh, wow. Is that on Watchdog Nation.com, your whole system? Because that is fantastic, like for consumer protection. Where can we get that?
David Lieber: This system is in my book.
Traci Brown: Oh, it’s in your book. Okay.
David Lieber: This is the best place for it. It comes with a membership card. I swear, when I teach people how to do this, I swear them in. I give them an oath of office, and they become citizens of Watchdog Nation. A lot of people write me. This thing’s been going on for now since 2008 when I created it. When people write to me with their problems, they sometimes sign off, “Hey, I’m a fellow member of Watchdog Nation, John Smith.”
Traci Brown: Oh, okay.
David Lieber: There are thousands of people that consider themselves to be members of the Watchdog Nation. The primary idea of it is that you are the one who controls things. You have to be suspicious, and you have to be smart, and you have to trust your gut. When a little voice in your head says, “Something’s not right”, listen to it because it’s right. Something is not right.
Traci Brown: Wow. Okay. Let’s go back to the garage door people, the roofers, the hardware floor guys that are going to take your money and run. Is there a tipoff? Is there a trend that you see for how they’re doing this? What do people need to look for, especially with these guys?
David Lieber: Well, longevity, how long have they been in business? Do they have a storefront, an office that’s physical? Or do they operate out of a pickup truck? On their truck, does it say the name of the company? Do they have contracts that have the name of the company? I always say, if you’re going to hire someone to do something like put on a roof, you ought to know who they are, where they live, do they have a family. You want to research them on Facebook. You want to look them up. You type in the words in Google, type in Joe Blow Roofing, Arlington, Texas and scam, Joe Blow Roofing, Arlington, Texas and rip off and complaints and reviews. The reason I came up with this is because I hired a roofer who turned out to be a crook.
Traci Brown: Oh no.
David Lieber: He filed bankruptcy and he ended up getting convicted of theft. I didn’t google him like that, and if I had, I would have found out that he actually had all these complaints against him, but I just essentially trusted him because he was recommended by my insurance agent, unknowingly. He didn’t know that the guy had turned crooked.
Traci Brown: Oh, wow.
David Lieber: Once I had that experience, I didn’t lose any money on it fortunately, but once I had that experience, I began to see that I could not trust people anymore, and I had to figure out who they were, where they lived. I could look up their driver’s license and see where they lived and things like that, little clues that tell you whether somebody is honest or not, and it takes about 10 minutes actually. It’s not a big deal. You just search for the background information on that person. You don’t just do it on the first page of Google because a lot of these guys figure out how to game the system, so they pack the first page with good stuff.
Traci Brown: Right.
David Lieber: You’ve got to get deeper into it, two, three, four, five pages in and make sure you’re not missing anything.
Traci Brown: Yea, okay. We know how to research people and some of the signs. What’s the craziest fraud case that’s come across your desk?
David Lieber: There are so many that whatever one I’m working on at that moment is the craziest one. I couldn’t even begin to pick one out because there are so many of them. I’ve written since 2005. I’ve been doing this now for 15 years. I’ve written two a week for 15 years. Pick a category, name something and I probably have found it.
Traci Brown: What was the one you said you talked about with AARP last week? That sounded intense.
David Lieber: Yea. It’s the Bernie Madoff thing where you have a guy who like totally owns you, loves you, cares for you, gets you to invest all your money, and then, of course, you lose it all. We had a big case here this year, a fellow named Doc Gallagher. He was on the radio. He had four different am radio stations that he would buy advertising time, and you would listen to him on Saturday. He would be talking about finance, stuff like that. Come to my office and we’ll set you up. He went around the community and he just indoctrinated himself into people’s lives. He hosted events. He invited people to movie night at the theater, where he would rent out the theater. He’d send you flowers. I mean, he was one of the most charming guys you’ll ever meet, and he basically defrauded people out of somewhere between$20 million and $100 million. It’s a little confusing to me looking at the court papers how much the actual money is, but now he’s in prison for the rest of his life. He’s 79 years old and he just got sentenced to 25 years. The way he did was he got you to totally trust him. You thought he was a doctor of financial matters but it turns out that his PhD was from Brown University in 1981 and it was for Philosophy. I got a copy of his doctoral thesis, which he called the concept of blame. Then I wrote about a letter he wrote to one of his victims from jail where he blamed the media, people like me, for getting this wrong and exaggerating it. Even though he’s a doctor of Philosophy and the concept of blame, he doesn’t live by it. He blamed everybody else. He never really accepted responsibility. But he’s left in his wake hundreds of seniors who lost their life savings, or most of it, or part of their life savings.
Traci Brown: Yea, because those Ponzi schemes melt down at some point or another. I’ve talked to people who have run them. I’ve talked to people who have been defrauded by them. What’s your take on the signs to spot something like that?
David Lieber: Well, if you have to put money into something to get it going, that’s probably not a good thing. If you have to recruit other people to do this, like a Ponzi scheme, that’s not a good thing. If you get a check in the mail that they want you to do – what do they call it? Mystery shopping and you’re supposed to go to Walmart and report back and they send you a check for $3,800 and you go to the bank and you cash it and you send them part of the money back, because that’s the plan they give you, that’s a scam. Anything that involves you putting up money to get more money is a scam, like all the lottery things where they say you won $5 million in the sweepstakes, but to get it, the finder’s fee is $4,000. You send me $4,000 and I’ll get you your millions. That’s a scam.
Traci Brown: Have you heard much about work-at-home scams these days? Because I’ve heard a lot about that. Anytime you have to use your own account or buy anything up front, like what are you hearing on your end?
David Lieber: That’s just the basic advertisement that says, work at home, earn hundreds of dollars a day by sending out envelopes or whatever it is, then you contact them because you’re desperate and you need money and you can’t go out because you’ve got to watch your kids or your elderly father or whatever it is, so you need to work at home. Then they ask you to send them money to get it started to help with the supplies, so you spend $500 and you get all these envelopes and letters that you’re supposed to mail out and you’re out $500. You’ll never see that money again.
Traci Brown: Yea. If you have to give them access to your account for anything like that, like bank log-in info, and people are so desperate right now that they’re doing it and don’t even realize it.
David Lieber: I have a rule that wen someone comes to my door, I don’t talk to them because I didn’t ask them to come. If somebody calls me to try to sell me something, I don’t talk to them because I didn’t want to buy it. I didn’t go looking for them. If asked to put money into something, you don’t do it. You’ve got to really basically say that nobody out there is looking out for you. The police aren’t looking out for you. The regulators aren’t really looking out for you because they’re overwhelmed and there are not enough of them. You really have to be for yourself. There was a great philosopher named Epictetus. Epictetus said everybody’s going to have bad stuff happen to them, but the idea is how do you handle it once it happens.
Traci Brown: So then, what’s your track record on helping people recover from some of this fraud? Because once the Dallas Morning News comes calling, people have got to be shaking in their boots a little bit. What are you doing when you get a complaint? Tell us about that.
David Lieber: Well, I maybe get 100 a month. Let’s just pick a random number and I only do eight or nine stories per month. One of the reasons I created Watchdog Nation was to teach people who I can’t help with an article in the paper how to fix it themselves. I have a lot of success. For example, a lady wrote to me the other day and she said, “I got my stimulus check from the federal government but it came in the form of a Visa card and I thought it was a scam and so I cut it up into little pieces and then only later did I find out that was actually my stimulus check.” The government didn’t announce that all of a sudden stimulus checks were coming out in Visa cards. She said, “How do I get the money now?” I obviously could tell her to call the IRS, but that would be a terrible waste of her time because trying to get through and then trying to have them help you and then send you another.
Traci Brown: Yea, that’s ridiculous.
David Lieber: Who do you go to who can pressure the IRS to help you? Who’s going to give you that pressure, put the hands on the neck? The answer I sent her was, contact your congressman because your congressman oversees the IRS. If the congressman’s caseworker contacts the IRS on your behalf, the IRS is much more likely to send you another card because it’s not me, it’s the congressman’s office. But you find out who is overseeing that agency or that group or that business or whoever. If it’s a bank, for example, that’s hurting you, and that happens a lot, go check out who the bank regulator is. There are three or four different bank regulators. There is the Office of the Controller of the Currency and then there’s consumer finance protection group and then there’s also the Federal Reserve. State banks are regulated by the Texas Department of Banking or the Alabama Department of Banking.
Traci Brown: Sure.
David Lieber: But you don’t complain to the bank because that’s really not going to work. You go to their regulator who’s above them who squeezes them on your behalf.
Traci Brown: Oh, I love that. Oooh, that is good. How are banks doing? Are you hearing about them supporting people or not? What’s going on today?
David Lieber: When the Payroll Protection Program and the economic impact loans started to go out, and the banks were overwhelmed and didn’t know how to handle it, I got a lot of complaints about banks not being able to help people who needed help because they were just overwhelmed. But now, they’ve caught up and they’re coming after people and saying, would you like that loan because we can help you now? Banks went through a terrible time in that first month, but now they’ve settled into it.
Traci Brown: Oh yea. I think you’re right. I think also this really, I think what we saw with this makes the case for community banks, like the small banks because a lot of people were able to get their money from the community banks because they were able to be higher on their list. Where we had the big corporations who are in bed with like Chase, I missed out on the first round. I wasn’t planning on getting anything and eventually the second round came through. Sure enough, I was able to be funded, but man, I was just like, well, I guess I’m out of luck here. It’s funny because community banks are some of my clients and I just wasn’t in their community because they’re off in South Dakota or Alabama or wherever they are, and man, I was feeling it though. I’m like, man, this is the case for it. Yea, local banking, there’s something to be said for it.
David Lieber: Don’t forget the credit unions. I have an expression that I say. There’s a reason why they call in bankruptcy and not credit union-ruptcy.
Traci Brown: Oh, okay. Talk about that a little bit.
David Lieber: Well, just the fact that you don’t really hear a lot of problems with credit unions. They don’t get involved in scandals. They know your name when you walk in there. It’s just a whole different thing. But a lot of people don’t realize that credit unions are much easier to deal with than banks.
Traci Brown: Oh yea. You know, the bankers, I was at a bank conference, I was speaking and I heard the President of the Bank Association get up and just, it was this hate-filled speech against credit unions because they have different regulations than banks do. I had no idea at the time, but I was kind of in shock at the back of the room, like wow! There is definitely animosity there and different regulations, but we as consumers can really take advantage of some of that, especially in times like this where they do know your name.
David Lieber: You do need to shop. I have a nonprofit and I needed to move the money from the nonprofit, from California to Texas, so I shopped it. The first bank I went to, oh yea, we’ll take it but it’s going to cost you $25 a month, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, so I went to the credit union and they were like, oh yea, we’ll do it for free. We’ll take your money. There won’t be any fees. There won’t be any charges at all. Just keep it here and you’ll be fine.
Traci Brown: They’re so much out there. It does just take a little bit of research. Tell me about this. What kind of hate mail do you get?
David Lieber: The only time I get hate mail is if I mention Trump.
Traci Brown: Oh. I get that too, any kind of politics.
David Lieber: I basically wrote a story the other day which I said, this is a commencement address to the class of 2020 in college and high school. I essentially apologized and said, we’ve ruined it for you. You guys missed out on a lot of stuff. I attribute it to the fact that baby boomers, of which I’m a member of, have failed in leadership capacities in many ways. Then, as an example I went through the baby boomer presidents. I said the first baby boomer president was Bill Clinton, and he had no willpower. The second baby boomer president was George W., and he put us in a war that we shouldn’t have been in. The third baby boomer president was Barack Obama, and he refused to play footsie with Congress to get things done. The fourth baby boomer is well, you get the idea, in spite of the name Trump, but I still left it out there and I didn’t get a single letter of complaint. But if I had actually said the word Trump, I would have heard from a few people who would have like, just jumped off the roof to grab me. That’s really the only. Before I started the Watchdog, I used to get tons of hate mail about all kinds of subjects, but now the public understands that I’m on their side. There’s really no point in hating me because I’m really trying to help them save their money and be smarter about their decisions.
Traci Brown: Oh, that’s good. I love that you’ve turned the corner there. That’s pretty cool. It takes time to do that and really a very loyal following.
David Lieber: I’m fortunate because when people write me nasty letters, they sometimes say, I’m a big fan of your column, but on this one, I disagree with it. I respect that. But every once in a while, you get somebody who just comes down to you. I write back everybody and so they don’t expect to get a reply, so normally after I write them back with understanding and sympathy and whatever, they kind of calm down and they apologize, which is kind of a cool phenomenon too.
Traci Brown: Ooh, I love that. Ooh, good job on that.
David Lieber: I was taught to treat people properly, even if they don’t treat me properly, to come back and treat them properly, and usually I can turn them around.
Traci Brown: Oh good. I think that’s pretty wise just for anybody these days because there is a lot of division and sometimes it’s better to not know about it and just have a friend, but it’s always good to diffuse things as much as you can because they’re just upset. They need an outlet and just understanding that someone has listened to them, I think can really calm some nerves these days because gosh, we have so much to be upset about these days between the riots and protests and the virus and all the economic stuff with that. Let’s talk about, because you have some other cool projects going on, and I want to make sure folks really know about it because I’m super excited about it. You’re a playwright.
David Lieber: Yea, as of a year ago.
Traci Brown: Yea. Tell us about the play, how it’s going, where people can see it, what it’s about, like the whole thing.
David Lieber: Well, okay, the play is called Amon, The Ultimate Texan. It’s about a fellow named Amon Carter who was Mr. Fort Worth and ran Fort Worth which is now the 13th largest city in the country. He ran Fort Worth of 50 years because he owned the newspaper, the radio station, and the TV station. He used that power to promote Fort Worth and Texas. I wrote a play about him because people here in Fort Worth, everything is named after him all over town.
Traci Brown: It is.
David Lieber: Nobody really remembers him because he died in 1955 so only the very older people. The play performed 32 times in the past year, and we had 25 performances scheduled this year, but they’ve been canceled because of the virus. We have a play coming up though at the end of this month where we’re doing it in a ballroom for a foundation as a benefit. Now, I’ve finished my second play. Amon Carter was Forth Worth. The fellow I’m doing is Mr. Dallas, and you’ve heard of him. His name is Ross Perot.
Traci Brown: Oh, boy. That’ll be fun. I want to come see that one too.
David Lieber: That one is now going into rehearsal and it might come out in September or October. It’s hard to say what’s going on with the theater. But I’m also writing a book to go with it. I wrote a book to go with the Amon Carter play, so now I’m writing a book to go with the Perot play. The tentative title for it is called Searching for Perot: My Journey to Discover Texas’ Top Family.
Traci Brown: Ooh, I love that.
David Lieber: I didn’t really understand them, and I wrote a lot of critical stuff about them in the paper and it took this play to begin to understand how they have had such an important place in Texas history.
Traci Brown: Oh, I love that. That’s fantastic. We’re going to have to make sure we keep everyone updated on when we can come and see your plays. I can’t wait because you’re actually . . . you do so much Watchdog stuff. I don’t think people really understand the depth of your . . . Because you’re a fantastic speaker. I’ve heard you speak.
David Lieber: Thank you.
Traci Brown: You really have a grasp on storytelling and how to make whatever topic super compelling. Considering how we just talked about turning people around your way and ultimately ending with people liking you so that they’re listening and knowing that you’re on their side, how does storytelling play into that? What are one or two tips that people can take so that they are more persuasive and having things go their way a lot more in their life?
David Lieber: Well, I like to tell people that I’m the president of the anti-bullet point society. Business says we’re being ruined in the past 20 years because of PowerPoint and bullet points. Teachers in college teach students with bullet points and they read off slides, and that’s not the way that people communicate and understand and remember it. The way they understand and remember is through stories. In the workplace, we’re bogged down with facts, figures, statistics, bullet points, and PowerPoint, yet we go home at night and we watch TV because we want to see stories. If we could just convert that storytelling culture back into the workplace, then we’re able to win more fans. Business storytelling is a giant movement in America today.
Traci Brown: It really is.
David Lieber: All over the world really, people have realized to reach people’s heart and emotion they need to tell stories. There is a certain way to tell a story which I call it Dave’s V-shaped storytelling formula where the hero goes out into the world, meets the villain, the villain drives the hero down to the bottom of the V, which is the low point of the story, then the hero overcomes the villain and goes up to the climax of the story, so it’s this V. That’s the way most good stories are. I had a cat, cat died, got new cat.
Traci Brown: Yea, I guess it’s just that simple. But the way you do it with crafting is fantastic. People listening that are in sales or in leadership could I think really take a lesson from your strategies on storytelling. People can read your articles, right, they can read your column online. Where can they find that?
David Lieber: DallasNews.com/Watchdog. What I recommend for people on storytelling is to look at my TED Talk which is called The Power of Storytelling to Change the World.
Traci Brown: Oh, okay. Ooh, that sounds good. Now is it TED or TEDx?
David Lieber: TEDx. It’s very popular and it just basically lays out the formula along with my personal life story about how I moved to Texas from New York, didn’t fit in, and then overcame it.
Traci Brown: Ooh, I love that. Okay, so it’s TEDx and where was it, did you say?
David Lieber: You can get that at DaveLieber.org.
Traci Brown: There are a lot of ways people can find you. You’ve made yourself easy to find. They can find you to speak as well. I’ve seen your storytelling program that you’ve done at our National Speakers’ Association Chapter here. What do you normally speak on? Tell everyone about that so that they just can’t help but pick up the phone and call you.
David Lieber: Well, businesses basically bring me in to teach them how to tell their story because they essentially forgot it. I do high tech companies. I go governments that have social programs, and I do purchasing companies and airlines and whoever basically is looking, hospitals want to figure out how to get their employees to tell their stories, both internally and externally. When I go to community groups, and I speak probably 80 to 120 times a year. When I go to community groups, I might tell them the story about moving to Texas and fitting in from New York, or I might teach them how to be citizens of Watchdog Nation, or I might teach them about Amon Carter and how he basically was this brilliant marketer and then next year I’ll be teaching people about Perot. I have a pretty good catalog. I’ve gone to groups three or four times with all these different stories.
Traci Brown: Ooh, I love that. I love that. We’re going to circle back around here before we wrap it up. What’s the number one tip that you have for folks listening so that they can I guess be super effective member of Watchdog Nation and just not be defrauded in any way?
David Lieber: It’s pretty simple. You have this voice in your head. Some people call it your subconscious. Some people call it your muse. This voice in your head, it’s like going, “Hey, I don’t trust this guy. He didn’t answer that question.” But you don’t listen to the voice. You go ahead and just sign the papers or whatever, so my number one piece of advice is your muse is protecting you. Listen to it. Open up your ears and listen to that little voice in your head because he or she is trying to protect you.
Traci Brown: Got it. Yea, I think if people just paid a little more attention. That’s what I teach people to do because the signs of deception are all there. Between just listening to yourself and understanding the trends of fraud and even knowing a little bit of lie detection, I think we got a better world on our hands, or at least you can make your own world better. Watchdog Nation. DaveLieber.org. Thank you so much for coming on Fraud Busting. You’re just awesome.
David Lieber: Thanks, Traci.