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Tuesday
May192009

Beware of the Botox Bandit

Botox, Restylane, Juvederm, Thermage... We all have probably had our fair share of clients addicted to aesthetic treatments.

While the patients we deal with daily are probably not addicted to cosmetic medicine to the caliber of the “Cat Lady”, but close enough where you begin to wonder if they are suffering from body dysmorphic disorder. Especially in the category of injectable dermal fillers or laser resurfacing, you probably had to turn one or two clients away who you felt, as a professional, were pushing the boundaries of what is considered aesthetic enhancement versus disfigurement.

Many times these clients will shop amongst a variety of aesthetic physicians in and out of their area often having multiple services performed in a fashion deemed possibly dangerous. The cost of multiple procedures during our current economic status have forced some to turn to the unsavory practice of shoplifting. These thieves are very clever in their tactics, cunning in their role playing, and are worthy of the tile “Botox Bandit”.

I’m sure you have read news articles about Botox Bandits and, unfortunately, the number of Botox Bandits in the U.S. is on the rise! I have had several conversations with clinic owners across the Country who have been a victim of these cunning criminals. One clinic owner in California told me of a client who came into his practice, had her treatments and, while at the checkout counter, stated she forgot her credit card in her car. In good faith, she left her designer purse at the counter for the staff to hold while she quickly ran outside. Well, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what happened next! After the client failed to return, the staff looked inside her so-called “designer” purse and found it to be empty. That, and it also was a counterfeit purse. Score one for the Botox Bandit.

Theft comes in many forms. Blatant like the case described above and more subtle in the form of complaints. Some clients have mastered the art of complaining to the point where they know they will end up with free services to appease them. Some even push the boundaries so far that they demand their money back after they have had all of their treatments, and then some. They will even be arrogant enough to post an undesirable posting about you on the web.

So, which form of theft is worse? The "Botox Bandit" or the "Scheming Thief"?

Do you have the right to discharge a patient from your practice only to suffer the undeserving web postings from your anonymous spurned patient? I do know this, it has caused us, and many practices like ours, to ask for payment before services for new clients we don’t have a relationship with.

Author: Paula D. Young RN runs internal operations and training at Young Medical Spa and is the author of the Medical Spa Aesthetics Course, Study Guide, and Advanced IPL & Laser Training course for medical estheticians and laser technicians.

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Reader Comments (4)

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Ah, the snow is falling, the holidays are approaching, and the Botox Bandits are getting rid of their wrinkles for the Holidays! Yep! We got hit!!! Be on the lookout for clients who "need to use the bathroom" and slip out!

Happy Holidays!

I've had few bandits in my time stolen credit card, and the blackmailing ones even he'd to go to the police never give in

I didn't have a Botox bandit but did have a Juvederm lip bandit. Patient came in asking for lip augmentation in her history she spoke about many high profile plastic surgeons she received injections from and in the mean time I thinking then why are you in my rural office 90 min from NYC.

I do the procedure and she gives me a check, stupidly I didn't take any ID she seemed to be well healed with designer clothes and bag. I took the check to Chase and they said not only isn't this a real check but there is no such routing # etc. This check was a Chase check , I have a Chase account and it appeared to be exactly like mine except everything was a fraud. I called her and found that everything down to the address was a fraud.

Well I guess 1 in 30 years isn't so bad,

03.14 | Unregistered Commentergm

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