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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