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Cosmetic Criminals on the Rise According to MSNBC Report

A disturbing cosmetic procedure trend that has nothing to do with needles or knives has been reported at msnbc.com: a patient gets cosmetic procedures and leaves without paying or writes a bad check.

One case recently in the news was a woman who received over $3,000 worth of Botox and dermal fillers in a Fort Lauderdale cosmetic dermatology center and then disappeared after saying she needed to get cash at a nearby ATM.

The suspect, dubbed the “Beauty Bandit” by local practitioners (as she’s done this at more than one center in the area), was arrested recently, but is just one in a line of “cosmetic criminals” who undergo beauty treatments and then leave without paying.

Other Botox bandits have been reported in Newport Beach, Calif.; Port St. Lucie, Fla.; Tampa, Fla.; Brisbane, Australia and Kenton, England.

According to the report, some surgeons point to the bad economy and the perceived “necessity” of cosmetic procedures as the catalyst behind these crimes, dubbed “pricks-and-runs.”

“Botox is no longer a luxury,” says Dr. Jon Grazer, a Newport Beach plastic surgeon who was hit by a Botox bandit last year. “It’s something people have to have, and if they can’t afford it because of the economy, I think it’s going to push them to get it by whatever means they can.”

How will this rash of crimes affect your cosmetic procedure experience? Some practices hit by criminals have changed their payment rules, for instance requiring all new patients to pay upfront for non-surgical procedures.

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