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Outsmarting the Scam Artists: How to Protect Yourself From the Most Clever Cons

Outsmarting the Scam Artists: How to Protect Yourself From the Most Clever Cons

D. Shadel

ISBN: 978-1-118-24007-6

Jan 2012

208 pages

$12.99

Description

A practical guide to avoiding the most common scams, from a fraud-fighting expert

U.S. consumers lose billions of dollars each year to scam artists—and the next victim could be you. While anyone can be targeted, many victims are older. In AARP's Outsmarting the Scam Artists, renowned fraud-fighter Doug Shadel offers practical advice for consumers who want to protect their money as well as the financial assets of their parents and families.

Despite the rise of scams, many people are embarrassed to admit they've been victimized. The author helps break the cycle of shame by including accounts from the people who've been scammed as well as tips from a surprising source: convicted con artists who reveal how they've defrauded people like you.

  • Get practical tips to combat all kinds of scams, from simple lottery tickets to non-existent oil and gas deals and religious ponzi schemes
  • Learn how to protect yourself by securing your mailbox and fraud-proofing your trash
  • Get inside the head of sophisticated scam artists to discover how you can become the type of individual they avoid

Scammers are everywhere. But with Outsmarting the Scam Artists in hand, you can protect yourself and your money.

Acknowledgments ix

Preface xi

Part I The Scam Artists’ Playbook

Chapter 1 Inside the Con Artist’s Mind 3

Chapter 2 Ether: The Con Artist’s Central Strategy 19

Chapter 3 The Stages of Fraud 29

Part II Con Artists in Action

Chapter 4 Exploiting Ego: The Oil-and-Gas Scam 49

Chapter 5 Exploiting Faith: The Religious Ponzi Scam 63

Chapter 6 Exploiting Fear: The Gold Coin Scam 77

Chapter 7 Exploiting Boredom: The Movie Scam 85

Chapter 8 Exploiting the American Dream: The Business Opportunity Scam 93

Chapter 9 Exploiting Hope: The Lottery Scam 107

Chapter 10 Exploiting Credit: An Interview with an Identity Thief 117

Part III How to Fight Fraud

Chapter 11 Who Are the Victims? 129

Chapter 12 Become a Fraud Fighter 145

Chapter 13 Fraud Prevention That Works 159

Appendix A The Fraud-Vulnerability Quiz 173

Appendix B Fraud-Prevention Resource List 177

Notes 181

About the Author 185

Index 187