People Get Screwed All the Time: Protecting Yourself From Scams, Fraud, Identity Theft, Fine Print, and More [NOOK Book]

Overview

What would you do if you were accused and arrested for a crime that you didn't commit? How about if you realized that you'd just been scammed for thousands of dollars? What about if, due to a circumstance as unavoidable as having the same name as a criminal, your credit rating kept you from buying a house or a car, or getting a loan for college? Most people trust that everything will work out and assume that the government will help them if trouble arises. However, Robert Massi reveals what the government doesn't...

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People Get Screwed All the Time: Protecting Yourself From Scams, Fraud, Identity Theft, Fine Print, and More

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Overview

What would you do if you were accused and arrested for a crime that you didn't commit? How about if you realized that you'd just been scammed for thousands of dollars? What about if, due to a circumstance as unavoidable as having the same name as a criminal, your credit rating kept you from buying a house or a car, or getting a loan for college? Most people trust that everything will work out and assume that the government will help them if trouble arises. However, Robert Massi reveals what the government doesn't want you to know—daily life and decisions are fraught with potential danger, and government mismanagement often has disastrous consequences for innocent, law-abiding citizens.

Familiar to viewers as a national TV legal analyst, Robert Massi has heard countless stories of well-intentioned individuals getting caught up in damaging situations that they didn't see coming. Nonetheless, the most frustrating part of these heartaches is that they could—and should—have been avoided.

Massi will share some of these astonishing stories of real people—and then, he'll show you how to learn from these mishaps. Touching on everything from dodging identity theft to starting a business, People Get Screwed All The Time explains how to avoid falling for scams, getting entrenched in endless legal battles, and inadvertently ending up on the wrong side of the law. Also, if worst comes to worst, it provides unbeatable tips for how to extract yourself from a wide variety of sticky situations.

This indispensable guide covers the spheres of life that matter most:

  • Identity
  • Love, Family, and Relationships
  • Money, Finances, and Debt
  • Your Home
  • Cars
  • Work and Business Relationships
  • Final Affairs

Suggesting small steps that can be taken today, People Get Screwed All the Time helps you to avert catastrophe tomorrow. Calling for action and awareness, this is a vital and eye-opening handbook that proves that ignorance is anything but bliss.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061749230
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • File size: 682 KB

Meet the Author

Robert Massi is the host of a popular Las Vegas radio show that focuses on everyday legal issues, and he runs a thriving law practice. Since 1998, he has been a national TV legal analyst covering high-profile court cases, such as the Michael Jackson, Kobe Bryant, and Scott Peterson trials, and has made appearances on The O'Reilly Factor, Fox and Friends, and On the Record with Greta Van Susteren. In addition, he founded The Conscience of America, an organization dedicated to improving the way ordinary citizens are treated by the legal system.

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Read an Excerpt

People Get Screwed All the Time
Protecting Yourself From Scams, Fraud, Identity Theft, Fine Print, and More

Chapter One

Stolen Purse, Stolen Identity

James M. was twenty-five years old, the daughter of a successful Las Vegas businessman. She was pretty, with fine wavy brown hair that fell to her shoulders. Her parents were no longer together, but she had been brought up in a stable home by good churchgoing people. She gave birth at twenty to a boy, Bobby, but separated from her husband four years later, moving with her son into a large house with five other people, including a couple upstairs who fought a lot. But the place was affordable, and there was room for the two of them when Bobby wasn't with his father. The future looked bright. Janet had a job as a bartender at a casino, for which she had to go through the trouble of obtaining a sheriff's card (required of all casino workers), certifying that she had no criminal record. It was worth the hassle; she liked her boss, and she was making decent money. Things were good until one night in November 2002. While Bobby was staying with his father, she went to a local pub with her friend David, in what she thought was a safe neighborhood, not far from the shopping malls and the multiplexes. When they came out of the bar, shortly after midnight, they saw that one of the car windows had been broken. Shards of shattered glass sparkled on the pavement. Janet had left her purse in the car, and now it was missing.

She called to cancel her credit cards as soon as she got home, wary of the hassle that was to come, resigned to standing in lines at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to replace her driver'slicense, filling out forms to replace her Social Security card, her health insurance card, her sheriff's card. The next morning, when she called the police department to report the theft, she was erroneously told that she couldn't do so until David reported the break-in. She went to the DMV and reported the theft of her license and cards. She figured that was pretty much the end of it.

Six months later, the couple upstairs were at it again, screaming at each other. This time somebody called the police, who arrived shortly to settle the disturbance, afterward taking down the names of potential witnesses, including Janet's. Cops were in and out of the house. One went to the squad car to enter names into the computer. Janet went back to what she was doing. Soon, an officer knocked on her door. She assumed he had some follow-up questions.

Instead, he informed her that she was a wanted fugitive and that the computer had been showing warrants for her arrest for credit card fraud, coming from St. George, Utah, about a hundred miles northeast of Las Vegas.

"What?" she said.

It took her a moment to get over the shock. Obviously, there was some sort of mix-up, some kind of mistake. She was completely cooperative. The police seemed to understand and didn't arrest her. Instead, they gave her the phone number of the prosecutor's office in St. George and told her she could take care of it herself.

"My purse was stolen last November," she told the prosecutor. "Whoever took it is running up those charges, not me. I've lived in Las Vegas my entire life." The St. George prosecutor was polite and seemed nice. Janet understood that St. George was a conservative Mormon town where things had to be done by the book. She agreed to send her fingerprints, as well as proof of residency and employment, and had them in the mail within the week. She figured she'd hear from the prosecutor that everything had been straightened out.

Days passed, then weeks.

She called the lawyer's office several times, trying to get an answer, trying to put the matter to rest. Finally, his secretary told Janet, "We received your packet, but you should know that the prosecutor is not on your side. He's not going to help you. You need to get a lawyer and come down here and fight this."

Not on her side? Wasn't the legal system supposed to protect the innocent?

She found it unbelievable.

She was fortunate in that her father was in a position to help her hire a competent lawyer, who soon discovered that a woman had opened a post office box in Janet's name in St. George. The criminal had used Janet's I.D. to have cell phones and credit cards sent to that post office box. The lawyer also discovered that the woman had used the identities of several other people to order cell phones and credit cards and other items in their names as well. Janet couldn't understand—if her own lawyer could discover these things, why couldn't the prosecutor in St. George see that she was a victim of identity theft—and not even the only victim?

On the advice of her attorney, Janet got a voice-analysis stress test, went to a handwriting specialist, and had her photograph taken for a photo lineup, but it all took time. Meanwhile, she lived in fear of being arrested at any moment. She had to leave her job as a bartender because she didn't have an up-to-date sheriff's work card and couldn't get one until the matter was resolved. She didn't want to get her boss in trouble, a man who'd been good to her and kept her on longer than he probably should have. She was afraid of driving for fear of getting pulled over for something simple, like a broken taillight, and then the warrants would pop up on the computer and trouble would undoubtedly start. It meant she couldn't drive Bobby around or take him to school. Soon, she saw him only when her ex brought him over to her house. She spent time taking care of her mother, who had diabetes, or riding her bike, or going to church, where she . . .

People Get Screwed All the Time
Protecting Yourself From Scams, Fraud, Identity Theft, Fine Print, and More
. Copyright © by Robert Massi. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2008

    People Get Screwed All the Time: Protecting Yourself From Scams, Fraud, Identity Theft, Fine Print, and More

    As a woman who was once the subject of mistaken identity, I can tell you it was a terrifying experience. I made all the same mistakes Bob mentions in his book. As they say, I wish I knew then, what I know now...Would have saved me a LOT of heartache.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2008

    People Get Screwed All the Time: Protecting Yourself From Scams, Fraud, Identity Theft, Fine Print, and More

    I never expect much from lawyers, but this book was truly INFORMATIVE and helpful. It included info on Identity theft, HOAs (which are almost always trouble) and what Bob Massi would have done as a lawyer had he been handling the case. A very easy read. Two thumbs up!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2008

    A reviewer

    There are so many aspects that Massi touches on that makes this a must read for any adult living and working in the 21st century. It's hard to believe he was learning disabled and dyslexic like me but still made good. Good for you Bob Massi and thanks for sharing your knowledge.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2007

    What a great read!

    This indispensable guide will help you in so many areas of your life. This is a vital eye-opening book that proves that ignorance is anything but bliss. Its a book that really makes your think!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2007

    Just blew me away!

    Robert Massi has made a breakthough with his book 'People Get Screwed All the Time'. I met Robert at his book signing in Las Vegas, Nevada not only was he courteous but was willing to talk and discuss with every customer. I have started reading his book and am amazed by all of the kinds of ways people actually do get screwed from identity fraud to any type of scam you can imagine, and the greatest part is he explains in detail how to prevent them all from happening. This is just a book you have to read, you will be amazed and enthralled while reading it from cover to cover, in fact I think I'm going to finish the rest of the book now!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2007

    great book

    great book

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