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Scam-Proof Your Life: 377 Smart Ways to Protect You & Your Family from Ripoffs, Bogus Deals & Other Consumer Headaches [NOOK Book]

Overview

Get inside information from those in the know on how to protect your money, your rights, and your health—with the most complete, practical, and easy-to-follow collection of consumer wisdom ever assembled.

 

In this essential action guide by dogged consumer reporter Sid Kirchheimer, more than 100 leading experts reveal smart and specific tips, techniques, and tactics that anyone can use to avoid being victimized—financially, physically, or emotionally. Car salesmen disclose ...

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Scam-Proof Your Life: 377 Smart Ways to Protect You & Your Family from Ripoffs, Bogus Deals & Other Consumer Headaches

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Overview

Get inside information from those in the know on how to protect your money, your rights, and your health—with the most complete, practical, and easy-to-follow collection of consumer wisdom ever assembled.

 

In this essential action guide by dogged consumer reporter Sid Kirchheimer, more than 100 leading experts reveal smart and specific tips, techniques, and tactics that anyone can use to avoid being victimized—financially, physically, or emotionally. Car salesmen disclose secret strategies to save you thousands of dollars on your next vehicle purchase. Repairmen divulge the tricks of their trades … and disclose the advice you’ll need to get superior service at an honest price. Con men and crooks offer defensive directives to deprive thieves of your money, your possessions, and your identity.

 

Kirchheimer gets the experts to cough up everyday counsel as well. Doctors share simple steps you can take today to guard against medical errors and lower your health-care costs. Attorneys tell how to protect yourself in a courtroom and in daily life. Industry insiders and consumer advocates detail when, where, and how to get the most for your time and money: They expose all sorts of stealthy solutions for saving when you buy a home or apply for a mortgage, telephone service, or a credit card. They even tell you how to save big on travel arrangements, and how to secure a college scholarship for less-than-Dean’s List students!

 

Scam-Proof Your Life is the latest work by award-winning consumer crusader Sid Kirchheimer, who writes the popular “Scam Alert” column in The AARP Bulletin—the nation’s most widely circulated newspaper. Kirchheimer is the author of The Doctors Book of Home Remedies II (2 million copies sold), Never Pay Retail, and other critically acclaimed books devoted to empowering ordinary people to protect their money, time, health, and security.

 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The "Scam-Alert" columnist from the AARP newsletter, Kirchheimer has authored or edited 12-plus Ralph Nader-like salvos aimed at taking out consumer-directed fraud. Kirchheimer interviewed "nearly 100 reformed scammers" for this compendium of recent bilking schemes and corner-cuttings. His advice covers most major mid-life expenses, from buying a new car to buying a home to paying for college to booking a cruise. Chapters on credit cards and identity-theft go into greater depth than most coverage these issues usually get in similar books. Three chapters on healthcare go into detail on everything from drug pricing to malpractice. A final "Roundup of Common Scams" (including the infamous "Nigerian Letter" and cyber "phishing" scams) will leave readers well-informed, and perhaps slightly paranoid. Most helpful is the careful, practical way in which Kirchheimer walks readers through such tasks as reading a phone bill, where to go to find eldercare, or to whom they can complain about shady financial dealings. Copyright © 1997-2005 Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal
Consumer reporter Kirchheimer, who writes the "Scam Alert" column for the AARP [American Association of Retired Persons] Bulletin, here aims to help consumers avoid swindles, ripoffs, and the costly mistakes of service providers. In three main sections that coach readers on protecting money, health, and rights, Kirchheimer combines common sense with insider tips. He details the 12 most prevalent scams, including pyramid schemes, advance-fee loans, and foreign lotteries, and advises on everything from choosing a mortgage to avoiding pickpockets, fighting germs, battling an unfair job termination, and contesting a traffic ticket. The text is enhanced with graphics that highlight tips, resources, special warnings, and definitions. The author consulted numerous experts on his many topics, including people from both sides of the fence, e.g., he offers advice from car salesmen and repairmen on how to pay less and from consumer and healthcare advocates on getting the most for your money. He supports this information with both direct quotes and a "Panel of Experts" section that provides background, publications, and web links. Because the text covers more than just scams, it is broader in scope than Duane Swierczynski's The Complete Idiot's Guide to Frauds, Scams and Cons and is recommended for most public libraries.-Joan Pedzich, Harris Beach PLLC, Rochester, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402776861
  • Publisher: Sterling
  • Publication date: 9/10/2010
  • Series: AARP
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 541,115
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


Scam-Proof Your Life is the latest work by award-winning consumer crusader Sid Kirchheimer, who writes the popular “Scam Alert” column in The AARP Bulletin—the nation’s most widely circulated newspaper. Kirchheimer is the author of The Doctors Book of Home Remedies II (2 million copies sold), Never Pay Retail, and other critically acclaimed books devoted to empowering ordinary people to protect their money, time, health, and security.

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Table of Contents


Introduction     11
Protect Your Money
Cars: Don't Get Taken for a Ride     17
Buying New
Preparation That Pays
At the Dealership
Buying Used
Car Repairs
Prevent & Fight Traffic Tickets
Homes: Defend Your Dream     55
Mortgages
Closing Costs
Strategies for Buying & Selling
Home Repairs & Renovations
Credit Cards: Save Paper on Your Plastic     87
Tricks of the Credit-Card Trade
Avoid Common Cardholder Mistakes
"Rewards" That Don't
Telephone Service: Be a Talking Tightwad     107
Post-Deregulation Surprises
Long-Distance Savings
Common Phone Scams
College: Get Schooled on Scholarship Tools     129
Start Early for Payoff Later
University-Funded Scholarships
Private Scholarship Money
Essays That Excel
Travel: Go More Places for Less     151
Airlines
Hotels
Rental Cars
Cruises
Protect Your Health
Medical Errors: Avoiding Common Mistakes     179
Survive a Hospital Stay
Prevent Procedure Errors
Avert Medication Mishaps
Get More from Doctors
Health-Care Ripoffs: Shield Your Money & Your Life     201
Hospital Expenses
Tests & Procedures
Medications
Nursing Homes & Assisted-Living Residences
Everyday Protection: Halt Humdrum Health Hazards     229
Medication Smarts
Fighting Germs at Home & in Public
Food Safety
Protect Your Rights
Identity Theft: Armor-Plate Your Name & Reputation     245
Simple Steps to Take Now
Stop Junk Mail & Telemarketers
Shore Up Online Security
You've Been Victimized-Now What?
On the Job: Your Rights at Work     275
Avoiding a Layoff
Get More When You Say Goodbye
Fighting an Unlawful Dismissal
Starting Over
The Dirty Dozen: A Roundup of Common Scams     301
Advance-Fee Loans
ATM Skimming
Charity Cheats
Door-to-Door Deception
Employment Scams
Financial Account Updates & Alerts
Foreign Lotteries
Gift Grift
Government Cons
"Kid" Candy & Magazine Sales
Nigerian Letter
Pyramid Schemes
About the Author     324
Acknowledgments     325
Panel of Experts     326
Index     330
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2007

    Nice job, Sid

    I look forward to the author's Scam Alert articles in the AARP news each month. In this book, he maintains his quality level of work, if not exceeding it. Scam Alert usually tells the stories of victims of particular scams and then offers prevent this from happening to you guidence. In his book, Sid gives hundreds of useful tips and actions, all provided by named experts, to help you solve any possible consumer problem you may encounter. The advice is not the usual BS you read elsewhere that is comon sense. Rather, the tips talk about secret ways your identity is stolen and how you get overcharged in sleazy non publicized ways. I am a AARP member, but you don't have to be to benefit from Scam Proof Your Life. I have lend it my children who are in their 30's and they have also found it more than useful, and helping to save them money. I am pleased to know that this guy works hard to protect Americans from crooks.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2007

    A reviewer

    This is a fantastic book. Like other reviewers, I found it to be a must buy, an important read, and a great use of my time and money. After reading Scam-Proof Your Life, you will absolutely, positively save money, be a more savvy consumer, and learn stuff you never knew.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2007

    Feel Smarter

    I watched this author on Oprah and thought he knew his stuff. Bought this book a few days later and he proved he knew his stuff. Solid advice throughout with a who's who of consumer experts giving it. I feel smarter after reading SCAM Proof Your Life and just wanted to spread the word so maybe you will too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2007

    If you buy anything, buy this book first

    Whether you're a teenager or a senior citizen, Sid Kirchheimer wil open your eyes to the many sinister ways in which greedy people will try to take your money. This book is indispensible to anyone who buys goods and services of any kind. With the skills of an invesigative reporter, Kirchheimer exposes the many ways any of us can get scammed. He's a clear and enteraining writer who knows his stuff. Kirchheimer has written an important book that will surely rankle those who for so long have taken advantage of us consumers. Full of practial and useful advice, and worth every penny.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2007

    A sure buy

    This book opened my eyes about various scams and dirty dealings that occur every day. It's not only informative, but also a good read. Other books that are packed with information can sometimes be overwhelming, but this one has a breezy flow and writing style. Very well organized.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2007

    A must read for everyone

    This book was informative and easy to understand. Thumbs up~

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2007

    Get this Book. Protect Yourself and Your Family

    This book is very rich in content. It has easy to understand examples and information to follow to protect you from rotten people who prey on the elderly and the vulnerable. I love this book for what it can do for everyone! Don't be a victim! Get this book and begin today protecting your life from crooks. If you have older parents get this book and help them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2006

    Very worthwhile

    This is an excellent book that contains a lot of useful information. Strange enough, I first learned of Scam-Proof Your Life at a session for parents of high school students preparing for college. The speaker recommended this book, which has a very good chapter on getting college scholarships. I wouldn't expect that kind of information in a book from AARP, but this one has plenty of nice surprises, like advice from a professional burglar on where you should and shouldn't hide valuables, and tips from car salesmen on how they rip you off. Most of the information is about everyday issues on how to save money, and some I have heard, but I learned a great deal of new things reading this. I am writing this review because I had to buy this book online because it was not in stock at my local bookstore. Therefore, I think this is one of those books that most people probably do not know about it, but they should.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2006

    Incredible!!!

    This book is a God-send. When I refinanced my mortgage recently, I followed the advice to shave nearly $600 in closing costs that I would have paid. I have used it to shop for a car, get a new credit card, etc. I am a more confident consumer than I have ever been, thanks to this useful tome of tips and techniques. I also feel well-prepared against the numerous scams outlined in this book. Well-written, witty and thoroughly researched, this book was the best $15 I have spent in years. Truly a masterpiece that you will use day after day.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2006

    Tried and True

    I bought this book six weeks ago, after hearing the author on a radio program. Since then, I have tried some of the advice detailed in this book and have never been disappointed with the outcome. Although this book offers very good information on preventing scams, including some I never knew existed, it is primarily an extremely well-researched and thorough guide on how to make the most of your money and be a smarter consumer. I read many books on personal finance and believe this one has provided with me far more practical information than the others on everyday and big-ticket purchases. It was very handy when we went car shopping last week and I believe it helped us get a better deal, as we have been shopping since the summer. I strongly recommend it to everyone. It is easy to read and in fact, entertaining and humorous in some parts, and always gets to the point quickly. You will be surprised by how much you will learn in every section (the book is arranged by subjects such as cars, homes, credit cards, etc.) I keep my copy on my bedroom nightstand table, instead of our bookshelf, because I refer to it so often.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2006

    The Real Education

    I was sitting on the beach reading this tome of knowledge, and no less than 50 people asked me about it. This is a necessary read for anyone who spends money or time out in the real world. Extremely well documented, an easy layout to pick out the sections you need, and the family anecdotes make this very enjoyable which is not often said of consumer help books. I have already saved more than I spent on the book by following Mr. Kirchheimer's advice on travel. THIS book should be given to every college graduate!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2006

    From a non-fiction addict who's so cheap, I squeak.

    I was pleasantly surprised by the range of pertinent information this book covers. If I use just one of the seemingly more than 377 tips, I'll save my cover price expense multiple times over. Great inside info for all ages that can be put to use immediately.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2006

    Outstanding resource

    I thought I would sit down for a few minutes and skim the book, but I couldn't put it down. This book is jam-packed with helpful tips and lots of information that I didn't know, and I generally consider myself a savvy shopper. I realize now how many times I've stepped right into a consumer trap without even realizing what had happened. The author interviewed hundreds of industry 'insiders,' people who are in the best position to tell you how to avoid being ripped off when buying a car, getting a mortgage or credit card, paying a hospital bill, and much more. The section on identity theft should be required reading. This is a valuable book for anyone from high school age (for information about buying a car and the best ways to get money for college) and older.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2006

    A great book for anyone

    I have enjoyed and learned a lot reading the author's AARP column, and I bought this book based on that. But it has exceeded my expectations. This book contains page after page of useful, practical information, and despite its title suggesting it's about protecting your money, the 'Protect Your Health' has some of the best information on preventing medical errors and staying healthy that I have ever seen. This book is a great investment in yourself, whether or not you are a AARP member. I'm buying a copy for each of my 3 children because I'm keeping mine.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2006

    A MUST FOR EVERY HOME

    If you buy one book this year, this is the one -- it will more than pay for itself several times over. Don't read it cover-to-cover, but read it at your leisure, with whatever topic seems to capture your interest at the time. Before you know it, you'll have read every page and will be recommending it to friends and family. The content covers every age group, every economic situation, and everyone who either rents or owns a home or apartment, owns a cell phone, a computer, a car, a telephone, or has a student in college, etc. No one should miss this book Sid Kirchheimer, AARP's 'Scam Alert' expert, has done us all a service by writing this book. Don't miss this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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