Truth about Avoiding Scams (Truth About Series)

Overview

"You should read this book and take Steve Weisman's advice. And from the money and assets he helps you protect, take a few dollars and buy a copy for a good friend."

--Alan Colmes, Syndicated radio talk show host and co-host of Hannity and Colmes on Fox News Channel

Scams are everywhere...now discover exactly how to protect yourself!

· The truth about recognizing today’s newest scams--online and off

· The ...

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Overview

"You should read this book and take Steve Weisman's advice. And from the money and assets he helps you protect, take a few dollars and buy a copy for a good friend."

--Alan Colmes, Syndicated radio talk show host and co-host of Hannity and Colmes on Fox News Channel

Scams are everywhere...now discover exactly how to protect yourself!

· The truth about recognizing today’s newest scams--online and off

· The truth about safeguarding your money, health, and reputation

· The truth about phishing, vishing, pharming, slamming, and more

Scams have always been with us, and they always will be - except now, technology makes scammers' jobs even easier, enabling them to reach out from anywhere around the world, and take advantage of more people than ever before. No matter how smart you think you are, you can easily become a victim: in fact, scammers have discovered that educated, sophisticated individuals are among their best targets. The Truth About Avoiding Scams arms you with everything you need to protect yourself: real, up-to-the-minute knowledge, and the "internal sensors" you need to sniff out even the subtlest, most well-crafted scams. Consumer finance expert and nationally syndicated radio host Steve Weisman offers quick, bite-size, just-the-facts information about every type of fraud, from identity scams to computer-based fraud, travel and health scams to phony educational loans and scholarships. Weisman exposes the new epidemic of "affinity fraud," where "people just like you" target you based on your ethnicity, racial group, church, club, or fraternal organization. You'll find up-to-the-minute guidance on avoiding illegitimate online dating services; "cramming" and other phone frauds; tax and Social Security scams; employment, home repair, and investment scams; and a whole lot more.

Unlike some books on scams, this one's simple to read, simple to use, up to date, and complete: the only guide you need to keep yourself safe!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780132333856
  • Publisher: FT Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2008
  • Series: Truth About Series
  • Pages: 210
  • Sales rank: 1,449,661
  • Product dimensions: 5.47 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Weisman hosts the nationally syndicated radio show “A Touch of Grey,” heard on more than 50 stations, including WABC in New York City and KRLA in Los Angeles. He is a practicing lawyer and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. He is a sought-after public speaker and commentator and has appeared on many radio and television shows throughout the country. He is the Legal Editor of Talkers Magazine, the preeminent trade publication of talk radio. Along with being a practicing attorney, Steve is a Senior Lecturer at Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts. His books include A Guide to Elder Planning, 50 Ways to Protect Your Identity and Your Credit, and Boomer or Bust, all published by Pearson.

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Read an Excerpt

Introduction

Scams and fraud have been a part of history since the dawn of time. Many of the new scams we see today are not new at all but just variations on old cons. Schemes around in the 1500s and referred to as the Spanish Prisoner Scam have morphed over time to become the Nigerian Letter Scam of today. Claims of medical charlatans were as attractive to the early American colonists as they are to us now.

Clever con artists can manipulate every human need and desire. After all, they are the only criminals known as artists. And as much as we rightfully deplore their actions, we must recognize their art to better defend ourselves. Scam artists adapt their art to paint whatever picture they sense will make us vulnerable to their con. They know how to appeal to our own particular weaknesses and psychological makeup. They appeal to whatever works. They construct a network of "people like us" whom we trust; they trumpet legitimate and impressive-sounding business connections; they appeal to our fears; they appeal to our friendship; they appeal to our optimism; they appeal to our desire for quick and easy solutions to life's problems; and they appeal to our greed. Sometimes they even appeal to and exploit that little kernel of dishonesty that many people have.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, every year more than ten percent of Americans lose more than a billion dollars to scams. Interestingly, the largest group of victims is between the ages of 25 and 44; ages when you are young enough to know everything—which, of course, makes you more vulnerable to a scammer. Particularly troublesome is a study by the National Association of Securities Dealers which indicates that wealthy people, who are financially literate and astute, are actually more likely to be suckered in by a financial scam. The only defense against scammers is knowledge and skepticism. This book provides you with some of both. It teaches you how to recognize and avoid scams. Being aware of the criminals who are out to take your money is not enough. A scam by any other name is still a scam, and unfortunately, there are some scams that are perfectly legal that can cause you to lose money. Or perhaps they are imperfectly legal, but at this point in time, the law may not be on your side. A good example of a legal scam is what credit card companies can do legally in many instances. So read this book and gain the knowledge that can protect your wallet. This book teaches you the truth about scams and how to keep from becoming a victim of both illegal and legal scams.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Part I The Truth About Identity Theft 1

Truth 1 Identity theft 1

Truth 2 Go phish 5

Truth 3 Vishing down on the pharm 9

Truth 4 Do Not Call Registry, Patriot Act scams 13

Truth 5 Protect yourself from identity theft 15

Part II The Truth About Computer Scams 19

Truth 6 Trojan horse 19

Truth 7 PayPal, eBay 21

Truth 8 Second chances–eBay 23

Truth 9 Free adult entertainment 25

Truth 10 Two more for the road 27

Part III The Truth About Classic Scams 29

Truth 11 Ponzi scheme 29

Truth 12 Chain letters 33

Truth 13 A couple of the basics 37

Truth 14 Nigerian scam 41

Truth 15 Who knew? A flurry of old champs 45

Truth 16 More reasons to be wary 49

Truth 17 And you thought you’d heard it all 53

Truth 18 Money lost, borrowed, or gambled 57

Truth 19 Lottery and contest scams 61

Part IV The Truth About Getting Personal 65

Truth 20 Exercise scams 65

Truth 21 Weight loss scams 67

Truth 22 The CIA medical scam 71

Truth 23 Education scams 73

Truth 24 Romance scams 77

Truth 25 Rental care insurance 81

Truth 26 Personal information privacy 83

Part V The Truth About Telephone Scams 87

Truth 27 Cramming 87

Truth 28 900 numbers 89

Truth 29 Phony caller ID 93

Truth 30 Area code 809 95

Part VI The Truth About Tax Scams 97

Truth 31 Fear and loathing of the IRS 97

Truth 32 More tax scams 101

Truth 33 It just doesn’t stop 105

Part VII The Truth About Government Assistance 109

Truth 34 Social Security 109

Truth 35 Medicare 113

Truth 36 Veteran scams 115

Part VIII The Truth About Credit Card Scams 119

Truth 37 Credit cards 119

Truth 38 More credit card offers 123

Truth 39 Skimmers and ATM scams 127

Truth 40 Free credit report 133

Truth 41 Credit repair services 139

Truth 42 Credit counseling agencies 143

Truth 43 Credit card rate reduction scam 147

Truth 44 Advance fee credit cards 149

Truth 45 Credit card alarms in the night 153

Part IX The Truth About Employment Scams 155

Truth 46 Work-at-home schemes 155

Truth 47 Easy money 159

Truth 48 More wrong turns 161

Truth 49 Cruise ship employment scam 165

Truth 50 Get a job online scams 167

Part X The Truth About Home Scams 169

Truth 51 Home sweet scam 169

Truth 52 Variations on a theme 173

Part XI The Truth About Investment Scams 177

Truth 53 Stock scams 177

Truth 54 More investment scams 181

Truth 55 Unusual investment opportunities 185

Truth 56 Fees in legitimate investments 189

Truth 57 Free financial seminars 195

Part XII The Truth About Solutions 197

Truth 58 Some solutions 197

Truth 59 Keeping your computer secure 199

Truth 60 Wi-Fi 205

Truth 61 Due diligence 207

About the Author 210

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Preface

Scams and fraud have been a part of history since the dawn of time. Many of the new scams we see today are not new at all but just variations on old cons. Schemes around in the 1500s and referred to as the Spanish Prisoner Scam have morphed over time to become the Nigerian Letter Scam of today. Claims of medical charlatans were as attractive to the early American colonists as they are to us now.

Clever con artists can manipulate every human need and desire. After all, they are the only criminals known as artists. And as much as we rightfully deplore their actions, we must recognize their art to better defend ourselves. Scam artists adapt their art to paint whatever picture they sense will make us vulnerable to their con. They know how to appeal to our own particular weaknesses and psychological makeup. They appeal to whatever works. They construct a network of "people like us" whom we trust; they trumpet legitimate and impressive-sounding business connections; they appeal to our fears; they appeal to our friendship; they appeal to our optimism; they appeal to our desire for quick and easy solutions to life's problems; and they appeal to our greed. Sometimes they even appeal to and exploit that little kernel of dishonesty that many people have.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, every year more than ten percent of Americans lose more than a billion dollars to scams. Interestingly, the largest group of victims is between the ages of 25 and 44; ages when you are young enough to know everything—which, of course, makes you more vulnerable to a scammer. Particularly troublesome is a study by the National Association of Securities Dealers which indicates that wealthy people, who are financially literate and astute, are actually more likely to be suckered in by a financial scam. The only defense against scammers is knowledge and skepticism. This book provides you with some of both. It teaches you how to recognize and avoid scams. Being aware of the criminals who are out to take your money is not enough. A scam by any other name is still a scam, and unfortunately, there are some scams that are perfectly legal that can cause you to lose money. Or perhaps they are imperfectly legal, but at this point in time, the law may not be on your side. A good example of a legal scam is what credit card companies can do legally in many instances. So read this book and gain the knowledge that can protect your wallet. This book teaches you the truth about scams and how to keep from becoming a victim of both illegal and legal scams.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Read More Show Less

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