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Outsmarting the Scam Artists: How to Protect Yourself From the Most Clever Cons Paperback – February 13, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (February 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118173643
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118173640
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #616,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Praise for Outsmarting the Scam Artists

"Outsmarting the Scam Artists takes the playbooks from a dozen colorful villains and turns them into an entertaining and easy-to-read tutorial on how to protect yourself from fraud. A terrific, readable book!" —Jane Bryant Quinn, financial writer and author of the bestsellerMaking the Most of Your Money Now

"Are you into The Grifters and Spenser? Do you cherish Raymond Chandler? This is a nonfiction treatment on 'the con' industry that deserves a place in the mystery bookstore; beyond that, it's a primer on how not to get conned yourself."—Paco Underhill, author of the bestseller Why We Buy

"Time after time when I was attorney general, I saw heartbreaking stories of people being scammed out of savings by sophisticated con men. In today's digital age, it's smart for both older Americans and their families to verse themselves in the topic with a book like this."—Christine Gregoire, Governor, State of Washington

"For over a decade, researchers have been trying to understand how con men get consumers to hand over their hard-earned money. This remarkable book combines findings from behavioral science with the con men's own stories to bring us provocative new insights that can greatly reduce the chance of being victimized. It is a must-read for everyone interested in protecting themselves or joining the fight against financial exploitation." —Laura Carstensen, PhD, Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity and author of A Long Bright Future: Happiness, Health, and Financial Security in an Age of Increased Longevity

"Outsmarting the Scam Artists does something remarkable, providing a simultaneously insightful, informative, and engaging account from the front lines of deceptive persuasion. For their protection, I want everyone in my family to read this book."—Robert B. Cialdini, author of the bestseller Influence: Science and Practice

"Outsmarting the Scam Artists offers a fascinating look at how fraud schemes work from the perspective of the cons who perpetrate them. These veteran fraudsters offer up secrets about who they target, what tactics they employ, and how you can inoculate yourself from harm. Anyone whom cares about his or her own financial security will benefit from reading this book."—Gerri Walsh, President, FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) Investor Education Foundation


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Customer Reviews

There are definitely priceless lessons to be learned in this book.
Robert Louis Watson Jr.
The book makes the point that anyone can be taken under the right circumstances and that many very smart and highly educated people have fallen victim to cons.
Bruce
They really appreciated the book, and once they were finished, I read it and really enjoyed it.
zigerCO

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Bruce on March 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
This fascinating book is filled with inside stories from con artists themselves and really explains the techniques they use to defraud people out of their life savings. The amounts of money these criminals can scam people out of is just amazing. The book makes the point that anyone can be taken under the right circumstances and that many very smart and highly educated people have fallen victim to cons. After reading this book, I can understand why! Con artists are masters at pushing the right buttons and Shadel has done a great job of finding out and describing how they do it. And he's met some very colorful characters in his research.

I recommend this book for anyone who has a nest egg to protect. Also for anyone who is intrigued by the criminal mind. You'll certainly look at those "too good to be true" pitches differently.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Nancy McCormick on April 30, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very timely and interesting book that applies not just to seniors but anyone who might be suseptible to a scam. The background of who scammers are and what people can do to protect themselves is especially interesting. AARP has many articles in its magazine about seniors being scammed, and this book brings a lot of the information together.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By wogan TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a book put out by the AARP, but it could and should stand in good stead for anyone. It covers scam artists, con artists and how to fight fraud. There is a fraud vulnerability quiz and a fraud prevention resource list. There is no index and little information on internet scam. This should have merited at least a small chapter. It is also lacking advice on how to avoid scams or being taken in by people doing work, like construction or remodeling. This is a huge area that needed to be covered.

The information that is in here is helpful, there are inserts on the pioneers of fraud, tables, charts that list information such as common persuasion tactics. There are stories form former scam artists, what they did, advice on what to do and not do.
It is a good book, it should have been better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Citizen John TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 31, 2012
Format: Paperback
This way of trying to steer clear of scams is irrefutable yet scammers must eat to survive. The starting point is actual scam artists, what they have to say. The end point is advice to avoid making an emotionally-charged decision.

We need to believe we can be or will be scammed and then appreciate why. Living to run another day is not merely about being well-informed, street-smart or a good judge of character.

Very bright people are among Madoff's victims. They had street smarts and attorneys. Madoff and his backers caught them all the same. As they say, no prairie rabbit dies a natural death.

Scammers have powerful allies that benefit too. For example, some major financial powerhouses are shown to have benefited from the Madoff scam to the tune of billions. Like other predators, Madoff didn't do it by himself. For this reason, scammers are often curiously powerful.

Scammers use a particular weapon on people. Author Doug Shadel calls it "ether." We're likely to fall under the ether, figuratively, at the time we get emotional.

In a heightened state of emotion, it's difficult to think rationally. Scam artists manipulate the situation to close a deal of some sort when their victim is in a heightened state of emotion. What in hindsight looks bad can look good when emotions are heightened - at any age.

If you're perfectly unemotional or else routinely postpone decision-making for a day, you should be relatively difficult to scam. Scammers will move on to a target that can be paralyzed for a moment - with figurative ether.

Behind ether-wielding scam artists are higher-level players that benefit most. The struggle to benefit from the fruits of our labors goes on and on.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By zigerCO on August 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
I bought this book for an older relative knowing that older adults can be very vulnerable to this type of crime. They really appreciated the book, and once they were finished, I read it and really enjoyed it. I thought I knew everything about these types of scams because I read the paper and stay on top of current events, however I learned quite a bit and learned the scammer perspective
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Norm Deets on January 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found the book interesting and helpful. It gave you an insight into the people who are con artists and the lives they lead.

It also explained the various popular scams, how you get hooked and how to avoid them. The apppendix offered helpful information on who to contact to avoid scams and who can help if you are.

The only downside is the book was a little repetative but I think the point of that is well taken.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marsha Collier on October 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
Social engineering is how scammers find out your information in seemingly benign ways. Intelligent folks fall prey to scams and can end up losing huge amounts of money to those with criminal intent. Reading this book arms the reader with information and caveats to protect themselves. Doug Shadel uses examples and experience to keep the reader safe.

A highly recommended read for all.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Filmhits on September 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book to be a scam itself. It does not educate, not point out most of today's banking, phishing, and other scams especially internet scams. I found it redundant . Keeps rehashing about "Phone Booth Scams" and gold and silver scams .(Are people still "investing" in telephone booths?...were they ever?..)
Shame on you, AARP for even promoting this in your AARP magazine..
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More About the Author

Doug Shadel, AARP Washington State Director
Prior to joining AARP in 1993, Doug worked for the Washington State Attorney General's Office as a Fraud Investigator from 1979 to 1989. From 1989 to 1993, he was a Special Assistant to the Attorney General, organizing numerous statewide coalitions and consumer education programs focused primarily on protecting older adults from fraud and exploitation. Doug began his career with AARP in 1993 as the Consumer Affairs Director and was responsible for the development of programming and outreach efforts. He was later appointed as an AARP Field Operations Consultant and was a key architect of AARP's national anti-telemarketing fraud campaign. He has developed numerous consumer education videos and publications and is the author of five books. In 2000, he received the FBI Director's Award for Exceptional Public Service for his role in co-founding the Telemarketing Victim Call Center in Los Angeles. Doug has a Master's degree in Public Administration from Evergreen State College and a Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Seattle University and a PhD in Social Science from Tilburg University.

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