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.
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