With Wall Street, and Internet, telephone scams on the increase (and they are cropping up everywhere), it pays to be knowledgeable, to be able to protect yourself from being conned by slick promoters,Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," is the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he has held since 1979. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry. Howard's website is www.gamblersbook.com opportunists claiming something for nothing. In some cases, just being able to detect a liar may be enough to keep you from investing hard-earned money in some fraudulent scheme. It just takes a little education and then application of the new knowledge.
Here are two books to help get you started in self-protection, to prepare you from schemers, con men, out-and-out thieves:
21st Century Fraud (How to Protect Yourself in the New Millennium) by Tony Lesce (155 pages, paper bound, $15.95), was published nine years ago, but in 15 chapters it covers a lot of territory that is timeless. Among the most important sections are telephone scams, cellular phone, credit card fraud, computer and Internet fraud, stockbrokers, the Nigerian fax and computer scam, advertising and marketing fraud, and fundraising scams.
In this easy-reading book the author explains the background of the con or scams, offers examples and indicates how you can counter or sidestep the con man’s moves. In addition, the book provides resources where you can write or call with complaints or to judge the legitimacy of claims.
There are many scams you might not know about that you should be ready to spot immediately—things like the phony accident set-ups by teams of people who fake injuries, airport scams where when your attention is diverted at the baggage scanner so a thief can grab your luggage and be gone within seconds. Overall, for the elderly, for the very-trusting and for those who never expect to be victimized at home, or away from home, the book is vital protection at a reasonable price.
Conner O’Seanery has written a marvelous self-protection book for the keen observer who might also apply the information gleaned from his research to poker, human resources (hiring new personnel) or watching politicians act innocent when they’re not. Titled You Won’t Get Fooled Again (109 pages, paper bound, $10.95), O’Seanery’s book outlines the verbal slips and physical “tics” of a liar. In six chapters he offers examples of how people lie when they talk, what you can spot as non-verbal signs of deception, how to detect out-and-out liars, most of which you can do in person face to face, watching television or listening closely on the telephone.
Some examples include touching the nose, pausing too long, smiling at the wrong time, giveaways with the eyes, closing the hands and interlocking fingers or have a dry mouth. Identifying the patterns, often called “tells” in poker, can be vital.
The author delves into lie detectors, how the Ponzi scheme operated and who Ponzi was and who the best living detectors of lies (among the various government and law enforcement personnel) are.
After reading this work you’ll probably pay more attention to sales pitches, TV commercials, used car dealers and those running for political office than ever before and feel better about your ability to detect truths.
Any item reviewed here is available from Gambler's Book Shop (Gambler's Book Club). The store's web site is www.gamblersbook.com. You may order there using MasterCard, VISA or Discover (no CODs please) or by phoning the store any day except Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time at 1-800-522-1777. Orders usually shipped the next working day. The store, now in its 44th year, is located a mile from downtown Las Vegas, a block west of Maryland Parkway, just off Charleston Boulevard at South 11th Street. You may view the store's complete array of books, videos and software via the Web site or request a hard copy of the catalog be mailed free and first class. The store's address is 630 S. 11th St., Las Vegas, NV 89101.
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