Sunday, October 9, 2011

Week 41: The Con

Everybody should read this book! The Con is a primer on scams and the people who run them. There are great descriptions of the many ways that people will try to steal from you, from the old pigeon drop to Nigerian fraud to fake fund-raising and the worst of them all, identity theft. Learn how to avoid scams, and what to do if you are fooled or if your Social Security number is stolen. I had a hard time putting it down.

Stories of people who have gotten scammed keep the book interesting and sympathetic. It moves fast and is a quick read, easy for anyone to get through.

What I mainly learned is that it really is necessary to be careful. I don't have to be paranoid, but I do need to be prepared to respond to con artists, because they are all over the place. We've all been asked for "gas money" in a parking lot, but there are scams to fit every profile and no matter how smart you are, you can still get conned when someone figures out your weakness. And sometimes even our closest friends or our relatives are the ones taking advantage.

This is a 'necessary life skills' kind of book and I'd want any teenager to read it. My daughter is reading it (by her own request) and I think I'll have my husband look at it too.

And I got a little laugh out of it when I was about halfway through the book and got a phone call that was a type of scam I've never gotten before! A guy tried to tell me that I'd won a prize and that 'they' wanted to deliver it to me. It was a pretty sad attempt, really, but "You've won!" is a common hook.

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