Thursday, February 14, 2013

Premier Virtual Book Tours: "Scammed" by Art Maines Guest Post

Publisher : Love Your Life Publishing,  October  12, 2012
Category: Non-Fiction
Tour Dates: January & February, 2013
Available in: Print and ebook, 210 pages
One in Five US Seniors are Scam Victims, Learn How to Prevent and Recover from this Crime:
When author Art Maines’ beloved stepfather Bill was cheated out of thousands of dollars, Art went on a mission to ensure no other family experiences this tragic crime.
In Scammed, Art provides a three step scam prevention and recovery program, based on his training as a social worker, therapist, and his extensive research.  Suitable for seniors or children of elderly parents, Scammed will help you:
  • Understand the most common types of scams
  • Learn the psychological ploys used by scammers so that you can spot a scammer immediately
  • Create a scam prevention plan
  • Recover from a scam with your dignity intact
  • Use the resources in your community if you suspect a scam
Praise for Scammed:
“just finished reading this book. this would be a great resource for people finding themselves in the unenviable position of being scammed or finding that they have a parent who has been scammed. it is packed full of practical, clear advice on what steps to take when you don’t know where to turn or how to get started on recovering from being scammed. this book also gives valuable direction on how to be proactive and to get started on protecting yourself or your parent from becoming a scam victim.” Peggy I. Montgomery, Reviewer
“An excellent guide to helping your parent avoid predators.”~ N. Kortner Nygard, Ph.D., Geriatric Psychologist
“A wealth of advice to help heal the emotional and physical aftermath of scams.”~Jennifer L. Abel, Ph.D., author of Active Relaxation
“A simple breakdown of scams that target the elderly with a battle plan to protect and prevent” ~Detective Joe Roubicek, Author of Financial Abuse of the Elderly; A Detective’s Case Files of Exploitation Crimes
“This is an important book for anyone with elderly parents.”.~Gregory W. Lester, Ph.D.

The Top Ten Scams Perpetrated Against Senior Citizens (Guest post by the author)

You may have gotten an email about winning a foreign lottery or a request for money to bail a family member out of jail.  These frauds are common online, so common in fact that we may just laugh them off and hit delete.
However, there is a sinister side to scamming.  Scammers are targeting more and more senior citizens and bilking them out of money they cannot easily replace.  In fact, one in every five Americans over 65 falls prey to scammers, creating financial devastation, shame, and heartbreak. 
Here are the top 10 scams to be aware of and to warn seniors about:

1. Telemarketing scams. These take on a myriad of forms, trying to sell your parent something like a time share, or telling them they won a prize, etc. 

2. “Nigerian Scam,” also known as an “advance-fee” scam. This is where the crooks tell your elder they can earn some money and help the scammer get some money out of a bad situation in a foreign country by either sending the criminals some money, or giving the criminals their bank account number.

3. Care giver fraud. This type of crime is especially cruel because of the “enemy within” features present.  There are many kind, honest, and devoted caregivers in this world. Unfortunately, there are far too many of the other kind as well. 

4. Home repair rip-offs. Most of the time, the crook approaches an elderly person with a story they concocted about some dire problem with their home.

5. Fake checks. Your senior may receive a very convincing-looking check or money orders in the mail. The instructions are usually some variation of “deposit this check in your bank and send us (the scammers) X amount of dollars. Keep the rest for helping us out.” The problem is the bank is required to give your parent access to their money from the fake check right away, but when the check turns out to be phony (usually a few days to a few weeks later) your parent is on the hook for the whole amount.

6. Phony winnings, whether small or large. As with many scams, this can take many forms, including foreign lotteries and impostors claiming to be from a legitimate sweepstakes calling to tell your parent they’ve won a prize. A more recent version is an email or pop-up ad on the computer screen saying they’ve won a gift card. Often these are schemes to commit identity theft in addition to stealing money

7. Magazine subscription “services.” Many people buy magazines from legitimate telemarketers. However, scammers like to target seniors for this type of scam as it is a small purchase that may not cause the senior to think much about it. Once Mom or Dad has fallen into this form of fraud, it can be extremely difficult to cancel the subscriptions. 

8. Romantic relationship-based scams. This type may not apply to your Dad or Mom, so feel free to skip this part if it doesn’t. I’m writing about it because so many elder widows and widowers get taken by smooth-talking con men/women. According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, women over 50 are the biggest targets of online romance scams. 

9. Investment scams. There are a million different types of these as well, ranging from Bernie Madoff-style schemes to unscrupulous investment “seminars” which include lunch and a pitch for investment in a high-return proposition. With all the uncertainty and losses in the stock market and real estate, plus virtually non-existent interest rates, elders are more vulnerable than ever to a slick con artist with great promises.

10. The parking lot scam, also known as the pigeon drop.  Variations of this scam include someone who claims to have a large sum of found money, a car problem, or some other form of distress. Con artists will target elders in public for their perceived vulnerabilities, including their eagerness to help. Sometimes these scams are about stealing money, but other times the criminals are looking for credit cards or personal information with which to commit identity theft. The goal here is not to make them terrified of strangers, but to give them the confidence to handle anyone who approaches them in a questionable way.

Talk to your parents about these scams regularly so that they can be on the alert for fraudsters. Remind them that the crooks will be kind, friendly, and nice.  Elders often expect scammers to be ‘bad guys’.  The most successful scammers use warmth, interest, and pseudo-friendship to lure the senior into trusting them before ripping them off.

Art Maines, LCSW, is a therapist in private practice and an expert in Elderly Fraud Recovery and Prevention.  His new book Scammed: 3 Steps to Protect Your Elder Parents and Yourself, gives in-depth information on scam prevention and recovery.

About the Art Maines:
Art Maines, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice, speaker, and expert in elderly fraud recovery and prevention.  He earned his Master’s Degree in social work from Washington University in St. Louis, MO.  Art and his stepfather Bill live in St. Louis.
Visit Art Maines Website
Buy Scammed at: PaperbackKindle 
Barnes & Noble: PaperbackNook 
The Book Depository: Paperback

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for taking part in the tour and hosting Art!


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