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Gaming Guru

 

Protect yourself against fraud, liars with these two books

1 January 2009

With Wall Street, Internet and 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, opportunists promising 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 protect you from schemers, con men and out-and-out thieves:

21st Century Fraud (How to Protect Yourself in the New Millennium) by Tony Lesce (155 pages, paperbound, $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 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, paperbound, $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 nonverbal 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 having 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.

Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com
Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com