- Dave Kinzer
Scam-Proof Your Assets Book Review
Updated: Dec 8, 2020
If you’re not concerned at all about crooks stealing your money or identity with a scam, you should be.
According to www.nypost.com, nine out of ten Americans have been a victim of a scam, identity theft, or social media hacking. I knew the number would be high, but I never would have guessed it was that high.
Luckily, we have Garrett Sutton’s latest book, “Scam-Proof Your Assets: Guarding Against Widespread Deception”, to help. I recently read it and interviewed Garrett to discuss scams, scammers, and how to protect yourself and your money. To listen to the interview, tune in to the 14th episode of my podcast, also called “Money on the Brain.”
“Scam-Proof Your Assets” is an extensive look into the world of scams and scammers. It’s almost 250 pages long with 14 chapters.
For my interview with Garret Sutton, check out the 14th episode of my podcast, "Money on the Brain". Click HERE to listen to it.
To take a look at the book, click HERE. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)
Most of the chapters begin by telling the story of a crook and the particular scam he used to bilk others out of money. These stories were my favorite part of the book because it reminded me that the scams and tricks, and crooks and victims are all real. There’s always a part of me that hears about a scam and is incredulous: “How could they fall for that? I thought everyone knew that was a scam!”
Well, everyone doesn’t know. According to Sutton, over 20 million individuals fall victim to identity theft and fraud every year. That’s almost 55,000 people every single day.
Reading Sutton’s book gives me a little confidence that I won’t join that group anytime soon. What about you? Do you know the signs of a scam? How do you know if a business opportunity is legitimate or if it’s a Ponzi scheme? What is a Ponzi scheme and why are they illegal anyway? What are some telltale signs that someone is trying to rip you off?
“Scam-Proof Your Assets” addresses all of these questions, and more.
Sutton offers practical advice throughout the book. He says when you are approached and asked to invest in an incredible investment, sit back, research it, think about it, and wait a little bit. If it’s an actual opportunity from an honest businessman, it will likely still be there in a few days or weeks. Crooks tell you that you have to invest today, or more likely, right now, because the opportunity will disappear soon.
He also says you can protect yourself from falling for scams by approaching all business opportunities with a healthy dose of critical thinking and skepticism.
So the Nigerian prince needs an American friend to safely store $135 million, and you’re the lucky person he selected? To receive your share, all you need to do is wire $4,300 to him to pay for various fees. Critical thinking and skepticism should both tell you to simply hit “delete”. Okay, so that’s an easy one.
Or is it?
Remember, scammers use these methods because they work. Sutton made the point in our discussion that all the scammers need is one person to fall for the Nigerian email scam, and they’ll rake in tens of thousands of dollars. Fool five or ten people? Now they’re getting six figures, easily. They’re not worried about the 100,000 people who hit delete.
One common characteristic of many scams Sutton wrote about is the method of payment. So many victims lost their money when they were asked to send payment by wire.
Usually, after the victim wired the money to the crook’s account, the crook immediately withdrew the money and closed the account. When the victim realized he’d been swindled several days later, it was too late to do anything. The scammer and the money were long gone. That happened over and over in the book.
If someone asks you to pay by wiring money to them, I would instantly be suspicious.
Sutton also gives advice for protecting your money when donating to charities, joining online dating sites, investing for retirement, and buying, selling, or renting real estate, among other topics.
I would argue that you can’t protect yourself very well against scams if you don’t know the methods and techniques crooks use to steal your money. Reading “Scam-Proof Your Assets” will take care of that. I highly recommend that you read it.