Monday, February 11, 2013


Scammed: 3 Steps to Help Your Elder Parents and Yourselfby Art Maines
Love Your Life Publishing,  October  2012
Trade Paperback, 210 pages
ISBN-13: 9781934509524

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

My Thoughts:
Scammed: 3 Steps to Help Your Elder Parents and Yourself by Art Maines is the kind of book you hope you never need but it's great to know that it's available if that concern should arise.  And that need may arise so it might behoove those of us with elderly parents to take this seriously. According to Maines, "Seniors make up about 12 percent (and rising) of the US population, but are approximately 35 percent of all fraud victims." (pg. xvi) Maines is talking about several different kinds of scams, frauds and exploitation targeting our elderly parents. Maines took up this educational cause after he helped his stepfather, Bill, through the aftermath of an ongoing scam that ended up robbing him of tens of thousands of dollars.

Maines writes: "My main purpose in writing this book is to help you help your parents or other loved one deal with and recover from the awful experience of getting ripped off by professional scam artists. I provide the three steps I took in handling a series of scams perpetrated on my 82-year-old stepfather in 2009. Though the specific details of your experience will be different from mine, I provide ideas and resources to help you manage and minimize the damage from this type of crime." (pg. xxi)

Scammed is set up to make providing help and guidance very accessible to the reader. The easy to read, informative style shouldn't be intimidating to anyone. The advice is very well organized. There really is a plethora of good, common-sense advice as well as some very specific steps that you need to take, organizations you need to contact, hurdles you might encounter, and even proactive ways to prevent scams.

I loved the fact that Maines even made it clear that you need to keep good records as you gather evidence - including notebooks, a filing system, and logs for everything and all information. This is something that most of us instinctively know, but I had to ask myself how many times do I make important phone calls and jot down notes and details I know I need on scratch paper. This reminder to approach helping your parents purposefully and carefully is a great reminder.

The contents of Scammed

Section One: Getting Scammed and the Recovery Steps
Bill's Story
Chapter 1: Step 1 - Discovery: Gather the Vital Information Quickly
Chapter 2: Step 2 - Protect Your Parents: Stop the Bleeding and Lock Down Their Assets
Chapter 3: Recovery: Plan Your Parent's Financial Recovery

Section Two: Emotional Challenges and the Psychology of Scamming
Chapter 4: Helping your Parents Recover Emotionally
Chapter 5: Handling Your Own Emotions: The Importance of Good Self-Care
Chapter 6: The Psychology of Scamming: An Introduction to How the Scammers Do It and What That Can Teach Us

Section Three: Prevention: The Scam-Resistant Elder
Chapter 7: First Things
Chapter 8: Unmet Needs, the Five FLAGS and Scam Drills
Chapter 9: Preventing More Pain: Financial Abuse and Identity Theft

Section Four: Putting the Steps into Practice with Three Common Problems
Chapter 10: Recovering from Telemarketing Scams
Chapter 11: Recovering from Home Repair Rip-offs
Chapter 12: Recovering from Financial Identity Theft

Final Thoughts
Appendix: Resources and Recommended Reading; Relevant Websites for Each Step of the 3-Step Process; Books; State Contact Information;

As you can see, Scammed is a short book packed with information. And if information is power, scam prevention is the key. Maines makes it clear that it is better to "Never let yourself be chosen. Always do the choosing." (pg. 104)

 Very Highly Recommended

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.
Come back tommorrow for a guest post by Art Maines, author of Scammed. 
Although I would recommend everyone read the whole book, I asked Art  to address the question: What is the single most important fact that you would like people to remember after reading Scammed?

Disclosure: I received an advanced reading copy of this book from the author and Premier Virtual Author Book Tours for review purposes.  

1 comment:

Teddy Rose said...

I'm glad you could recommend Scammed so highly. I found it really helpful my mother in-law has already been scammed once and I'm afraid my mom could just as easily be scammed.