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The Art of the Steal: An Ex-Con Artist's True Stories of Fraud and How to Prevent It--America's #1 Crime
by Frank W Abagnale
Frank W. Abagnale recounted his career as a master imposter and forger. Abagnale tells the story of how he parlayed his knowledge of cons and scams into a successful career as a consultant on preventing financial foul play while showing you how to identify and outsmart perpetrators of fraud. Technology made it easier to track down criminals, but cyberspace spawned a skyrocketing number of ways to commit crime--much of it untraceable. Businesses lose $400 billion a year from fraud. If we were able to do away with fraud for 2 years, we'd erase the national debt and pay Social Security for 100 years. However, punishment for committing fraud, and recovery of stolen funds, seldom happens: Once a victim, you won't get your money back. Prevention is the best form of protection. You'll read the stories of swindles, like the mustard squirter trick and the "rock in the box" ploy, and meet the criminals like the famous Vickers Gang who perpetrated them. You'll find out why crooks wash checks and iron credit cards and why a thief brings glue with him to the ATM. And learn how to recognize a bogus check or a counterfeit bill, and why you shouldn't write your grocery list on a deposit slip.



Fraud in the DMV -- Thousands of fraudulent California licenses are issued to identity thieves and illegal immigrants who use them to loot bank accounts, secure loans, or establish a legal status. The DMV also issues thousands of license plates and car titles to auto thieves who pose as the vehicle's true owner. DMV rarely checks for identification, even though it's required by law.

Beyond Fear, Bruce Schneier takes a critical look at threats to our security, and the ways we're encouraged to think about security by law enforcement agencies, businesses and our national governments and militaries. Schneier believes we all can be better security consumers, and that the trade-offs - in terms of cash outlays, taxes, inconvenience, and diminished freedoms - should be part of an ongoing negotiation in our lives. He explains why we need to design security systems that don't just work well, but fail well, and why secrecy on the part of government often undermines security. He also believes that national ID cards are a bad idea. He thinks online shopping is fundamentally safe, and the airline security measures are effective.

Scammed: County Clerk Cashes -- By all appearances, Mel Spillman was a man of exceptional means. On weekends he was a fixture on the vintage race-car circuit. He owned a gated home in an exclusive neighborhood of San Antonio and he raced vintage cars. He had five Ferraris. But Spillman, 55, wasnt a Texas tycoon. He was a courthouse clerk, who processed wills and estates for the county. He made $33,000 a year. It was just another county job, Spillman says. How could this mild-mannered courthouse employee afford such a lavish life style? By stealing from the dead.

Scammed: Credit Repair A Rip-off? -- Sean Hanes and his wife Patti were raising their four kids. Two years ago, things were different. Sean, a mailman, owned his own home. But the Haneses were struggling. Years back, they had declared bankruptcy. They were deep in debt. Their credit rating was in ruins. So they turned to a credit repair company called ICR Services.

Scammed: Psychic Shenanigans? -- Linda Marks calls herself a gypsy psychic. She says she can tell your fortune for $35. Im a pretty good judge of people. Been doing this for 30 years, says Marks, 54, who lives in Delray Beach, Fla. I give em all the right answers. She says she has made around $2 million over her career. But Delores Hoffert says Marks is a criminal. According to Hoffert, Marks stole almost $300,000 from her late husband. Leroy Hoffert had been given only six months to live when he first met Marks. Delores says Marks told her husband she could cure his cancer. He thought he was going to die if she didnt intervene, she says. But Linda Marks help would cost money lots of money. He recently died from the disease, at the age of 87.

Scammed: Sticky-fingered Valets -- In many cities a night on the town means handing your car keys to a complete stranger. In Los Angeles, the valet parking capital of America, you have a 1 in 4 chance of having that stranger clean out your car while he parks it. Los Angeles police detective, Mike Fesperman, says police know this is going on but such cases are hard to prosecute. We just dont have the evidence, we dont have the proof, he says.

How Pickpockets Work -- You'd be amazed at how easily someone could rob you without you even knowing it. People have been making a living this way for centuries. Find out how to protect yourself.

Identity theft has become a booming criminal enterprise, damaging personal reputations and threatening the nation's security. Law enforcement can't keep up, and everyone is vulnerable.

Dangerous House Calls -- How Much Do You Know About the People Working in Your Home? Most of us can't imagine inviting a convicted felon into our home.

Sense and Security - New York subway crime has dropped dramatically. Savvy riders still avoid making eye contact, steer clear of altercations and never ride in an empty car. National geographic

Workplace Violence -- 6 Steps to Avoid Being a Victim

Credit-Card Fraud -- As you review your credit-card statement, you notice purchases you never made, from companies you've never heard of. You're a victim of credit-card fraud.

Your Credit Could Be Ruined -- Any thief who gets your name, credit card account number and Social Security number, could take over your credit accounts and open new ones. They use your credit to get a job, car loan or rent an apartment.

A biochip for potential kidnap victims -- Foreign executives who are kidnapping targets in Latin America will be able to use implantable ID chips and personal GPS devices to thwart abductors.

Auto Theft -- A vehicle is stolen every 23 seconds, according to a 1998 report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).

More Rights Made Us Less Free -- Due process has run amok, smothering the abilities of authorities to follow their instincts and get things done. The Atlantic Monthly


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Copyright Kari Sable 1994-2006

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Con Men: Fascinating Profiles of Swindlers and Rogues from the Files of the Most Successful Broadcast in Television History
by 60 Minutes
60 Minutes exposes a group of swindlers and rogues: extraordinary characters of ABSCAM, pyramid-scheme millionaires and stock-market crooks, snake-oil salesmen and art forgers. Many of them are diabolical -- all of them are intriguing. Kirby Hensley, the illiterate purveyor of church ministries to millions via mail-order; Clifford Irving, who fabricated Howard Hughes's "autobiography" for hundreds of thousands of dollars; the Reverend R. J. Rudd, promised a cure for cancer; Sante and Kenneth Kimes, the notorious mother and son grifters convicted of murdering wealthy Manhattanite Irene Silverman; and John Ackah Blay-Miezah, who claimed to hold the key to a fortune convinced others to put up millions. These and other stories brought to life by the bite and humor of 60 Minutes. Featuring an introduction by Mike Wallace, with insights into the coverage of cons, and intriguing updates on the outcome of each of the stories.

Security and Crime Prevention
by Robert L. O'Block
Rising crime rates indicate the need for crime prevention in government, business and neighborhoods. Practical information for creating safe and secure communities, businesses, and individuals.This has been adopted by colleges and universities as the standard textbook in the field. Executive Director of the American Board of Forensic Examiners, Dr. O'Block earned his Ph.D. form Kansas State University for his work in criminology, sociology, psychology, administration, and education. His articles have appeared in the The Police Chief and The Journal of Police Science and Administration.

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