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BNH Book Review: Scam Me If You Can

Published Friday Sep 25, 2020

Author Terri Schlichenmeyer of The Bookworm Sez

“Scam Me If You Can”
by Frank W. Abagnale
2019, Portfolio/ Penguin
$19/337 pages

You’ve heard the horror stories: people scammed out of their life savings, businesses targeted by ransomware, computers hijacked with malware. It makes you wonder if you’re doing enough to avoid becoming a victim of technology thieves.

The answer to that is “no,” according to “Scam Me If You Can” by Frank W. Abagnale, who was a scammer himself for part of his life. Boiler-room thieves are constantly looking for ways to get around technology blocks, firewalls, and the like. They know exactly how to find your personal information online (it’s easy). Chances are, you’re already an open book on some database. Scammers know how to suss out information better than you know how to hide it. In fact, more than 16 million Americans in 2017 were victims of fraud.

So what can you do? Never let your guard down when talking to strangers. In public, watch your belongings. Don’t become complacent. If a stranger makes you feel pressured, walk away or hang up. Question fees, especially anything you’re asked to pay up front. Never give personal information to someone who calls you with a “deal.”

Abagnale recommends lightening your wallet by carrying only what you need. Invest in the right kind of shredder and shred everything. Know how to hire a trustworthy banker, accountant, IT person and other related service providers. Learn what you can do to protect your small business from hacking and ransomware. Don’t answer an unrecognized phone call or press “2” to be taken off a list. Doing either is a mistake, as you’ll learn inside this informative, important book.

“Scam Me If You Can” is the kind of book you’ll want to buy multiple copies: one for you, one for your parents and one for the office and for anybody who holds your information.

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