Author: Colleen J. Pallamary
Publisher: Pallamary Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-6156-9702-4

Self-preservation has taken on a whole new meaning and self-defense is no longer just physical,” Colleen J. Pallamary writes in her book, Scammunition – How to Protect Yourself From Con Artists: A Guide for Baby Boomers and Beyond.

At one hundred and seventy-eight pages, this short paperback book depicts a golden egg in a nest on the front cover and a biography of the author and her photograph on the back cover. The book is targeted toward older adults; specifically the Baby Boomer generation that wants to be aware of scams and shams that infiltrate our daily lives. Page numbers in the table of contents do not match any of the twenty-five chapters or the sixty-seven page appendix. There are quite a few punctuation and capitalization errors but it is easy to understand although some words are capitalized for emphasis.

This book is separated into four main parts that include sophomoric drawings, simple sayings or copies of suggested letters or forms. The first part is about one-on-one interactions that deal with making a consumer complaint brief and concise, viewing an acceptable contractor estimate, procuring a binder with an insurance policy, thanking and saying please, keeping receipts safe, hiring competent caregivers and knowing the Funeral Rule. The second part covers when caller identification does not help, how to travel safely, dealing with supposed sweepstake winnings, telemarketing techniques, avoiding automatic debiting, ignoring too-good-to-be true offers, contacting the Better Business Bureau, and personalizing the “do not call” list. Part three is mainly about the computer and hackers in relation to online selling techniques, cyber scams, spyware, malware, phishing, pharming, spyware, false web sites and email addresses. The final fourth part involves “triads of trouble” such as bank, credit card, military, social media scams along with identity theft and protecting one’s identity, including a six page, hard-to-read ID Theft Affidavit from the FTC. The appendix contains state-by-state Better Business Bureau, federal agencies, and state/county/city offices information that could easily be gleaned from the internet.

One can learn different cons in duplicating bank emails to get your account number, scams that include mailing bogus money orders for more than the required amount and sweepstakes where you pay supposed fees to process. Some chapters include helpful websites, phone numbers or addresses to contact for more information.

This book might be helpful for the individual who needs to be reminded of common sense and common ploys being used in our society today. It would be a simple book for the elderly that needs written reiteration that there really are people out there taking monetary advantage of others. It is a good reminder to keep your personal data and information private and not freely give it out to anyone who asks for it.


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