We have become so used to disclosing private information about our lives at every turn that when someone asks us for our Social Security number, bank account number, or the like, we don't see these inquiries as the risk and intrusion into our lives that they are. Too often we answer these questions without the slightest thought about the damage that can be done with this information. We lock our front doors to keep a burglar from breaking in, but do nothing to prevent a criminal from stealing our personal and private information and maybe our complete identities.
In this book we will look at various different hoaxes, scams, and types of fraud. We will learn to recognize these crimes for what they are and we will look at things we can do to protect ourselves from becoming victims of these crimes. It is important to remember, however, that no book can identify every possible hoax, scam, or fraud or every variation on these crimes. There will always be some new twist, some new way that criminals find to take advantage of the unsuspecting.
What we can do is learn to recognize the most common of these crimes, and to recognize the underlying principles that make these crimes successful. With this awareness, and by taking certain common sense precautions, we can shield ourselves from these crimes, causing the criminals to move on to the many people who don't take these threats seriously.