Timely, relevant counsel on how to avoid con artists.



An attorney offers an all-encompassing exposé of financial scams.

This Rich Dad Advisor book departs from the primary focus of the series—business and investment advice. Instead, Sutton, a practicing attorney and the author of numerous other Rich Dad titles, focuses his attention on financial fraud schemes and how to prevent them. According to Sutton, “over 3.2 million Americans report incidents of fraud each year, and that’s only the people who actually said anything—a great many don’t.” Most chapters offer case studies of a particular type of scam followed by the author’s observations. Each study is engaging and often disturbing; clearly, it was Sutton’s intent to raise concern, if not fear, among his readers about the many ways in which people can be deceived. Some scammers, such as Charles Ponzi, whose name lives on in the term Ponzi scheme, and Bernard Madoff, who was convicted of perpetrating one such scheme that raked in billions of dollars, will be familiar to many readers while others are more obscure. However, these people are less important than the nature of their deceptions, about which Sutton goes into impressive detail. Particularly notable is the sheer breadth of his content; his examples include in-person, telephone-based, and online scams and address such crimes as identity theft (which affects more than 17 million victims annually, according to Sutton); phony sweepstakes; email solicitations; “vanity scams,” such as ineffective weight-loss products; and fraudulent real estate investments, among others.

Sutton cautions that anyone, regardless of age or class, is susceptible to con games, but he notes that “Seniors age seventy and up lose more money, by far, to scam artists and fraudsters than any other generation.” Indeed, some of the more heartbreaking cases here involve the elderly. One such example tells the story of an 85-year-old woman who was bilked by phone into believing that she’d won a Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes in 2018. She lost close to $28,000 to the con artist for “taxes and fees” before the hoax was discovered by the victim’s daughter. Some readers may find these dramatic accounts of personal tragedies to be quite unsettling; for the most part, though, the case studies are instructive and cautionary in tone, showing exactly how several deceptions work in the real world. What’s more, Sutton provides both general and specific guidance on how to identify and protect oneself against such scams. For example, his “profile of your typical scammer” is an insightful list of 11 richly described attributes, such as “They like to tell you how the clock is ticking”; that list is followed by 13 equally insightful “things that make for a good mark,” which may give pause to any reader. The closing chapter’s excellent suggestions for developing “scam radar” supply a comprehensive checklist that’s as solid a resource as one could possibly find. Overall, Sutton’s prose is informative, easy to read, and authoritative without being stodgy. His detailed descriptions and expert advice will be valuable assets to consumers and business owners alike.

Timely, relevant counsel on how to avoid con artists.

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-947588-14-1

Page Count: 240

Publisher: RDA Press, LLC.

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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A clearly delineated guide to finally eradicate poverty in America.


A thoughtful program for eradicating poverty from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Evicted.

“America’s poverty is not for lack of resources,” writes Desmond. “We lack something else.” That something else is compassion, in part, but it’s also the lack of a social system that insists that everyone pull their weight—and that includes the corporations and wealthy individuals who, the IRS estimates, get away without paying upward of $1 trillion per year. Desmond, who grew up in modest circumstances and suffered poverty in young adulthood, points to the deleterious effects of being poor—among countless others, the precarity of health care and housing (with no meaningful controls on rent), lack of transportation, the constant threat of losing one’s job due to illness, and the need to care for dependent children. It does not help, Desmond adds, that so few working people are represented by unions or that Black Americans, even those who have followed the “three rules” (graduate from high school, get a full-time job, wait until marriage to have children), are far likelier to be poor than their White compatriots. Furthermore, so many full-time jobs are being recast as contracted, fire-at-will gigs, “not a break from the norm as much as an extension of it, a continuation of corporations finding new ways to limit their obligations to workers.” By Desmond’s reckoning, besides amending these conditions, it would not take a miracle to eliminate poverty: about $177 billion, which would help end hunger and homelessness and “make immense headway in driving down the many agonizing correlates of poverty, like violence, sickness, and despair.” These are matters requiring systemic reform, which will in turn require Americans to elect officials who will enact that reform. And all of us, the author urges, must become “poverty abolitionists…refusing to live as unwitting enemies of the poor.” Fortune 500 CEOs won’t like Desmond’s message for rewriting the social contract—which is precisely the point.

A clearly delineated guide to finally eradicate poverty in America.

Pub Date: March 21, 2023

ISBN: 9780593239919

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 1, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2023

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Even if they're pie-in-the-sky exercises, Sanders’ pitched arguments bear consideration by nonbillionaires.


Everyone’s favorite avuncular socialist sends up a rousing call to remake the American way of doing business.

“In the twenty-first century we can end the vicious dog-eat-dog economy in which the vast majority struggle to survive,” writes Sanders, “while a handful of billionaires have more wealth than they could spend in a thousand lifetimes.” With that statement, the author updates an argument as old as Marx and Proudhon. In a nice play on words, he condemns “the uber-capitalist system under which we live,” showing how it benefits only the slimmest slice of the few while imposing undue burdens on everyone else. Along the way, Sanders notes that resentment over this inequality was powerful fuel for the disastrous Trump administration, since the Democratic Party thoughtlessly largely abandoned underprivileged voters in favor of “wealthy campaign contributors and the ‘beautiful people.’ ” The author looks squarely at Jeff Bezos, whose company “paid nothing in federal income taxes in 2017 and 2018.” Indeed, writes Sanders, “Bezos is the embodiment of the extreme corporate greed that shapes our times.” Aside from a few passages putting a face to avarice, Sanders lays forth a well-reasoned platform of programs to retool the American economy for greater equity, including investment in education and taking seriously a progressive (in all senses) corporate and personal taxation system to make the rich pay their fair share. In the end, he urges, “We must stop being afraid to call out capitalism and demand fundamental change to a corrupt and rigged system.” One wonders if this firebrand of a manifesto is the opening gambit in still another Sanders run for the presidency. If it is, well, the plutocrats might want to take cover for the duration.

Even if they're pie-in-the-sky exercises, Sanders’ pitched arguments bear consideration by nonbillionaires.

Pub Date: Feb. 21, 2023

ISBN: 9780593238714

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 21, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2023

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