New Book & Giveaway: “Don’t Fall For It: A Short History of Financial Scams” by Ben Carlson

New Book & Giveaway: “Don’t Fall For It: A Short History of Financial Scams” by Ben Carlson



Got another book to share with y’all!

“Don’t Fall For It: A Short History of Financial Scams”
by financial blogger, and analyst, Ben Carlson

Who you might know from A Wealth of Common Sense blog or his Animal Spirits podcast – both of which has been instrumental in helping demystify the world of investing around our community, and more specifically for ME over the years!

One of the smartest – and nicest – guys in our space, which is even more apparent when he agreed to pass me a few copies of the book to give out today 😉

This one’s not exactly around “investing” like his previous book (“A Wealth of Common Sense: Why Simplicity Trumps Complexity in Any Investment Plan” – also worth reading!), but it should still open your eyes a bit and *definitely* keep you entertained…

You might even finish it!

Here’s a clip from his blog post on it, and then the more formal summary below that:


“Don’t Fall For It: A Short History of Financial Scams”
by Ben Carlson

dont fall for it scam book

I pulled what I felt were the best stories, characters, anecdotes, and data points from each of the frauds I chose… Each chapter is a standalone story so you can jump around if one topic doesn’t catch your fancy.

This is a quick rundown of some of the stories and ideas covered:

  • A history of the Nigerian email scam (it goes back much further than you think)
  • How Robert Mueller was involved in an absolutely unbelievable con
  • The millionaire doctor who performed surgical procedures on humans using goat testicles
  • The man who tried to sell the Eiffel Tower… twice
  • Professional athletes and their money
  • Why people latch onto end of the world predictions
  • Backroom Hollywood poker games with Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Ben Affleck
  • How Ulysses S. Grant went from being the architect of the Civil War victory to president to broke
  • When Great Britain went bonkers over trains
  • How match factories in the roaring 20s helped create one of the biggest frauds in history
  • Type I & Type II charlatans
  • Isaac Newton and the South Sea Bubble
  • The Madoff Ponzi scheme from a victim’s perspective
  • Johnny Depp and the Vanderbilt family

There’s much more but that’s a good taste of what to expect. Here’s one of the index pages from the back of the book:

financial scams index page

Where else can you find a book that combines The Chappelle Show, Nicolas Cage, Leonardo Da Vinci, Tracy Chapman, Charles Darwin, Johnny Depp, Jim Chanos, Russell Crowe, Al Capone, Michael Crichton and Robert Cialdini?

And that’s just the Bs, Cs, and Ds!

Looks good, right?? 🙂

And then here’s the more formal summary of it off his site:

Don’t Fall For It explores some of the biggest financial frauds and most successful charlatans, scammers, and hucksters of all-time. These real-life stories include anecdotes about how these frauds were carried out and discussions of what can be learned from them.

Sharing lessons that apply to business, money management, and investing, this compelling book answers questions such as: Why do even the most intelligent among us fall for financial scams? What makes fraudsters successful? Why is it often harder to stay rich than to get rich?

History is full of sensational financial frauds and scams. Enron was forced to declare bankruptcy after allegations of massive accounting fraud, wiping out $78 billion in stock market value. Bernie Madoff, the largest individual fraudster in history, built a $65 billion Ponzi scheme that ultimately resulted in him being sentenced to a 150-year prison term.

It doesn’t matter if you are a farmer looking for a miracle cure or a Hollywood superstar looking to turn a quick profit―no one is immune from getting deceived when money is involved.

More at Amazon: “Don’t Fall For It: A Short History of Financial Scams


Want a copy of this??

Tell me a time YOU got ripped off or lost money or anything else stupid you can think of around money, and you’ll be automatically entered to win, right after we all feel better about ourselves 😉

We’ll keep the giveaway open until Midnight this upcoming Sunday (3/1), and then we’ll announce the winners shortly there after. U.S. only, I’m afraid – sorry.

Good luck! Now share those juicy stories with us!! Most of mine relate to almost joining MLM schemes growing up, but unfortunately the trouble didn’t stop there 😉 Here’s my full Resume of Fails that I keep updated over the years just to remind myself how much more I have to go, lol…

Back tomorrow with more goodies,

j. money signature

Links to books above are Amazon affiliate links


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from Finance

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