Fifty Scams and Hoaxes is a light-hearted investigation into some of the worst examples of financial skulduggery, medical quackery and ingenious hoaxing from history. Along the way we will come across a Pope advocating a drink based on cocaine, a pill to avoid hangovers, a woman who gave birth to rabbits, the man who broke the bank twice, the first examples of insurance fraud and scam emails and much more.
Author Martin Fone explores the psychology and methodology deployed by the scammers and shows what can happen when avarice preys on credulity and gullibility. The key characteristics he unearths amongst his despicable gallery of scammers includes; incredible claims, creative use of advertising, playing on people’s fears and aspirations, unscrupulous business practices and, when it all goes wrong as it often does, a propensity to flee the scene and leave others to pick up the pieces.
Well-paced, fascinating, entertaining and informative, this book will delight the general reader as well as providing food for thought for the more serious student of the foibles of human nature.
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After graduating from Trinity College, Cambridge with a degree in Classics, Martin Fone started his working career as an audit assistant. However, he soon found the world of bean-counting too racy for his taste and retreated to the calmer pastures of the insurance industry. He had a successful business career, during the course of which he co-authored two books on public sector risk management which were adopted by the Institute of Risk Management as their standard text books.
Perhaps it was his acquaintance with the murky world of the financial services industry that piqued his life-long interest in the psychology of scams and hoaxes.
Since retiring, Martin has had the opportunity to develop his interests, mainly reading, writing and thinking or, as his wife puts it, locking himself away in his office for a few hours a day. In particular he has been blogging and writing in his tongue-in-cheek, irreverent style about the quirks, idiocies and idiosyncrasies of life, both modern and ancient.