Scammed: How to Save Money and Find Better Service in a World of Schemes, Swindles, and Shady Deals

It’s official: I’ve just finished the final edits on my new book, Scammed: How to Save Your Money and Find Better Service in a World of Schemes, Swindles, and Shady Deals.

I just have to tell you about it.

Last summer, a literary agent I’d known for a few years asked me if I had a book in me. I didn’t want to write anything on travel, because I felt there were already several great guides on being a smart traveler.

But how about something about the relationship between consumers and businesses?

I though about it for a while. The problem isn’t just that companies have developed new ways of separating you from your money; it’s that consumers have forgotten how to be responsible and effective shoppers.

The result is Scammed, a book that reveals the broken relationship between American consumers and businesses and explains how companies came to believe that fooling their customers was a viable, and profitable, business plan.

I’ll explore how companies control information to mislead, distort the truth and even outright lie to their consumers. By exposing the various ways companies have led a war against information — from seductive ads, disingenuous fine print, and unconventional promotions that involve seeding discussion forums and blogs with company-friendly comments — I’ll help you become a more informed consumer.

Scammed will also change the way you buy. It’ll help you become a customer with insider knowledge of the system, reasonable expectations and a clear understanding of the game businesses play.

Critics who have seen a draft of Scammed have called it “eye-opening” and “inspiring.”

It’ll “grab your attention and won’t let go,” one told me.

Related story:   Why you should become a real consumer advocate (not one of those fakes)

With good reason. I’ve put together a team of A-list editors and authors to advise me on this project. They’ve done an amazing job turning Scammed from a good idea into a great book.

For the first time, I also reveal a few secrets of my own, including:

• The painfully embarrassing times I’ve been scammed. They include losing money to an unlicensed contractor and getting swindled by a slick pyramid scheme.

• The real reason why I’m a frequent critic of loyalty programs. No, it’s not what you think!

• The one thing you don’t want me to say when you ask me to mediate your complaint.

Scammed is being released in early December (the perfect book to make you a Ninja holiday shopper) but you’ll want to pre-order you copy right now.

You can do that here.

Thank you for your support during these last few months while I’ve researched and written this book. Please tell your friends about Scammed.

The more people know, the more we can help.

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at

  • Jass

    Awesome! I don’t want to wait until December though!

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    Pre-ordered already.  Releasing before Thanksgiving would be better timing, because that’s when the thinking process goes out the window.

  • Cheryl

    Chris, Get it available on the Kindle.

  • It will be soon.

  • Kfjan1251

    This sounds great! Looking forward to it. Could you please have a Kindle edition?

  • Roger

    I’d probably buy it if I wasn’t afraid to find a dozen pages worth of meaningless TSA rant.

  • TSA isn’t mentioned in the book. Order away!

  • Bob

    Congratulations!  The book looks like a good one.

  • Stever3

    How do I know this is not a scam?

  • Howard Bill

    This reminds me of a scam in the Sunday Parade magazine a few years ago.  They ran an ad saying “send in just $10 and they promised to send you the secret to making an easy $1,000,000”.  So I sent in the $10 and they sent me an email saying take out an add in Parade magazine promising to tell people how to make an easy $1,000,000!!

    I almost never buy anything over the internet that I haven’t seen reviewed and vetted by professionals.

  • emanon256

    I fell for that one too!!!

  • Raven

    Nice. I’ll preorder…provided there’s no one that’s going to ask me to wire money to Nigeria… :D

  • FreebieExpert

    Certainly sounds good.  It is great to play the companies at their own game and use discounts and freebies they offer to get the most out of their deals.

  • Hi Eliot

    I think this is going to be a great book. Can’t wait to read it.

    Does this story resonate with you? It seems to be talking about exactly the same dynamics that your book is about.



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