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Tips from a former con artist: How to avoid getting scammed

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 30 2012 10:34 a.m. MDT

A former closing salesman for fraudulent companies made millions over the period of one decade until the FBI busted him in 2004. Now he wants to make things right.

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A former closing salesman for fraudulent companies made millions over the period of one decade until the FBI busted him in 2004, according to AARP.

The man, who simply identified himself as Jim, spent three years in jail but now works to help people avoid scams.

Some tips he gave included waiting until 24 hours after a pitch to let emotions wear off, avoid sharing personal information with salesmen and making sure to ask yourself how the pitchman will benefit.

The best targets for a scam are people who make decisions on an emotional basis, don’t ask questions and don't read fine print.

Scam artists most commonly target older people with gold coin and reverse mortgage schemes. Jim said old people are the best targets because they are so open about their needs and generally have a large nest egg.

If you fall victim to investment fraud, insurance scams or other types of fraud, you can report the incident to your state securities regulator, state insurance department or the state attorney general’s office, according to AARP.

EMAIL: sparker@desnews.com

TWITTER: @SeanRParker

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