Stop Fraud: A Veteran Police Investigator Tells You How.


208 pages
ISBN 978-0-88995-373-4
DDC 364.16'3





Reviewed by Janet Arnett

Janet Arnett is the former campus manager of adult education at Ontario’s Georgian College. She is the author of Antiques and Collectibles: Starting Small, The Grange at Knock, and 673 Ways to Save Money.



“Do not listen to their crap.” That quote sums up the message and epitomizes the style of this refreshingly straight-up look at 12 types of fraud prevalent in Canada today.


Trainor draws on his lengthy career as a police officer specializing in financial abuse of the elderly to wage an information war against fraud. Protect yourself, he says; know the facts. Facts such as if you didn’t enter the lottery you didn’t win. Or no one in Africa is going to pay you thousands to cash a cheque for them. And banks will never call or email you to ask for details of your bank account. Although his information is applicable to everyone, Trainor targets seniors, especially widows, a group he sees as the most vulnerable. For them, he has two pieces of advice: Stop being so nice and stop being so greedy. Being too polite to slam down the phone, or considering it rude to refuse to listen to a polite young man with a sales pitch, often leaves seniors open to fraud. The same goes for greed: recognize that your own greed, even if it is for such admirable goals as wanting money to help your family or church, often causes common sense to be set aside. Know that it is your own greed that leads you to clutch at an unbelievably high return on an “investment” or to believe that a friend bought a winning lottery ticket for you.


To the information on how fraud works and the necessity to recognize one’s own weaknesses, Trainor adds one demand: Buy a shredder. Acquiring this inexpensive little tool, he says, is the most important step anyone can take towards avoiding being victimized.


The types of fraud discussed range from sleazy “contractors” prowling back lanes to sophisticated thieves trawling on the Internet. They include reshipper scams, identify theft, pyramid and Ponzi schemes, telemarketing, phishing, affinity, and power of attorney fraud. Whether in person or by mail, phone, or Internet, fraud is mushrooming because technology makes it so easy and because of the nature of today’s seniors, folks who were brought up to be polite and trusting.


For each of the 12 types of fraud the work gives a fictionalized example, background on how the scam works, and tips for not being victimized. The style is energetic and blunt, powerful and strongly motivational. Regardless of age, everyone who doesn’t want to see nothing but “dust bunnies in their bank account” should read this dynamic lecture.


Trainor, Brian., “Stop Fraud: A Veteran Police Investigator Tells You How.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 26, 2024,