Con men, swindlers, snake-oil salesmen, carpetbaggers, and plain everyday liars and cheats - these names and the scoundrels behind them have been around for hundreds of years, though their dodges and deceptions have been refined with the passage of time. The worldwide growth of criminal fraud has mushroomed to such a degree that traditional law-enforcement techniques have been unable to cope effectively with the fallout. Criminal fraud is a billion-dollar industry and has become a staple of organized crime rivalling drugs and prostitution as major sources of income. In North America the courts and governments fail to treat these crimes with the seriousness they deserve, often placing the blame on victims, or at the very least making them culpable. Former Calgary police detective and fraud expert Gordon Leek illustrates how a variety of frauds work and how to protect yourself from them, including simple cheque scams, elaborate telemarketing schemes, Internet swindles, and identity theft.