SCAM CHOWDER: Five-Ingredient Mystery #2
"Your book highlighted the problem of fraud against seniors...an excellent mystery coupled with a great public service announcement!"
Granddad asks Val to make chowder for his dinner party without telling her that he plans to expose one of his guests as a financial scammer targeting retirees. When the suspected scammer dies after eating the chowder, Granddad is the chief suspect. In trying to prove his innocence, he and Val uncover a variety of scams against retirees.
Like other cozy mysteries, Scam Chowder has its light moments, but it also explores a serious subject. Financial fraud against seniors is rampant, an under-reported, and under-prosecuted crime. I learned a lot about this type of swindle when financial con artists targeted my father. With the sleuth's grandfather in the cast of the Five-Ingredient Mysteries, I had a perfect opportunity to explore such scams.
Though retirees aren’t the only financial scams, they are frequent targets. They want their money to grow so they have enough to last as long as they live and to leave something for their children. The lure of a high return on investments is hard to resist, so older people, like younger ones, fall for too-good-to-be-true investment schemes. Even if victims report the fraud to the police, the con artist won't necessarily be charged with a crime. Financial fraud can look like bad investment advice, and you can’t punish someone for bad advice. In cases where the fraud is blatant enough for a criminal charge, the con artist counts on older victims being bad witnesses whose memories are hazy.
To find out more, read Financial Scams Targeting Older Adults at the National Council on Aging site and How to Avoid Elder Fraud on the Comparitech site.
Scam Chowder is currently available only as an e-book from large vendors. Order from Kensington Books, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.
You can find paper copies on Indiebound or in libraries, and used copies on Ebay and Amazon. Fill out the contact form in the footer if you can't find a copy.