In more than thirty years in the security field, I’ve seen a lot—per-haps too much! I have had to learn to survive, and much of that learning is applicable to the security and safety of every citizen. After I wrote my book Confessions of a Hollywood P.I., I was asked at book signings and lectures if I had written anything that would assist people in protecting themselves and their families. From these initial inquiries evolved Protect Yourself at All Times, which is a compendium of security tips and warnings. I am, and have been, involved in the sport of boxing, currently serving on the Board of Directors of the World Boxing Hall of Fame. This book’s title is derived from the referee’s admonition at the start of every fight to both boxers: “Protect yourself at all times, especially in the clinches.”

Society is changing rapidly, not only technologically but also cul-turally. Crime also is evolving in this rapid change. Sure, we still have murder and strong-arm robbery, but whole new areas of criminal en-deavor have sprung up. There are new breeds of criminals operating in the breathtakingly fast-growing world of computers. Medical fraud has now become a serious threat to the economy. Identity theft threatens every one of us. With the deregulation of the communication industry and the technological advances in this area, communication privacy is a serious problem. Thanks to medical advances and education, the life span of the American citizen has been extended greatly. Unfortunately, this positive has had negative connotations, such as fraud against the elderly—from investments to nursing homes.

Violence is a major problem, even though FBI statistics seem to show a statistical decrease over the past few years. Today, workplace violence is a threat in every job environment. The term “going postal” has become part of the argot. Stalking, which had been ignored by law enforcement and society, is a serious problem, especially for women.

Domestic violence, as a national problem, has finally come out of the closet and is being addressed. The Oklahoma City and World Trade Center bombings all too dramatically showed us that terrorism is not restricted to overseas but can hit the United States as well.

The point is that while we still, unfortunately, have to worry about locking our doors, there are new areas of crime that concern us all. Pro-tect Yourself at All Times focuses on these areas but does not neglect the more traditional areas of security such as residential protection and per-sonal self-defense.

I sincerely hope that this book will assist you in your daily life. It is not meant to alarm but rather to offer a commonsense overview of the security problems out there. Hopefully you will never be directly physi-cally affected, but still we are all impacted by the considerable eco-nomic costs of crime. Therefore it is my hope that this book will assist in protecting at least a segment of our population.

Don Crutchfield has been a private investigator for three decades. His list of clients and subjects reads like a Who’s Who of Hollywood. Present and former clients include Marlon Brando, the Beatles, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Charles Bronson, Jerry Lewis, Carroll O’Connor, Farrah Fawcett, Baby Face Edmonds, Ryan O’Neil, and Tatum O’Neil. Subjects of his investigations include Michael Jackson, Lisa Marie Presley, Tim Allen, Roseanne Barr, O. J. Simpson, Whitney Houston, Bobby Brown, Bruce Willis, Robert Downey, Jr., Pamela and Tommy Lee, Christian Slater, and Charlie Sheen.

In 1974, shortly after the Commonwealth of the Bahamas received its independence from England, Don Crutchfield helped the Bahamians set up internal security. During the 1980s Crutchfield worked with the government of Mexico as a captain in the Federales. He also was a con-sultant to the Mexico City Police Department as well as being closely associated with other police agencies, in the United States and abroad.

Crutchfield has an international reputation, but his primary base of operations always has been the Los Angeles area. He is regularly con-tacted as a prime source of information by such media outlets as the Los Angeles Times, Primetime Live, 48 Hours, and E! Entertainment. He has been interviewed on Entertainment Tonight, Hard Copy, A Current Affair, CNN Newsnight, and Inside Edition. PI Crutchfield has also been the subject of feature articles in the New York Post and the Los Angeles Times.

Professional Associations and Organizations
American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS)
International Police Congress
California Association of Licensed Investigators
International Association of Chiefs of Police
International Association of Hospital Security
Hotel Security Chiefs Association
Board of Directors, World Boxing Hall of Fame
Screen Actors Guild (SAG)

Books by Don Crutchfield
Confessions of a Hollywood P.I.
Protect Yourself at All Times
Hollywood Bad Boys (Spring 2002)

There have always been scams. The patent medicine con men in the late 1800s who touted elixirs that would grow hair and en-sure virility . . . used-car dealers who packed the transmission with sawdust . . . card sharps . . . carnival pitchmen . . . Florida real estate that was in the middle of a swamp . . . schemes selling processes that made gold or diamonds. The list is endless. America is a country that breeds invention, and certainly scams and swindles are part of that unique tradition.

The problem in 2001 is that the scam is alive and all too well. Tech-nology has advanced in quantum leaps, and the scam has matched that pace and sophistication. Whether it is 1901 or 2001, the swindler still appeals to the age-old weakness of greed. The following is an overview of the primary scams common today. Hopefully, if confronted, you will be able to recognize, avoid, and perhaps even expose a scam.

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