It’s official: I’ve just finished the final edits on my new book, Scammed: How to Save Your Money and Find Better Service in a World of Schemes, Swindles, and Shady Deals.

I just have to tell you about it.

Last summer, a literary agent I’d known for a few years asked me if I had a book in me. I didn’t want to write anything on travel, because I felt there were already several great guides on being a smart traveler.

But how about something about the relationship between consumers and businesses?

I though about it for a while. The problem isn’t just that companies have developed new ways of separating you from your money; it’s that consumers have forgotten how to be responsible and effective shoppers.

The result is Scammed, a book that reveals the broken relationship between American consumers and businesses and explains how companies came to believe that fooling their customers was a viable, and profitable, business plan.

I’ll explore how companies control information to mislead, distort the truth and even outright lie to their consumers. By exposing the various ways companies have led a war against information — from seductive ads, disingenuous fine print, and unconventional promotions that involve seeding discussion forums and blogs with company-friendly comments — I’ll help you become a more informed consumer.

Scammed will also change the way you buy. It’ll help you become a customer with insider knowledge of the system, reasonable expectations and a clear understanding of the game businesses play.

Critics who have seen a draft of Scammed have called it “eye-opening” and “inspiring.”

It’ll “grab your attention and won’t let go,” one told me.

With good reason. I’ve put together a team of A-list editors and authors to advise me on this project. They’ve done an amazing job turning Scammed from a good idea into a great book.

For the first time, I also reveal a few secrets of my own, including:

• The painfully embarrassing times I’ve been scammed. They include losing money to an unlicensed contractor and getting swindled by a slick pyramid scheme.

• The real reason why I’m a frequent critic of loyalty programs. No, it’s not what you think!

• The one thing you don’t want me to say when you ask me to mediate your complaint.

Scammed is being released in early December (the perfect book to make you a Ninja holiday shopper) but you’ll want to pre-order you copy right now.

You can do that here.

Thank you for your support during these last few months while I’ve researched and written this book. Please tell your friends about Scammed.

The more people know, the more we can help.