12 Tricks Con Artists Use to Win Your Trust
Getting conned could be as simple as a stranger knowing your name. Be careful.
Con artists dress the part
“This was lesson No. 1,” admits one retired conman, “Swindling is really acting, and you play a character who will help you appear legitimate, confident, and successful … even when you are not.” At age 17, Frank Abagnale famously bought a pilot’s uniform so he could pass fake checks at any hotel, bank, or business in the country without question. “Airline pilots are men to be admired and respected,” he wrote, “Men to be trusted. Men of means. And you don’t expect an airline pilot to be a local resident. Or a check swindler.”
Con artists rely on your embarrassment
“It’s crazy how often you have people who, even when you present them with evidence that they’ve been the victim of a scam, refuse to believe it,” says Konnikova. “We often don’t want to let other people know, because we’re embarrassed.” Such was the case when early con man Victor Lustig convinced a Paris metal dealer that he was selling the Eiffel Tower for scrap to the highest bidder. Lustig conned the man out of a $70,000 bribe in exchange for rights to demolish the Tower and take possession of 7,000 tons of metal. Of course, this was all a lie. But the dealer never reported the scam; he was too ashamed. Beware of these 10 summer travel scams you need to take seriously.
Finally: Con artists love this phrase
“You and I are going to make a lot of money together.” If someone says this to you, ask yourself, what’s in it for him? If you can’t find an answer, run. Watch out for these 14 Facebook scams that everyone falls for.