How they steal your life!
Mindset of a con man:
News reports of last two weeks indicate what a gullible nation we
are. At least, some of them! It seems we have not yet learnt the lesson
of Gold Quest and Seagulls. Thousands of people were once again duped by
a con man who offered unbelievable returns for their investments. The
con master has vanished into the thin air with over with Rupees 650
million of hard-earned money of the unsuspecting public.
This article attempts to analyze the mindset of a con man and few
tips of how to recognize him.
Definition- wise, a con man, or confidence trickster, is a swindler
who works by gaining the confidence of the person he is going to
swindle. In recent history there have been thousands of con men who have
really stood out for either the wealth they amassed, or the ease with
which they tricked people.
Confidence tricksters often rely on the greed of the person, who may
think that he has got a fantastic deal, only to discover that he has
been manipulated into losing from the very beginning. This is such a
general principle in confidence tricks that there is a saying among con
men that "you can't cheat an intelligent man. Origin The term con man
was first used in the mid-19th century at the trial of William Thompson.
William Thompson was a strange man. He talked New Yorkers into giving
him their watches. Here' how he did it: A well-dressed Thompson would
wander up to men on the street and act as though he and the prospect
were old friends. Embarrassed, the prospect would go along, all the time
thinking he must know Thompson from somewhere. Then Thompson would
deliver his line, have you confidence in me to trust me with your watch
An astonishing number of people did have confidence in Thompson. They
handed over their watches, and sometimes money, fully expecting that
their possessions would be returned. Of course they never were.
His brazen line earned Thompson the nickname, The Confidence Man;
soon swindlers all over were known as confidence men and con men The
victims One cornerstone of the con man is that he rarely looks like a
con man. His aim at specific targets is well organized, focused, and
pinpoint. It comes through like a telepathic echo.
His foremost candidates for casualty are:
1. The elderly. Good net worth, failing memories and a generally
trusting nature. Pensioners and retired mercantile employees belong to
this category. They want to earn an extra buck for their life-long
saving. You cannot blame them because cost of living doesn't match with
their monthly income. These folks have been found the easiest to
separate from their money.
2. Women. They are still considered to be the helpless sex when it
comes to defending themselves in most sorts of business transactions (a
changing scene, but one not changing fast enough). Do they have the
strength of right reasoning? You guess.
3. People who live alone. While dogs and cats can be delightful
companions, the con man still thrives on filling this "loneliness" gap-a
desire for occasional human camaraderie. After all, there has to be
something more left in life than being the crotchety old man, standing
on the porch in his pyjamas, yelling at the kids to get off the lawn.
4. Pious people. This means church/temple goers and anyone known for
charitable giving. This, to the con man, is like establishing a
tributary connection to a flowing river. Many of this type are generous
to a fault.
These are people who, when they try to use a credit card and a family
member chases them with a scissors, they should take the hint and not
After taking on these primary groups the con man's thrust is simple:
Go after any assets that show, be they EPF proceeds, pensions, savings,
retirement benefits or, best of all, just plain old cash.All told, the
con man's search for primary group of victims concentrates on these,
considered to be, most vulnerable groups. His secondary group is YOU.
If you always wanted to be a procrastinator, but never got around to
it, the time is ripe when dealing with a con man who reveals to you who
he really is-makes you realize an important double whammy of life. That
is, money can't buy you everything, and, then again, neither can
no-money. You may just be ordinary clerk, a captain of Industry, or a
prominent politician but knowing the Rules of con man's Game is
essential to protecting your money and all financial assets from him.
Con man's game
Remember: With the ringing sincerity of a insurance canvasser's hand
shake, you are often asked to accept with blind faith many supposed fact
of life." For example, if he wants you to invest your EPF withdrawal
with his company, the discussion might start like this: The Bank is
giving you only 2% per month for your investment.
That is why Bankers are millionaires. They can easily pay you 8%. We
will give you 6%. We will give you a share certificate so that you
become a stake holder of the Company. Annual dividends are guarantee at
least 20%. He takes from his expensive briefcase a calculator. For a
brief moment you see inside the briefcase neatly packed files with names
of blue-chip companies.Accidently, a letter falls to the ground and he
picks it up. The letterhead is from a major business conglomerate. He
says, This Company wants to invest 10 million. He then shows you a heap
of papers. Look at my colleagues. He shows you a beautifully done
You find well known personalities as advisors. He pulls out an Album
He shows you photographs of him with renowned personalities.
Even before he finishes you've made up mind to invest your money.
No hint, suggestion, or innuendo is ever offered that a strict Rules
Regimen was foisted on you-to maneuver you into a vulnerable state.
What rules must the con man follow in order to fleece, pillage, and
plunder-to rob, steal, embezzle, and defraud?
There are Rules of the Game. The con man must learn these Rules well,
if he hopes to insulate himself from the consequences of pick-pocketing
Now, visualize yourself as the con man. Up, up, and away then. Here
we go, with these international sacrosanct Rules which you must follow
in order to be successful:
1. You must always instill a firm "Us against Them" feeling in your
prospects. They must be constantly led to believe that only your
philosophy is the correct one. You must inculcate in them the urgency of
taking action so strongly that it would sound like losing it would be
akin to being sentenced to cutting an acre of grass-with their teeth.
2. The end always justifies the means because you are playing a zero
sum game. Either you have it, or don't-or "they" have it, or don't.
Setting up a very tangible, clear cut goal, but one cloaked in mystery,
is a stealth strategy that pays off. Yes, it's the bringing together of
these seemingly conflicting elements that does it.
3. Rules only apply to your enemies. Not to you! You are the con man.
Don't ever forget it. Always demand that your prospects religiously
follow your Rules.
4. Pin-point these Rules. Spell them out. The old axiom-give me
ambiguity or give me something else-has no place here.
5. Ruthlessness is essential. You must do whatever it takes to create
and maintain power and control. As a cunning, skillful con man, exercise
your white-knuckle grip.
6. A respectable public face is essential. If you have overcome a
dread disease, talk about it.
(If not, make one up.) If you served in the Armed Forces, burnish
your image by making yourself a war hero. Proclaim yourself a born-again
teacher or consultant. Everybody loves a hero. These are just a few
examples of options you have.
7. Manipulation, blackmail, bribery, lies, and half-truths are all
allowed, if they will further your ends. Remember, a kick in the butt is
only a few inches from a pat on the back.
8. Without exception, always claim the high moral ground. Let it be
known that God, Allah or even Triple Gem is on your side.
9. Create a “Code,” within which you can give orders without it being
known that you are giving orders.
Guard yourself from any incriminating connection. (You can’t really
be expected to answer an anonymous letter.)
10. Use disinformation readily. It is a great tool for conning and
Do it, constantly. You can’t give your prospects a coffee break; it
would take too long to retrain them.
11. Keep as few records as possible. Share your records—only—on a
strict need-to- know basis. And, with only the dumbest, most inept
people in your following! (Like giving a drunk another drink to sober
12. Never pay directly for any criminal services you might
require—forgers, bribers, etc. Always use an indirect method, so nobody
can connect you, if discovered. Use a pseudo name.
13. If anything goes wrong, deny the allegation and damn the
Start a verbal fire storm. Remember it doesn’t matter what the
temperature is, it’s always room temperature. The world of the con man
is, purposely, so filled with confusion and distortion that everything
is either a half-truth or a half-lie, depending upon which version you
are talking about.Thus, in the final analysis, it’s the one who slices
the bread that controls its distribution on the bread line. You—as the
potential victim, then—must be able to recognize all the slight-of-hand
trickery of the one operating the slicer.
Only then you can guard yourself from rationing. And, perhaps, even