Investment scams - financial scams - Ponzi schemes
PROFILE OF A CON ARTIST, continued
Having an excellent memory for detail, a scammer can be whatever you need him or her to be and look like whatever is most comfortable for you.
Relating to your interests
Successful con artists know how to relate to you on an individual level. They are very intuitive about your weaknesses and insecurities, and they know how to match your interests.
Good con men are diversely educated - they read about everything - so that no matter what your professional or personal interests are, he can make you believe he is fascinated by the same things you are, even if he has to run home and study like crazy before your next encounter. A common interest is his foot in your door.
On the other hand, if you are seeking knowledge in a particular area, the con man has the ability to completely convince you that he is an expert in that area.
"The con man [or woman] will look you straight in the eye and lie to you, telling you he's a doctor if that's what you need to hear - or a lawyer, or a police officer, or a businessperson. And if you are desperate or distraught enough, you'll believe the con artist in a heartbeat." Chuck Whitlock, Chuck Whitlock's Scam School, © 1997, Macmillan, New York, NY, page 20.
An incredible memory for lies
The Insideman, as writer, editor, director, producer, and star, not only has the ability to write scripts on the fly, he can also remember every single lie he has told you. If more than one of you is involved, he can remember all the lies told to each of you in turn.
As an example, a several years ago a large financial scam was pulled on two partners. I was one of them.
The con artist wanted to keep us from reporting what was going on to the FBI. In order to do that he not only terrified us with threats of the complete loss of funds, but instilled a deep mistrust between us so that we would not confide in each other anymore.
He told me one set of lies about my partner, and told a another set of lies to my partner about me. And he managed to keep those lies straight for months while constantly changing the scenario!
A con artist looks like a mother, a grandmother, a priest, a banker, an insurance salesman, a trustee, a photographer, an executive, a policeman, a boyfriend, a doctor, a lawyer, a real estate agent, a teacher, a mechanic, a craftsman, a diplomat, a foreign dignitary, a student. A con artist looks like me, a con artist looks like you.
Scammers come in other guises as well - a magazine ad, a newspaper ad, a telemarketer, finance broker, television ad, free offers in return for personal information, telephone surveys that request personal information, lovers, companions, financial advisors, prize notifications where you have to send in money to receive the prizes, chain letters, real estate ad, loan ad, a product label, a web site, an employment ad, and literally whatever else you can think of. Run your cursor over the man on the phone for a surprise.
All in all, the con artist is a master psychologist. He is a psychological illusionist, able to convince anyone to viscerally believe in the illusions he fabricates.
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