Investing,  Mindset

How To Protect Yourself From Losing Your Money and Your Sanity. 7 Tips To Help You Spot A Con Artist.

Reading Time: 5 minutes

When you hear the term Con Man (or Woman) what image comes to mind?

Is it the homeless man on the street begging for spare change or the businessman/woman trying to con you out of potentially thousands? I have heard peoples opinions and experiences on both ends of the spectrum.

There are even programmes on TV with people sharing their stories with tips you should watch out for. My thoughts and questions when I watch these shows are “but how do I know if this person is a conman? It’s easy to spot it when you’re on the outside” and “what if they are being genuine and I’m just being too suspicious”

So, it’s not like a person is guilty until proven innocent, I believe that if you keep your eyes fully open and keep an open mind you will automatically protect yourself from any negative situation.

Con artists pray on the weak and vulnerable. It’s like the pickup artist. They don’t approach the most confident person in the room. They survey the area, looking for their prey and once they spot a target they swoop in for the kill. If they do make a bad call with a strong minded individual, they make their excuses and move on … They don’t continue to use their techniques if it’s highly unlikely their skills will work (and get you into bed).

Another example is the animal kingdom. When a cheetah is hunting for food, does he go for the gazelle that’s surrounded by its pack or does he go for the gazelle slightly away from the pack that is more vulnerable?

These con artists exhibit similar patterns of behaviour. So, to protect yourself remember these steps:

Hook a Duck

People are driven by 3 things: Love, Sex and Money, and con artists know this. Don’t reveal too much about yourself, the less information they have on you, the less they can try and manipulate you.

Many con artists will try and push you into making a decision on a deal before someone else snaps it up and as many people have FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) they will sign on the dotted line before they have had time to truly evaluate. If that is the case then let it to. It’s better to lose a deal than lose your money and your sanity.

If the deal is right for you, then it shall be.

Look For Inconsistencies.

Over several conversations, you will get an idea of the person you are dealing with. Watch out for fractures in their story and subtly try about find out more information.

Validate Their Story.

Like with any investment, research the man or woman. If they are claiming to have these multi-million pound businesses or claim that their product or service will make you a millionaire, validate their story.

Ask to talk to a couple of their clients and ask for reviews. This also applies to tradesmen. If you are wanting some work done in your house and are interviewing tradesmen, go online, type in their company name and see what comes up. There’s no escaping the online world. Remember you can’t please everyone so you can ignore the odd negative comment.

Flattery Will Get You Nowhere.

This is a great way to manipulate someone into doing what you want them to do. People are so desperate for recognition they will put their trust into anyone and everyone. When it comes to business, keep your cards to your chest and only share what is necessary to the business deal. Like I’ve said in previous posts, business and pleasure are two very separate and different things .. keep it that way.

Flattery makes friends, whilst the truth makes enemies

Spanish Proverb

Watch Out For Unrealistic Promises.

This very similar to the second tip. If they are claiming that their product or service will make you thousands of pounds or dollars, ask for some kind of guarantee. If they truly believe in product or service providing you follow theirs steps to the letter, then they should offer some guarantee.

If it’s too good to be true, then it usually is

Smartly Dressed.

That doesn’t mean that every man or woman who takes pride in their appearance is a con man or woman. Taking pride in your personal appearance is very important and I love presenting the best version of me to the world. However, if you put all the above data together including this point, it may end up saving your bacon … and your sanity.

OMG They Have It All.

What the eyes see and the ears hear the mind believes

Harry Houdini

How do you behave when you meet someone who is living your ‘dream life’. They have the flashy car, the ‘amazing’ social life and a gorgeous house.

Do you fall over yourself, believing that they are ‘god’, that they have it ALL FIGURED OUT and want to be their best friend because whatever they are doing, you want to do it too. Well, a con artist will spot this behaviour and exploit it. You have taken a relatively small bit of information and filled in the blanks. You have over generalised.

Over Generalised by definition is “to draw a conclusion or make a statement about (something) that is more general than is justified.”

What if they are renting the car or home for the day to appear to have it all? It’s relatively easy to do. It’s all about misdirection.

I recommend you watching the film Swordfish with John Travolta and Hugh Jackman if you want to learn more about misdirection. This film is entertaining with many helpful messages.

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Until next time …

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