Con artists – sociopaths - Narcissists

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debspoons @ freedigitalphotos.net

Definitions of a con artist:

  • A swindler who exploits the confidence of his victim;
  • A person who defrauds or swindles others after first gaining their trust;
  • A person adept at lying, cajolery, or glib self-serving talk.

According to the Free Dictionary the synonyms for ‘con artist’ are chiseller, defrauder, grifter, scammer, swindler, and gouger.

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africa @ freedigitalphotos.net

Important!

  • All people are able to be a con-artist to some extend in certain circumstances. Personality analyzers in fact claim that one out of three persons has the personality of a con-artist.
  • Although they are the minority, females are quite as able as males to be con artists.

This article is about people who are con-artists in all circumstances.

Perhaps only true skeptics may sometimes be able to identify a skilled con-artist at first sight, but it is important to realize that anyone can become this fraud's victim.

Con artists should never be underestimated!

  • They are experts at gaining the confidence of others;
  • They are well-known for their intelligence;
  • They are extremely smart with highly creative imagination and discernment of human behavior.
  • They are charming with above-average persuasive powers;
  • They con their own parents, siblings and children. (Although people may know the con-artist in their own family, they nurture the hope that he might change any day for the better. Remember: Love covers truth and lies.)
  • They are smooth operators, shrewd intimidators, manipulators and actors par excellence;
  • They thrive on the knowledge that people tend to believe only what they want to believe;
  • They discourage their victims to make contact with relatives and friends; they tend to convince their victims that all relatives and friends hold the righteous and just in contempt;
  • They live in self-denial; renouncement is their forte;
  • Because they are inherent dishonest, they are not able to trust others. They justify their actions to so-called wrongs done to themselves by liars, cheaters, stalkers and con-artists! (Judging others by themselves.)
  • When they are confronted they retreat, pretending that being in a state of defense is beyond their dignity. They will rather accuse their victim of neuroses, paranoia, or when lacking sufficient vocabulary and/or knowledge about mental disorders, use any defaming words.




“Nobody should ever feel embarrassed if they have been victimized by a con artist.” – Bradley Skolnik.

"There's a sucker born every minute." - P. T. Barnum:


Stuart Miles @ freedigitalphotos.net
Stuart Miles @ freedigitalphotos.net

Many con artists are sociopaths.

(The word 'psychopath' was once widely used but has now been superseded by 'sociopath').

Con-artists may be trapped in the condition called Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). People with NPD expose a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (either in fantasy or actual behavior), They have an unsaturated need for admiration and respect. They lack empathy, believing that all people, (except themselves), get exactly what they deserve in life and thereafter. If they believe in heaven, they believe that they will be one of only a few who will enjoy the privilege of admission.

NPD is closely linked to self-centeredness, megalomania, superiority complex, egotism, vanity, selfishness, and obsessive compulsive personality disorder.

Individuals with NPD are often ambitious and capable, though their inability to tolerate criticism, along with their lack of empathy, makes it almost impossible to work cooperatively with others and to accomplish success as a normal employee or honest businessman. Their tendency to exploit others, their sense of entitlement, disregard for others and constant need for attention adversely affect all their relationships.

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Boaz Yiftach @ freedigitalphotos.net

American psychiatrist,

Glen Owens Gabbard, suggested NPD could be broken down into two subtypes.

  1. The OBLIVIOUS subtype as being grandiose, arrogant and thick-skinned, presenting a large, powerful, grandiose SELF to be admired, envied and appreciated. This self is the antithesis of the weakened and internalized self that hides in a generic state of shame.
  2. The HYPERVIGILANT subtype as easily hurt, oversensitive and ashamed, neutralizing devaluation by seeing others as unjust abusers. This type does not fend off devaluation; they are obsessed with it.

According to research a person has to meet five or more of the following symptoms in order to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder

  1. A grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements);
  2. Preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love;
  3. Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special and unique people;
  4. Rarely acknowledges mistakes, imperfections/shortcomings;
  5. Requires excessive admiration and respect;
  6. Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations;
  7. Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends;
  8. Lacks empathy - unwilling or unable to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others;
  9. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of them;
  10. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitude.

“Sometimes you trust someone who turns out not to be honest. There are a lot of things that happen in life that don't turn out the way you're given the impression that they will. And I think that's all kind of a con. But I think we've probably all been hurt.” ~ Sigourney Weaver

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Keerati @ freedigitalphotos.net

What motivates a person to be a con artist?

It stands to reason: Only personal needs will motivate people to be con artists. Most of the time it will be financial needs, but in many cases financial needs are merely the bottom layer of many layers, such as the need for comfort, security, a safe haven and love.

How will a con artist exploit you?

A con artist will identify your needs and expectations, then pretend that he is the only agent capable of producing the satisfaction you need. His motto is: “Working smart instead of hard.”

He may exploit you via -

  • A financial spam: He will exploit your greed; he will pretend to be capable of filling your bank account with a lot of money. He will try to sell to-good-to-be-true investments, or convince you that you’ve inherited a fortune, or offers you an irresistible, well-paying job in a foreign country.
  • A leisure spam: He will exploit your need for a holiday; he will pretend to be the rental agent of holiday apartments.
  • A romance spam: He will exploit your need to be loved; he will pretend to be the perfect lover and husband.
  • A religious spam: He will exploit your need to live forever in divine luxury; he will pretend to be God’s personal agent with the right to lock and unlock the gates of heaven.


Why have I been a victim of a con-artist from January 2010 to May 2010?


Credulous, sympathetic, curious women who love challenges and adventures easily 'fall' for a con-artist. Challenging reality and in particular men pretending to be ideal husbands and lovers, is a game they cannot resist. Too often my kind of woman don’t really want a husband or a lover, but they need to re-convince themselves that they are better off alone and independent.

These women – at least most of them – might identify a con-artist in time. Then they will hide whatever they are not willing to lose, and they will line up their friends and relatives as rescuers in case of emergency, and they will wait for the right moment to get rid of the proverbial fly in their soup. Cautious, but curious, they will venture into the mind and soul of the con-artist, knowing that he will soon spin himself into a pupa with his own furtiveness.

Challenging a con-artist is like going on a trip to a foreign country, or like being part of an expedition tasked to explore life on another planet, or like enrolling for a course in human behaviour. Sadly, none of these ‘adventures’ are free of charge. The financial AND emotional implications might take years to settle.


Typical Con-Artist Quotes

(Some of these quotes are also notated by The Playground)

  • I had everything but gave it up…
  • I gave her/him/them all my money and possessions…
  • I was/am successful… I achieved my goals, only to realize that they meant nothing…
  • Let me give you some advice… let me help you… let me give you a dream…
  • It is all about you… not about me… I am nothing… you are everything…
  • It's a sure thing… God says…. Statistics proved…
  • What I can give you, will be worth everything for you…
  • I’ve met/know the best of the best people… all sorts of people… nobody can fool me…
  • Let me tell you about my adventures…
  • I know I promised not to do this/that any more, but….
  • We’ll see… Let me think about this… I’ll come back to you…
  • Don't look at me; look at the statistics… the Bible… the evidence…
  • So, who are you after all? You are nobody… You are the scum of this earth…
  • (And on the same day:) You are the best… Next to you I am a fool…
  • When you talk I listen…
  • I'm successful/happy/contented because I am what I am…
  • Put your money/life in my hands, and I'll make you rich/happy…
  • I'll take care of you… I’ll do this/that for you… you can count on me…
  • By the way, will you do me a favour…
  • Let’s do it this way…
  • Let me take you away… you deserve only the best…
  • Trust me… I am always honest… I will never lie to you… I will never embarrass you…

These are mostly the ordinary things said by most men to the woman they love. And yet, they could be the words of a con-artist!

According to Google there are 96,700 confessions of con-artists on the Internet. Here is an extract of only one -

“... I saw the film, "Elmer Gantry" which was about a vacuum cleaner salesman turned to a tent preacher in the 1920s... Talking and telling stories came natural to me.... I started reading the Bible and checking out local churches... Everyone thought I'd gotten religion and was pleased... they started to encourage me... I saw hundreds of people giving money to people who talked about God... so I became a ‘religious’ pillar of the community... There is one thing I can say with absolute certainty: Religion is the home of some of the greatest con artists on the planet...”

Don’t panic!

All con-artists will sooner or later unmask themselves with one sentence: “Send/give me money.” Regard this as a sign to run for the hills.

Also beware! Before unmasking themselves, some con-artists may blindfold you with a gift or two paid with your own money.



“Each man is the architect of his own fate.” - Appius Claudius

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podpad @ freedigitalphotos.net

© Martie Coetser

Published date: 09/28/10

Updated on: 04/01/13

Copyright :: All Rights Reserved
Registered :: 2013-04-01 19:14:56
Title :: Con artists – sociopaths - Narcissists
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Comments 257 comments

katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

There sure is a lot of con artist sociopaths and troubled with narcissitic personality disorder rearing it's head. Thanks for the clear and insightful facts on the topic. :)


msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago

Beautifully presented, Martie. I love the last part the most.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

katiem2 – So strange, every time I research a topic I studied in the past, I learn something new! Always something that clears up some shadows. Thanks for being the first to leave a comment.

msorensson - Thanks, Ma'am. Your opinion always means a lot to me. I’m not able to ignore the Bible. I always find hope and consolation in the word of God.


msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago

One of my friends just wrote a book on this, Martie, but you summed it so well. I do not know if I could present it as well as you did, so thank you. I am sure lots of people who read this would learn something, if not about others, then about themselves. Hug, Melinda


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MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

msorensson – You are so right, and it is actually an art to first learn what you have to know about yourself before you use your knowledge to learn about others. Knowledge is merely powerful reigns – to keep ourselves on the right track and safely out of the way of those who can destroy us. I wish I could read that book of your friend. Hugs, Melinda – I really appreciate all you have to say, for you are wise and extremely intelligent.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

Martie - you must see the new film with Michael Douglas: "Wall Street - Money Never Sleeps." The title characters and there are more than one, all epitomize the con artist at work in the U.S. financial sector. Very sobering.


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MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

drbj – Michael Douglas is one of my favorite actors. I will definitely see the movie. Yes, to know we live amongst con artists is really sobering. Thank you so much for the hint, and for coming by.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

An outstanding hub on recognizing the con artist. As I re-read it (to good to just read once), I recognized myself in some areas. At least I think I have. I sure do not want to fall under the category of a con artist or someone with NPD. This is the last type of person I would ever want to be. Thank you, my dear friend for this eye-opening hub. Rated up and awesome.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

vocalcoach – This is what makes psychologists smile – normal people always recognize themselves in the profiles of those with mental disorders, while the latter never recognize themselves. I regard these kinds of profiles as guidelines – reasons to stop some of my bad habits IN TIME. Thanks for reading and commenting!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Con artists are interwoven in all of the fabric of our lives right into sport and anything of value. There is a day of reckoning! God bless Martie!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

Micky Dee – And even in this life every dog has his day and a mongrel has two. Thanks for reading and commenting, Micky. Much appreciated! Immanuel :)


JY3502 profile image

JY3502 6 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

I see you got my number Martie! interesting and informative hub.


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MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

JY3502 – Lol! Do you want to con me or would you like me to con you? Your sense for humor deserves recognition :)))


Always Exploring 6 years ago

Martie, Great hub. Iv,e known a couple con artists in my life, i guess most people have too.Your hub has some very important actions to look out for. Thank you.

God Bless


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

Martie-you've done a beautiful job here, and I commend you for the research. Con artists abound, I know few people who have not come across them at one time or another.

Great hub!


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MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

Always Exploring – They just ask to be dissected, and I have finally decided to stop feeling sorry for them and all other rude people. Thanks for reading, my friend. I appreciate your visits and comments.

lorlie6 – Isn’t it scary to know that one out of three people has the personality of a con artist? No wonder we are taught to trust nobody. Thanks for your most appreciated comment.


Tranquilheart profile image

Tranquilheart 6 years ago from Canada

Excellent topic Martie. Con artists are a major social issue.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

Tranquilheart – Indeed they are, and too many of them 'fish’ on the Internet. Thanks for the visit!


eslevy17 profile image

eslevy17 6 years ago

Nice work. I've met a few people with narcissism and it's funny how accurately they measure up to the symptoms. It's like they're not real people, just case studies, and I just laugh.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

eslevy17 – I’m not rude when I compare people with snakes – but just think about it: Some snakes are not dangerous at all – you may keep them as pets - while others are extremely dangerous, weather they are aggressive or not aggressive, when threatened or not threatened. As long as you know them, you know how to treat them. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

Oh my Martie you did your homework with this one. You opened up Pandora's box for me. I have been surrounded with con artist's a better part of my life. My father and uncles were all con's and criminals, they bilked honest people out of their monies and assets and paid the ultimate price of time behind bars.

What turns a person to crime? My father and his brothers were all products of their father's criminal mind and abuse so I guess it played forward with them. Fortunately for me other than some physical and mental abuse as a boy, I was spared. Why? because God favored me with a savior by allowing an Angel in my life who took me under his wing and pulled me from the mean streets and crime.

I am thankful that I did not turn out like my bloodline of corrupt and con artist criminals that they were. I have no respect for any human who hurts and takes advantage of their fellow man. Good write Martie, I rate it UP for sure.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

saddlerider1 – I went to your corner to read the hub you wrote about that Angel of yours. Couldn’t find it so I read Wally the clown, and I’m (still) overwhelmed with sorrow. One important thing I’ve learned in my life is that God is in all of us. (Whatever our concept is of Him.) Most of us keep Him locked up in the deepest corners of our souls. Every person we meet in our lives therefore teaches us something we ought to know in order for us to become who/what we were, are and still have to be. And wonderful - every day we learn more and more from others and we keep on becoming... Thanks to all the bad and good people we knew in our lives, we were/are/will be able to mean something to others. Yes, it is sad that we are often deprived of the opportunity to mean what WE WOULD LIKE to mean to specific beloveds, but we’ve got to remember all the others we interact with daily. You, my friend, mean a lot to hundreds here on Hubs – you may not hand out balloons like Wally, but you give us words. Your words are seeds of goodness – it grows in our minds and hearts. Thanks to you I started to pay a lot of attention to the children of ‘bad parents’, for you proved to me that they can – with just a little encouragement – leave the ‘familiar’ routes set by their parents. So perhaps I am ‘conning’ them in a positive way? Thank you so much for your sincere comment. Will you please post a link to your Angel in here? Peace and hugs!


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

Martie thank you for your complimentary words. I am truly honored and blushing from your accolades. My spirit is in tact regardless of the slings of arrows from others I endured as a boy and teen. I truly believe that God watched over our souls and even though we endured such hardships our maker never left our side and found us a way out to mold and make us into the spirits we are today. The best we can do is be shining examples to the people we associate ourselves with and pass on the kindness and goodness to others that was given to us.

I write from my heart and although very much of it is personal, I feel blessed to be able to share with others on here who have or are going through what I lived. It somehow acts as a healing force for many who read me. God gives me this blessing to pass on and I have read many similar stories like mine and yours is one of them. Below are the two links Chapter 1 and 2 of A Diamond in the Rough. This man I speak about was my saving Angel, I have no doubt of that, may he RIP and enjoy his library in the sky. He was a scholar and a beautiful mind. Enjoy.

http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Boy-From-the-Bottom-of...

http://hubpages.com/hub/Bottomofthehill


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

saddlerider1 – I am boots and all on your page with this. I’m going to follow your links right now and will leave comments over there. And yes, you are indeed a shining example of one who passes on the goodness he was fortunate to receive. I am grateful to be one of the receivers of that goodness.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

Another great hub from you. I never know about this before. But thank you, Martie. I learn much from this hub. You open my eyes about something new happen outside. Thank you very much. Vote up as usual.

Prasetio


masmasika 6 years ago

Great hub and information. Yes, there are countless con artist out there and they look just like the normal people you see around. sometimes they are even so kind and you think they are really good people but inside them is hidden evil. I was once conned but thanks because the money they were able to get from was not so much. thanks for sharing. People should always be careful with con artists.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

prasetio30 – Now you’ve made me very curious. I’m so glad for you – for any kind of interaction with a con artist is extremely unpleasant. Only the thought that he/she underestimates your intelligence, is enough to provoke only negative feelings, which you have to fight with all your power in order to stay on top of the situation. Thanks for the vote! Take care of yourself!

masmasika – The problem is they are ALWAYS too kind. You recognize the mendacity in them after they’ve played you for a while. Then you have to cope with your anger (towards yourself) and remorse because you were too credulous and stupid to see trough them at first. Thanks for commenting. Take care!


Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 6 years ago from Los Angeles

This is an extremely informative and well written article.

As I was reading it I could fairly easy identify members of Congress, Senate and few former presidents from both parties. If the collective wisdom of 300 million Americans can not protect themselves from con artists, nobody can.


SilverGenes 6 years ago

Wow, Martie - this is so well done. Thank you for this. I'm not sure I can keep up with them, though. There seem to be more and more of them and all 'selling' something. It seems we get taken in regularly in many ways by those with an agenda. I'm in total agreement with Petra :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

Petra Vlah – I have to agree with you. To be a successful politician, you definitely need the attributes of a con artist. Thank you for honoring me with a visit and for commenting with a fait accompli.

SilverGenes – The fact that you agree with me (and Petra) about this issue, means a lot to me. It is really wonderful to know that I am not the only one who realizes how dangerous the con artists amongst us are. All of us do have agendas, but the con artist’s agenda is always completely self-centered. On top of this they lie to themselves, convincing themselves that they are serving an individual or a whole community. So let us stop allowing them to fool us and our loved-ones. Take care!


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

Excellent and interesting read, Martie. Thanks. We've had some interesting ones here in South Africa, haven't we?

Love and peace

Tony


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

tonymac04 – Yes, we sure have them, but thank heavens they are not ONLY here, but all over the world. I wonder with what kind of animal can we compare them with? Perhaps crocodiles, pretending they are rocks instead of carnivores? And of course chameleons, although they are not dangerous enough. Thanks for your support. Ek waardeer dit regtig oneindig baie. Mooi loop!


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

"...he will pretend to be God’s personal agent with the right to lock and unlock the gates to heaven." OMG, this is exactly what the religious right claims. Are they all con artists? I believe they are.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

Storytellersrus – They base their rights on Matt. 16:18-19: “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

But at the same time they ignore hundred other scriptures commanding them to love their fellow-men (and not exploit, intimidate, mislead, judge, condemn, et cetera.......).

And in particular they forget Matt. 5:20: “For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

And by the way, Matt.16:18-19 is a contradiction of John 14:6 – “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father.”

Hoewever, Story, rather don’t argue with false prophets (con artists), for they will surely outsmart you. They are by hook or crook masters in convincing us that we are lost and they’re not.

Thanks for coming by. I’ve missed you. When you get the time, please go have a slice of cake and meet me and my grandchildren at the party – http://hubpages.com/holidays/Dont-be-a-party-poope

Take care!


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Martie, You are right. Arguing is not the way to go, but if we remain silent, well, these Pharisees win...

As he was now drawing near, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" And some of the Pharisees in the multitude said to him, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples." He answered, "I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out." {Luke 19:37-40 RSV}

Would you rather have stones speak for you?


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

Storytellersrus – Wow, I’ve forgot about that one! And no {lol}, talking stones will make me laugh ~}

When I look back I see there was a time in my life I needed the ‘shows’ of those ‘intimidators’ – just as I needed to be scared by all sorts of monsters in horror movies when I was a teenager, and to hear stories about princesses and frogs turning into princes when I was a child. I believe we go through phases while we grow and we should allow each other to go through theirs without judging and condemning – we should, in fact, not even confuse each other – Paul said: Don’t eat pork amongst those who believe pork is impure. “Let go, let God,” became my motto more than 10 years ago.

But yes, we should DO... BE God’s [Love] representatives on earth. The best we can. Bear the fruit... Shine the light... Be rolmodels for those who follow in our footsteps.

Easier said than done, I know. But at least we can keep on trying.

Hugs for you, Story. You are currently upset about a few things, but you’ll soon be fine again – with some new perceptions firmly in place :))


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Martie, I think I am trembling at all I have left unsaid. I think I am ashamed that I have allowed others to speak for me and stood back, quaking. The Silent Majority in America has a sordid history and I am loath to be part of that group. I do not value them and I do not value my inability to express the wrongs I see around me.

Yes, I am upset about a few things. I think the actions of individuals creates change. As you said, DOing is important. I try to DO and vote my conscience. But letting others think you agree with them by holding your tongue is not a value I hold dear and I have been guilty of this silent action too often.

Thanks for your passionate response.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

Storytellersrus – The story of Christ – lived thirty years, died a terrible death, went down to hell for three days, raised from the dead and hovers for forty days between earth and heaven before he finally ascended to heaven and (very important) left his spirit behind to fill the hearts of those who loves him...

Now I love to use this as a metaphor of my life. The only difference is heaven is never heaven, although I initially believe it is, until the rude awakening – it is but only another life to live.

It seems to me, Barbara, you are currently hovering between a life you’ve just lived and a next one. So make the best of it – it will only last forty days :))))

I’m sending you a bag filled with hugs!


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

MartieC, you are right. I am in the midst of depression and rebuilding and searching. I was in this purgatory back in 1999 to a greater extent. It was a patch between heaven and hell where I found great peace. I felt I was contributing to humanity in a whacked out way, and I was. It was a kundalini experience and very Kuan Yin.

I dreamt last night that I was driving a car and came to a stop sign where three other vehicles were stopped. I could not push the brake. I was in a fog and I simply could not push it. When I awoke I realized this is where I am... moving forward, feeling little control. My mother is deepening into her dementia and I cannot stop its progress. This is, indeed, cause for alarm. Before I die or fall victim of dementia, I would like to make certain I have fought the good fight...

Hugs, Barb


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

Storytellersrus – Wow, you are indeed currently in a bad situation. Too many changes and challenges (problems) you have to cope with now. You definitely need the support of your doctor – some anti-depro’s – lots of Vit B’s, physical exercises to get your serotonine level up again, etcetera – trust your doctor. Then of course your yoga and whatever you need to support your spirit. Do try a new hobby (a challenge) to keep your mind too busy for negative thoughts.

Your dream was indeed a warning. You’ve got to take it to heart.

I have so much empathy with you, my friend, and sympathy. I know that rapid you are in so well. The river of Life has so many of those for us to survive. I feel so powerless, because I can but only be a spectator. Watching you, scream some advice you may not even be able to hear, because of the noisy waters - (all your thoughts). And I can but only hope and pray that you stay strong and head above water until you are once again in calm waters. You are welcome to e-mail me – writing relieves tension – helps you to arrange your thoughts/plans of action/etc. I’ll keep you in my thoughts! Just don’t give up.

Lots of hugs going your way!


skye2day profile image

skye2day 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

Martie You are an amazing writer sister. You have not only researched but lived it. SO many of us have and May GOD help us. He does come to the rescue. Sometimes we have to go through much pain and loss and suffering to get to the truth in us. Which is GOD ALMIGHTY I only know because this is my story. I was the only one that could break the chains to being conned. Then when I realize a con it is so much easier to turn my cheek They are very clever and crafty. THE devil comes to steal kill destroy. What I have seen is con artist usually will end up either in recovery, Born Again, jail or death. I think every one has a bit of con in them don't I know it. I am grateful to say that is past tense I think it was survival in a sick sense. I am staying on the path of light I will focus on GOD and LIGHT I love you Martie I pray many come here to read that need more light shed on them. I believe GOD will send them to your writings. He is going to use you in a mighty way preciuos woman. You Take care of you Stand on the rock. You are loved. Love ya. Cant wait to read more. Hugs Galore.

voted up and awesome sista


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

skye2day – my dearest first friend @ Hubs, I always appreciate your shining-with-God’s-love- comments on my hubs. It is Christians like you who prevent fed-UP Christians like me to reject Christianity. I pray that God bless you with all the wisdom you need to be happy and contented daily.

Ref. Con Artists – Yes, we need the knowledge and wisdom to identify the con artists amongst us, though it is not so easy to escape their magnetic power over anyone who enters their spheres on purpose or accidentally. They are like those plants that catch flies, or like chameleons looking exactly like the cause they seemingly present. Fortunately God merely use them to teach his children wisdom, and eventually they burn in some kind of a hell before they die.

Thanks for reading and for leaving such a heartwarming comment. Sista :)))))

PS.: You will just love this hub written by DavePrice. Please do yourself a big favor and go read it asap.

http://hubpages.com/hub/The-7-Habits-of-Highly-Obn...


Char M profile image

Char M 6 years ago from Pacific Coast

Myself and millions of other women can probably say this is my ex-husband. He was so intelligent yet extremely full of issues and married to him for 18 years, I began to believe it was me with the problems. This is important info and it's wonderful to see it out in the open. Sometimes we believe if someone is smooth or intelliegent that they are not ill in the head, but they are the ones to be extra careful around. Lesson learned.


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MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

Char M – you have all my empathy and admiration for staying sane for 18 years in the same house as a con artist. Of course one has to be extremely intelligent in order to be a successful CA, and he must know his specific subject – the stage on which he performs. I’m so glad you’ve survived to start a new life. May you never be misled by a con artist.


Sasha'sOnHubShell profile image

Sasha'sOnHubShell 6 years ago from Florida

This is quite a comprehensive overview! Wow! I was involved, most unfortunately, with the epitome of a Sociopath, and began looking up some of these stated behaviors/use of language to fully understand the "other person" that began surfacing. I was under the impression, initially, that I was simply dealing with a bi-polar personality. I should have been so lucky. Reality was much more devastating. The tricky thing about Sociopaths is that they have the ability to completely disguise their narcissism. Beyond that, these con-artists can easily devote hours and days to what is seemingly a selfless act, a labor of love for your benefit. These actions are only part of their main objective though, which is to gain your appreciation and above all, your trust. From there, they move toward embedding themselves as a necessity for YOUR life, successfully creating a pawn out of a person.

I'm not one to be easily fooled, but the mind of a con-artist is much more cynical than mine(a challenge). They are devious, without boundary or remorse, paired with the ability to be appear convincingly sincere, even charismatic. So, while many of us may be realists, weary of who we let close to us, believing that these little critters are easy to pick out... It simply is not so. The best sociopaths are the ones whom are never discovered.

Reading through this feedback, my heart truly goes out to those who've spent much of their life trusting, loving, even living with a person who they later discover is just a living shell of a human being.

This excerpt explains my expolitation experience entirely:

"A con artist will identify your needs and expectations, then pretend that he is the only agent capable of producing the satisfaction you need. His motto is: “Working smart instead of hard.”

While the con-artist I knew never tried to con me financially, the emotional abuse was ultimately much more damaging. To a sociopath, whether it be 18 years or 18 days, you will never be seen as more than a pawn, a device of their life. They will never recognize the pain they've caused another, unless in some way they can capitalize on it.

To quote David Bowie in Labyrinth, who was a prize Sociopath as The Goblin King: "Such a pity."


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

Sasha'sOnHubShell – Thank you so much for improving this hub with your accurate and informative comment. Every word you wrote breaths SOCIOPATH. They are extremely dangerous, and on top of this perfectly camouflaged. Fortunately I was able to escape a giant of one of them in time, but the brief interaction was enough to make me realize what they are able of... and sadly they have no idea what they are. They are so good they can even con themselves for as long as they live. Yes, it is such a pity.

Thanks again Sasha. Your comment complimented my hub. Take care.


Kerry43 6 years ago

What a wonderful read, thank you. You have crafted the perfect picture of everything we should try to avoid in our lives, although like others have said, there is a fine line between each of us, and the 'other side' of normal.

Bless you.

Sincerely,

Kez


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MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

Kerry43 – The bottom line is honesty, also to one’s own self. A con artist is false... eventually he is even able to bluf himself. Thanks for the read and the comment, and welcome in my corner.


LaurieDawn profile image

LaurieDawn 5 years ago

Thank you Martie for taking the time and the energy to write about this topic. I have been involved with an awful con artist in the past, and have found out that he had most of those traits and more! I am very thankful that he disappeared into the night, but I did feel sorry for his next victims, which one of them I did talk to you years later, only to find he disappeared again. Very insightful hub, and I am glad you put it out there, hopefully so others who may get involved with one may see before it is too late.

Blessings and hugs!

Laurie


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MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

LaurieDawn – I think a con artist is like a virus. You can’t prevent it from entering your body. Once inside you it destroys you until you die. Some people manage to get it out of their systems to be, perhaps, forever immune from it. I will definitely never get infected by it again. I really don’t think this hub will open any eyes in time, but it will certainly open the eyes of those who are already victims. It will be all up to them to decide whether they want to be destroyed or not. Thanks for reading and leaving a contribution. I’m on my way to your corner.


jcalbon 5 years ago

Though this is a serious topic, I really appreciated that you tackled it in such a sensitive, dare-I-say enjoyable way. I especially liked that you included that most people can't spot a con artist, at least not immediately, because people who have been scammed can feel so vulnerable/foolish in addition to having been victimized. Thanks for the in-depth look at the topic.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

jcalbon – and how we feel like fools! I am still not able to talk/write about my personal experience with a con artist, because I feel so stupid – I allowed somebody to take me for a ride – where were my brains? I was warned by many, and yet I trusted my deceitful heart and a gut feeling, that was actually paralyzed by my desperate needs. I’m so glad you read this and found it enjoyable. Yes, to prevent severe depression we have to add some humor to setbacks we’ve suffered. We have to smile at ourselves, because we are only humans trying our best to obtain everything we need, or think we need. Perhaps I may become a victim of some con-artists again, because I tend to believe that there are more good than bad in people. Naïve is my second name. Take care, jcalbon. Beware of the CA’s!


Mozz 5 years ago

I have been very perplexed by my stupidity to have trusted and believed in someone who under the radar of lies and false information took all the profits from my business. We are talking a lot of money over the past 9 years. I now know that this person has a serious NPD and is a professional con. But his ability to deceive has made it almost impossible to recover my funds and reputation. I need some good non con advice.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Mozz – You are neither the first nor the last victim of a con-artist. Don’t feel embarrass or guilty, because con-artists are the best actors on earth – they are so good they honestly believe they are who and what they pretend to be. Only the hyper-skeptic will not trust him/her at first sight, but keep in mind they don't trust anybody in any way. The only advice I can give is: Cut the con-artist merciless out of your life the moment you identify him. Don’t allow your soft heart to give him a second chance to assure you that he is a con-artist. As Christians we were taught to forgive seventy times seven. But the Bible also says God want us to be happy. How can one be happy while he is a victim of a mental disturbed person? So forgive him only once, get out of his/her reach and FORGET him. I am truly sorry about your losses, Mozz. Please get legal advice and try to retrieve some of it in accordance with the LAW of your country. And don’t trust any smooth operator ever again. Thanks for the visit and for you supportive comment on the issue.


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

Oh yea, good stuff! I remember this now. I'm forwarding the link to my sister. Sounds like just what the doctor ordered! Your a peach, thanks! :) Katie


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MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Katie - thanks for making me burst out in laugher. I always wanted to be a sweet, juicy peach.... hahaha! We have a song over here, titled ‘There is a woman in every fragrance (or vise versa).’ The singer (Jan de Wet) tells us that his girlfriend is in a tangerine and his grandmother in cinnamon, et cetera... Wow, this will be an interesting hub.... I love it when I get a new idea for a hub! I think you are a bunch of red grapes :))))


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa

I came back here because in the past few days I have come across one again who I met in the late 1990s when he conned the place I was working for by all sorts of false claims and he had some of us fooled. He was caught out and jailed, and now he has almost fooled Pres Zuma's foundation, but has again been caught out and fired, you might have noticed the news stories. He was glib and certainly gave the impression of knowing what he was talking about when in fact he knew very little.

Then there is the case of the bogus "doctors" recently arrested by the Hawks.

How do they get away with it for so long?

Thanks again for a very interesting read.

Love and peace

Tony


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

tonymac04 – If I haven’t met a con-artist in person and experience his behavior first hand, I would not have been able to understand the mindsets of such narcissists. Perhaps I should do another, more detailed hub about them devils.

Thank you for coming over, Tony. Your interest in my hubs is truly inspiring. Jou vriendskap en ondersteuning beteken vir my oneindig baie.

I wish you all the love and peace galore you deserve :)))


Marlin 5 years ago

My sister Connie is a con artist. She pretended to try and help me and lied to me, seized all my clothes and furniture after I paid her advance rent, and then told everyone I was the !con artist! Word of advice, cut them out of your life - and pretend they are dead. You will only get piece of mind then. And count your blessings that ;you escaped. M


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MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Marlin – That is exactly what they do – pretending... denying their own mental disorder... blaming you for all their actions, which they will in any case minimize and justify.... This is not only great advice, but the only advice one can give to a person who finds him/herself in the trap set by a con-artist: CUT him/her out of your life and pretend they are dead. Nobody in this world is able to fight the devil himself in disguise.

I wish you luck!


LiL J 5 years ago

I know this troubled girl named solina salinas that con's people to get various things including some very famous people as well se has conned she's been in an out of jail for La conning people can anyone please help this sociopath she Loca .


Joe 5 years ago

My sister Jeannine is a con artist. She married a man who had cancer just to get a monthly death benefit. After 15 years, she's still collecting it. She took out a $10,000 life insurance policy on him the day after they married because there was no medical check on the amount up to $10,000. He died just over a year later. If that wasn't bad enough, just months before he died, she told the town newspaper that her husband needed treatment but they didn't have the money - she lied. His insurance paid all of the medical bills. The town rallied and she scammed over $15,000 out of people who thought they were helping a dying man. She went shopping and had a good time when he was dying in the hospital! My parenst were mortified! Then the morning her husband died, she told my Dad that had she been able to buy the cancer policy 'she'd be $200,000 richer'! Horrible, horrible creature she is.

The best anyone can do is get away from these narcissistic monsters as fast as you can. Even if you have to move thousands of miles away from them, like I did.


TONY YAYO 5 years ago

Yeah I now this Girl named Solina salinas she got me slapped across my face by some guy called Bloody allias crazy-man from Riverside , she is so scanless , she got me into so many problems with this guy Im so afraid of him he already slappped me an beat up my friend Tony Red for her Conning him . an he punked my friend Llyod Banks an slept with his girl friend ,every one knows us haitian people are so peaceful these dang mexican's are so violent a viscous.


Sylvia's Thoughts profile image

Sylvia's Thoughts 5 years ago from Southern California

Sounds like my ex!


Samara 5 years ago

Yeah I know Solina Salinas to She neglected her baby while high on crack an let the poor little thing drown in the bathtub while she was pulling tricks an coked up she said she let the baby die because the baby was black an had contracted the Hiv virus from her drug use this girl is wacked out.


Matt Blaze 5 years ago

thats not how solina contracted aid's she got when she slept with Wiz khalifa who is hiv postive an you can look this up if you dont think its true. I heard her baby died when she was in jail, she also is in a gang called the bulldog's which part of the northern mexican mob and they donot like blacks at all dispute rumor's they dont get along she also said that she does not like blacks but she sure did sleep with them for money an got aid's an still's sleeps around with various guys while Wiz run's free


Kanji 5 years ago

Hi my name is Kanji my Homies call me papa coconut I rap with this fatso Rick Ross I hear Wiz Khalifa is up to his old trick's again he has also gotten people out here on the east coast infected with HIV to he's a real scumbag he's probably paying this girl with hush money he's done it before an will continue to infect people if he is not stopped. he got this poor little girl to believing that he's goanna take care of her but he's clever he know's there's a one year labiality on which she has to act in court otherwise he isn't held liable, an her greed is over powering her judgment I believe she's not mentally sound he also brag's about getting away with thing's in his second interview with the female Asian host from MTV after he had just infected her he went on bragging to the female host.Wiz comes from Persian Muslim oil money. he also is racist in the song G 'd up he brag's about taking a hispanic girl that is married to a hotel an infecting her an he treatens a well known druglord what a dumb ass. by the way which is a new video, but he cleverly put's a false date so you will think its a year prior, what a ttotal jerk , screw him an his junk music he's not even a real brother he's asian. he exploit's real black people, his music is dumb an he look's like Morgan Freeman with a fat ugly toad face aid's up crack-head . just like all of G-unit especially that ugly bastard 50Cent he has fat tit's , like a woman the fat-boy. an his mexican homeboy Midget Loco from Urban Queens but I call them Uran Homo's Trash Familia,Hoto's . his wife LiL Nene they call her MOM'S they ran a Aid's train on that Tramp But especially F Tony Play'do who is HIV positive an make's porno's using healthy women purposely infecting them in his private adult movies with some other well-known music artist these movies should be confiscated by the FBI they should investigate this. an to hell with his Girl Enema M an that stuffed cod, Swindle Kim. there all involved in Illegal activity' nthis is the truth.


Jenny 5 years ago

yah Im a Neighbor of Solina's she's been bragging how she broke parole to be in snoop Dogg's new Doggumentary an how they told her to give a false date when actually recorded the film back in JAN.an how she gave head to all these guys. tony yayo snoop dogg an tony redd use these prison Hoe's in there porno's this an exploitation the prion should do something about this Im sure if you check there security cameras the courts will have a case.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA

This is an excellent hub replete with good information. Have you read the non-fiction book, THE SOCIOPATH NEXT DOOR? People who fit the sociopathic personality profile are often clever and charming; thus, they're able to con their way into their victims' trust. Unfortunately, the true sociopath has no conscience or even any honest feeling for others. Scary!

Jaye


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

JayeWisdom – I still can believe I was for a few months during 2010 the prey of a sociopath. Shrewd is a word that suits them better as ‘clever’. The scariest is the fact that they believe they are normal, and they go out of their way to try to change you in such a way that you fit into their abnormal outlook in life. Oh, I can write a book about my experience. Fortunately I realized in time – although too late considering the money and time I’ve spent - something is wrong between those ears. So I started to plan my way out, and so easy, because he was on top of it all a drug addict/alcoholic. Anyway, it is over and I’ve learnt a lot. Thanks for your visit. Take care, I’ll see you soon in your corner.


spirit929 profile image

spirit929 5 years ago from Upstate NY somewhere over the rainbow

Martie thought Id stop by and check out the Hubs! This one is fasinating! I happen to know a female Sociopath/Con artist! All these descriptions fit her to a T! great Article and one I am bookmarking!


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MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

spirit929 – Interaction with a sociopath always blow one completely out of the water. They are poison for people like me, who grew up (and old) with the rule ‘first cast the beam out of your own eye...’ One needs to maintain a distance between yourself and sociopaths, in order to see them behind their deceitful masks. Thanks for the visit and the comment. Take care!


bohemiotx profile image

bohemiotx 5 years ago from Tyler, TX

Wonderful detail and supporting media. You've been getting lots of positive comments. Plus the observations are true. I've had to deal with the sociopath watching the sickly mom while I'm at work scenario. They were such great janitors in the classroom building, and Mom needs a drinking buddy and watchdog.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

bohemiotx – The sociopath knows exactly how to exploits the needs of others. Too often we allow them to do that, for while they are exploiting us, they give what we need. A kind of parasite feeding his victim.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Martie-great hub. Like you, I was one of those 'curious, adventurous' women who ended up being drawn to this charming 'bad boy' like a moth to a flame. My book would be right along next to yours! It was, as you say, a life of complete and utter chaos, so different from the life I was raised in. A nightmare in which I thought I was going mad. In the craziness I found a bookstore and discovered a path out...but, it took a long, long time. I too spent so much money during the crazy relationship it is sickening...I was sick. I am grateful that I am free of that now. So, when people ask how I can recognize the manipulation that a con is attempting to play on others, I tell them: first hand experience. Voted it up.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Denise Handlon – I wish I could tell you my true story word for word, but because I feel sorry for the punk’s relatives, I will only tell you about the cherry on the cake.

Since the day I met him (2010) on the Internet, my gut feeling warned me against him. But being me I thought I was merely negative and skeptic. I knew him for 4 months – he lived elsewhere and he pretended to be extremely busy in his capacity as a gospel preacher. My region is, like all regions, an ideal ‘sea’ with lots of ‘fish’ to be transformed into Christians (by him, his lordshit), and because I had everything he needed to accomplish his goals, the snowball began to roll....

The very first day I saw him eye to eye, I realized he was nothing but a glorified bum. During the first 4 days he proved himself as a complete drug addict and alcoholic. But in total denial (and in fact crazy) he tried to convince me that I am lost by not being the ‘submissive helpmeet’ God had ordered women to be. During the 53 days I tolerated him in my house, he had given me all the shocks that was left for me to experience on this planet. It took me almost a year to recover and aftershocks are still shuddering from time to time through me. Fortunately I was able to send him into his glory and today I am only grateful for the lessons I’ve learned. I regard him and his doings today as ‘research’ I have done for a book I’m going to write whenever time allow me to, and it was also a comprehensive course in the behavior of con-artists, sociopaths and narcissists.

Denise, thank you for assuring me that I am not the only one who had met, and had to cope with, the devil himself in disguise. The things they do and say belong in the horrors produced by Hollywood. I’m glad your experience is now also a mere memory. I wish you all of the best ahead.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Martie, I can relate, yes. Be grateful that your experience lasted a mere several months. Mine went on for years. The crazy part is the 'brainwashing affect'. It is easy to get sucked in b/c they are master manipulators and you begin to doubt your own sanity. I began a slow recovery through the help of books, first-when the curtain was pulled away and Truth stared me in the face. Then, a recovery group helped to reinforce that I was not alone. It is frightening and I am grateful that I have survived and stay vigilant to other predators. BTW-my guy was an addict also. His drug of choice was marijuana and women. Oh the mind games I can recall...

Best to you re: your book. It is an important one to write.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Denise, I am so glad you are a survivor. May your comments give readers, who are still strangled in the net of a con-artist, the courage to free themselves without further delay. Take care!


ljp profile image

ljp 5 years ago from Chicago

Just found out I had been involved with this type. Am I scarred forever? I feel so naïve and dupped. I doubt my ability to trust in future relationships. How do I survive this intact?


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

ljp – I assume you are no longer involved with this type, and that alone makes you a survivor. Unfortunately we cannot heal our scars, though Time heals our wounds. In similar circumstances, even slightly similar, the healed wounds - damaged areas – become inflamed and septic – more painful and harmful than a fresh wound. So I suggest you keep yourself far away from con-artists, narcissists and sociopaths. As you’ve read in this hub, all three these aberrations could be one person. We never recognize them in time, but only after they’ve hurt and shocked us. Take care!


wba108@yahoo.com profile image

wba108@yahoo.com 5 years ago from upstate, NY

MartieCoetser-

We had a con man in our church you could have written a book about! He fooled everyone, headed the worship team, was sent out preach and became an elder.

He embezzed about $20,000 from the church and more than that from individual members, had an affair with the Pastors beautiful daughter and when he left he took about a quarter of the church with him.

Love the information in this Hub!- Regards and blessings-WBA


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

wba108 - Oh my, and there are more than too many of them on this planet, exploiting our confidence, pretending to fulfill our needs until we realise they are actually parasites, devouring all we are and have. What shall we say but 'may God bless them'. Only God, or some supernatural being, can save us from sociopaths practising as con-artists. Thanks for enhancing this hub of mine with expamples of the behavior of con-artists. Take care!


Tristan Shiels tristanshiels@hotmail.com 5 years ago

Not all Con Artists can be defined in such melodramatic ways. I apologize but I believe you have valid points, but your spreading it like thin butter on a large piece of bread. Con Artist's are like writers and actors. They observe and understand, thats the point they watch what other people see, their tourists of our desires and they now what we want polished. The motivations of a Con Artist vary. Many people are narcissistic, egotistical trying to sell you things but are not at all Con artists. Ego in fact is a common thing, we all bloody deal with ego. And real con artists, would not confess on google. Their magicians, they show you a trick, 'How did you do it?" they will never tell you. Its also your obsession in finding out the trick that gives them kicks.

In fact I'm sorry but I'm going to go as far to say you resemble many of the so called symptoms of the con artist's mind on this page. You've sold a half formed romantic article that has no real hardcore evidence in it, but people believe it? Its speculation, and you used all the right words that we believe are to do with 'immorality' any one who looks at this page already have a belief on what a con artist is, all you do is take it to the next level.

P.S

People want to trust, even Con Artists, its subconscious, if we trust it shows we're not isolated.

You wouldn't be easy to con, but for a con artist your the perfect mark, you believe in so much but know so little. You've conned yourself.

In fact we all con ourselves

You can't apply one method to all. But in the whole your article has given valid points. But not accurate, never claim to know what you only speculate


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Tristan Shiels tristanshiels@hotmail.com – Thank you so much for enhancing my humble article with you superb knowledge of con-artists, sociopaths and narcissists, and, I believe, your personal experience as the victim of many of them. You are the first academic giant who failed to recognize the market I am targeting with this article, but fortunately your failure is for their benefit. Believe me, I am sincerely grateful.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Martie,

You are beginning to remind me more and more of someone I know named "Heather". Hats off for conducting yourself in such a ladylike manner, even when feedback is illogical, mean-spirited and self indulgent.

I was struck by how evergreen this article is...written 12 months ago and still so meaningful to so many today. And, Martie, I say this humbly with a Master's degree in Psychiatric Nursing and quite a few years of direct clinical practice with criminal con artists/ personality disorders in the forensic system. Your approach is indeed factual, detailed and well researched, at least to me-- voted UP & UABI, mar.


SanXuary 5 years ago

Recognizing a Con-artist is fascinating research but following it up with why they exist might be even more interesting. Some of the richest and most successful people are also some of the biggest Con-artist alive. Selfishness or the belief that they are entitled to anything in order to profit would be my guess, but then again the belief that they our simply smarter then you might be the reason as well. Does society play a hand in creating these people? There seems to be a Con-artist around every corner these days.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

*** marcoujor – Thanks for your much appreciated support.

*** SanXuary – I agree whole-heartedly with you. I think a con-artist realize very early in his life – while he is still a toddler – that he can manipulate people by pretending he is what he would like to be, or even anybody he regards as capable of getting people to respect/fear/worship him. If his parents don’t correct him, he will become a narcissist and eventually a sociopath. This is the case with the con-artists I’ve met in my life. They are indeed around every corner, like snakes in the woods, and they are unfortunately human magnets. Because of them I am today a skeptic, not able to trust another person easily. But they’ve also assured me that I may trust my gut feeling without any doubts. Thank you for your great comment.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Martie-I continue to follow this article and comments and hats off to you with your brilliant response to the commentator from hotmail. Well said in a delicate, precise manner.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Denise, thanks for the encouragement. To air my true opinion on commentators like him/her, I really need a lot of space. But I believe everyone has the right to comment what's on his mind and heart and let the readers be the judges. We learn so much from each other - what is right as well as what is wrong. Have a great Friday :))


SanXuary 5 years ago

For several years I worked security and what I learned is that women have a really good creep alarm. When they called me for a potential problem they were seldom wrong about a person being creepy. I learned pretty quick not to doubt this intuition. This does not relate to much to the article but just an insight.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

SanXuary – To make it easier for myself I had simplified the ego-ID-superego model of Freud and his followers, and I like to believe that the 6th sense is a protective characteristic of the ego, which is in my model merely a robot protecting ‘True/Real’ Self.

The needs of Self or Self-image, may be in a situation with a con-artist stronger than the ego, and the poor brain/mind, whether filled with knowledge or not, will have to keep the order. One’s thoughts and moods will swing back and forth between ‘want/need to trust’ and ‘fear to trust’. I believe if one understand the ruling ‘characters’ in his mind, he will be more able to trust them and stay out of danger. The real Self is after all the one that should take control over ego, self-image and even over mind, which may contain a lot of false perceptions and lies.

I’m leaving you this link to my elementary explanation of the characters, or in other words, ‘angels and devils’ on our shoulders, though I know my grammar in there needs revising.

Thanks a lot for your much appreciated input in here.

http://martiecoetser.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-know-...


T.S 5 years ago

T.S tristan, Who hasn't been conned? Everyone has been lied to by someone or tricked, its a natural thing in life. You mean the market is for people who look this stuff up on the internet and are convinced easily with a lack of empirical evidence?

By the way I thought your response to SanXuary had some nice points on it to do with ego, very nice indeed.

Although the big thing about the ego is we all suffer it, and in this case I probably suffer it highlly (a don't doubt I could be out of place for commenting on work with no evidence)


SanXuary 5 years ago

I am fascinated by psychology and it explains humanism but fails spirituality. I think both tell fascinating truths but spiritual maturity trumps human maturity in ways that leave psychology lost and unable to explain and can only guess the answers as to why. I can dissect human behaviour but spiritual growth throws all theories to the wind because it gives up the body and Earthly goals that the World attempts to set for us. For example if I made a list of all my concerns and separated them from Earthly problems and Heavenly problems. I can then determine what is more important and if I am good on reaching Heaven I have no other problems. I am concerned about learning life's lessons and growing in a way where often times people become to predictable. I am not so concerned about money and material existence and often know that most problems in life our not mine. I no longer even fear death, I only fear that I will not understand what it is that I must learn next.


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MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

T.S Tristan – it is so true – we are all egoists promoting our personal perceptions and interpretations of life and all it entails. Trust me, my friend, besides my qualifications, I’ve suffered a con-artist and I’ve done a lot of research in order to comprehend and to disinfect my wounds with knowledge so it could heal with no chance to get septic. So to speak.

We should not confuse normal dishonest, unfair and fraudulent people with con-artists. The con-artist is a professional swindler who exploits the confidence of his victims. I would like to read an article written by you about this specific kind of sociopath. According to your comments, it could be very interesting.


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MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

SanXuary – I like your philosophic thoughts. The challenge is to establish a perfect balance between humanism and spirituality. Out of balance the one with the most weight will be like a drug that will keep us in a state of euphoria. Just figure what happen with a drugged person wherever he goes. Thanks for your profound comments. “We think, therefore we are human.” – Descartes.


reeltaulk 5 years ago

After reading your typical con artist quotes I had to comment. Maybe there are some people that will say those things that aren't genuine. And there are people that say those things that are genuine. The ones that aren't genuine usually succeed and the ones that are get ran over and trumped on. You cannot put those sentences as sentences that Con Artist say. At the end of the day, the individual that is on the receiving end has to make a choice. The majority always flocks to the words as well as con men. Some times it is for people to soul search and get their sort comings and desires right so that they don't fall for these types. There are good people that still exist and will lend a hand to someone in need with NO strings attached. So I don't agree with some of the things you have listed there. It's common for people to flock to jesus men and people who get all dappered up as Gods right had man, because they are saying the right things. Most of the time making others feel good about themselves because they have mastered that "pull the wool over your eyes craft". Who do you blame, at some point you can't even blame the con man because at the end of the day he/she has figured out a weakness and continuously targets it. It is the individual that has to be consistent with the choices that they make and the individuals that they entertain. Con men, psychos, and narcissist and all of the above mentioned ALWAYS slip and show who they are. It's just a matter of paying attention to people's behaviors and actually listening to what they are saying. This way of life is promoted and if a Con man and any of the above wants to live like this....Oh Well on the other hand, if the "average Joe" who doesn't want to take responsibility about their own well being....Oh Well!


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MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

reeltaulk – I agree with your view on the typical con artist quotes – they can also be that of people with genuine intentions. I would say it is always (and not only sometimes) necessary for people to search their soul and to identify their own needs. It is easier to protect ourselves when we know our strengths and weaknesses. As you have rightly stressed, it is the responsibility of the individual to make wise choices and to keep untrustworthy individuals out of their lives. Thanks a lot for your profound comment.


katiem2 5 years ago

Great article, rated up and all that is good! Katie :)


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MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

katiem2 - So good to see you again :) Thanks for the visit. I enjoy following you in Facebook. Take care!


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xethonxq 5 years ago

Very interesting article. I was fascinated by the ways people get conned and found myself wondering how many times I've been almost conned by their methods.


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MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

xethonxq – Good to know you were only “almost conned”. Trust me, to be conned is one of the few things in life that is impossible to forgive. Firstly one has to overcome self-regret – as own stupidity has been proved – and then loss... et cetera.

Thank you for the comment. This hub has now a total of 2887 views, so I do treasure comments.


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A.A. Zavala 4 years ago from Texas

An oldie but goodie.

Cons will be here until the end of time. They're even present in the animal world. I remember your tale regarding the preacher, and the time it took to recover from his presence. An article to warn others from your experiences.


Johann H Claassen 4 years ago

The most recent convicted one: Gervan Lubbe of South Africa. Thanks for a well written article. In Afrikaans noem ons hulle sommer Plein Skelms!


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MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi my dearest Augustine, I remember I told you all about that punk, and so sad, he is still conning people in the name of God and without even realizing it. His mind is totally seized by its illness... You can tell a con-artist he is a con-artist and he will not be able to believe you.

Thanks for this pleasant surprise-visit. You are awesome :)))


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MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Johann, we must admit he is/was damn clever. If only he could have used his brilliant mind in a positive way. And who was that guy who sold the cubes plants? Or what did they call that stuff he had been selling to everybody and their friend?


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RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Ah - Hi Martie - wish I had read this several months ago:) I got conned out of a couple of thousand dollars - I paid for a portion of my house to be sided. In advance. Dumb...now I know! But he looked like such a nice man:) LOL I am working with my insurance company to get the work completed but I am still waiting. He was very charming...and just told me he came by to pick up the check to get the materials so off I went to write that check! Live and learn I guess:(

Great hub - I'll go read this again next time some nice looking fellow wants me to write a check! haha!


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MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Oh my goodness, no! Realhousewife, they are always so damn nice. After being conned it is so difficult to trust people again.

ALL con-artists are nice people, but all nice people are not con-artists.

I eventually decided to trust and love people until they prove to me that they are not worthy of my trust and love. But, at the same time, I will not risk a penny. I will protect my assets, regard whatever I give not as an investment, but as charity.

I've spent in total $5000 (USD) on the punk. (Maybe not much for Americans, but for South Africans that is a LOT of money.) He picked me (in Cyberspace at another writers-site) because he identified me as a woman with a soft heart able to tolerate addictions and mental disorders and able to provide free lodging.

Well, I may have a soft heart and I may have a lot of empathy and compassion, but as soft as I can be just as hard can I be. I don't tolerate parasites, scum and evil people in my life. I have given him 3 warnings. After the 4th time he had stolen my money to get himself as drunk as a lord - causing me pain, embarrassment, shock, disgust - I simply phoned the police. They took him to the airport where they dropped him on my behalf like a bag of potatoes. He had to find his way back home all on his own.

And he is still a parasite.... But let his victims be his victims.... They, too, must learn what we have learnt.

What bothers me the most: Why did his family not warn me? They had the opportunity. It was a case of good riddens for them....

Take care!


Christine 4 years ago

To MartieCoetser

I have only just read your article, and very interesting it is too. You mention the bible's understanding of narcissistic behaviour.

Psychology has only recognized Narcissistic Behaviour in the last 100 years or so, however the bible spoke of it 2000 years ago. In his letters to Timothy, St Paul had his concerns about the character and behavior of leaders within the church, so he warns Timothy to beware of those who act out of a “self love attitude”.

I am a therapist who works with victims of narcissistic abuse, and I have written an article that contrasts St. Paul's concerns with Psychology's understanding of Narcissism to-day. If you would like to read it, please use the link below.

http://narcissisticbehavior.net/category/articles

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT NARCISSISTIC BEHAVIOUR?


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MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Christine, thank you so very much for your contribution to this topic. As soon as I am back at my base station, I am going to follow your link. I am also going to add it to my article. I wish you all of the best with your work.

It took me almost a year to recover from the emotional damaged that was done to me by a narcissist/sociopath over a period of 6 months. I still gasp with shock when I remember his behavior. I am a strong person, I cannot believe that I allowed him to bewitch me. But then, I was in the devastating stage of Burnout when he came into my life. The best of all: today I know that my experience with him was absolutely essential for my personal growth.

Thanks again and take care :)


Christine 4 years ago

Thank you Martie Coetser.

If you recovered from the devastating behaviour of your narcissistic/sociopath in one year, then you are doing incredibly well.

Please be kind to yourself, because you did not allow him to bewitch you, you were most likely subjected to a process called Gaslighting......you were never meant to work out what was happening in the sinister game the narcissist plays.

Yes, when one recovers in the healing process, then one will understand how this has led to personal growth.....in the meantime it seems like a bitter pill to swallow. Strange thing is that my narcissistic abuse experiences have led me to work with those who are sufferers of Narcissistic Victim Syndrome.

For anybody who has experienced narcissistic abuse but have not yet come across the term "Gaslighting", I have written a short article that gives insight into the phenomenon. Just follow the link.

http://narcissisticbehavior.net/category/the-effec...


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MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Christine, what a brilliant, informative and profound article! You certainly know the topic in all its depths. I get so angry when I read articles like this one of yours... angry because I've mingled with such a horrible creature. Fortunately I was older than 12; I realized within three days that he had a mental disorder - though he tried to convince me that I was everything he was. He repeated himself daily, proving that he had memorized a few impressive scriptures in the Bible and also things that must have been said to him by people who have tried to make him realize his own disorder...

Anyway, I've decided not to remember his sayings and doings, but just to be grateful because I've managed to diagnose his behavior and kept my nose above water until the day he gave me the ideal opportunity to get rid of him. My heart BLEEDS for people who don't get this opportunity. 53 days in such a person's presence are truly 52 days too many.

I am not the revengeful type, I just hope with all my heart that he soon dies, as he destroys people as far as he goes.

You have a fantastic site with brilliant articles.


christine 4 years ago

To MartieCoetser

Thank you for you kind words.

You know, anger about what you cannot change is a waste of time. You are a survivor, you saw, you recognized, and you got out. Continue to learn what you can about narcissistic personality types so that you can spot them a mile off.... then don't get "hooked" for Narcissistic Supply by another sicko.

Oh yes, narcissists are often Bible bangers, and they just love to quote the Bible. However, for every quote in the Bible they use, there is always another to contradict theirs. For example, "An eye for an eye" V's "Turn the other cheek". They don't know how to handle it when you turn the tables on them..... in an intellectual way, of course!


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MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

How right you are, Christine - they cannot handle their own 'medicine'. The one I knew forbade me to 'remind' him of any contradiction, as I was supposed to be submissive... In the meanwhile he had no clue what I was talking about, I confused him. And so he kept on telling me that my 'mind' was not godly, only my (soft) heart was, and that I should please him, because by pleasing him, I also please the Lord.... and one specific 'pleasing' deed was not to complain when he pops sleeping pills - bought with my money - like smarties and drink the most expensive whiskey - bought with my money - as if it came out of heaven like pouring rain. OMG, I can write a book about him and his crazy, absolutely unacceptable behavior.

Fortunately I could read his crooked mind like a book, especially after I had diagnosed his disorder.

Thank you, Christine, for your profound contributions to this article of mine.


Christine 4 years ago

To Martie Coetser

"Please him"......of course you should please him, afterall, he is GOD, living in their Grandiosity Bubble (ha! ha!). It is easy now to see

why Narcissistic Personality Disorder was first described by psychiatrists as "the God Complex". Sounds as if you burst his bubble on him!!

Perhaps you should write that book, it would be wonderful if you did. But don't forget to include what happened to you during the experience. So much is known about the narcissist, but so little is written about the victim. This badly needs addressing.

Thank you for your kind words about my articles, this kind of feedback help me to stay motivated to write more.

I just saw that you have put a link to my site for other readers, so thank you very much for that. The original idea of my site was to inform therapists about Narcissistic Victim Syndrome, but many victims of this form of abuse are finding their way onto the site...... it is now being read in over 90 countries, so that tells you how widespread narcissistic abuse is in the world.

You keep up the good work, because victims have a hard job trying to work out what is happening to them in their relationships. Articles like yours (and mine)provide victims with much needed information. Once their eyes are opened, they are finally able to work out what they have been exposed to. For many, they begin to realize that there is nothing wrong with them afterall..... this validates them, and the news can come as a life line for many.

Here is a link to an Article I wrote on the Narcissist's Grandiosity Bubble.

http://narcissisticbehavior.net/category/grandiosi...


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MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Christine, thank you so much for sending me this link to your article. I think you are doing wonderful work. I also share your links on my Facebook. Maybe one day I will write a short story, making the relationship with a narcissist a mental experience for the reader. I will hate writing it, because I don't want to relive those horrible emotions and confusing thoughts. Here is something I've written about it. I would love to know your opinion :)

http://martiecoetser.hubpages.com/hub/Battle-of-th...


Christine 4 years ago

Just read your article "Battle of the Voices (Ego versus Self)75".

Oh yes, I recognize this behaviour very well indeed. The narcissist sweeps you right off your feet. I suspect he saw you as "high status" from the beginning, that would have been enough to create the chase. I can script it all, for example the flattering when he first meet you, the excitement he brought to you in order to make you feel so good, and make you think you had found your ideal soul-mate. I bet he even had a child-like-spirit, which of course, you loved. Then those moments of vulnerability, when you felt the urge to rescue him.

What you did not know then was that he lived through a False Self, that he did not have the ability to be a true caring, understanding, empathetic person for long. So it was not going to be long before Dr. Jekyll would become Mr. Hyde, and then you would meet the demanding, haughty and arrogant person that he truly was.

Sounds like you experienced 2 of the 3 stages of Gaslighting behaviour. First, The Idealization Stage when everything was coming up roses, your dream man had arrived. However, once he managed to lock you into a committed relationship with him you entered into the 2nd Phase, The Devaluation Stage. What used to be the charming Dr. Jekyll was very soon replaced by very demeaning, condescending and insulting Mr. Hyde. Suddenly you found yourself walking on eggshell around him. But to confuse you, he would have days when you would see the fun loving side of him again, and you would sigh a sigh of relief to have your wonderful Dr. Jekyll back.

But you woke up, you came out of the haze very quickly, and I congratulate you on that. Because you saw through the illusion quickly, you still had enough of yourself left to be able to do what you needed to do..... cut him out of your life. You did not do as many partners do, that is, they find themselves in the eye of a very thick fog, and the only escape is into a range of unconscious defense mechanisms (a mix of denial, rationalization, infantile regressive patterns, cognative dissonance, trauma bonding etc.). By this time the person is caught in the macabre dance with the narcissist’s pathological grandiose self, where hell reigns supreme. The narcissist is now bored of the game, they know they have won, and the dance enters the 3 and final stage, The Discarding Phase. The victim will now find themselves going through emotional and psychological states of mind that strips them of all confidence and self-esteem. But not you girl, you broke through the illusion. You are now a beacon of light for others.

I shall put a link up for those readers who do not know the 3 stages of Gaslighting, and the consequences of that behaviour on the victim.

http://narcissisticbehavior.net/category/the-effec...


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MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Christine, spot on! If it was not for the fact that I knew the basic symptoms of mental disorders and that I already had a life time of painful experience of human behavior behind me, he would have had me in a living hell for years - because of my instinctive determination and urge to make a success of everything I start.

Thanks, I am adding the links to the hub :)


Christine 4 years ago

I don't want to be the one who hogs your hub, but I would like to say that you are a prime example of how a person can survive narcissistic abuse. This is so important for other people who are suffering to be able to hear.

Everybody needs to understand Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)because it is on the increase in our culture. A person does not have to have full blown NPD to do great harm. That means that you can become a victim not just within the home, but also outside (i.e. in the workplace, in the sports club, in the Church, from a friendship, in Schools, the Internet etc).

The key is in educating yourself about this phenomenon, and the kind of person that they are especially attracted to as their means of Narcissistic Supply. Victims do play a big part in their becoming victims, but they have no idea what it is that they are doing that creates this desperate situation...... making them a partner in the narcissists convoluted dance. Unless the victim changes their own behaviour, they are likely to be re-victimized time and time again. I often hear victims saying, "Why me?"

Sounds as if you Martie Coetser discovered whatever it was that you were doing to create such painful experiences for you, and changed it so that you are no longer willing to dance the narcissists dance. I also did the same, but not before I was victimized several times.


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MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Christine, you are so right. I was a masochist, indoctrinated with Christian principles such as turn the other cheek and walk the extra mile; I was willing to endure pain of all kinds, believing it will make me a stronger and better person. Unfortunately masochism breeds sadism. It took me a lifetime, through painful experiences and with the help of ingenious friends, to change my masochistic behavior.

A profound quote: "But when I lose my temper, I find it difficult to forgive myself. I feel I've failed. I can be calm in a crisis, in the face of death or things that hurt badly. I don't get hysterical, which may be masochistic of me." Emma Thompson.

Fortunately I was/am also a fighter with a strong sense of justice; I can distinguish between right and wrong, good and evil and I have the courage to fight wrong and evil and to promote what is good and right. Today I show no mercy to bullies of any kind. I have no empathy or sympathy for them. They are nothing but deadly parasites. Too bad if they were born or raised to be that. Fact is, they mutilate and destroy good people.

If this sounds like praising myself, just know I am a survivor of emotional abuse; I know my strengths and weaknesses and I can use them all as teaching resources.

Take care, Christine, and keep up the good work. Again, thank you so much for enhancing this article of mine with your profound and informative comments. May it enlighten the thoughts and perceptions of many.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Oh my this is one heck of a hub and I am not conning you!!:) Thank you for sharing!


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MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Sunshine, I get many private emails on this one. Sadly too many people on this planet get conned daily... :(


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DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa

Fascinating, Martie. For a long time I've had an idea for a story about a con artist. I can see this hub helping me to flesh it out a bit more.


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mythicalstorm273 4 years ago

I just got done reading a book about a guy who was a con artist to a certain degree. I found while reading your hub that I kept thinking back to the book. I have read it multiple times now, but it still fascinates me about how people can do this and be okay with it! Great hub!


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MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

DeborahNeyens, you are welcome to use all the info you can get in here. Besides my personal experience and rusted knowledge, I have done some research as well. If you follow the links to other sites - in the hub, as well as in this thread - you will get a lot of additional important info. My best wishes with your story...


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MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

mythicalstorm, we normal people will never be able to understand how they manage to believe in themselves even while they are standing in court trying to prove their innocence with twisted and mutilated truths. Astonishing ad nauseam! Thank you for your supportive comment.


SilverGenes 4 years ago

As I read this hub again, I am just as horrified as I was the first time around. It makes me cringe when I realize just how naïve I can be sometimes! Only a couple of weeks ago I almost fell for an Internet scam so I think this hub should be on my regular reading list!


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MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

SilverGenes, they do have a way to con even the most intelligent of all people. They are empowered by the devil himself. I've learned to distinguish between the voice of my heart, my mind and my gut feeling. The latter is always right, while the mind tries to please the heart. So to speak.

Thanks for your profound comment. I'll see you around :)


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 4 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

Martie...fanastic article and one which offers a world of help to whomever might come into contact with a con artist. Wonderfully well written; particularly the bullet points on identifying con artists by their behaviors and "lines." Well written (can't say it enough!) You've done an excellent service for you readers. Written like a professor. All ups but funny!!!


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prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada

Martie, this article was absolutely fascinating. I had experience with a con artist once and he broke my heart and destroyed me for a while. It was devastating. It was interesting that you said many women cannot resist him because he is a challenge. Looking back, there is truth in that. There was a part of me that knew there was something "off" but I turned that part off. Thanks for writing such an interesting read with very good information. Voted all the ups but funny, and pinning.


JD Meyer "bohemiotx" 4 years ago

Thanks for writing this article. The narcissist in my life is the oblivious thick-skinned type, who is wealthy but loves to underpay those who for her--especially the ones she considers to be low class. She seems to have an ESTJ profile like Judge Judy.


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MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

JD Meyer, I hope you don't allow her to steal your joy :)


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MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Lucky Cats, I was conned by a punk who pretended to be a gospel preacher in 2010. When I review my experience, I cannot believe how I had managed to fall for his stories. I was suffering Burnout in a severe degree and really willing to make a radical change in my life... Fortunately I realized within the first week of personal contact that I had a mental case on my hands. I actually suspected this right at the beginning, while we interacted in CyberSpace - my gut feeling warned me - but then my brain started to rationalize and minimize in order to meet the needs of my heart.... However, today I call him a well-needed course I had to follow in personality disorders, false preachers and false characters on the Internet. Thank you so much for your inspiring comment :)


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MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

prairieprincess, it took me almost a year to recover from all the shocks he had given me. One day I want to expose my experience in a novel. You've described the behavior of the victim perfectly, ".... but I turned that part off...". Thank you for reading and commenting.


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rahul0324 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

Wow Martie! This is a great hub! All information required is here!

Really very interesting Martie! This clearly tells us that many of them are striving right under our nose! I wonder if the exemplary skills they show.. could be used in a positive way?


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MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

rahul, perhaps positive as politicians? Lol! Thanks for reading and commenting :)


Sil 4 years ago

After reading your post I find myself looking into the mirror and asking myself "Am I?"

I certainly have the gift of the gab, I'm certainly a charmer, and humble in my ways. I can definitely scrub up the power to intimidate, and most certainly only do so by way of virtue over tyranny. But then I ask myself. "Who doesn't seek praise when they do a job well done, who isn't sensitive when things fall against their path, who doesn't stand up to those who do wrong, who doesn't help without prior thoughts of- "I hope I'm not wasting my time", Most of us I'd imagine. So the definition of a regular person and a con are both made to stand on a very fine line I'd like to suggest. Understand that not every humble person has the fruits of their lives to show. But every person has a memory of their fruits of truth. I agree with many aspects you've mentioned here and yet I find a large array of oxymoron statements that counter beg the fact that we are "ALL" individuals. What makes us fall in any presumptuous general category is the very upbringing we are subject to. Perhaps the "con" is better identified by his/hers upbringing. Remember, some are raised for that very purpose, and other are raised to survive. Is it fair to state that the survivor is a con? Of course not. A "Con" is not a person but rather an action that goes unseen. So i think the trick is to teach your children how to see them (the Con). In doing so, you further define the difference between a s"Survivor" (one who has been raised to "see") and the "Con" (one who has been raised not to be seen)


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MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Sil, thank you so much for your excellent, and so relevant, comment. So true, we can identify with most mental disorders and even physical disorders. Self-diagnoses is extremely dangerous. There is certainly a very thin line between normal and abnormal, healthy and sick, sane and insane, ... only a thin line to be overstep.... And then we can go on living very close to this line and nobody would ever notice that we are a little bit on the wrong (or the right) side of normality...

Another fact: It takes only ONE step to fall into a pit - the rest follows automatically....

Thank you, again, for enhancing this article of mine with such a profound comment. I agree with you all the way - Well-said!


Miss Tiff profile image

Miss Tiff 4 years ago from Utah

This has such a nice layout. Also I love all the detail and how well it is written. Excellent job!


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MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Thank you, Miss Tiff, and nice to meet you :)


Erin 4 years ago

This article is right up my alley as my 9 year old sons father is a con artist and a narc. He has the holier than thou attitude. Omg, no wonder why I left his ass in the first place. He has only seen his son twice in ten friggin years! He is a liar, a cheat, thinks everyone else is psycho except him. One minute he is nice, then the next minute he is very impulsive hostile jerk and calls me a Bitch, then says the classic " I promise I won't call you out of your name ever again. Forgive me, I was just mad because..........." He goes back and forth. He boasts about things that he doesn't even have! Always lying just to make himself seem like the sane one. I call him out whenever I catch him contradicting himself. He then he gets mad and cusses me out claiming that I'm causing his problems. He is so ridiculous. The thing I hate the most is when he brags about the supposed stuff he " owns" , but when asked to prove it, he constantly says " well I would show you, but....." He is definitely bi polar and a narc. there is so much more to this post, but it will have to do for now. Thanks!


ErinAgain 4 years ago

I have a question. How would one approach a psychopathic narc? What should you say to avoid conflict? Is it even possible to make a narc snap out of it? I know most con artists probably never will, but there has got to be something I can do about it. What a nightmare!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Dear Erin, I have only 5-6 months personal experience of a con-artist-narc. His behavior made such a 'deep impression' on me, that I will forever and a day sympathize with anybody who are for some reason or another compelled to put up with such a dangerous creature. After that period of 5-6 months I was in shock for almost a year. To be honest, somebody else had to lift me out of my shock and convinced me that good, honest and normal people are still to be found on this planet.

Now, two years later, the memories still arouse blind anger in me. How dare con-artists-narcs be what/who they are, twisting the thoughts of others into complete Gordian knots?

My advice to you: If it is possible, break all bonds with that father of your child. He will never change; he cannot change. His only hope is another brain. In your shoes I would not even expose my son to him. I would get a court order to keep him away from me and my son. Out of my heart comes this advice to you, and I also hope with all my heart that you and your son will be able to outgrow all damage that has been done to you until now....

I am sorry, but I do believe our first responsibility is to protect ourselves and our children from danger. We fall in love with 'devils', but we surely don't have to stay in love with them. Use your brain and forget about your heart/emotions. Allowing this man to upset you over and over again, is committing emotional suicide and killing your own son.

You have all my best wishes. Do what you have to do. The Law is on your side.


Christine 4 years ago

To ErinAgain

You ask,"How would one approach a psychopathic narc?"......very gingerly.

If you are unfortunate to have any form of relationship with a psychopathic narcissist, then you are dealing with someone who had a mental health problem, and are very dangerous. They have zero empathy, therefore no conscience about what they do. They do not snap out of this behaviour, in fact, in tends to get worse with age. Sorry to be the one to bring the bad news, but I do suggest that you research this subject to see what you are dealing with.........Google "Narcissistim Behaviour". If the person you are talking about does not fit the behaviours then that is a good thing, if they do, then you may find that at some time you will need to have No Contact.


Christine 4 years ago

Correction to my last post, sorry:

I meant to say Google "Narcissistic Behavior"


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Thank you, Christine! Let me put your link in here for ErinAgain to follow. Your are welcome to post some of your relevant links in here - with a short description. If the owners of HubPages complain, I will remove it. We may not have more than 2 links in a hub to a single site/blog - they regards that as the promoting of other sites. But maybe they will accept your links in this comment sections. Have you ever thought of opening a HubPages account yourself? Publishing short summaries of your writings with a link to the real article. Just be careful not to duplicate what you've already published on the Internet. On the other hand, it is quite hard work and time-consuming - to build and maintain a readers-corps in here.

For ErinAgain ~~

http://narcissisticbehavior.net/category/the-effec


Christine 4 years ago

Thank you Martie Coetser.

A Hug Page account myself........Um! I shall think about that .....time is my problem. I have so much to say and write, but time seems to beat me. You keep up the good work, when I retire from working with victims of narcissist/psychopaths (hopefully next year) then I intend to do serious writing on the subject....... a book or two may follow to help victims out of the fog. In the meantime, I will try to add articles to my site.


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MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Christine, for some reason HubPages's automatic detector sent your comment "... a Hub Page account myself...." to my spam-folder. I've just retrieved it. Please let me know when you open an account in here. I am sure you will love to publish some of your work in here.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Hey Martie - Guess what I did? I wrote a hub about blamers, liars and narcissists recently (I think you commented) and totally forgot to add your link to this hub. So am doing it now.

I actually titled the capsule " Helpful hubs about Narcisissim" then left it blank. Duhhhhh.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi vocalcoach, this hub receives by far the most readers from all over the world - a sign that many people are in search of more information about con-artists and Narcissistic personalities. Thank you for adding a link to this hub in your excellent hub about Narcissistic personalities.


ishwaryaa22 profile image

ishwaryaa22 4 years ago from Chennai, India

An engaging hub! I could relate to this well-researched hub of yours as I have met a couple of con-artists in real life. Thank you for sharing this information with us. Voted up


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

Interesting and scary at the same time. But it's good to know what makes people tick so you know what to luck out for.


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

I just spent a good half hour reading all your comments! How interesting are all these people! I think as we mature we learn how to spot a con artist of a sociopath, and we stay away!

Great Hub.


KDuBarry03 4 years ago

Con artists are all over the place from the car lot to even the beach; they are also excellent persuaders and it's important to know what they may be doing to try and get under your skin. Thank you for your insights, Martie! Definitely interesting and scary.

Voted UP and shared!


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MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

@ ishwaryaa22

@ Alecia Murphy

@ mary615

@ KDuBarry03

Thank you so much for clicking in for the read. I believe that we should listen to our gut feeling. There is always a voice deep inside us, warning us in time. Suspicion. As long as we are not completely sure of the intentions of another person, we should make no decisions. We should not allow our brain and heart to convince us that he/she is worthy of our trust. Beware and take care!


Rfordin profile image

Rfordin 4 years ago from Florida

Very interesting article. Ive also loved films about con-artists too. I agree with the statement that 1 in 3 people have traits shared with a "true" con-artist. Again great article!

~Becky


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Rfordin, thank you so much for your comment. There is certainly a difference between 'sharing traits with a true con-artists' and 'being a con artists.' In certain situations we really have to 'fake it until we make it'. Con-artist, however, have a secret agenda. Their goal is to use or manipulate others to their advantage. Thanks again for leaving a comment. Take care!


Mike Robbers profile image

Mike Robbers 3 years ago from London

I was quite recently thinking that the successful con-artist persona is being promoted as attractive to Hollywood (or media in general) - for example the Ocean Eleven characters .. or James, an attractive con hero from the Lost series .. that comes in addition to the low-leveled con characters that directly end up to the prison.. The message is I think,, that only successful people are allowed to "play" with the law (as some of the richest people are also some of the biggest Con-artists alive)..

I completely agree with your con-artists' psychoanalysis .. Great research also ! voted and shared :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Mike, thank you for your interesting comment. I so agree with you. I dare to say that more than 50% of the people on the top level of success are con-artists par excellence. But then, we allow them to con and enslave us. So at the end we are all to blame. If I haven't experienced a con-artist in my personal zone, I would not have been able to write this hub. You've got to know all sides of them to be able to classify them as a sociopath/con-artist, because in a way, in certain situations, we - most of us - are all con-artists. We fake it till we make it. I am thinking particularly now of the times we sell our car or home, when we exploit the buyer's eagerness to be an owner of such an asset. And in our curriculum vitae as well. Surely we over-empathize the good and keeps the bad out of the picture for our own benefit? Everything has boundaries. I take my hat off for all who have reached success without overstepping the boundaries. Take care, Mike!


hawaiianodysseus profile image

hawaiianodysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

You know, Martie, what's really interesting about your hub is that there's such a fine line between a genuine person wanting to be successful without exploiting others and the sociopathic, narcissistic con man. I find your article useful--not for the purpose of checking out who fits this profile in my community, but for keeping the man in my mirror in check. In all honesty, some of these traits, channeled for good, are the highwater marks for success...such as right here in Hubsville. Thank you for the diligent research and wonderful presentation of a difficult and still enigmatic subject. May you and yours have a wonderful, eventful, and positively memorable 2013! Aloha from Walla Walla!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Hawaii, you are so right, and this is the reason why we may not label people left right and centre as con-artists. But this is also to remind us that we should not blindly trust every Dick-Tom-and-Harry with a charismatic personality. But really, can we even trust that one who seems to be the kindest introvert?

Because I've met a con-artist-narcissist-sociopath, experiencing him firsthand for 53 days - thank God only 53 days - I know how difficult - no, impossible - it is to recognize them when they are 'acting' their roles in public. They ARE actors par excellence. But then, are we not all while we are in the presence of people we want to impress? Don't we hide our short tempers, fatigue, sadness, fears, putting our best foot forward, fake it till we make it?

So yes, I do agree with you. In order to achieve the success we desire, we all play a specific role. I think a clear indicator between normal and con-personality is to be found in the 3rd person - the one who is exploited or not. If the 3rd person is happy with the course of events, then all is well.

Happy New Year to you, Hawaiiandosysseus. May 2013 meets all your expectations.


hawaiianodysseus profile image

hawaiianodysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

Great response, Martie...and simultaneously reassuring! : ) Thank you for the wonderful clarification. 2013 is off to a great start! Much aloha! HO


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Aloha, hawaiianodssues :) I like to see a year in the same light as a roller-coaster. Just buckle up and enjoy the ride. Before you know where you are, it's all over and done... Take care!


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 3 years ago

What an incredible hub that explains how con artists and sociopaths prey on their victims.What to look out for and to know if you have been taken.So many interesting comments I will have to come back to read them all.


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MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

DREAM ON, so good to see you in my corner. The worse of all, con-artist/sociopaths/narcissists are never able to identify and acknowledge their disorder. They will rather call you an idiot or anything you are not. So take care, my dear friend :)


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 3 years ago from Jamaica

The link in your first paragraph has sent me on a tangent of further research. I hope to see that movie too. Very interesting article.


Katt39 3 years ago

I could write a book. Twice in a Lifetime. Hopefully the last.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Glad you found this hub about con artists interesting, Rasta. Don't ever become one's victim :) It is hard to forgive oneself for not being able to spot them in time. Take care!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Oh, Katt, write that book! The more people read about the doings of con-artists, the less people will be con-able. One day I will write mine....


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 3 years ago from Iowa

Very interesting hub. I've always been intrigued by the con artist as a character. If I ever get around to writing that novel, this will be a good resource for me!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Hi Martie - Back for a second read. This subject fascinates me! I'm so glad you wrote this. It's better even for the second time. I recommend everyone return for another good read. Thanks my friend!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Deborah - I wonder if you would like to have a sleazy character like this in your novel. Really, living with one of them for only one week is quite traumatic. Their power should never be under-estimated. Take care!


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MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi my dear vocalcoach - I have recently done some editing in here. This is in fact my most popular hub with the most reads - 30,936 total views up to date. Amazing how many people in this world have a need to know more about con-artists, sociopaths and narcissists. Thanks for the visit.


bohemiotx profile image

bohemiotx 3 years ago from Tyler, TX

"Because they are inherent dishonest, they are not able to trust others. ......(Judging others by themselves.)" The narcissist that was in my life wouldn't go to big non-profit or veterans meetings because she feared "copy-cats." She has contempt for meetings in which she isn't the focus of attention or getting an award, dismissing the events as "just talking."


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Bohemiotx, how I detested this exact doings of a con artist , so well described by you. And so sad, - they don't realize that any intellegent person is able to recognize their falseness, or rather their way of living in denial of their own disorder. Thanks for hitting the nail so securely on its head.


bohemiotx profile image

bohemiotx 3 years ago from Tyler, TX

Thanks, Martie. She always under-estimates her opposition. The other day, a long-lost acquaintance was shocked to see me because she'd heard I'd gone crazy! She happens to co-rent an over-priced apt. above The Narcissist. All I did was finally quit working for the lady. The Narcissist realized that for the non emailing/Internet crowd, this would be the prefect lie because I've moved about three miles away from the old neighborhood. Then I sent a link on my general Psy. Type Theory article to our classiest mutual acquaintance in case she tried a different reputation attack strategy. Once he sarcastically bowed down to her when she entered their church for a choir function! Looks like I'll get a you-tube deal out of the venture!!!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Bohem, i actually feel sorry for the lady and for all Narcissists cum con-artists, though I know that emotions are totally wasted on them. Thanks for sharing your experience :)


bohemiotx profile image

bohemiotx 3 years ago from Tyler, TX

She demands praise to the point that she once chastised me when a couple of friends complimented her framed newspaper clipping wall and voiced surprise. But she enjoys hurting feelings and seeing pseudo-rivals do poorly. Yuk


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Bohemio, 'yuk' seems to be an applicable comment. I hope she is already part of your past....


bohemiotx profile image

bohemiotx 3 years ago from Tyler, TX

Unfortunately, the PhD with the film-making company hasn't returned my calls, so it looks like she's struck again. I left a message with him stating that I'd quit working for her without permission, so I need to prepare for the aftermath, and act like Jackie Robinson.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

bohemiotx, I hope everything will turn out for the best :) It always does, sooner or later.


bohemiotx profile image

bohemiotx 3 years ago from Tyler, TX

Thanks, Martie. I've got a good counselor and social worker. I'm a former all-level teacher with a COPD disability. I did research on Narcissist Victim Syndrome. Also I realized my opponent is an ESTP like that Venezuelan dictator that just died. I have a textbook project; check me on twitter @bohemiotx.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

bohemiotx, good to know you have a good counselor. I don't think Jung and the developers of his personality types cover disorders. All ESTP-personalities are definitely NOT narcissists. (I am ENFJ, but also ENFP, due to 50-50 on J and P.) I also suffer COPD. May I ask you to write a hub about your personal experience of COPD, and don't forget to send me the link. I do have a Twitter account, but I honestly don't have time on my hands to use it or participate in any tweeting activities. Take care, my dear friend!


bohemiotx profile image

bohemiotx 3 years ago from Tyler, TX

Personality type isn't correlated with personality disorders--true. I'm an ENFP. However, introverted thinkers are more likely to suffer from PTSD. Sorry to hear you have COPD too. I should write about my COPD experience one of these days.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

bohemiotx, fortunately all post-traumatic stress disorders are conquerable. I look forward to read your hub on COPD. BTW, I've tested myself again today, and this time I was clearly ENFJ.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Martie, You have such an insight for these types of behavior and describe this type of person with such clarity and truth. I can say I've known my share of these, and like you, bought into the trap of (at least) one man's evil web. His favorite behavior (among many that fit your descriptions) was to come to my house late at night during the work week for "sympathy" (he was a widower) and bring me a "God's will" letter the next Sunday when he regained his religious vigor. He truly qualified for the original psychopath label, before it was tamed down to sociopath. My Dad saw through his lies and deceit and threatened to "take him out" if he ever bothered me again but after that I actually married him. I lost a couple of good years (and a house, all my possessions, my step son and my dog) before I woke up to the reality and a few more years getting over the whole thing. I had no idea these types were so prevalent in society as your article indicates, but since those days I have gotten a lot better at spotting them. Loved your presentation, pictures and clarification on this much needed topic.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Peggy, so sorry to hear that you were married to one of these animals. It took me almost a year to get on top of only 57 or what days living with one of them, so I have an idea how hard it must have been for you. Why we never listen to advice given to us by others will always boggle my mind. I guess we do need such bad experiences in order to become who we are supposed to be. Btw, I better check my calendar again, because I can no longer remember exactly how many days I've been trapped. I am considering writing a novel in the structure of a diary just to expose the actions of these weirdo's effectively. On the other hand, why punish myself with all those bad memories, recalling all the unpleasant scenes might activate my depression again....

Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me and all readers, Peggy. Much appreciated!


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Hi Martie. Thanks for your kind response to my reminiscing. As an afterthought, I will tell you I have found the real love of my life (After kissing a lot of frogs) who treats me like a queen and better than I ever thought possible after the past. On a positive note, there is truly hope of finding Mr. Right and thankfully, I did. If you have time, I wrote a poem called "He Didn't" about the other one. I may turn it into a country song.

I do encourage you to write a journal type novel if only for cathartic purposes. When I read over some of my own, I am shocked at times. It seems to be good for the soul to talk about it so I'm glad you didn't mind me telling you those things. You are a great writer and draw people out of their shell.


bohemiotx profile image

bohemiotx 3 years ago from Tyler, TX

Wow, Martie. You have an e-pal in my hometown of Dallas--only two hours west of Tyler! By the way, I "passed" an MMPI and liver test--more to come. I love Peg's use of "cathartic" for in the late 80's, I had 1/2 a heavy metal garage band named Mongrel Catharsis.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

PegCole - Fortunately, at present, I have a Mr. Right in my life. I actually had the privilege to enjoy a Mr. Right for many years before I've met the con-artist/sociopath. (Sadly some factors sometimes change Mr. Rights into Mr. Wrongs and, miraculous, vice versa.) Initially I was married to a bombastic, insensitive man - a Mr. Wrong. But thanks to my brief, but intense, experience with the sociopath I came to the realization that normal bombastic, insensitive men are angels comparing to the con-artist-sociopath. So he - the sociopath - actually changed my bitterness into gratitude because he made me realize exactly how wrong 'WRONG' could be. Thank you so much for your beautiful comments. (7:45 am - now running to work......)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

bohemiotetx - good to know you have passed those tests. I am sure you enjoyed that metal garage band you've had. I also hope your neighbours were able to appreciate your talent :)


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Bravo, Martie. So happy for you and for your transformation. Me too. The bad makes the good so much better. Mongrel Catharsis sounds like heavy metal, dude. Thanks for the mention, Bohemiotx.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Thanks, Peggy. I hope you are having a wonderful day up there. Now 12:30am down here and I SHOULD go to sleep :)


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM

And some of the best of the con artists are sometimes right in your own family! This is an excellent hub and presentation. I have been looking into narcisistic personality disorder and your presentation and explanation is spot on! I wish I had been able to read this when I was 21 years old. I have run into many con artists throughout life and they all have these personality traits. Thanks for a truly interesting and informative hub. Well done and well said!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Suzette, sadly most of us learn the hard way. Only in the shoes of a victim most of us are able to distinguish between good and evil. Thanks for your visit and supportive comment :)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Martie,

I think that the saddest thing of all is when con artists rob elderly people of a good portion of their life time savings...and they prey upon such people. It is sad for others as well, but the elderly have less time to recover from such scams. Interesting hub!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Peggy, I agree wholeheartedly. Keep in mind that they - the con-artists preying on others - never have a twinge of conscience. They are parasites. Only God knows why they exist :(


c mark walker profile image

c mark walker 3 years ago from Jasper Georgia

Well,as evil as they are they are usually the ones who get ahead in life.I worked for more than one of these peculiar monsters and hope to never have to deal with another one.....ever.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Mark - 'peculiar monsters'....... Ñow why did this perfect description slip my mind? Unfortunately they are immune to insults... :)


Mike Robbers profile image

Mike Robbers 3 years ago from London

Very interesting hub. You offered an excellent analysis of the psychological background and the motivation that fuels a con-artist's behavior. Many people might have the notion of a con-artist as a small time crook which is misleading. Unfortunately, the economic, investment etc sectors offer an ideal place for such types of people to thrive and prosper.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Mike, without generalizing and criticizing I dare to say that all successful business men (in whatever sector) and especially politicians are practising the skills of a con-artist. We can handle them. But when exploited and left with a loss, we see them in a different light. Thanks for your visit and profound comment :)


midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

This reminds me of a trusting elderly coupler who fell victim to a digest scam. They actually fell victim to a magazine scam, and had invested their entire nest egg. Needless to say, it's hard to rebuild. :( Thanks for sharing.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Midget, too many people of all age-groups fall for those scams. I really don't know how those con-artists manage to live, knowing that they have conned credulous people out of their precious savings. Surely they can't have any conscience at all. Thanks for sharing :)


Konstantin 3 years ago

I feel so much happier now I untansderd all this. Thanks!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

I am glad you feel happier, Konstantin. Knowledge is power that will enable you to survive. Don't let a con-artist, sociopath or narcissists ever steal anything from you :)


Timmy Land profile image

Timmy Land 3 years ago

Here are two Con artists to be aware.They live in South Africa and I found some stories about them:

http://coloursofsouthafrica.blogspot.pt/

http://yolandasoares.blogspot.pt/


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Timmy, thanks for reminding me of these two scoundrels. "If each would sweep before his own door, we should have a clean city," could have been feasible if these cons were not like chameleons....


Timmy Land profile image

Timmy Land 3 years ago

Do you know them? I've been following this story for about 2 years and it is incredible how these 2 con artists manage to escape without being caught after the damage they caused.And if you look on the internet you find that one of them is selling a book with photos about South Africa .He seems intelligent , sensitive and a guy with a good background.So, no one imagine the personality behind this person.Incredible! they do whatever they want without being caught because the law system doesn't work as it should.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Timmy, fortunately I don't know them. Selling a book about photos of SA.... well, he could have conned a lot of photographers, who knows.... Successful con artists are normally extremely intelligent - how else will they be able to con also the highly intellectuals? So often they have just chosen conning as a vehicle to reach their goals, instead of honesty, although I do believe some dark forces in the self-esteem must motivate them to exploit innocent, hard-working people they way they do - unscrupulous and relentless. The LAW is an ass - perhaps they know enough about the law to use it to their own benefit.


CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

I find this topic fascinating all the time and I'll never get tired of reading the same topic and knowing more and more about this kind of people. They are very interesting and your hub made it even more intriguing.

Great presentation.Very informative. I'm taking the liberty to link this in my hub "The Catfish". Please let me know, otherwise.

Voting up, pinning and sharing. Thank you.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Chris, you are welcome to link this hub to yours. According to my stats thousands of people are looking via Google for more information about con-artists. Their actions and behaviour are beyond comprehension, therefore we should rather trust no-one until we are 100% sure that they deserve our trust and respect. I will read your Catfish asap :)


Marcella 3 years ago

I wish I would have read this article 8 months prior. I was recently conned for 8 months and recognized it midway through the relationship. But like all women, we always hope that we can change the person. Everything you have said and described in a con is exactly what he did/is... I hope he has learned his lesson after being taken to court, having his wife find out, and divorcing. Thank you for making me feel better !


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Marcella, I am so sorry you have had such a bad experience with a con-artist. Don't allow him or anyone ever again to take you for a ride. At least you have gained knowledge and wisdom during the 8 months - the most valuable assets. Nobody can take it away from you :)


nighthag profile image

nighthag 3 years ago from Australia

Interesting read, with great information !

Thanks for sharing it I knw a few people that need to read this

Thank you


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Thanks, nighthag, your comments are much appreciated :))


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

There are unfortunately too many of these people. I enjoyed reading but certainly don't enjoy knowing these people.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

Flourish, as long as we don't allow them to enter our personal zones, we are okay. I feel sorry for those who are obliged to live with them. I still have to suppress an anxiety attack whenever I remember my brief interaction with a con artist / sociopath in 2010.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 2 years ago from Minnesota

Hi Martie-it's funny I would happen upon your hub today on Cons, Sociopaths & Narcissists. I keep seeing articles on this topic as I watch my sister's ex husband's kids, her, and I, go through his crap. Sis was married for thirteen years-she will admit she was young and naïve when she met and married him. He was well established in a family job, very charming on the outside when he courted her. My dad knew right away what he was, and saw the red flags that sis didn't see, or want to see. Every time sis was gonna leave him, his abuse would escalate. He would terrorize she and the two kids. One day when sis and I went for a walk-which pissed him off because she was doing something for herself-she came home to quite a dark and scary situation. He had brainwashed his young daughter (4) at the time, that she, her brother, mother and himself , would die on Christmas Eve-She shared this when mom tucked her into bed that night. She said, 'Mommy, daddy says we are all gonna die on Christmas Eve, but will all be back together in heaven. My sister laid on floor for several days between both children's rooms, and watched her then husband's, every move. It wasn't an accident that he chose that date, as he was ordered by a judge to be out of the house by that date. This was a common example of how he terrorized them. Her life is amazing now and full of peace, as I'm sure yours is. She nows goes out into the community and does public speaking about the cycle of abuse.

Great hub that I will be sharing all over, including my board on Sociopath's and Narcissist's on pinterest.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

My dearest Minnetonka, I am so sorry you had to wait 7 days for my reply. I was away for a couple of days, and then absorbed by neglected obligations, and in between just too tired to check my online messages. My heart goes out to your darling sis. After only 57 days, or was it 53, in direct contact with a sociopath/con-artist, I have a very clear idea of the fear, anxiety, unhappiness and all that is negative your sister, her children, you and all who were involved had to endure. I hope that punk, and also the one who had taken me for a ride, are no longer oxygen thieves on this planet. Really, they should not be allowed to be who they are. Please give your sis a hug on my behalf :)


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 2 years ago from Minnesota

I'm going to give sis a hug for you right now. Love you Martie and so glad you figured the guy out as soon as you did.


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MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

Love you lots, Minnetonka :)))


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

Hi Martie, I see this hub is four years old and I have only just come across it. Glad I did however. It seems every night on tv current affairs shows we see new scams and people having been ripped off by con artists. The Internet is a haven and playground for them. I don't know how many I have come across trying to scam me out of money. It seems there are so many So called American woman who suddenly have to travel to Ghana etc because their father or mother there has just passed away and they have to arrange their affairs. They died leaving millions of dollars but for one reason or other can't access the money and need your help in some way usually to provide funding to help them pay for their stay there etc until they can access the money (of which they promise to transfer a sizeable amount to your bank account when they get it)...blah blah blah....seems to be a lot of Ghanian millionaires dying lately.

Anyway great informative hub. Voted up and shared. I read Minnetonka's comment..and that is scary too.


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MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Jodah, the fact that con artists are still around proves their success. So the question is not when will they stop their conning, but when will people stop allowing them. Why do most of us, including myself, have to learn the hard way? Thanks for sharing your opinion :)


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

This is a favorite hub of mine (third time here) and each time I study this article I learn something new. A sign of great writing.

My own ego is my worst enemy. I work every single day to eradicate this invasive pest. :) I find strength here in each paragraph you've written. What a fine teacher you are!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Well.....I see this is an oldie but a goodie.....but I checked and it looks like I never saw this one!

The moment I read the Title, I said to myself, "Oh look! Martie has written a hub about some of the men in our lives!!"

How great!....It may take a lifetime to weed through the creeps, but I now realize this is as it's meant to be for MOST of us.

Back-stabbing should be labeled the Ultimate sin, GF.....UP+++


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

Dear vocalcoach and fpher,

This is my most-read hub. Amazing how many people in this world are in need of knowing more about con-artists. Read about my personal experience here -

http://martiecoetser.weebly.com/the-sherry-fountai...

Oh, and don't miss the 2nd phase of our tour... check my profile :)


PurvisBobbi44 profile image

PurvisBobbi44 2 years ago from Florida

Hi Martie,

This detailed hub shows you did your research in all areas of your topics. A wonderful article to share with us.

I know it describes some of my bosses in the past and some relatives.

I am sure I will read this a second time around it is that informative and I might be able to tag some more people; so I no longer wonder why they act the way they do.

Take Care--It was so nice to visit you again.

Bobbi Purvis


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MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

Purvis, I gave touched only the surface. One can but only wonder why sociopaths cum con artists behave the way they do. It must ave started in their childhood, when the needed to behave in a certain way to get the attention they qnwr. Compulsive liars are nornally addicted to recognition. or perhaps only in dire need of it, they will try all the tricks in the book and even more, and eventually conning others in order to satisfy their own needs, becomes a habbit.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 23 months ago from sunny Florida

You nailed it with this article, Martie. At this time I know someone quite well who is all of these and then some. It is such a sad sad case. He had the world at this fingertips and was on the road to success but it is my belief that greed caused these behaviors to emerge. I cannot go into great detail as he is presently involved in legal issues so suffice it to say, he tried to be the epitome of all that is great by scamming and hurting others and the house of cards tumbled in on him.

Voted up+++ Shared and g+ tweeted


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 23 months ago from Northern California, USA

You definitely have a solid handle on what a con artist is. It is too bad cons get their claws in before the other person has a chance to know it's happening. Great information here. I'm sharing this because I know it will be helpful to a lot of people to have this information as a defensive tool.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 23 months ago from South Africa Author

@ pstraubie48 – It could very well be greed that inspires some to use there talent to con, or perhaps their behavior gets inspired by the success they manage to achieve via conning. Normally they become aware of the latter at a very early stage in their life, and eventually greed kicks in. Scamming and hurting others when things go wrong is such a bad characteristic, and not only of con artists. Thanks for sharing!

@ MarleneB – Fortunately I have had a close encounter with a con artist – an experience I believe I needed in order to obtain immunity. Especially on the Internet we have to know that some very impressive writers are con artists in disguise. Beware, and listen to your gut feeling :)


asmith176 22 months ago

Seems like the scams are everywhere, for real. I think these guys might be able to help, but not sure. Says it is a TV show helping women who have been conned.

https://www.facebook.com/haveyoubeenconned


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 22 months ago from South Africa Author

Hi asmith! Thank you for the link. Thank heavens I never bump my head against the same wall twice. I have learned all I need to know in order to be immune to con artists for the rest of my life.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 22 months ago from Houston, Texas

This hub of yours is certainly getting loads of comments! It seems that many people have been taken advantage of by con artists. That Wall Street movie mentioned sounds like a good one. I have not seen it. Will share this time around.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 22 months ago from South Africa Author

Hi Peggy, yes, this hub is getting a lot of attention since the day I posted it. 52 000 views until now! I think most people had at least one bad experience with a con artist. Here are too many evil people on this planet! Thanks for sharing :)


Susan Sproull 22 months ago

Hi Martie,

I too had a bad experience with a con artist. He was childhood friend. It took him trying to strangle me when I refused to give him another dime for one of his hair brain schemes. Never followed through with anything and it was always someone else's fault.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 22 months ago from South Africa Author

Dear, Susan, what a horrible experience you have had! I, too, hate the memories of my experience, so I don't allow myself to dwell in it. But reading your comment, I suddenly remembered that I was called 'an ungodly woman' and 'white trash', because I threw his Whiskey and pills down the drain. While he himself was the ungodly white trash who tried to con-vinced everybody that he was a gospel preacher. But I think Karma already got him... No man or woman can reap any happiness when sowing only lies :)


zelma 21 months ago

Is there is database in South Africa, for con artist? So i can warn other woman about a specific man? I have been married to one, and I do know that he has allready moved on to his next victim.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 21 months ago from South Africa Author

Zelma, I don't know of a database, and I believe it doesn't exist. Sadly, the law also protects criminals. We may not 'blacklist' or even defame any person based on our personal experience. He has to be a defended in court, and even found guilty, before we may mention his name in our conversations without the chance of getting sued for defamation. You could send his next victim a warning, but rather anonymous, as you could get yourself in serious trouble for 'defaming' her 'new sweetheart'. And this is the reason why so many people are doomed to learn by trial and error. People should take general warnings to heart and learn how to recognise a con artist. If they don't, they simply learn the hard way :)


zelma 21 months ago

This is so unfair. They can get away with this, and we can do nothing about it. Wish I knew how to contact his "next victim". Would uave done that already. I am the 3 rd person I know of that has been hurt by the same man


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 21 months ago from South Africa Author

Zelma, yes, they simply move on, doing the same thing over and over again. But let's see them as an important lesson Life is teaching one after another person. At the end they will be 'general knowledge', as common as a flew virus.


Deborah Michael 20 months ago

On line dating is just much of a risk. The international threats are one thing, but I think the narrsasitc preditors have been the worst for me. One person I met, and had a wonderful time. The next thing I knew, he was MOVING IN!! I was very clear about my expectations about this - he was HOMELESS and I didn't know. He proceeded to virtually destroy me financially and my home physically. He drank over a case of beer a day with vodka drinks to start the day. I almost never got rid of him. Just be on guard constantly. Don't be afraid of saying NO. I knew this was screwed up from almost the beginning, but as I say - we had a great time for a couple of months, but the alcoholism exaccerbated the situation as well. These situations are more prevalent for older singles, I think.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 20 months ago from South Africa Author

Hi Deborah, your experience reminds me of my own. But I am sure you have learned your lessons just as I have learned mine. Some of us just have to learn the hard way :) Thanks for sharing :)


glowstar 19 months ago

Sounds like my ex!!


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MartieCoetser 19 months ago from South Africa Author

You have all my empathy, glowstar :)


Danny 18 months ago

I had a neighbor of mine who came up to me and ask for $$ cause her utilities were shut off. She was demanding cash back and forth and she lured me to her car and ask me to buy her a cigarette from the conveinant store called Walgreens. One of the neighbors ask me not to go anywhere with her. Cause, she deceived me. I knew she was possessed by the devil for not leaving me alone. She was behaving like a Con Artist for outsmarting everyone in her way. Very selfish of her doing that.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 18 months ago from South Africa Author

Danny, con artist don't see their deeds as selfish, and they definitely don't see any devil inside them. We should take the warnings of our friends and neighbors to heart. From a distance they can often see what we cant's see.


Danny Cabaniss profile image

Danny Cabaniss 18 months ago from Shawnee, Oklahoma

We are just finding out, in the past few days, that my elderly mother has been the victim of a professional con artist. He has just been arrested for another scam he was running. I found this hub to be very helpful, as we deal with the fallout of what he and his wife have done to my sweet mother!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 18 months ago from South Africa Author

Danny, what a shock - to learn that your mother was/is a victim of a con artist. It's hard to come to terms with the fact that these con artists are totally heartless, abusing young and old without any qualms of conscience. Good to know the one in your life has been arrested. May he get the punishment he deserves. My best wishes to all of you and in particularly to your mother. Take care!


Danny Cabaniss profile image

Danny Cabaniss 18 months ago from Shawnee, Oklahoma

Martie, thank you for your response. I appreciate your perspective.


tess cusipag 16 months ago

There are some in the Filipino community. A family,and one of the sons can sell you a piece of the moon if you are not careful.


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MartieCoetser 16 months ago from South Africa Author

Tess, they are everywhere. Thanks for commenting :)


davidchoinewyork 15 months ago

I am glad I stumbled upon this site. I didn't know these con artist were this common. Our senior pastor at remnant church, Pastor Victor Kim was outted as a sociopath. Pastor Victor was having affairs with women at church. Imagine the shock. Our Senior pastor for 20 years. No would suspected a thing. He is a pathological liar, chaos creator, basically text book sociopath. I'm surprise that there are so much sociopaths around us. Reading about how prevalent this is helps the healing process. Thank you.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 15 months ago from South Africa Author

David, I am so sorry you had to experience this kind of person in your own church. Somehow they flourish wherever they can exploit people's most basic hopes and trusts. I wish you the best through the healing process :)


moongirl 5 months ago

Hi,

I was recently a victim of adult bullying and online harassment, too...I have Asperger syndrome but my bullies think Im a sociopath since as an Aspie we can show some signs of a sociopath but only outwardly...but its not our true nature btw. Rather I think that many among my bullies are sociopaths and con artists...though not all...but the better ones Im sure were conned into bullying against me...but I think that even the non-sociopaths can carry some sociopathic characteristics in their nature...so yes its unfortunate but Im sure even quite a lot of non-socios enjoy being jerks from time to time...


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 months ago from South Africa Author

Hi moonlight girl, thank you for your interesting comment. It is good for a person to know their disabilities and to be honest about it. Fortunately, thanks to one experience of a con, I am able to keep them out of my personal zone. I think you, too, will not become a victim again. Thanks for drawing my attention to Asperger Syndrome - never heard of it before. Now I also know what could be wrong with some people I know.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 4 weeks ago

Martie, this is an amazing hub and I am so glad I came across it. I know one of these cons who could tell three or more people a long tale about one subject (mostly about himself) and all three people would believe him, including me, until I by accident saw evidence that the tale he told me was pure fantasy. Unfortunately he forgot which tale was told to which person and eventually everyone found out the truth and he was outed by someone other tan me.

Thank you for publishing this.

Blessings and hugs!...Shyron


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 weeks ago from South Africa Author

Hy Shyron, these con artists should never be underestimated. I have learned the hard way that I should obey my gut feeling and ignore the 'voices' in my heart and mind. Take care, dear Shyron :)

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