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Scam Artists: Tricks of a Con Man

Updated on February 15, 2013

When its too Good to be True. . .

Some common fraud techniques/slogans used by infamous con men the world over:

"I'm rich; I can teach you to be rich as well. . ."

"Oh really? Then why are you wasting your time with a mere pauper like me? Shouldn't you. . . I don't know. . . Be running a company or something?"

"I can show you how to be rich, just buy some of my training DVD's in the trunk of my car. . ."

"Maybe you're richer than a lot of people in the recession by selling DVD's on how to be rich in the trunk of your car. There's always a market for false hope in times such as these. . ."

"I can teach you to acquire X insane skill in ridiculous Y amount of time! For example, I'm offering programs where you can become an aeronautical engineer or a commercial airline pilot in six months!"

"Silly rabbit, only 9/11 hijackers are allowed to learn the following skills in six months."

"I'm part of this super-powered-market-fantastic-gimmicky company that sells such splendid shit; that it literally makes me shit when I look at my awesome sales volume! I'm a top producer man! You should join up?!"

"You wouldn't happen to be making money recruiting other people - while offering them some cheap shampoo valued at two dollars and asking me to sell overpriced for six dollars - would you?"

"I'm selling wellness guides, vitamins, water filters, green hippy light bulbs, magic shampoo, etc. . ."

I'm slowly walking away. . .

"I have a cure for cancer, diabetes, schizophrenia, heart disease, etc.!"

Now I'm running away!

"Wait! All you need is positive thinking! With positive thinking, you can have all the money in the world, cure all diseases, find the love of your life, eat steak every night and never gain weight! You hear me?! THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING!"

Now I'm sprinting away as fast as I can!

"Money isn't everything, but. . ."

You want the money from my pocket.

"Money is everything. . ."

Therefore, you want the money from my pocket.

"I possess some superhero skill that I can teach you. I can read minds; I can attract others with the irresistible tone in my voice, etc."

It doesn't take a mind reader to understand the expression on my face. Here's a hint, I'm telling you to get lost!

"I'm selling this house that will appreciate by a hundred thousand come next year. I'm selling this business that will generate a million dollars profit by next year. Interested in buying?"

"You can't wait one year?"

"I'm offering you a job with a chance for a big salary; I just need a fifty dollar admission fee. . ."

"Would this job happen to be helping you to collect admission fees?"

"I'm part of a research marketing company that's testing customer service of various banking institutions. Here's a one thousand dollar cheque to get started. I want you to wire fifty dollars from your bank account into the following bank account; then write a report on your customer service experience. . . This report must be finished expediently by today! Why are you laughing?"

I'm still laughing. . .

"I know rich and famous people x, y, and z. We're the best of friends! For a small fee, I can arrange a meeting and get you connected!"

"Why didn't you bring them with you?"

"You're too negative! You're missing this wonderful, once in a lifetime opportunity, super idea that's so great; that I can't tell you! My idea is so awesome; that it will make us both so filthy rich! I'm afraid to reveal the idea to just anyone! I just need to borrow five dollars from you in order to gain your trust and prove you're seriously committed. . ."

"Sorry, your awesome idea is just too good for me; I'm happy to be a loser! Good luck!"

-Donovan D. Westhaver


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    • Robert Pummer profile image

      Robert Pummer 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      Yes, I have met some of these dime a dozen big shots. These are street level cons but as your nightmares may validate there are levels of succession capable of stinging the best of us.

    • Jed Fisher profile image

      Jed Fisher 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      My favorite, "Vote for me."