Thursday, August 31, 2006

Con Artists

It never ceases to amaze me how often people are taken in by con artists. It shouldn't amaze me, though. The word "con" comes from "confidence." A con artist, whether a man or woman, builds up your confidence in them to the extent that they can rob you blind with a smile...and you'll smile right back while they're doing it.

Con artists are often complete strangers. You can meet them anywhere. They're always on the lookout for an easy target. Or, they can be members of your family.

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal had an article about family members who take advantage of elderly family members. Like all con artists, one of their techniques is to try to separate the person being conned from other family members or friends.

The reason, of course, is that others can see what's going on more easily than the person being conned. So, the first sign that one should watch out for is that the person you trust so much tries to keep you from your friends or family. Another sign that you're being conned is that the person you trust keeps financial records from you, such as your check book. They assure you that everything's being taken care of.

The elderly are often afraid to report their suspicions about being conned, because they think that others will think that they've become incompetent. Actually, recognizing a con is a sign of competence.

At Sherlock Investigations we've conducted many background checks of con artists. Often though, the person being conned will never admit it, especially when others have pointed it out to them. Denial is costly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here is one: