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Don’t Get Scammed — Here Are The 8 Red Flags You Need To Know To Spot A Con Artists
Con artists don’t outsmart you. They “out-feel” you. They use your emotions to gain entry into your life so they can rob you.
Here are 8 warning flags to look for to see if someone you trust in your life might be conning you.
1. Too Kind, Too Quick
Someone new in your life is insanely kind and giving. They always offer to pay for things. They give you gifts. They always try to help you for no apparent reason other than they’re just really nice. Sound too good to be true? It might be. A con artist’s first mission is to become your friend so they can gain your trust. That way, one day, you’ll do things for them that you wouldn’t do for a stranger. Getting into your good graces ― and your life ― establishes trust, which is exactly what they need to move forward with their con.
2. I’m Better Than You
Professional con artists are narcissists. They’re always telling you how great they are. How much they’ve accomplished in their amazing life. How they’ve triumphed in the face of adversity. They might work for a luxury travel agency and tell you that they’re the No. 1 seller in the United States.
One of the things present in most con cases is bravado. In order to engender confidence, they need their marks to think highly of them and be impressed by them. The quickest way to speed that end is to brag about themselves. To tell you how incredible they are ― and how fortunate you are to know them.
3. Drama, Drama, Drama
Look, bad things happen to everyone. People get cancer. People have children who suddenly die. People have crazy family members who are out to “get them.” But all those bad things rarely happen to the same person at the same time … unless they’re a con artist making up all this drama in their lives to manipulate and prey on your emotions. They use them to suck you into their craziness and exploit your kindness and good nature. If there’s a new person in your life broadcasting a steady stream of soap opera-esque drama, change the channel.
4. Legitimate Day Jobs
Most professional con artists have, or had at some point, a legitimate day job. And they use the reputation of those jobs to give them the patina of legitimacy in their scams. They’re real estate developers. They work in the mayor’s office. They’re investment analysts. They’re foreign exchange traders. They’re travel agents. You think, There’s no way they’re con artists. They have amazing jobs. But that is their plan. They want you to think that, let your guard down and believe their lies. Don’t. Their day jobs are just a cover, a side hustle. Their real job is conning you. So the next time you think, “They could never be scamming me, they have an amazing job,” think again.
For a con artist to successfully scam you, they need to be able to lure you away from people who might talk you out of going along with their con. Unfortunately, it’s remarkably easy to do. They might trick you into believing your neighbor is a threat to you and your family — so you avoid them. And then they convince your neighbor that you’re mentally ill. So your neighbor avoids you. A skilled con artist will scam you both using different stories and both of you will be none the wiser until well after the money has exchanged hands. So if someone new in your life doesn’t want you talking to this person or that person… don’t go along with it. Being told not to talk to someone is about the biggest red flag there is and it’s a very effective tool for a “working” con artist to isolate you and keep you in the con.
The next time someone shows you a text or an email and claims it’s from so-and-so, be suspicious. Con artists scamming in the digital age create fake accounts in other people’s names to text, tweet, and email themselves, so they can show you those texts and emails to get you to believe whatever story they’re laying out. Sometimes they’ll even appear to be annoyed by it and all of their victims buy it. By using this digital spoof, a working con artist can convince a victim they’re friends with anyone and construct a believable ― but completely false ― story around it.
Con artists trick people into wiring them money because they are getting cheated or have ran into a dire circumstance. They often claim a government is holding their property hostage. Long story short: Never. Send. Wires. Or. Donate. Period. If someone asks you to wire them money or donate to their dire cause, there’s a good chance it’s a scam.
8. Beak Wetting
In a lot of scams the con artist will actually give you a little money upfront. They’ll let you “wet your beak.” They often start by loaning money and pay it back immediately. Giving you the confidence to loan them more. That’s their plan. The term “con artist” is short for “confidence artist” because these individuals gain the complete and utter confidence of their victims ― and then weaponize it against them.
If someone in your life exhibits some of these red flags, question your trust and loyalty, and approach your relationship with caution — they may just be conning you.
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