The con game is a very old one, and although the methods have changed over the decades, the result is the same: someone gets hurt. Usually the con or scam involves elaborate ways of getting people to part with their assets (money, property, jewels and the like). Con-artists use every trick in the book to swindle innocent and trusting people. It has gotten to the point now, where people are afraid to trust their preacher, school teacher and even hospital staff because of the fear of being conned.
The world is in a sad state when you are afraid to trust anything anyone says to you. There are precautions you can take to try and avoid the clutches of a con-artist.
When you meet someone with a story, it is a good idea to do a little (or a lot) of investigating. In fact, the bigger and better the story, the more you need to try and verify it. If they have this wonderful organization or poor sickly child or whatever the case, there should be plenty of information available on the internet or in other public arenas that will back up their claims.
If you do some serious digging and cannot find one single shred of evidence to back up the story, then the warning bells should be sounding off in your head. Never give up money or anything else to a cause that you cannot find any information about that directly links to the story teller.
One more bit of advice here is to beware of false websites and documentation. Some con-artists are smart enough to create a website and documentation to back up their story. This is where your investigative skills will pay off the most. Just remember that anyone can put up a website and print some papers off on their home computer/printer.
Listen to your inner voice
So many times, people will ignore their inner voice of reason. That voice is there for an important purpose: your safety. The inner voice makes itself known in different ways like an uncomfortable feeling or a even a cold chill. People get these feelings all the time, but they often choose to brush it off and go on with whatever they are about to do. This usually ends up being a bad choice.
When something feels wrong, it probably is wrong. Listen to yourself, you are a good judge of your surroundings and situations as long as you follow your gut instincts. If your gut tells you that something or someone is “off” or somehow not quite right, then pay attention! Those feelings are there for your protection.
This goes hand in hand with checking out the person’s story; check into their background. Find out where they were born, went to school, went to prison or any other information available. You can search government agency websites for criminal records and other various information about pretty much anyone.
If you are unable to find anything out about this person other than what they tell you, then that is a warning sign. In this modern world, anyone that can fly completely under the radar is someone to be leery of.
Understand your own weaknesses
Some con-artists prey on the weaknesses of people. For example you love animals or want to help veterans or help find a cure for cancer, these are all wonderful causes that con-artists will use to swindle people. They prey on a person’s compassion and desire to help others. Compassion is a good trait in a person, but it can also make him/her a target for slimy con-artists. as terrible as it sounds, don’t be so quick to fall for a story just because it tugs at your heart strings.
The saddest thing about this is that slowly, people are becoming hardened and unwilling to trust or help each other; thanks to heartless con-artists.
Con-artists are not transparent, they have spent time honing their devious skills. They know what to say and how to say it because they have had a lot of practice. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to be a real criminal. If con-artists spent half as much time learning a real skill and working an honest job, then they would have a great career. It makes no sense to put so much effort into being a liar and thief.
Protect yourself from these unscrupulous people by checking out their stories; look into their background and listen to your own intuition. Con-artists always end up making a mistake somewhere along the way, it is your job to catch it.