Contrary to what you may believe, not all scam victims are stupid or gullible, though it helps. Problem is, all of us, from you to me to Einstein to Carl Sagan, can be stupid or gullible at times. All of us are potential victims.
As long as there's a lottery, we will believe in getting something for nothing. It's an unwritten law. It's hard to keep your guard up 24/7. And even if you can mage to be on your toes all the time, there's still a chance you could get suckered. These guys are good.
Very good. And there are new and more sophisticated scams born every day. Some con artists spend years perfecting their techniques, you've been busy working and eating and sleeping and playing with your kids and, basically, living your life.That said, there are certain mindsets that will make you more attractive to a con artist on the prowl. The usual favorite is the "good deal syndrome", the bargain hunter who's always looking to save a buck. Many marks are people who believe they are getting something for nothing.
You're at a hotel when a guy comes up, not a beggar or a wino, nicely dressed and clean-cut, says he's a business traveler who's had his wallet stolen (sympathy connection there), he needs some money to get back home so he's willing to sell his "expensive watch with diamonds" for pennies on the dollar. You look it over, it's certainly a nice-looking piece. You can't resist.
You give the guy $30 for the watch and think you've gotten a good deal AND helped out a guy in need. The next day, however, your expensive watch stops working. You take it to a local jeweler and guess what? It's cheap junk, not worth more than $5. You're out $25 and don't even have a working watch to show for it.That's not the only mindset that con artists find attractive.
Are you a wild dreamer? A guy who always plays by the rules? A gambler? Slightly greedy? Slightly desperate? Easy-going? These crooks know how to spot all of these traits and the right swindle to deploy for each of them.For instance, a wild dreamer might not be able to resist and investment scam that sounds like the sure opportunity he's been waiting for all his life. A guy who follows the rules might meet up with a guy who just needs $30 to get home, since his wallet was stolen. A gambler might get suckered by a three-card-monte set up on a street corner. Greedy people are the con artists' staple crop. Desperate people are prone to scams involving phoney healers and psychics.
And the easy-going wallflower types are the con artists' dream. You know the type. The guy who would rather pay for an expensive water-filtration system he doesn't need than insult a complete stranger..Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Fraud.
By: Michael Russell