|About the Book|
When people are desperate, they’re easily manipulated. The most common consumer fraud occurs with people trying to lose weight, trying to look beautiful and young (women over 30, the most gullible demographic around), people with medical problems,MoreWhen people are desperate, they’re easily manipulated. The most common consumer fraud occurs with people trying to lose weight, trying to look beautiful and young (women over 30, the most gullible demographic around), people with medical problems, people desperate for money (get-rich schemes), people who want to save money, get a great deal or get rich. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.Cons and scams can occur in the unlikeliest of places like at your local church with the unlikeliest people like your so-called priest or even pretty girls who commit a lot of scams which are never reported by the red-faced guys who thought they were gonna get sex but got taken for another type of ride instead.The object of any con game is to get you to part with your money or other thing of value. The con man or woman uses charm and appeals to your sense of greed.Small cons are meant to deprive you of whatever you might have on you like selling cheap perfume for namebrand perfume on the street corner versus the big con where they send you home to get more money. The movies The Lady Eve (1941) and The Sting from 1973 were humorous ways to see how elaborate cons can be.Another movie called The Grifters was about a clan of Irish people in America going around doing small crimes to rip people off but recently there was one group of these people who were transients so they went from town to town pulling this one.One or two guys would go to the front door wearing hardhats and bright red safety vests posing as construction workers. They would knock on the door and try to talk to whoever answered for as long as possible while a confederate went to the back, entered then started to ransack the place.The problem is that there were other people home and they murdered at least one of them as profiled on the TV show America’s Most Wanted, amw.com.Many of us laugh at victims (marks) of low level cons because most of us think that they deserve what they get for being so stupid and greedy and besides, all that’s taken is their pride and some money. It’s not like a violent crime.In movies and TV, con artists are often looked upon as personable, sociable dapper fellas, just keep your hand on your wallet when dealing with them.In general, cons are funny to most people except the few getting conned. If we’re looking in from the outside, we think that if those people were so stupid to get conned, it’s their fault.It’s almost theater or art because it takes intelligence, cunning, charm and often a brazen person to do it plus it usually doesn’t involve violence, just a general theft of goods and the hurt feelings of the victim for being such a fool.Most people feel so ashamed for being conned that they don’t report it to the police. Many cons involve an investment in a quasi-legal investment scheme so victims feel they were a part of something illegal and they would get into trouble if they reported it.Cons were successful in the old days because of the general ignorance of the populace. A snake oil salesman would come into town with some harmless liquid and claim it to have amazing restorative powers and the people who were just dumb country bumpkins without mass media, libraries or government regulatory agencies, didn’t know any better so a lot of them fell for it.You’d think that people are too savvy and wise to fall for cons these days but crimes are as prevalent as ever, many as simple as mailing a phony letter saying you have won $10,000 in an Irish lottery but you have to pay $60 in taxes before you can claim it.