Grifters or con artists have a wide selection of psychological techniques which can be utilized to swindle the fruits of your hard day’s labor. Unlike ordinary thieves confidence tricksters employ complex psychological manipulations to exploit weaknesses found within us all. Below is comprehensive list of various techniques cons use to make you their next victim.
The Golden Goose: Appeals to Greed
These ploys exploit our innate sense of greed and selfishness. The victim is seduced by an amazing opportunity which is often sold with a limited window of opportunity for the mark to invest within.
Likely Targets: The unemployed, risky entrepreneurs or investors, dishonest business people, and the desperate all make likely targets.
Real estate or investment “sure things”
“Get Rich Quick” Seminars or marketing
Fake jobs or franchises
The pigeon drop
Cash gifting schemes
Self help or investment gurus
Gold brick scams
Advanced fee fraud
The Seduction: Persuasion Fraud
These confidence ploys come in two general forms: ideological or romantic. The victim is seduced by a charismatic mate or persuaded by an ideology where the con artist deliberately deceives his mark.
Likely Targets: Lonely men and credulous believers make prime targets.
The Squeeze: Extortion, or Victim Baiting
This form of blackmail intimidates the target either by risk of embarrassment or creating a feeling of guilt towards a false victim. Another form of this extortion is found with insurance fraud where “victims” make false claims.
Likely Targets– Insurance companies, unfaithful individuals, persons with hidden cultural taboos, and the empathetic are likely dupes.
Robbed or stranded traveler
The Wager: Gambling
Marks are enticed in a statistically improbable or impossible opportunities for irresistible rewards.
Avaricious opportunists and the mathematically challenged make perfect prey.
Systematic gambling picks
The Technocrat: Electronic or Internet Fraud
High tech shams with the objective of stealing your identity, privacy, or using technology to fleece you.
Likely Targets: Unless you are Amish or a Neo-Luddite count yourself as a potential mark.
Viruses, worms, and trojans
Stock market manipulation schemes
Nigerian or 419 scams
Fake ticket fraud
Online dating fraud
The Authority: Deceptive establishments and famous spokespersons
These hoaxes rely on an appeal to authority either by an established presence, reputation, or famous spokesperson.
Likely Targets: Most people tend to trust recognizable faces and branding.
Big store scams
Undercover cop hoax
Caveat Emptor : False representation or phony products
Likely Targets: Everyone.
Street mechanic hoax
Phony ticket attendant
Beijing tea scam
Counterfeit cashier’s check
“Snake oil” health and diet products
Empty car lot hoax