How Do I Spot a Con Artist?

Felicia Dye

A person who approaches you with an offer that is supposedly to your benefit, but that requires you to spend money, may be a con artist. Such an individual will generally want you to do something secretly and immediately. He may try to make you feel as if the people closest to you have ulterior motives. In many cases, you can begin unraveling a con artist's scheme by being inquisitive and requesting proof to support the claims he makes.

Con artists ask for money and always lie.
Con artists ask for money and always lie.

Beware of individuals who portray themselves as concerned for your welfare, but who want some type of immediate compensation for helping you. This is a prime indicator of a con artist. For example, you may have noticed an unfamiliar car near your residence. One day a stranger may appear and inform you that he has also seen the vehicle and warn that you may be in danger. Then, he may claim to have the ability to solve the problem if you pay him.

Some people believe psychics are merely con artists.
Some people believe psychics are merely con artists.

This type of concern is commonly used to exploit a person's desire for wealth too. You are likely dealing with a con artist if a stranger approaches you with a scheme that will allow you to obtain a lot of money in a short period of time. He may act as if he is in desperate need of your help, but it is also likely that he will attempt to make you believe that he can easily select someone else. Another warning sign is that con artists generally operate strictly with cash even when large sums of money are concerned.

A con artist will often want you to take some type of action, but he will not want you to tell anyone. Although whatever he is asking may not be illegal, the need for secrecy may be reiterated. If you question this, he may try to make you feel as if your family and friends are somehow actually against your best interest. The con artist does this hoping that you will question the trust of your associates and invest trust in him instead.

In addition to wanting you to act secretly, a person with fraudulent intentions will generally want you to act immediately. He may try to make you feel as if the opportunity is limited to the moment. He constantly stress the need to make an instant decision or may tell you to think about the situation if you like, but he may repeatedly warn you that by doing so you are placing your opportunity at risk.

Since a con artist's scheme is based on lies and deceit, he may not have thought through all of the details in advance. These individuals commonly prepare a story and they plan to deliver it so well that they are caught off guard by unexpected questions. If you think that you are dealing with a con artist, make a lot of inquiries and take notice of his attitude and the cohesiveness of his responses. How he responds to a request for proof and supporting details is also likely to be revealing.

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