How to Avoid Confidence Tricksters

Save your benevolence for worthy people

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Everyone is the potential victim of a con

Cons don’t only pick victims who seem vulnerable. They know everyone has weak points.

How do they do it?

Konnikova mentions cons collect data. They are masters of detail and even note people’s body language when figuring out their emotional needs.

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Body language giveaways

Sly folks know how you feel about topics, not just from what you post on Facebook, but also by observing your gestures.

Cons evoke trust

Of course, you still aren’t ready to part with money. You must believe the salesman has your best interests at heart.


Konnikova says cons gain trust in several ways. One might be to ensure you think they are honest, wholesome citizens.

Cons are super-likable

What’s more, they pretend to be like you. Studies show we think well of people who share our views and have similar traits to us.

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Cons put their foot in the door

You’ve heard of the foot in the door strategy no doubt.

Cons make you feel special

Another great trick used by cons is to feed your ego. We all go a little weak at the knees when people think we are special.

Fraudsters ooze success

What does society hold in high-esteem? Love? Compassion? You would hope so. However. Often it’s success. If someone appears successful, they have instant respect.

People don’t like to change their beliefs

Science shows nobody enjoys parting with their beliefs. They hang onto them so fast they can be unwilling to let them go, even when reality screams they are wrong.

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How to avoid being a sucker

Background check

If someone seems too good to be true, check their background.

Details and body language

Are the specifics of their stories consistent? Liars forget data and change it over time.


What does your gut say? Is their doubt in your heart? A sense of unease in your bones? That’s your intuition speaking.

Common sense

If someone you don’t know well asks for money, hold back and find out more information before parting with cash.

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Writer, poet, storyteller. Author Page Amazon

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