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Art of the con is criminal

Posted on February 10, 2014 by Sunny South News

Con artists have been around since the dawn of man.

Cavemen would con their neighbours into handing over a scarce amount of Pterodactyl meat for the promise to borrow the latest and greatest multi-use club on the block. Shucksters and charlatans swindled money out of the vulnerable and naïve throughout history with get-rich-quick schemes and homemade concoctions and cure-alls. In today’s society many still get duped into handing over their riches for the promise of a better tomorrow or to help a loved one in need. A petty thief or pickpocket is nothing compared to the grand scale orchestrations con artists use to prey upon victims throughout the world.

Computer scams, seniors scams, scams on the phone, scams door-to-door — when will it all end? It probably, most likely, won’t. The key is to be aware and learn how to defend against those willing to either break the law a little or a lot. Con artists are smooth talkers and often tug at the heartstrings or simply don’t take no for an answer. If something smells fishy — it probably is a stinky situation.

When in doubt — check it out. Google it, ask others about it, do some background checks on those involved in wanting a largesse of big Canadian polymer bills. With today’s overabundance of being connected to the masses, use this technological advancement to save hundreds or thousands of dollars by being duped.

If an unknown number comes up on a cellphone or landline phone (for that matter) — a reverse phone lookup online can be utilized to see the annoying telemarketer from overseas or possible culprit calling at the most inappropriate hours of the day. At the very least, this will allow for an opportunity to check out if others have complained about a certain business or have questioned the validity of said business. If an individual doesn’t have access to a computer or Smartphone, just say no or let the person on the other end of the phone or sitting across from you or standing across from you on the street you need time to think about said request or proposal. To wait — is to gain perspective.

As always, the world is chock full of con artists and those being conned. Scams can be deterred by vigilant informed citizens. A grandson or long lost brother is not in jail and doesn’t need money to be released, especially if a close family member never mentioned it. Microsoft doesn’t need you to check your computer for issues or security concerns by phone, unless perhaps you do indeed have an issue or security concern you previously called about. It’s usually a good idea not to wire money to an Arabian princess who needs money to flee a country, with the promise to give back the money with an extra few thousand dollars thrown in for taking a leap of faith. Or an individual’s bank sending an e-mail wanting account information validation and such because a bank account could have been compromised. Or a guy or gal from a supposed business wanting to save you money on a monthly bill. The list goes on and on.

Canadians work hard for their money. Each and every month Canadians pay rent, mortgages, a plethora of bills, and put food on the table for loved ones. Canadians don’t need to needlessly pay out large sums of money to a shady character or crime syndicate lying to rid you of hard-earned wages and savings. Canadians must use due diligence when dealing with shysters. Before dishing out the dough —allow it sufficient time to rise and bake accordingly. Research before donating or giving or transferring money, no matter how much money is involved in the equation. There are many worthwhile organizations and causes in need of donations. Don’t be a donating dullard or scammed Sally or Sammy. Look before you leap.

Life, at times, is reminiscent of a circus or country fair. Fake fortune tellers cold read unsuspecting townsfolk, rigged games of chance, Fiji mermaids and wolf boys suspending our beliefs.

Scams and con artists have defined the term “humbug,” which is a person or item that tricks and deceives, for decades. Put a kibosh on the humbug.

Be informed and take the necessary time and/or precautions to perhaps put con artists on the lam behind bars, where connivers can possibly con their way out of the clink early for good behaviour.

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