Monday, November 12, 2007

Scam Artists' Applying their Craft with new Mind Games

--Well planned psychological approaches employed

Magalia, California--It's just like a magic act, is the claim of scam fighters. With more quick-tricks than a magician on amphetamines, with the illusion of tarot cards plucked from their sleeves, the scam artists wow their audiences. From the scam artist's point of view, following are 7 of these tricks of the trade which are rigidly exercised when trying to seduce a group of people. (Paraphrased from the writings of Jack Payne, founder and former publisher of Business Opportunities Digest, author of 55 business books, and the novel Six Hours Past Thursday, who has followed the antics of the con man for the past 45 years.)

Eliminate self-righteous skeptics right off the top. Never, ever, respond in kind to their emotional utterances of protest. Instead, nit-pick them to death with every kind of unrelated trivia you can think of. Usually, if your initial claims are outrageous enough, this will serve adequately as a distraction to silence these kill-joy malcontents. Where it doesn't, augment your retort by telling them that their attention span is slight, and their need to improve their powers of observation is a pressing one. Offer to help them by laying more unrelated nonsense on them, at the same time demanding that they pay close attention so they will not insult your intelligence by demanding that you further explain.

Pitch your product / service to senior citizens, religious types, the disadvantaged, hard-working family farmers, and groupings of people who are by circumstance dependent on others, or by nature either born followers, or naive adherents to "faith" and "trust." These are your primary markets.

Outrage your audience against a mythical government agency you must fight. These make good scapegoats. Make the suckers a part of your conspiracy-fighting battle by giving you money to wage your sterling crusade.

Always get your victims to pay primary attention to dramatic theory rather than any evidence of reality which could be logically measured.

Be bold, loud. Make your claims in the form of rapier-like thrusts, sharp verbal jabs that will be clearly heard. People tend to think something transparently out in the open could not possibly be suspect.

Don't be too greedy in the beginning Shoot for only a small, initial amount of up-front money. $20-$30 is a good range--for an information kit of some form. Once the sucker has paid that much it's easier to squeeze him for more.

You've got to force your investors to surrender their rights to legal action, by any means you can manufacture. Give them a statement to sign at the last possible minute (as if it is so unimportant that you had almost forgotten it). or mask your disclaimer in a nondisclosure agreement containing print so small their eyeballs would bleed if they tried to read it.

These are just a few of the "basics." Says Payne, "The end game is always to create an atmosphere where emotion trumps logic. And, with identity theft at record levels, somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000,000 incidents a year in the U.S. alone, con games are now of epidemic proportions, good spawning grounds for new scams."


Anonymous said...

It's all psychological, just like the infomercials on television. Now you see it, now you don't, just a big magic act.

K Jordan said...

I have found the quickest way to determine the truth and sincerity of anyone's efforts is to persistently ask them how involved they are and will they put pen to paper??? If they claim involvement ask for proof - and always - research, research, research. K.Jordan

Mr. Grudge said...

Hi Jack,
I am going to show your post to my 82 year old father who is way too trusting of all the "nice" people who knock on his door or send him letters, or call him on the phone. He has six children, and someone is always with him, but he is stubborn. He needs to see your article and realize that these nice insurance agents, phone company sales people and charities just want his money. We all tell him this, but he thinks that we are treating him like a senile old man. I hope this helps. Thanks. -Mike

Jack Payne said...

Hey, Mike:

When you give this piece to your father, tell him it was written by one of his peers, an 81-year old writer. Maybe this will help convince him.

Bern said...

Taking advantage of the most vulnerable in our society seems to be these scum bags preferred method of operation. They go after the elderly especially hard. I wish they had prisons more like dungeons for these people, and they would be willing to just lock them up and throw away he key.

CyberCelt said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I appreciated your comment. You provide a great service here and I hope you will include the social network side to the con game.

Jack Payne said...

Good observation. Myspace has taken a big hit, and Facebook is suffering too, along with most of the rest of the social networking sites to one degree or another.

Actually, I am gathering material for a piece on this now, and hope to have it up soon.

Dr. T said...

It's a good thing you're doing here.