17 Clever Moves Con Artists Employ to Earn Your Trust

Ephraim Obare
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Welcome, dear reader, to the thrilling rollercoaster ride in the world of con artists. Now, don’t get too comfy because these crafty tricksters have a knack for turning your reality into their stage show. They’re like illusionists; their magic tricks aren’t for your amusement but for emptying your pockets.

Here are the 17 sly maneuvers these con artists use to earn your trust. Grab your detective hat, for we’re about to journey into the mind of the masters of deception. Don’t worry, we promise this isn’t a con!

Playing the Long Game

The Romance Scam
Kroach via canva.com

Some con artists are masters of patience, building relationships for months or even years to gain your trust. The FTC reported that consumers lost a staggering $547 million in 2021 alone. Reported losses to romance scammers skyrocketed by nearly 80 percent compared to 2020.

Hold your breath as the total reported losses over the past five years hit a jaw-dropping $1.3 billion. It’s time to stand up against these financial predators! 💔💸

Creating a Sense of Urgency

Canva by 123ducu

This tactic is commonly used in phishing scams, with 70% of attacks involving a secondary ruse, like the imminent loss of an account or service.

Appealing to Authority

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yourstockbank via Canva.com

Scammers often pose as government or bank officials. According to the FTC, social media scams drained a staggering $2.7 billion from Americans’ pockets. Stay vigilant, folks! 💰🚫

The “Too Good to be True” Bait

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Photo: © fatihhoca via canva.com

Lottery scams still trap thousands yearly. Did you know? Americans have fallen victim to fraudulent foreign lotteries and sweepstakes, losing a staggering $42 million, as the U.S. Postal Inspection Service reported. Stay alert and protect yourself from scams!

Exploiting Reciprocity

The Pyramid Scheme
RollingCamera via canva.com

Also known as the “Give to Get” scam, this tactic is used in Ponzi and Pyramid schemes and costs Americans billions.

The Sunk Cost Fallacy

The Money Mule Scam
Elnur via canva.com

Scammers draw victims in with small losses, which escalate as the victim tries to recoup their investment. This tactic is used in advanced fee scams.

The Distraction Technique

The Fake Charity Scam
Tara Winstead from Pexels via canva.com

Pickpocketers and magicians aren’t the only ones who use misdirection. The same principle applies to data breaches.

According to Security Magazine, the web’s accidental exposure of data online left a staggering 13.5 billion records compromised. But hacking takes the crown, exposing a mind-boggling 15.1 billion records!

Playing on Fear

The Overpayment Scam
Andranik Hakobyan via canva.com

Scammers often use scare tactics, such as fake arrest warrants. According to the FBI, call centers running scams have caused US citizens to lose a staggering $10 billion. That’s right, billions! It’s high time we put an end to these fraudulent operations.

Social Proof

The Grandparent Scam
DragonImages via canva.com

Scammers use fake testimonials and reviews to add credibility. These scams are executed “on a large scale, on an industrial scale — like they’re cooking up fraud in a factory.

The Illusion of Transparency

The Lottery Scam
Khosro via canva.com

Confidence tricksters manipulate you into thinking they’re being open and honest. This tactic is rife in pyramid schemes.

The Foot-in-the-Door Technique

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pixelshot via Canva.com

Scammers ask for small favors or commitments before escalating their demands.

Exploiting Familiarity

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Provided by Aleksei Koldunov via Canva.com

Scams involving supposed friends or family in trouble (the so-called “grandparent scam”) cost victims $41 million in 2019.

Exploiting Ignorance

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Photo: © Kaspars Grinvalds via canva.com

Scammers target the less tech-savvy with tech support scams, costing $150 million in 2020.

Playing the Sympathy Card

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LSOphoto via canva.com

Charity scams skyrocket during natural disasters and global crises. An eye-opening analysis by the Associated Press reveals that cunning fraudsters may have slyly pocketed over $280 billion in COVID-19 relief funding.

The Bait-and-Switch

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Boarding1Now via Canva.com

Advertised products or services are “unavailable,” but a far inferior alternative is readily offered.

The Pressure Sale

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Canva by Studioroman

High-pressure sales tactics, like time-limited offers, are common in timeshare scams.

The Consolation Prize Scam

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Provided by Pexels via Canva.com

Even if you didn’t win the big prize, you’re told you’ve won a smaller one. The catch is you need to pay for shipping or taxes first.

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Welcome, dear internet travelers, to the realm where the ordinary becomes extraordinary, the mundane turns scandalous, and the acceptable print rules supreme! In this glorious digital age, scams aren’t just cloak-and-dagger affairs, no! They’ve donned the garb of regularity, so “normal” that they’ve practically become our pen pals.

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Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, fasten your seatbelts because we’re about to embark on a thrilling, nail-biting, and yes, cringe-inducing journey through the bizarre world of “new normals” that are turning our daily lives into an episode of The Twilight Zone.

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  • Ephraim Obare

    Ephraim Obare is a versatile member of the Frenz Hub writing team, bringing a rich background in economics to his work. An avid swimmer, reader, and cyclist, Ephraim blends analytical insights with his diverse interests.

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