Con artists are basically fraudulent characters, who trick or cheat others out of their money or assets. Con artists are great actors and hence, they are able to change their personality to suit the role they play. They are typically very friendly, charming, persuasive and extremely nice; all of which serve to disarm prospective victims.
While examining the factors that drive the con artists, one must be mindful of the fact these factors are just markers of fraud and not a complete elucidation for it.
At the superficial level, the possible motive of con artists may appear to be simple: making money. However, that is over simplifying the actual motives. One can find numerous people in a given society who are excessively gluttonous, but are generally law abiding. Similarly, not all dishonest people become con artists. Therefore, while examining the factors that drive the con artists, one must be mindful of the fact that the factors below are just markers of fraud and not a complete elucidation for it.
This factor is in direct relation with one of the most important driving factor behind fraud: money. When people are under pressure to earn money, they tend to take a shortcut by divulging in scams and fraudulent schemes.
This economic deprivation can be caused by many factors. Some people may lose everything due to bad or poorly planned business decisions or ventures. Others may face economic difficulties due to unemployment or large debts. Sometimes, people are just simply unhappy with their lot and desire more without working hard for it. Worse, some may blame society in general for their lot in life, giving them further impetus to commit crime. Whatever the reason may be, the solution is pretty straightforward: money. Their insatiable appetite for money drives them to commit fraud.
Some con artists think that they have a power that normal ‘mortals’ do not have.
Another apparent explanation for a con artist’s motivation is the power to exploit people. A deceitful con artist is able to exercise control over his victims by using a plethora of tricks and traps, and make the victims do things that the con artist wants.
This brings many con artists great delight and satisfaction. They think that they have a power that normal ‘mortals’ do not have. Some psychologists believe that some con artists deceive people to simply get over their own disabilities and failures in life and obtain a sense of achievement.
Sometimes, money is not the only driving factor behind a fraudulent scheme. If money were the only factor, then established con artists who have made it in life should stop after a certain point of time. In this case, professional pride and a need for a challenge drives the con artist. There are fraudulent characters, who consider their trade as a challenge to their ability. They work very hard to master their trade and even take a great pride in what they do.
Although such a trait is desirable in other legal fields of “work”, such a commitment to fraud becomes a nightmare for law officials.
Some fraudsters believe that their victims deserve what they get, as they were greedy and dishonest themselves.
It is quite an irony that some con artists believe that they are actually teaching their victims a lesson, by cheating them of their assets. This is very deep and complex human psychology. Some fraudsters believe that their victims deserve what they get, as they were greedy and dishonest themselves. The victim-centered hatred which they develop makes it easier for them to justify their actions and further propagate their scams.
Such a self-justification means that many con artists do not even think that what they do is morally wrong. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that they realize their mistake, which is the first step to turning over a new leaf.
A plethora of tricks, techniques and traps and used by the perpetrator to cheat his victims. After all, even scams require meticulous planning and strategies, if they are to be successful in yielding what the con artist wants.
It is a well-known fact that people are generally cautious when they interact with strangers. Hence, a con artist has to break this “coldness” if he wants to convince his victim to invest in a fraudulent scheme.
Hence, con artists typically "warm up" their targets by flattering them or by appearing to be a friendly person. Some perpetrators try to put the victims off guard by talking on some popular topic or by falsely claiming that they have met before. Once trust has been established, the rest is easy.
Risk free investments
Many fraudulent investment schemes offer ludicrously high rates of return for your investment, and with no risk (or so they claim). The con man promises his victims that he will fully refund them of their money if the plan does not go the way that was promised.
Con artists often find clever ways to circumvent the barrage of questions which you may expect from a potential victim. Some con artists talk a lot, hence, giving their victims no chance to ask their questions. Others simply brush aside the questions with vague answers. Another tactic is to feed their victims with complicated information that makes them feel so overwhelmed, that they do not ask any further questions. For example, someone who has a vague understanding of computing but is interested in it will be impressed by someone spouting senseless technical jargon.
When a victim is reluctant or cautious, con artists often start pressurizing the victim by telling him that the offer is once-a-lifetime chance and that the victim may regret in the future if he does not sign up in the scheme. Some con artists even question the intelligence of their victims for letting go of such a golden opportunity.
All these put tremendous pressure on the victims, and some just crumble under this relentless pressurizing and sign up for the scam.
A guide to recognizing con artists and investment fraud
The psychology of fraud
Why do con artists scam?
Techniques Used To Sell Fraudulent Investments