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4 ways conmen are getting to you

20 July 2016, 13:22 Bernard Lugagah

It feels awful to get conned. Besides the loss of your hard earned money is the blow to your ego when some total stranger walks up to you and outsmarts you. Unless the ruse they employed was particularly brilliant, you may not even share the story with your loved ones.

I have a friend who for a long time maintained that her phone had been snatched from her, when in actual sense she had handed it over to a couple of street urchins, out of her own volition. It makes for a good laugh.

But con men can get you every time without fail just by exploiting these 4 traits in you:


That desire for more and more to the extent that you are willing to put the little you already have in jeopardy. You get an email from a very beautiful Liberian lady with loads of cash and who is madly in love for you. You only need to send her a little money to get both the lady and the money. Really? Or preachers who can double or triple your money, if only you can hand over what you have and close your eyes. How about winning money in a competition you never entered?

Con men bait your greed with deals that are too good to be true, get rich quick schemes and offers of free trials. After that, it’s easy to take your money, personal details or even get you to do something you ought not to do.

Read Also: Daily sweets linked to violence


Scammers know we are good people who want to take every opportunity to express our goodness. That’s why they will come to you looking like they need help. An elderly woman having trouble with the ATM machine, or who needs to use your phone, or in the case of that friend of mine, a young boy who has lost his parents and needs your phone to call his mother. And they can read goodness in you from a mile away. Free offers may be intended to put you in their net and you will be less likely to turn down their requests. They will also try to cast you in negative light so you feel obligated to disprove them and fall right into their trap.


Before doing you over, a conman works to gain your trust. It can be said that exploiting your greed and compassion is to get you to trust them. When you are greedy you trust blindly, because greed itself is an irrational characteristic. When they exploit your compassion, they place themselves at your mercy and portray themselves as weak. You can’t help but trust them.

They will be charming and nice, pretend to be somebody you trust and make up nonexistent common bonds. They will bombard you with a lot of irrelevant details and hold back on the important answers. They will pretend to be giving you secret information that others do not know. If they should see your interest flagging, they may act disinterested so that you think you are the one losing out. But it’s all a lie designed to let your guard down.


A conman will offer you a very good deal and tell you it’s only for a limited time. The fear of losing the deal makes you commit without thinking too much. They will also exploit common fears about security, finance, relationships to work their way into your pocket.

- MyNews24

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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