Sanctuary for the Abused
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
The 10 Commandments of Con Artists
The Count's most unusual scam was selling the Eiffel Tower. Having read in Paris that upkeep on the Eiffel Tower was expensive for the French government, he forged some official government stationery, and as a government official, he called five wealthy European scrap merchants to a secret conference to select a buyer. He took each man on a tour of the Tower, selected the best victim, and accepted an illegal bribe as well as official payment to the French government. Then he fled the country, and his victim was too ashamed to report his loss. One year later the Count returned and sold the Eiffel Tower again the same way. The second victim reported the crime, so there wasn't a third victim.
The Count's Ten Commandments:
- Be a patient listener (it is this, not fast talking, that gets a con man his coups).
- Never look bored.
- Wait for the other person to reveal any political opinions, then agree with them.
- Let the other person reveal religious views, then have the same ones.
- Hint at sex talk, but don't follow it up unless the other person shows a strong interest.
- Never discuss illness, unless some special concern is shown.
- Never pry into a person's personal circumstances (they'll tell you all eventually).
- Never boast - just let your importance be quietly obvious.
- Never be untidy.
- Never get drunk.
(Source: Fakes, Frauds & Other Malarkey, by Kathryn Lindskoog, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1993.)