Con Artists and their Strategies: You are More VulnerableThan You Think

As a former prosecutor with experience putting con artists in jail, I wanted to share 5 insights into the techniques of con artists.  Fraud is on the rise, and con artists are highly skilled at taking your family’s money.

  1. Frauds are presented to by friends and family.  Let that sink in.  The con works because it makes people think they can trust it by getting friends and family to pitch you the scheme.  Because you trust your friend or family member, you mistakenly trust the scam.  Never trust investment opportunities from friends and family without having a lawyer you trust to look at them.
  2. Technology is making fraud easier to perpetrate.  Powerpoints, websites, email addresses and official-looking forms are incredibly easy to fabricate.  For some reason, people think that a graph or website is a validation of an investment claim.  it is not, remember con artists are willing to spend 5 grand on building a website that helps them steal millions from trusting people (they probably won’t even pay the web developer anyhow)
  3. Smart people get defrauded the most.  I know it sounds counterintuitive, but con artists go after money.  They know how to play to people’s egos and greed.  Doctors are actually the profession most frequently victimized because they think they are smarter than they are in real-world situations, and they are often a little greedy and so fall victim to promises of easy money.
  4. Here is a universal truth that you must never forget.  if a friend or family member brings you a proposal that is too good to be true.  IT IS!  The smartest people in the world work 14-hour days trying to get 15% return on their money.  Your friend or a family member hasn’t found a way around that.  You are not just lucky to be in the right place at the right time.  If there is ever a place in the world where someone can make 30% in 6 months, you can guarantee that billions of dollars will go there in a millisecond.   You are not lucky; you are a target.
  5. Protect your elderly. Con artists target kind grandparents.  Tell them never to send money over the internet or the phone.  Tell them to verify through a third party before ever responding to a helpful person on the phone, at their door or on an email.. Everyone should have a talk with their older family members to tell them the internet can be very tricky.

Hopefully, this helps stop at least one con artist from robbing one of our loved ones.  If you have any tips to add please feel to email us your comments at

By: Phillip Millar, Principal Lawyer

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Con Artists and their Strategies: You are More VulnerableThan You Think