Crimes of Persuasion: Schemes, Scams, Frauds

Yesterday I had a conversation with a woman who was married to a con artist for over 5 years and she didn’t know it. The man she met online, had married her representing himself as a “hedge fund manager.” She helped him entertain clients who invested in his company. He also had a business partner, someone who had known him for over 10 years. That business partner was also conned and lost a great deal of money. It turned out that everything about the man other than these two very real people was a sham. Every word out of his mouth was spoken as part of some pathological lie. The man is without doubt a sociopath/psychopath and con artist.

In the aftermath of being taken both personally and financially everyone who knew this con artist is asking why and how. It is in the spirit of these questions that I recommend to you a book, Crimes of Persuasion: Schemes, Scams, Frauds. How con artists will steal your savings and inheritance through telemarketing fraud, investment schemes and consumer scams. The book is written by Les Henderson a salesman and successful businessman who studied frauds and scams for 5 years before writing this book.

There are three aspects to this book that make it a resource for all victims of sociopaths. First, it provides a good list of the typical “occupations” that sociopaths work as con artists. In that regard it describes how con artists do what they do. If you are wondering whether someone is a sociopath AND that person happens to work one of these occupations, you can stop wondering and start assuming.

The book briefly discusses victim psychology. It is not only the wives and family members of sociopathic con artists who suffer trauma. The victims of the sociopath’s financial fraud also suffer trauma that can be severe and lead to suicide. Henderson says, “Fraud crime is a personal violation. Although there is no serious physical injury many victims of con-men speak of the betrayal as the psychological equivalent of rape.” If you have been the victim of fraud, we invite you to share your story and get support here.

Lastly but importantly, the book points out in many places that con artists use other people who become their unsuspecting accomplices. People who are used by con artists in this way carry that burden for life. Henderson says, “Family members and business associates may have been financially exploited at your urging, resulting in increased feelings of guilt and blame.” Recently, I spoke with a young man who had been used in this way by a con artist. It is his goal to pay back those who by his recommendation, lost money in the fraud, to the tune of $300,000.00. So far he has earned a third of that, and has saved other victims from foreclosure by helping them financially. I gathered from our conversation that the young man stayed sane with his goal of restoring his friends/ family and helping other victims. As Henderson says, “The dread becomes immeasurable, unrelated to specifics, just an all encompassing blanket of depression.” We have all felt that.

Here are links to fraud related web sites:
How to deal with having been conned


NPR is discussing con artists todayA criminal is a criminal but a con man is an artist?

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29 Comments on "Crimes of Persuasion: Schemes, Scams, Frauds"

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Thanks for replying Skylar. It would have to be done anonymously and long distance.

Again, they are in a ‘trade’ that would come in contact with sociopaths regularly. If you were a logical person dealing with facts on a regular basis – what hints would it take for you, or would you prefer something more blunt?

Happily I believe I caused the last relationship this person was in to break up, but a lot of damage had been done already before I acted. Ironically it was done by planting the seed via a third party with the sociopath that this new person was not a friend. I think the sociopath may have even been the one to break that off as a result! How’s that for irony? I don’t have the option of doing that this time. I’m thinking two, maybe three sentences to plant the seed of doubt – to make them question.



Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes no, sometimes maybe. LOL

Seriously though, if they are already “under the spell”sometimes there is nothing you can do to warn them.

People believe what they are EMOTIONALLY INVESTED IN BELIEVING. It is EASIER to believe than to not believe but at the same time, even with EVIDENCE if it is “emotionally costly” many times people will DENY the BEST EVIDENCE in the world.

Look at Mrs. Bernie Madoff. Her sons told her that if she kept being “supportive” of her husband, that they would go NC with her and she was NC with Bernie for a while, but then Bernie got sick and she went flying back to being supportive of him….he sons both went NC with her…then tragically the one killed himself, and the son’s wife wouldn’t even let Mrs. Madoff attend the funeral…and I can’t say that I would have either, knowing that my late husband was NC with someone, I don’t think I would let that person come to the funeral.

So I don’t know if your friend will listen, but I think you might consider how (if at all) to convince her the person is not HONEST or trustworthy. Good luck, and Llike Sky I’m glad you care.

Yes Ox Drover, but this is a very new relationship, with someone that to all intents and purposes should know better.

I do have the option of contacting this persons parent. I’m only going to have a short burst to warn them – what should I say?


Not sure WHAT you should say in terms of Specific words, but I would try to do it in such a way that I had EVIDENCE of “bad intentions” and “bad actions.”

If it is a dating relationship and “Sue” had just started to date him (I am assuming that Sue is an adult at least) I might say “Sue, I know Fred appears appealing and nice, but I’ve known Fred (the P) for some time, and I am aware that he had cheated on his previous 14 wives and does not pay support to his 21 children– all under the age of 14–and he has been arrested 6 times for rape and has a long criminal record and was arrested dates, charges, etc.”

Even if she has only been out with him a few times, he may already have the “charm hoo-doo” in on her and she may not believe a word you say.

As for telling her parents, if she is an adult that might not be a good idea unless you think they would have a lot of influence on her. Also, keep in mind if you tell her parents, and she finds out you did so behind her back, you may ruin any friendship you have with her….even speaking badly about him may do that if she is already hooked…an d sometimes it doesn’t take long to hook someone. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

what I’ve noticed is that many of us empaths simply don’t feel the need to protect ourselves, but we are very alert at protecting others. I would appeal to her desire to parent her children and keep them safe. That seems to work more often than any other warning.

I would say something like, “I know that you, as any parent does, want to keep your children safe. One place that I’ve become aware of that many parents fail, is in teaching their children about emotional safety. Parents don’t teach their children about how to avoid emotional vampires who can and do destroy lives every day. They are the people you see on the news every day, ranging from Bernie Madoff to your everyday con artist that lives off his baby mama’s welfare check. Those are extreme and obvious cases so we think we would recognize them when we see them, but they come in all kinds of disguises, from the saintly to the eccentric. Most never get caught and never make the news. They just destroy and slither away. Here’s a book “the sociopath next door” that is really eye-opening …. etc….”

Hello I was in love and had future plans with a conman he took thousands from me and my children. He played me well for 3.5 years once I found the truth I was hit with a ton of bricks, I thought I was getting all of my funds back from him. This all ended 2009 and I still am not healed. This has taken me more time to heal than my ex deceased who was an abuser I knew what to expect from him. Mr G was all fake and played a man I was wanting after my ex deceased horrible snake. I have problems from all of this with in myself. My story is “Looking into the eyes of a conman.” I have contacted his wife a few times via email she has not answered me, I don’t have an answer from her. I never felt so much hurt in my life by anyone….Yes you feel raped inside and out.


Eclipse, you said ‘you feel raped inside and out’. that’s how i explained it to one of my best friends who baled on me because i wasn’t getting over the spath according to her idea of how long it should take. I was trying to find words that she could relate to as traumatic and would exemplify the sense of horror, disbelief, shock and vulnerability I felt. Raped was the word I found.

keep writing and reading here, it will help very much. I am sorry you have to be here, but it is a good place and people will help.

one joy

Dear Eclipse,

Welcome to lovefraud. Yes, raped inside and out definitely describes how we feel. There is healing at the end of the tunnel though, and peace. You may not recover your money but you can recover peace. God bless.

Thank you both we are all healing and yes both of you are right. It shall take time for the healing to be complete, we meant all good for them and they were only out to hurt us the whole time,bad ……….. God bless you all

Best Wishes

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