If you’re vulnerable, sociopaths will pounce

Last week Lovefraud posted a new True Lovefraud Story about a con artist named Dennis SanSeverino. The creep pretended to be loving and rich long enough to convince his victim to trust him. Then he took her home and inheritance.

This story is a classic case of a sociopath targeting the vulnerable.

When the victim, Trish Rynn, met SanSeverino, she had just endured a difficult breakup with her boyfriend. In the months that they got to know each other—Rynn initially refused his many dinner invitations—he must have been listening intently as she chatted about her life. Rynn’s ex-husband was physically abusive. After the marriage ended, Rynn spent 10 years in court fighting child custody and child support battles. The strain sent her into clinical depression, from which she was just beginning to recover.

Rynn was vulnerable, and SanSeverino was attracted like a shark to blood in the water.

SanSeverino started taking Rynn’s money—under the guise of helping her, of course. When Rynn found herself in serious debt due to him, she slipped back into depression. That’s when SanSeverino took her house and the rest of her inheritance.

Sad stories made worse

Lovefraud has heard these truly sad stories over and over again: Grief-stricken people who have lost a spouse or a child, and then lose their insurance settlement to a sociopath. Disabled people who are targeted because they get a minimal subsidy from the government. People struggling to care for someone else—like children or elderly parents—who learn that the assistance promised by a sociopath makes their burdens worse.

And then there are the lonely. Anyone who is lonely for any reason is walking target for a sociopath.

Vigilance when vulnerable

It’s sad, really. When we have problems and need help, we want to be able to trust that offers of assistance are real. When we’re looking for companionship, we want to be able to believe that the person pursuing us is sincere.

But the truth is that when we’re vulnerable, we need to be especially vigilant. Sociopaths are predators, and wounded prey make for an easy kill.

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jm – are you a newbie?

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