How Con Men (and Women) Use Sociopathic Manipulation to Steal From You

ponzi scheme,bernie madoff

“The really successful con man has the ability not only to make people like him, but also to (almost) believe his own lies.” ~ Megan McArdle

In the article from which the above quote was extracted, Ms. McArdle shares her opinion on how notorious schemers such as Charles Ponzi, Dona Branca, Marc Stuart Dreier, Sergei Mavrodi, Reed Slatkin, Bernie Madoff and, most recently, Zeek Reward’s Paul Burk were able to con so many people out of so much money.

“The best con men,” she suggests, “succeed mostly because we are so desperate to believe them.  We are most vulnerable to Ponzi schemes and other confidence tricks when we start to believe that we can cheat the universe—that we can get something for nothing.”

Which brings me to the proliferation of get rich quick schemes on the internet.

The people who respond to these ads want to believe they can make quite a lot of money without working.

They eventually realize it’s not going to happen and they start dropping out like flies (often moving on to the next “sure” thing).

Some,  denying the inevitable, hold on longer than others .

Sooner or later, when the well runs dry, the con men move onto a new group of victims.

When the whole thing blows up, people wonder how it could have gone on so long without anyone noticing.  Actually many people do notice.  They just choose to remain silent and hopeful that everything is going to work out just the way the pitchman promised it would.

Some stay silent out of fear of having the opportunity taken away from them;

“Madoff’s victims certainly didn’t give the books a closer look, in part because Madoff discouraged the ones who asked a lot of questions. As The Economist wrote shortly after the scandal broke, his customers accepted that ‘to ask Bernie to reveal his strategy would be as crass as demanding to see Coca-Cola’s magic formula.’  Angering Bernie might kill the goose that laid the golden egg; he had tossed a couple of disrespectful clients who got too nosy about how the money was being made. In retrospect, this was brilliant sociopathic manipulation. People didn’t question Madoff’s absurdly, unrealistically high returns because if they did, they would lose their shot at making that risk-free 10 percent a year.”

Here’s a little story about how ugly things can get when a con game is so effective that it effects an entire nation;.

“In 1996 a Ponzi-scheme craze swept the nation of Albania so thoroughly that within a year two thirds of the country had invested in one pyramid scheme or another. The inevitable collapse was horrific. According to the International Monetary Fund, there was uncontained rioting, the government fell, and the country descended into anarchy and a near civil war in which some 2,000 people were killed.” ~ Megan McArdle

So, what’s the moral of the story?  Well, for one thing, you can’t get something for nothing, and for another, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

“We make money by making friends, and we enlarge our circle of friends by making money for them, by helping them, by being of service to them. The first law of success then is service, and this in turn is built on integrity and justice. The man who at least is not fair in his intention is simply ignorant; he has missed the fundamental law of all exchange; he is impossible; he will lose surely and certainly; he may not know it; he may think he is winning, but he is doomed to certain defeat.  He cannot cheat the Infinite. The law of compensation will demand of him an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” ~ Charles F. Haanel


Thanks for stopping by. Cool

If you have any questions or comments leave them in the comment section below.

About me…

RC Bonay

P.S.  Want to know what my #1 Recommended Internet Marketing Product for Online Success is? Click Here.

4 Responses to How to Avoid Online Scams

  1. One basic human weakness after another allows these things to go on. In society today the focus and the game is money , money,and more money, Not money for the sake of having enough to survive and enjoy financial freedom of mind and body, but money for the sake of fulfilling psychological needs. I want to feel important,so I go out to get a lot of money. In turn I make myself feel more important. That’s sad . Greed is so effective to these con-man, it’s like taken candy from a baby ..As long as we continue to want something for nothing these man will continue to be successful in their endeavors. Thanks for posting this .. Great Job !

    • Roland Bonay says:

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting…I really appreciate it! I agree with you, humans are basically weak; we’re born that way (as babies). Some of us are lucky enough to grow (with the proper guidance) to become smart and strong enough to appreciate what life has to offer without being so obsessed with the accumulation of wealth. Many are so obsessed by money that they remain as weak as they were when they were babies and they fall prey to the con-man time after time…and yes, that is sad!

  2. Johan says:

    Hi there.

    An excellent post you have here about online scams.

    I love your introduction with the con men and women, telling us why we get ourselves to believe in them.

    It’s also too much of this behavior online, and I want to personally thank you for being here for us mortals, showing us the right path instead of another failure.

    Again, thanks!



    • Roland Bonay says:

      Thanks for the visit and the comment Johan! I wrote this one day when a friend invited me to join a Facebook group that was promoting Better Living Global Network which has SCAM written all over it. I plan on researching it to make sure. I wanted to plant a seed in her mind (and even my own) that might prevent another person from falling victim to another potential scam.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.