Signs of a Con Man

Updated April 17, 2017

No one wants to get swindled, whether it's in love, monetary affairs or other parts of daily life. But thieves and grifters are out there, ready to strike at any moment. It's important to be prepared. Con men are often deceptive and charming, leading you to fall for their trustworthy facade. By the time you realise you've been duped, it's too late; the con man is likely long gone. Knowing the warning signs of these slick snakes can save you a great deal of heartache in the future.


The con man is often hard to reach, no matter what methods you try. E-mail, cell phone, certified letter -- all these methods and more often fail. Your e-mails get bounced back because he gives you a fake address, your calls go unanswered because he's screening or gave you a bogus number and your letters are returned because he doesn't live at the address he gave you. If the only way you speak to this man is when he contacts you, you can bet that something fishy is going on.


Con men don't want people to know about their past, so they don't often share it. Besides, it's much easier to make victims feel special and put them at ease when the focus is on them. A great deal of time goes by and you realise that your conversations are all one-sided -- he knows everything about you, but you know very little about him. Ask this man questions about his past. If he's reluctant to answer, you may have a con man on your hands.


Con men often don't have time for small talk or to get into emotional relationships. To them, other people are "marks" or targets that can be used to make money. If a man pushes for intimacy too quickly or acts like your new best friend right off the bat, try backing off a little. A true friend or business associate will respect your boundaries -- a con man won't. He'll either try doubly hard to pull you into his scheme or move onto easier prey.


Finally, to convince you that he's not really after your money, which is a lie, con men often make a large display of wealth at the beginning of the relationship -- and then never again -- to lull you into a false sense of security. The con man never had the intention of making his generosity a habit.

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About the Author

A professional writer for LexisNexis since 2008, Ilana Waters has created pages for websites such as and A writing scholarship helped her graduate summa cum laude from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Social Work. She then obtained her Master of Social Work from Monmouth University.