THE CON STRATEGISTS (CONMEN/WOMEN): Their Common Traits and How To Avoid Their Subtle Snares/Traps THE CON STRATEGISTS (CONMEN/WOMEN): Their Common Traits and How To Avoid Their Subtle Snares/Traps
Nelson Ebong

Nelson Ebong

19 Sep 2022

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IF the magnificent Eiffel Towers that millions over the years flock to visit as tourists could be 'sold' by a CONMAN for great sums of money to a scrap dealer, who is safe from con strategists? If the conman could make away with such a deal causing tremendous loss and pain to his victim, can you be safe from this cold calculating CHEATING men and women amidst us?

To be cheated or coned is something so common place that finding anyone who can authentically claim they have never been cheated in one way or the other is a chance in millions. In nearly every setting of life, there are people who are expert at leading others into losing something that they hold dear to the advantage of the conmen/ cheats. It could be in a relationship, in business, in public institutions, in government an even within religious institutions. How can we sniff these characters? How do they even succeed in coning wise and experienced mature adults? Are there ways we can sense and avoid them?

A good starting point is to define who a con strategist or cheat is. The concise Oxford English dictionary defines the word ‘cone’ as deceive (someone) into doing or believing by lying to them. It further shows that it originates from the word ‘confidence’ as in confidence trick

For a long time and as far as its broadly use, the word con is traditionally linked to the male gender as in conman with the meaning of a man who cheats others using tricks as per the same dictionary cited above.

Does this mean that there are no conwomen? Maybe in the very past generations because in today’s world, there is quite a thin curtain between what men are capable of that women do not dare do themselves both in the good and bad. This means, all the traits that we shall consider, should be used as litmus test across the board.

A word of caution: considering the principle of one is innocent until proven guilty; do not accuse someone of being a con simply because you have somewhat suspiciously not conclusively noticed some of the key traits we shall consider here. No matter how rotten the world shall be, there will be some really honest men and women amidst us. However, these traits will guide you in reducing the chances of being cheated; they will help you properly scrutinize potential cheats especially when what is at stake is significantly important to you.

Common Traits of Con Strategists

a) Love talking about instability and turmoil as steppingstone

When you meet a person who very much preoccupies you with talk about possible volatility or instabilities even when things seem to be moving right, there is a chance you are being prepared for the next stage in the trick game. A stable, principled and reasoning person is hard to trick and cheat because they take their time to read between the lines as it were. But when you begin to worry about what is likely to happen, your guard is reduced because you are no longer paying attention to every possible detail of protecting what is yours. By keeping your mind divided between safeguarding what you have in the best way you know and at the same time contemplating the worst case scenarios they are bombarding your mind with, your defence is weakened and your mind is subtly married to theirs in a way. At this point, the victim could then be moved to the next phase in the game. What is it?

b) Convincing you they have solutions to the anticipated problems

Watch very much the men and women who front their ability to help you out of problems they have either planted in your mind or prophesied about as it were to you. These men and women usually blow their own trumpets about their abilities to help you resolve a problem that either they themselves or their accomplices have led you into. Why does this work well for a con strategist?

Because since they have already planted an impression in your mind that they know about what they have foreseen as explained in step (a) above (whether it has happened already or not), then you are likely to believe they should know how to insure you against it. Another belief this could plant in you is that they should also know how to get you out of the foretold turmoil/problem. Oh dear, too many at this phase become even more vulnerable before being led like sheep into the next slaughter phase.

c) Constantly analysing your concerns or worries and highlighting areas they can get money from you through

From habits as simple as noticing small discrepancies or problems in an item or important idea that belongs to you then overly amplifying them, to digging out and doing everything to fix your attention almost entirely on a problem in your life or project with the insistence that you release money or favour for solving the problem.

Since some rapport has already been built with you, some pseudo trust has been laid; you are likely to fall prey little by little until the depth is beyond easy return. It is like the sleep that steals your safety alertness in little bits while driving until you swerve off the road, hit a tree, overturn and if it is not your good day, your car becomes a complete wreckage, hoping your life is saved.

This is where being too trusting and lacking the courage to break free become your prime vulnerability areas as will be discussed in the solutions or remedy sections. The trap can be best illustrated with the example of a lady who gets lured into an abusive relationship but with a person to whom she has revealed so much and who provides her some help to just get her going but never enough to make her be independent; terrible thing isn’t it? But that game extends beyond just gender based relationships as we shall later see.

d) Peddlers of well woven controversies

The human brain has two extreme modes it turns on when presented with a disagreeable situation. Drivers or those who have been on real life slippery grounds will understand this example best; you are driving or riding at slightly above average speed, suddenly you enter a slippery ground and your motor vehicle begins swerving left and right leaving you with very limited if any ability to control, all you can do at best is guide the vehicle along as it glides through the muddy slippery path or loose surface road till it stops by itself or comes to firm ground where you can regain control and steer it back. In worst case scenarios, you may need additional assistance to tow the car out of the bushes or trenches if the sliding goes too far to cause the vehicle to skid into a trench or even roll over.

How do con strategists behave in a similar way? They keep compounding your problems by creating more and more traps that keep you in their control, mazes that sustain you in their field of play with little you can do to meaningfully unleash yourself and return to your normal path. Yes just like swerving or skidding from one side of a slippery road to the next but on the same slippery ground drastically reduces any control measure you might apply, in the same way, the con strategist will take you from one controversy to another as they keep extorting money or related favors out of you either subtly or directly, yes, directly if the fear factor takes over you making you be fully in their evil hands. How do you get out of this or avoid it in the first place? The remedy/ solution section will provide some useful approaches.


Note: For a detailed understanding of this subject and for your own safeguard against cheats/ conmen, keep on the watch right here on www.empower.co.tz for the release of our forthcoming book entitled Practical Approaches to STOP COMPOUNDING PROBLEMS. The topics shared herein at empower's Movement  are just glimpses into deeper, practical, experience based contents of the book

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Nelson Ebong
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Nelson Ebong

Being Of Effective Service by sharing knowledge and skills both experiential, which is most impacting, and learned, which can be hypothetical but all the same essential in the journey towards the mastery of living that is fulfilling and positively contributory to improving our world

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