These 10 con artist tricks to watch out for include quick deals and well-thought out elaborate scams. Con artists build your trust, then move in for the kill. There are short-term cons and more elaborate operations to make major bucks or take over something extremely valuable. The bigger the con the more time the scammers spend in building up your trust, but when the time comes for the con kill, there will be little time offered for research or investigation. Never rush to give away your money or to make an investment. The only money made will be that taken in by the con.
- Lottery tickets. The Irish sweepstakes don't sell tickets in the United States. If you're offered tickets for big buck lotteries or contests by just folks, smell a rat right away. Lottery sellers must be licensed and they don't do business out of a car or make change from their wallet.
- Land deals. The phrase "swamp land in Florida" didn't arise without a basis in fact. Buying land should mean physically checking out the property. If you don't have a title search and legal documents that check out after your personal investigation, don't buy the land.
- Making change. Anyone on the street needing change for a large bill should get your radar up and turned on full blast. The con is a slight of hand that leaves you either with counterfeit money or less than the money you started with.
- Luggage handlers. Make sure you watch your luggage at hotels and the airport. A uniformed luggage handler doesn't mean you aren't dealing with a crook. All official luggage handlers should have identification tags with photos. Everything should match with the other handlers. Many times cons take the place of a service that was discontinued or has limited hours.
- Going out of business sales. Some stores go in business only to go out within a few months or even weeks after opening. The purpose of setting up the business is to unload stuff at "Going Out of Business" sales. If you don't know the vendor and the place looks like a professional bargain business, they're looking to take you.
- Counterfeit goods. If an item is sold at a price that is too good to be true, it probably is fake, false and counterfeit. You get what you pay for. If the item is too cheap to be believed, don't believe it. Designer purses, high-end watches and decorator furniture may be on sale, but it isn't offered for bargain-basement prices. Don't be a chump.
- Sublets and rental property. Make sure you're dealing with a legitimate rental company before you sign a rental agreement or put down bucks. In a financial era where foreclosures and vacant properties are found in every neighborhood, cons pick out vacant properties and rent the places to you without any legal right to do so. The properties may even be legitimately offered for rent, just not by the con. You'll never see your deposit and first and last months rent again.
- Cash for gas. This con starts with a person with a gas can and a van with kids in the background. Who wouldn't fork over a few bucks to get them home when the gas tank is unexpectedly empty? The bottom line is the con. Five bucks here and there adds up. The family in the van may not even be related to the gas can holder. The con simply picked a van with a family waiting in the parking lot. People with open, smiling faces are singled out as marks for this con.
- Disaster cons. As soon as a disaster happens, the vulture cons are in the air. Internet, telephone and door-to-door cons head out to collect money from honest folks who don't know how to help. The con artists are there with cash buckets ready.
- Do-good organization fund raisers. Take time to check out organizations before donating anything. Also make sure organizations send out drivers or actually makes phone solicitation calls. Dishonest folks take the names of honest groups and disappear with the donations into the woodwork.
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