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Topic : 08/11 Conned by a Con Artist

Number of Replies: 256
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Created on : Friday, December 09, 2005, 03:59:23 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original Air Date: 12/12/05) You may have heard, "If something is too good to be true, it probably is." Dr. Phil's guests learned this lesson the hard way. Sandra thought she was marrying a bachelor with whom she would spend the rest of her life. What she didn't know was that she was being conned, and that when she tied the knot, she would be wife number seven! See what happens when Sandra and wife number six get together. Why is Dr. Phil concerned with the way they are coping with their pain? Then, when Coni met Paul, he claimed he owned a business, had a Ph.D. and was an Air Force Major. But the life he detailed was all a big lie. Now that Coni has put her husband behind bars, she fears he's plotting revenge. What does Dr. Phil think? Plus, a former FBI profiler shares the signs to look for so you don't become a con man's next target. Talk about the show here.


Find out what happened on the show.

 

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December 10, 2005, 12:58 pm CST

re: conned by a con artist

Perhaps it's far too soon for me to even worry about ever connecting again with another man. I've been widowed only 18 months and would love to network with other people. 

  

I've learned that friends tend to shy away from you once you've lost your spouse. I thought that friends knew people who knew people and out of that knowledge might spring someone with similar interests. I've lost a great deal of that networking and now am high and dry with no one to talk to, have dinner with, go with to a show, and unwilling to plunge into unknown territory because of things that can happen as will be evidenced during this show. I'm afraid to trust. 

  

I've tried all the conventional ways of meeting people and detest the online dating services because it's way too easy to hide "the real you" in cyberspace. 

  

Any suggestions? 

 
December 10, 2005, 2:18 pm CST

I AM A SURVIVOR OF A 17 YEAR MARRIAGE TO A CON-ARTIST

I married a man in 1980 who said he was an attorney, just coming out of a divorce.  He was the sweetest, caring, compassionate, loving, respectful man I had met in a long time.  My story is a very long one, quite painful and regrettable.  But once I learned that I didn't have to be held in emotional captivity anymore;  I didn't care how many times I heard destructive criticism or felt the physical violence; one day I found the courage to say no, he is not going to hurt me anymore.  Love in a marriage isn't enough.  I hoped and prayed he would become a better man and learn that it is so much easier to choose right over wrong but he didn't get any better.  One of the many issues that I did not deal with in counseling was how to not let what other people think of me matter.  Many many people think that the spouse is always guilty by association, just because they are married to the person.  That is so so not true.  That may be the case in some instances, but not mine.  I still feel the shame that I gave my entire heart and soul to this man.  He abused me, physically and emotionally, he neglected me, and he loved his drug and alcohol habits and impressing people with who he really wanted to be, because he hated himself so much, he didn't want anyone to know he was a bad guy.  He had numerous issues, many that he should have worked out in therapy with his family before he ever met me, but that was not the case.  If I can be of help to anyone, I would love to save just one person from the degradation and the turmoil that surrounds the air that you will breathe.  There are endless questions that I will never have answers for and I have problems dealing with the unknown, but I have to learn to accept that I will probably never know because he doesn't really know either. 
 
December 10, 2005, 2:50 pm CST

Still Afraid....

I have this kind of con in my life - more than once! Ive been out of the dating scene along time because of these experiences. Now that I am nearing 40, I dont want to be alone any longer. I am so afraid though that I am going to fall right back into that trap. I dont trust my choices. I cannot trust anything that comes out of a man's mouth. And some have been so sincere, but always, ALWAYS there seems to be a motive. How do you get past this kind of 'baggage' and move on, so it can be possible to find that honest well-meaning man that I KNOW HAS TO BE OUT THERE!?
 
December 10, 2005, 5:46 pm CST

educate yourself!

Quote From: saromo627

Perhaps it's far too soon for me to even worry about ever connecting again with another man. I've been widowed only 18 months and would love to network with other people. 

  

I've learned that friends tend to shy away from you once you've lost your spouse. I thought that friends knew people who knew people and out of that knowledge might spring someone with similar interests. I've lost a great deal of that networking and now am high and dry with no one to talk to, have dinner with, go with to a show, and unwilling to plunge into unknown territory because of things that can happen as will be evidenced during this show. I'm afraid to trust. 

  

I've tried all the conventional ways of meeting people and detest the online dating services because it's way too easy to hide "the real you" in cyberspace. 

  

Any suggestions? 

I have learned that only by educating yourself about these guys can you ever hope to trust.  Also, speaking OUT about them - do not suffer in silence - take back your pride!! 

  

It really upsets me when I hear women (and men) say "Oh THAT would NEVER happen to ME!! I am too smart for that!!"  One of the women on this show? Sandra? Is a very highly educated lady.   

  

To read more about predators you should also visit a couple sites where one of the Con Men on the show is talked about: 

  

http://fightbigamy.typepad.com 

  

http://cyberpaths.blogspot.com 

  

For me I will NEVER date again.  I was conned by someone I had known for 27 years!!! A friend!!  He used his long standing acquaintance with me to get my trust and prey on myself and my friends.   Afraid to trust - says it all.  The person I trust the least? ME!! 

  

(personally anyone who does online dating these days, especially now that Match.com is being sued, is taking a horrible chance) 

 
December 10, 2005, 11:36 pm CST

DO NOT GIVE UP

Quote From: fighter9

I have learned that only by educating yourself about these guys can you ever hope to trust.  Also, speaking OUT about them - do not suffer in silence - take back your pride!! 

  

It really upsets me when I hear women (and men) say "Oh THAT would NEVER happen to ME!! I am too smart for that!!"  One of the women on this show? Sandra? Is a very highly educated lady.   

  

To read more about predators you should also visit a couple sites where one of the Con Men on the show is talked about: 

  

http://fightbigamy.typepad.com 

  

http://cyberpaths.blogspot.com 

  

For me I will NEVER date again.  I was conned by someone I had known for 27 years!!! A friend!!  He used his long standing acquaintance with me to get my trust and prey on myself and my friends.   Afraid to trust - says it all.  The person I trust the least? ME!! 

  

(personally anyone who does online dating these days, especially now that Match.com is being sued, is taking a horrible chance) 

Don't give up.  I was by myself for 5 yrs after my husband died.  Join a fraternal organization, church, singles groups.  Play Bingo! Do not, I mean Do Not stay home by yourself and brood.  Go to a exercise class, or maybe a senior center, volunteer and do something for someone else.  You cannot meet people if you don't get out.  You have to trust your judgement and do not take people on face value, give yourself time to know a little about them.  Ask questions, where do they work, what do they do for hobbies, do they dance, drink, go to church.  The more you know the better judge you will be.  Besides it lets them know you are interested in them.  Good Luck
 
December 11, 2005, 12:19 am CST

The Online Dating "thing"

Quote From: fighter9

I have learned that only by educating yourself about these guys can you ever hope to trust.  Also, speaking OUT about them - do not suffer in silence - take back your pride!! 

  

It really upsets me when I hear women (and men) say "Oh THAT would NEVER happen to ME!! I am too smart for that!!"  One of the women on this show? Sandra? Is a very highly educated lady.   

  

To read more about predators you should also visit a couple sites where one of the Con Men on the show is talked about: 

  

http://fightbigamy.typepad.com 

  

http://cyberpaths.blogspot.com 

  

For me I will NEVER date again.  I was conned by someone I had known for 27 years!!! A friend!!  He used his long standing acquaintance with me to get my trust and prey on myself and my friends.   Afraid to trust - says it all.  The person I trust the least? ME!! 

  

(personally anyone who does online dating these days, especially now that Match.com is being sued, is taking a horrible chance) 

Well... I hear what you are saying in respect to online dating services... but I've only tried Match and Yahoo, so I can't speak for any others.  But I can tell you that you don't need to go to an online dating service to get hooked up with a frootcake... actually my experience is just the opposite. 

When I posted my profile on the Match and Yahoo, I was quite specific about WHO I AM and whom I was looking for. Regardless of that I was deluged with winks and missives from so many women, and as it turned out... I finally realized that there are a significant number of lonely unhappy women (and men for that matter) out there.  I was not looking for anyone to complete me or to make me happy cuz that just ain't gonna happen.  No one can make you complete, and no one can make you happy.. that's YOUR job, and until you get that figured out, you are fair game to the con artists and others out there who are looking for you to complete them or make them happy. 

So rather than wasting your life and your happiness because you're afraid you're going to get taken advantage of,  I suggest a fair number of women and men out there should perform a little life saving exercise and take the time to write down "exactly" who you are... what turns your crank, what doesn't... what qualities are intrinsic to you... you're not about to change at this stage of the game and neither is your potential mate... that has always proven to be an exercise in futility.  Go DEEP... forget what they look like... forget the superficial crap that we are inundated on a daily basis.  Pretend you are BLIND... and think about what really matters to you... never mind what career the person has, or how much money they have or don't have, look to discover who the person is, look for someone who took the time to lay it all out and significantly cut your chances of being led astray or disappointed because you gave your heart away to someone who wasn't who he or she purported to be. Cash is great to have, but it isn't the goal, it's simply a tool which you can use to sustain your comfort level, and its your comfort level that you seek... money can come later.  

Do your best to not get caught in the trap of superficial bullshit... who really cares what the rest of the planet thinks about how much "stuff" you've acquired... you can't take stuff with you, and things only provide distractions from the essence of life anyway, just ask anyone who has lost someone dearly close to them... the money means nothing because money cannot replace what they just lost. 

What I am saying is this... don't blame the online services, blame yourself for NOT being yourself and blame yourself for not seeking the type of person who is on the same channel as you... opposites may attract and can make for some lively times, but I don't think those types of relationships have the fundamental foundation from which to build on.  Only YOU have the answer to YOUR happiness and YOUR fulfillment... you just have to dig down a little deeper than you've done in the past.  The answer is inside you. 

 
December 11, 2005, 12:46 am CST

You can't always tell

Quote From: shinnin

Thats so true. How can you?? Thats a question that needs an answer.
It just goes to prove the old proverb, "you can't judge a book by its cover"
 
December 11, 2005, 3:51 am CST

I understand Coni

Tell Coni that she shouldn't be surprised by this.  My second husband was not just a con man but a sex offender as well.  He conned me to get to my 18 year old daughter.  By the time I realized what he was doing it was too late.  He not only used my identity but brainwashed my daughter into believing that he had been in love with her and not me.  He told her that he only married me to shut me up. He divorced me and married her.  Now, they are divorced, but not before they had a beautiful little girl and now he is conning someone else.  We believe that this is his 5th woman he has conned into marriage. (At least we think they are going to get married).  Dr. Phil, my daughter and I are hoping that you can wake up others into realizing that these men and women are a danger.  The man I referred to is planning his revenge we have letters to prove that he is going to try and kiddnap my granddaughter, and has threatened bodily harm on my daughter and her boyfriend.  

  

  

 
December 11, 2005, 7:44 am CST

How to trust again??

Well, I thought by age 42 I would have been able to "spot" a con or something that really was to good to be true.....WRONG!  I was healing from a divorce and very involved with my church at the time when Dave came into our lives.  He started coming to the same church with his 2 small children in December 1999.  He talked all the right things and after 5 months I agreed to "date" him.  I have a special needs son at home who was 7 at the time and was very protective of him since we had been mentally, emotionally and physically abused by his father for to long.  Dave treated my son very good, seemed patient with him and acted like he cared.  I say acted because now I can see it was an act.  Dave was going through a bad divorce and of course he told me "HIS" side of it which made him out to be wonderful and the ex an evil person.  He continued to put on his show of loving and caring for me and my son for another year so when he proposed I knew I loved him and thought the feelings were mutual.   

  

He was self-employed as a construction contractor (not licensed to my surprise because he said he was!) and money was never an issue until later in the marriage.  I worked for the school system so did not depend on him for financial reasons.  There were more than a few run ins with his ex and children including my tires being slashed, a vehicle being stolen from my driveway and him ending up in jail and more.  But once again I believed Dave when he (always) explained everything logically away.  See, he was 5 years older than me, had grown children with his first wife and this new ex was only 25, half Dave's age.  What a mess, but at the time Dave kept me in the dark so to speak about most of his life, he only told me what he felt I needed to know. 

I thought he was a good person because I met him in church and he was so good about (pretending) to walk the walk and talk the talk. 

We got married in November 2001 then decided to move somewhere we could purchase land reasonable.  He asked me where I would go comfortably in distance away from my (elderly) parents.  My response was anywhere BUT Missouri.....guess where he found land, yep in Missouri.  He bought it, paid cash, without consulting me, but because I wanted our life to work out together ( I am the type of person who always tries to fix everything and everybody so all are happy)  I moved and did end up loving our life there with our animals and blended family.  We weren't there to long before the control started with the money, vehicles and my son.  After only 3 months there my Mother past away and Dave "allowed" me to drive to Florida to be with my Dad.  Once back in Missouri, the issues became worse.  Dave would leave for weeks at a time leaving my son and I alone in the middle of nowhere, knowing no one and no money.  He would claim this was for work.  Well finally in January of 2004 it all fell apart with him hitting my son and me defending my son.  I told him to leave until things cooled down and he did.  My older son (24 yrs old) was at the house at the time, Dave sucker punched him on the way out of the house.  Dave also took my vehicle and all the keys to the other 3 so we couldn't go to town if needed.  I did call the sheriff and filed a report of abuse on my youngest son.  Dave was picked up, put in jail for a whole 4 hours.  Once released, Daved cleaned out all of our bank account which left me with nothing to provide the basic needs for my son and myself.  Once this happened I started doing my own investagation into Dave and his background and found he had at least 5 warrants from 2 different states for domestic violence, pulling a firearm on a police officer in a mall, failure to pay child support for 2 ex wives, no drivers license because it was revoked for child support.  He had a fake one with a fake address in Michigan.  Anyway, his arrest record goes back to 1975 and continues to 2004, and I am sure more since.  He hasn't  paid taxes since 1975 so that is why he always gets paid in cash and doesn't hold a bank account in his name.  Our account was in my name with him as someone who could withdraw and deposit but no name on our checks or paperwork.....therefore it couldn't be linked to him.  He gave me a reason why it needed to be like this at the time but I don't remember what it was.....there were so many lies that I now know of and wish I knew then.  In the end, I lost our home, my vehicle, animals and my self-esteem.  I don't trust anyone, especially a man and don't let my son get involved with anyone as well.  My son and I had to move, with no money or vehicle and my credit is so bad because of this I won't be able to get one.  I had to borrow money from family to get situated and move and now because of this I have an attorney bill of almost $30,000 which I try not to think about.  I will never recoup financially, (it has been almost 2 years now) or what we lost but would be nice to have a vehicle so we wouldn't have to do so much walking or borrow vehicles to get to my son's many doctor appt.  At least we have each other. 

My son and I are trying to get back on track but I am having a difficult time trying to believe that I was conned, even though I know I was.  I always thought I was a good judge of character and since I met Dave in church I thought he had to be good.  Boy was I wrong! 

  

So....this is for everyone out there, be careful and don't get in this situation.  It is hard to have a life after something like this and to trust again.  There are times when I would like to share my life with someone and then this all comes back to me and I tell myself NO.   

It would be nice to have a hug now and then though! 

  

 
December 11, 2005, 8:51 am CST

Sounds Good....But

Quote From: wizardatm

Well... I hear what you are saying in respect to online dating services... but I've only tried Match and Yahoo, so I can't speak for any others.  But I can tell you that you don't need to go to an online dating service to get hooked up with a frootcake... actually my experience is just the opposite. 

When I posted my profile on the Match and Yahoo, I was quite specific about WHO I AM and whom I was looking for. Regardless of that I was deluged with winks and missives from so many women, and as it turned out... I finally realized that there are a significant number of lonely unhappy women (and men for that matter) out there.  I was not looking for anyone to complete me or to make me happy cuz that just ain't gonna happen.  No one can make you complete, and no one can make you happy.. that's YOUR job, and until you get that figured out, you are fair game to the con artists and others out there who are looking for you to complete them or make them happy. 

So rather than wasting your life and your happiness because you're afraid you're going to get taken advantage of,  I suggest a fair number of women and men out there should perform a little life saving exercise and take the time to write down "exactly" who you are... what turns your crank, what doesn't... what qualities are intrinsic to you... you're not about to change at this stage of the game and neither is your potential mate... that has always proven to be an exercise in futility.  Go DEEP... forget what they look like... forget the superficial crap that we are inundated on a daily basis.  Pretend you are BLIND... and think about what really matters to you... never mind what career the person has, or how much money they have or don't have, look to discover who the person is, look for someone who took the time to lay it all out and significantly cut your chances of being led astray or disappointed because you gave your heart away to someone who wasn't who he or she purported to be. Cash is great to have, but it isn't the goal, it's simply a tool which you can use to sustain your comfort level, and its your comfort level that you seek... money can come later.  

Do your best to not get caught in the trap of superficial bullshit... who really cares what the rest of the planet thinks about how much "stuff" you've acquired... you can't take stuff with you, and things only provide distractions from the essence of life anyway, just ask anyone who has lost someone dearly close to them... the money means nothing because money cannot replace what they just lost. 

What I am saying is this... don't blame the online services, blame yourself for NOT being yourself and blame yourself for not seeking the type of person who is on the same channel as you... opposites may attract and can make for some lively times, but I don't think those types of relationships have the fundamental foundation from which to build on.  Only YOU have the answer to YOUR happiness and YOUR fulfillment... you just have to dig down a little deeper than you've done in the past.  The answer is inside you. 

I hear what you are saying; people should look and dig deeper within themselves for some answers. However, I don't think you have ever been duped by a con artist. I met my con artist on an online dating site. After I ridded myself of this socipathic individual, I found he had placed at least six ads online. I wrote to the online dating sites. I provided concrete information for them that he was married, not only to me but to another; I provided them information that he had been indicted on a felony charge. In fact, I wrote to them five times warning them that he was preying on members of their online dating community. Finally, after I told one of the dating sites that I had placed an "invisible" ad and was warning as many women as I could, did they pull both of his ads.

This man was smooth, not only that, he had a Department of Defense Security Clearance to back him up. I surely thought that signaled verifiable integrity. I was wrong. Do you realize that most psychopathic, sociopathic, antisocial con artists can pass lie detector tests?

Yu must realize that  these con artists have been lying since they could talk. They are masters at their game. We semi-normal individuals inherently trust and we don't stand a chance around them...unless we educate ourselves about them. Herin is where the problem lay...con artists are quite aware of the fact the world is full of people like ourselves. Con artists prey on innocent, trusting people. And the Internet has just given them another source of supply...they can sit behind a computer screen and be anyone they want to be, all the while gaining our CONfidence and our trust.

We, as a society,  must get smarter. If  you chose to do online dating...check them out, and I am afraid that looking a little deeper inside you isn't going to help much when faced with a manipulative, consummate lying con artist. If you see that you are becoming very involved with a person you met online, do a background check, Google their name, and educate yourself about the red flags.
 
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