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          Tips to Keep You Away From a Con Man

          December 12, 2005

          Con artists charm their way into a woman’s heart, lie to her, and too often, take her for all she’s worth. Candace Delong, former FBI Profiler and author, shares tips to keep you away from a con man.

          Signs You’re Involved with a Con Artist:

          • Pressure to get married.
            Marriage is far too important in life to be rushed. Be wary of a wedding or proposal out of the blue. If a man makes you believe your marrying him is a matter of life or death — he’s up to something.
          • Vague answers to questions about his past.
            Always ask questions about your mate’s background or past. If he refuses to answer these questions, be suspicious. If he does answer the questions, and you wonder if he is telling you the truth, look up the information he gives you on the Internet.
          • Questionable financial worth.
            If a man brags about how much he is worth or claims to be broke because he is paying child support, that can be checked out also. Have him show you income tax records for several years before you merge finances. Always get proof if you aren’t sure. Also, be aware if he is always asking to borrow money.
          • Lies about his age.
            A man lying about his age is cause for concern. He may try to change the date because the real date of his birth is on a warrant for his arrest somewhere. If he claims that there was a mistake on his birth certificate, or his job made a mistake, he is lying. It’s illegal to change your birth date.
          • Multiple social security numbers.
            Having more than one social security number is illegal. If a man has more than one, he is using it to scam money or avoid the criminal justice system.  If he claims to be a victim of identity theft, have him show you documentation.

          What You Have and Do That Makes You Vulnerable to a Con:

          • You have something worth getting.
            These types of men are looking for a woman with something they can take. You don’t have to be wealthy or be an heiress to a huge fortune. If you have a job and a little bit of room on your credit card, this may attract him.
          • Gullibility.
            You have a willingness to believe anything the con artist is telling you. You may think you’re a good judge of character, but these guys are really slick. They start learning how to lie at age 3.
          • Believing the grand gesture.
            Willingness to interpret questionable behavior as love. For example, a man goes to a woman’s house when she is not there, gets her stuff and puts it in his place. This is not the loving gesture it might appear to be. For one thing, it’s theft. Secondly, it is meant to control her and get her in his world as soon as possible. Also, be wary if he proposes quickly in the relationship.
          • Testing boundaries with money.
            Usually, this occurs early in the relationship. For example, he may ask you out to dinner and when the check comes say, "Oh, honey, I left my wallet in the car." Your response should be, "Oh, honey, I left mine at home."

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