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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99198 Find in a Library
Title: Flim-Flam Man - How Con Games Work
Author(s): M A Henderson
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 240
Sponsoring Agency: Paladin Press
Boulder, CO 80301
Sale Source: Paladin Press
7077 Winchester Circle
Gunbarrel Tech Center
Boulder, CO 80301
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In addition to examining the characteristics of the con man and his victims, this book examines both general patterns of old and new confidence games, explains the workings of specific cons, and points out patterns to facilitate recognition of the games.
Abstract: Traits which characterize the con artist are delineated, including his personableness, acting ability, and low opinion of mankind and authority. A questionnaire is provided for assessing one's own likelihood of being swindled and points out traits such as stress, gullibility, and suggestibility which increase one's vulnerability. The careers of a number of successful con men then are outlined, and the Government's use of some confidence principles, as in sting operations, is considered. Classic confidence schemes of two major types are described. These include those which involve sending the victim for money, such as the wire or the payoff, and those that defraud the victim only of the money he has with him, such as the pigeon drop and the Murphy game. Five major areas in which confidence men operate and specific schemes are described. The first includes door-to-door and telephone swindles such as bogus home repairs, phony oil lease lotteries, and bullion scams. Romantic buncos involve the use of seduction, marriage proposals, or mail-order spouse schemes to part victims from their money. Spiritual buncos may involve phony investment schemes proposed by fake ministers or those which prey on an interest in spiritualism. Pyramid schemes may range from the simple chain letter type to sophisticated investment swindles. The final area, medical quackery, involves the sale of products designed to enhance health, sex, or beauty but which are worthless, if not harmful. A glossary, 76 references, and an index are provided.
Index Term(s): Confidence game; Crime patterns; Fraud; Offender profiles; Victim profiles
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