04 Jan Beware the Confidence Man
Beware the Confidence Man. He will tell you all that you want to hear. Build your ego without any fear. He will speak of your great potential and actual success. He may have none of his own to boast about. Or perhaps he will spin his wheel of deception to fool you into believing he is a winner.
Like a mirror of your reality, he will project a crystal clear image, which is really only an empty shell. The confidence man weaves stories into believable truths. He will proclaim he has earned large sums of money and sell you on how you can too! All that is required is for you to give him all that you have to share in his wealth.
Similar in nature to a Ponzi scheme or pyramid scam, he layers his stories of fanciful fiction high upon a hill of beans. Fools are taken in by the swift demeanor, skillful prose and focused gaze of the confidence man.
There is even a theory that explains how fools or unsuspecting people are taken in by the ploys of the confidence man.
The greater fool theory states that the price of an object is determined not by its intrinsic value, but rather by irrational beliefs and expectations of market participants. A price can be justified by a rational buyer under the belief that another party is willing to pay an even higher price. In other words, one may pay a price that seems “foolishly” high because one may rationally have the expectation that the item can be resold to a “greater fool” later.[i]
Confidence schemes were made famous in the movie Matchstick Men. In this film the confidence man is made to seem as a loveable character by portraying him as a loving father. First among the features of the swindler is the style factor. Dressing well and always being the process of creating or growing a business are the telltale signs of a scammer. How can one always be creating a new business? It is the seemingly constant growth process that lures the potential partner in.
If a business is in growth mode, then everyone wants to join in to reap the future rewards. Even companies utilize this sham process, in continuously posting job vacancies in store windows. By always seeming to be in hiring mode, the mask of growth is proudly worn by these businesses.