December 5

Crooks, Con men and Christmas



Once again, the holiday season is upon us. It’s time to gather with friends and family and enjoy good food and song. Do you listen to Christmas music? My family and I love to listen to Christmas carols this time of year. This is also a time of year when many of us give and receive gifts. Have you done your Christmas shopping yet? Don’t worry, I haven’t started my Christmas shopping either.

This article is about crooks, con men, and Christmas. It’s about how they thrive during this time of year. So when you head out to do your shopping, make sure to stay alert, shields up. Con men usually try to take advantage of our own greed. The first hint that a con is taking place, is that the offer seems too good to be true.

In one hustle, the scam artist has a hot item, usually something expensive. They might be selling a Xbox, a computer, jewelry or even something big like a large screen T.V. They could be trying to sell you any number of things. The thing that should make your antennae go up is that they will be selling it at an unbelievable price. When you see it, you will immediately want it; you could use it yourself, or it would make someone a terrific gift and you will save a boatload of money. The con man will give you a reason that the item is so cheap. I’m the delivery truck driver, and it’s part of an accidental double shipment. I got it from my job; I bought it for my Grandma, and she can’t use it, I lost my receipt, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

When crooks are running this confidence game, they always seem to come out of nowhere. To you it looks like some random person has approached you on the street. The truth is most times; these criminals carefully pick out who they approach. So don’t flash your money, stand up straight and be really careful if someone approaches you while you’re out shopping, especially if you have small kids with you. The kids are an extra distraction.

They usually offer you an awesome deal but sometimes just less than fair market price is enough to get people to bite. Sometimes there is a second person working with them, pushing you to make a deal. They will keep insisting on how good a deal it is and give you reasons why should but it.

They will create a false sense of urgency. (“you have to let me know now because I’ve got to take the shipment back “.  “I think that’s an undercover cop over there and I don’t want to make him suspicious.”  “I have to go back to work,”)  If you don’t take the first offer, they are will drop the price. (“You don’t have $500.00 You only got $300.00 sure I’ll take that. I just want to unload it before I go back to the warehouse.”)

The package will be sealed, and they won’t let you open it. (“If I let you open it and you don’t buy it, I can’t sell it for as much because the package is open.”)

The package is very well sealed, with a picture of the product showing through plastic wrap. It will be wrapped 100X in plastic wrap. The package is wrapped tightly, so it will take you a very long time to open it. By the time, you get it open they will left the scene and inside you’ll find a brick, newspaper, yellow pages or a rock.

You may open the package and find a knock off of the item you intended to buy. Think fake leather jackets, fake designer purses and knock off perfume. If you are not sure about the product, you may not know you have been duped until you get home.

This ruse is only one of many things to watch out for during Christmas season. We are all aware that we shouldn’t leave packages and bags in open view in our cars, right?

I discovered the series above, “The Real Hustle” on Youtube. It’s about how not to get conned or ripped off. I found it very interesting and informative, check it out. Enjoy the holidays and be safe. God be with you until we meet again.



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