Everyone is looking for love. We look for it in the woman pushing her shopping cart down the canned goods aisle. We look for it in the man thumbing through a book in the romance section. When our efforts to find the perfect life partner are fruitless, we turn to the vast world of online dating. But as seen here, there are hazards in the dating scene whether it’s in your neighborhood or on the Internet.

It’s a perfectly good con game that guy pulled (described briefly in above article). There are many facets of this that will make it work. Now, most of us New Yorkers will probably be like, “Naw, I couldn’t possibly be stupid enough to hand over $2000 to some guy I met off the Internet…” Okay, well let me explain why it would work.

This con artist is probably a professional. This means that he will be doing this for a living, not to make a quick buck here or there like I might do. Using the anonymity of the Internet, the con artist can be whoever he claims to be. He is a master in the art of online seduction.

He chooses a target likely to fall for his charms. Women who have been divorced, who are older, and who have money to spare are excellent targets. All of these details are easily learned: they are often right there in the profile of the target.Once he has chosen his mark (and he can have many going on at once), he begins to research the profile. Deconstructing the profile word by word, he intuits what the woman will respond to. He looks at what body type she prefers, what kind of personality she will be attracted. He undergoes a transformation for the sole purpose of fooling his mark.The con artist contacts dozens of women at once to increase the likelihood of a response. Once he engages his marks, the game begins. He solicits their values and listens carefully, reading between the lines and extracting information that the normal person would overlook: he is a master of listening.

Information in hand, the con artist is armed with everything he needs. He knows her favorite flower, how she likes her coffee, where she wants to go, what type of life she wants to have, what emotions she responds to. He takes all of this and creates himself in that perfect image. To his mark, he is the 100% Perfect Love. He is a master of seduction.

There is now an emotional bond between the artist and his mark. He has built rapport with her so rapidly and established such a strong base of commonality that it seems like a miracle. To the mark, the con artist is a Godsend, one in a million: someone who can understand her like no other man on this planet, someone who can take her spirit to places she has never known. She envisions this pure love. And now she wants to hear the voice of the man who she has fallen so deeply in love with.

longdistanceThe con artist is in London though…but it doesn’t matter, because love knows no bounds. The mark knows that he will be worth anything. Because the con artist is supposedly a struggling artist in London, complete with British accent, he cannot make his way across the pond. His charming accent lulls the mark into a sense of romance that she hasn’t felt in years. The perfect man that I could spend the rest of my life with, only to be found in London, she thinks.

The long distance relationship is a dangerous one. There is a lot of psychological and emotional energy spent on the love object. Even though the suitor isn’t physically there, time is spent thinking about him. She begins wondering about him and fills in the blanks herself. She conceptualizes and idealizes, creating an image of him that is far greater than he could really be. The mind is quite capable of finding patterns and filling in those blanks where nothing existed to begin with. This is quite evident in studies involving supposed psychics. People will tend to ignore inaccurate statements and latch onto the ones that are most insightful. The psychic will use this phenomenon to her advantage and read the positive feedback of correct statements in order to drill down deeper and deeper until it appears as though she is truly psychic. Think of it as a game of 20 Questions.

congameBack to the con game. The woman is enraptured by the charm of a British artist. They begin talking about meeting each other. The struggling “artist” (con artist that is) strikes when she is weak: the chance of a lifetime is about to pass her by if she doesn’t take action. He tells her that he needs money to move to the United States to come be with her, the love of his life. He promises that once he settles down in the States that he will pay her back as soon as possible.

Having targeted Christian women, who are however more likely to hand over their money to someone in need, he increases his chances of success. He preys on Christian generosity and good will, but this will work on just about anybody who is even remotely romantic with a touch of kindness in their heart. If all it took was $2000 to secure the absolutely perfect love of your life, someone who you could never have even dreamt of hoping for, wouldn’t you do it? Especially when $2000 is only half a month’s pay.

heartdaggerAnd that’s the end of the game. He will take her money, which has been wired to his bank account, and leave her with a hole in her heart and a story of heartbreak and deceit.

I certainly don’t condone this type of activity…normally, I have no problem with con artists who prey on people’s inherent greed. This particular con game is heartless though. Even so, I can appreciate this one. A master manipulator, the con artist who chooses to engage in this game is certainly and definitively a real bastard.