If you watch the news, you have probably seen some of the sad stories about lonely women who are targeted by con artists claiming a romantic interest in dating them. These stories rarely end well and usually result in loss of money, property, jewelry and sometimes even life. I have seen con artists in action more than once. Not only was I taken in somewhat by a scam at Christmas but there was a con artist in my family. I have watched these predators in action and have some tips to share.
If you think your boyfriend might be a player, or your friends are telling you the man you are dating and thinking of marrying is trying to scam you, these ten tips should help you find out if your boyfriend is a con artist.
1. Introduce Your Boyfriend to Your Family and Friends
Watch how your date interacts with your family and friends. If he is aloof and never wants to spend time with your friends or family, even on special occasions, that is a warning. If your boyfriend tries to prevent you from spending time with your family and friends, that is a red flag. A con artist will often try to separate his victim from her support group. If he does go to functions with you, but people end up missing billfolds, money and jewelry later, that is also a bad sign.
2. Listen to Your Family and Friends
I am not saying you should let your friends and family control your life and tell you what to do, but if the people who know you best and care about you the most are seeing red flags in your relationship, you need to step back and take a serious look at their concerns.
3. Meet His Family and Friends
Spend some time with your boyfriend's people - his family and friends. He HAS people. "No man is an island unto himself." Somewhere there is a family, high school and college friends, work associates, etc. If your boyfriend cannot produce people who know him well, that is a warning he may be trying to hide something in his past. If you are dating someone online, you need to take things slowly until you have plenty of opportunities to interact with his friends as well as yours.
4. Ask Yourself if His Claims Are Hard to Believe
If your dating partner drops names of famous clients or big businesses he has worked for or exciting jobs he has held, or if he talks about his wealth, ask for proof. You can ask discreetly. Does he have some interesting photos you might enjoy seeing, yearbooks you can look through, or articles he might share with his interested girlfriend? Google his name, with and without his middle name. See what you find. Everyone has their name on Google now for work, social, high school, college, etc. Better yet, run a computer background check on him or hire a private investigator. Famous people, important jobs, military service, and big salaries generate records online and in newspapers. (Watch out for Photoshop on photographs, though.)
5. Beware Guilt Trips
If your love interest makes you feel bad or guilty for questioning him, that is usually a sign he is hiding something. If he tells you that you need to prove your love for him, that would be standard operating procedure for a con man or scam artist who wants your money or property. Love means never having to say, "I'm stupid."
6. Beware of Falsehoods and Inconsistencies
If he makes promises and breaks them, if his story changes and he can't keep his facts straight, if the endless attention and compliments he paid you in the beginning of your relationship have turned into control and anger the more serious your relationship becomes, that is a bad sign. If he frequently tells you that he never said something and that you misunderstood him, he is having problems keeping his story straight because part or all of his story IS NOT TRUE. If he gets angry with you when you catch him in a lie, that is a huge, flapping red flag. If his life is not an open book to you, then your checkbook should not be an open book to him.
7. Beware Pushiness, Control Issues and Anger
If your boyfriend begins to act in a controlling fashion, tries to rush or push you into marriage, or tries to separate you from your loved ones, that is a clear warning that he has ulterior motives. Do NOT allow yourself to be pushed, rushed, or guilted into giving money or marrying someone if you are not 100% sure of your feelings, his feelings, and his background. If you are afraid you will make him angry if you say no, or feel like you are being manipulated, you ARE being manipulated and need to get out of that relationship.
8. Be Honest with Him
If you think your boyfriend is pushy or evasive, tell him so. Confront him with your concerns. If he is legitimate and sincere, he will try to meet your needs. A man who loves you will give you time with friends and family and will be open about his past and present. Speaking of honesty, if you are lying to your friends and family about him to "protect" him or make him look better, you are in deep trouble.
9. Watch Out for the Sob Story
So, you've seen some red flags, you've been honest with him, you've expressed your concerns, and in response to your request for the truth, he tells you a sob story. It turns out he's the victim. He could have been everything he told you he already is, but "SOMEONE" did him wrong - maybe several someones: his family never gave him a chance, no one ever believed in him, someone wrongfully accused him, everyone is always against him, he was fired for no good reason... the list of woes goes on. It is NEVER a con man's fault. The world owes him. YOU owe him... and he plans to collect.
10. Be Prepared to Be the Bad Guy
If you do not fall for the con man's scheme, then you are the "bad guy." YOU misrepresented, you misunderstood, you victimized, you took advantage, you let him down, and you never loved him. It was all your fault. This is what he will tell you... and that is what he will tell his next victim if he even mentions you at all when he moves on to the next target. Remember, it is NEVER a con man's fault. They always have an excuse for everything.
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