Con artists are real and I had the misfortune to meet one in the flesh recently. I didn’t see it coming. That’s exactly how they do it too. It’s a long story, but one I will be using in my writing when I start my novel. This part will be based on a true story! And OMG is it a page-turner!!!
But let me pay forward what I have learned from my experience and how you can prevent being duped like me.
Step 1: Don’t talk to strangers. (This one I struggle with since I’m an extrovert and love to chat with anyone about just about anything. I find it makes life more fun but BEWARE! This can be your undoing.)
Step 2: When you meet a stranger that seems decent and kind, don’t feel bad for asking questions that verify a story or place or time. Call them on their crap. If they are the real deal then this is just a “getting to know you better” step, but if they have something to hide you will make them uncomfortable and probably send them running, which is a good thing.
Step 3: Google them! Seems simple enough, but do it right away…don’t wait. Google everyone you know or meet just to be sure they are on the up & up. I did a Google search and nothing came up so I figured this person being 65 years old was just not online and wasn’t a wanted person so it seemed logical that nothing was there. Don’t stop with Google though! No, keep going deeper. Court records in the state they reside, county property records, spell the name several different ways. I found a serious rap sheet that had me thanking my lucky stars I am alive and haven’t lost anything more than my dignity. My family will tease the shit out of me until the day I die now, and it’s totally deserved!
Step 4: Don’t trust people right off the bat. Seems jaded, but people need to earn your trust. I have that whole thing backwards so no judgment here if you need to work on that like me.
Step 5: When on vacation in a tropical location when your defenses are down is when you are your most vulnerable. You get duped by the magic of a sea breeze and the beautiful waves. Keep your guard up around new people you meet. Not everyone is who they say they are. You only know yourself and those in your life that have proved themselves trustworthy. Question everything and everyone that comes your way. You’ll be glad you did!
I know that 99% of people are decent and honest and not on the take, but that 1% of psychopaths with a devious nature are sure hard to spot. Better to be safe than sorry and practice these steps to protect yourself from being caught in their web of lies.
Sending all the best to you and yours! ~Tillie
PS. look for my amazing book Christmas 2017! You’ll want to put it on your wish list!XOXO