Just look at Netflix’s trending documentaries of others being scammed. The fascination we have with con artists is real. Of course, you never think it will happen to you.
So just how do people get conned and what makes con-artists so cunning? What would you do if someone swindled you? If you’re just as interested in these questions, check out these five top documentaries:
1. The Tinder Swindler
Firstly, you’ll not believe the audacity, ingenuity, and sheer absurdity of this infamous con artist. Follow the sins of the alleged diamond heir and billionaire ‘Simon Leviev’ as he extorts money from innocent women to fund his extreme lifestyle.
2. The Puppet Master
It only take 30 seconds to get a sense of the financial and emotional devastation that pretend spy Robert Henry Freegard inflicts on families.
Over-ambition, false promises, and colossal ego drive Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule as they put on history’s worst music festival.
4. Inventing Anna
A drama based on a true story follows Anna Delvey as she convinces New York’s elite that she’s a millionaire German heiress.
5. The Imposter
Watch every family’s worst nightmare as this 2012 Baftaaward- winning documentary follows a 20-something French con artist. Somehow, he convinces a grieving Texas family that he’s their missing son.
Scammers Don’t Discriminate
Of course, the dramatic nature of these cons might make them seem incredibly implausible. But scammers and fraudsters can defraud you in even the slightest, most ordinary of ways. Young or old, we can all become victims of scams. For example, Action Fraud estimates victims have lost ￡92 million through romance fraud and dating scams alone this year!
It might be an apparently genuine automated phone call from HMRC claiming unpaid taxes or an email from your bank asking you to change your password. Either way, modern technology makes it easier than ever for anyone to be conned. You need to know how to identify a scammer.
Secure your online accounts. Every app or membership website requires a password. Some use the same one for everything, others have a different one for each account, but that’s time consuming and also difficult to keep track of.
However you do it, ensure it’s original and impossible to guess. Know how to spot a scam. Knowing the signs of common scams means keeping you and your family safe.
- Have you been contacted unexpectedly?
- Have you been asked to share your details?
- Are the company or contact details vague?
- Are there spelling and grammar mistakes?
- Are you being pressured into taking an offer immediately?
Your bank would never ask you to provide your Pin or password so never give them out. Be wary. If something seems too good to be true; it usually is. Keep your virus protection software and operating systems up to date. Also, always check the FCA register for unregulated companies if you’re unsure about a financial services company. If they’re not on it, stay well clear.
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