How a con artist works

Ronald Rubin:
The Art of the Con

The chorus of politicians and critics calling Donald Trump a con artist grows louder every day. During my seven years as an enforcement attorney at the Securities and Exchange Commission, I got a close-up view of many con artists and their scams. Watching Mr. Trump gives me an acute feeling of déjà vu.

One thing all con artists share is a supreme faith in their ability to fool almost anyone. I once investigated a company called Save the World Air that claimed its Zero Emission Fuel Saver completely eliminated automobile pollution. The responsible swindler was happy to demonstrate his device at the Environmental Protection Agency's Michigan headquarters. It turned out to be a ring of magnets that could be attached to cars' exhaust pipes. The biggest challenge in the case was convincing several EPA experts to sit in a conference room, watch the show, and declare it a farce.
One of the biggest fraud cases brought during the 1970's was against an outfit that went under several names but one of them was "Dare to be Great."   It was a multi-level distributorship marketing outfit pushing success seminars.  Does that sound familiar?


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