They say that there is safety in numbers and that the more people you are, the greater the risks are shared out. Well, scratch that cause am about to demonstrate to you how con artists exploit that particular saying to their advantage.
Take a particular scenario like this one for instance;
You are busy strolling down Nairobi streets when you catch sight of an ominous crowd from a distance. Being the curious type of which Kenyans are particularly known for, you edge closer to get a glimpse of the action.
As you get closer, you see that the crowd is gathered around a man dealing cards on a make-shift cardboard box positioned at the center. You smile believing that you know all the tricks at play and you swear that this type of game is a conning game.
You watch for a while and contrary to the stories you have heard relating to the game, people are seriously winning at it! No one has lost whatsoever. People are coming and going a few hundred shillings richer its almost like the man dealing the game is practically sufficiently philanthropic to give out money just like that.
You still do not believe your eyes and turn around to leave. Just a few steps ahead, you meet an old woman, frail and innocent as one can be, she tells you she is from upcountry and she has lost her way around the busy Nairobi streets but she only needs a few coins to enable her meet a particular relative at a rendezvous point but all she lacks is enough money to get there..
Seeing such a woman in distress ignites an empathetic feeling in you and you fish out a 100 shilling note and hand it to her. She showers you with praises and gratitude and you feel like you just stopped the 9/11 tragedy from happening.
You part ways and after a couple of steps away, you look back just to see if she is still praising you but BEHOLD! she has joined the gambling game. Something in your blood begins to boil and you feel like just going back and snatching back the money from her. No! it would seem like robbery in broad daylight regardless of the circumstances in which she got it from you.
So you walk back to where she is and ask her why she lied to you about her predicament. She looks at you with the same innocent, frail granny eyes and points to a man who told her that her money can be tripled if she could just guess where a particular card is positioned. Simple.
You try to explain to her that it is just a lie but all your efforts fall on deaf ears. You watch helplessly as she joins the game. A few minutes later she emerges smiling to high heavens. She comes to you and hands you back the 100 shilling note you gave her since she feels you did not give it to her with a good heart.
You decline it! but her encounter has enabled you to change your mind about the game. You draw closer to the action once more and all you see are people winning and winning! You look at the dealer’s face, he seems not to be breaking a sweat with the ‘losses’ he is incurring. You fish out a 50 shilling note and immerse yourself in the game. Within no time, you emerge with 150 shillings richer without even breaking a sweat.
Ignorant of the phrase, lightning doesn’t strike in the same location twice, you fish out a 1000 shilling note and place your bet. BEHOLD YOU LOSE!!!
Seeing that everyone else was winning gave you the courage to also participate not knowing that all the winners at that particular game were actually shills for the dealer.
Psychological Conning principles (Part 2) is coming up soon……………