Posted in A Moment in My Life

“To Con a Con”

A Moment in My Life – Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

Is it possible to con a con? I want to find out. I’m curious what makes them tick? What is the purpose of doing what they do? What are they trying to accomplish? What is it they are after, and more importantly, why? 

The most obvious reason for me would be for fraudulent gain to connive your credit card and personal identification details for their monetary enrichment at your expense. It’s either the cons have gotten more sophisticated in their approach, or the cons of today are after something else, which bemuses me. Why? Because of the questions that they ask and the information they seek. It’s either the apparent reason still stands except they are taking their time to arrive at the big bang of obtaining your financial details, or they are working from a completely different angle. What would that angle be, though? I’ve never hung around long enough to find out. I tried, but they took too long, and I don’t have the patience to wait about to satisfy my curiosity.

Lately, I’ve been receiving FB friend requests almost daily from people in the same groups as I am. I don’t know these people per se but recognize their names, so I accept their friend requests since we have something in common. After all, if you don’t take a risk, how would you meet a potential friend? As a rule, I tend to accept friend requests from people who have a mutual friend or something in common with me. A week ago, I accepted a friend request from Frank Alexander because our mutual friend Jamie was a new friend. For some reason, I was leery, and I hesitated, but in the end, I decided to be more lenient, and I accepted his friend request. I figured if he made me uncomfortable, I’d unfriend him. For days, he was like everybody else and coexisted in the background on my friends’ list. Until this weekend when he messaged me. My first response was I didn’t want to talk with him. Something about him sent me into defense mode. I don’t mind having him as a FB friend, but I didn’t care to have a conversation with him. Does that make sense?

I hemmed and hawed for a couple of hours before I caved and answered his question that sounded harmless. He started with, “Hello, I’m Frank from Portland, Oregon and you?” Now, in retrospect, I should’ve been suspicious right off the bat. Do people really say that? He looks like a redneck, but it did not sound like the words and the style that an All-American guy would sound like from the way the conversation went. He had me feeling for him for a brief moment when he told me his wife died from breast cancer two years ago, and it’s just him and his nine-year-old son. This was the tender moment that he had me feeling for him. If only he stopped there, we’d still be friends.

He continued and asked what I do? I answered that I’m a writer and reciprocated by asking what he does, and that was the big bang for me. He responded that he’s deployed in Syria. I reminded him that he said he’s in Portland. He replied, “Not really,” which caused me to look into his FB profile for the first time. I really need to check out my new friends’ profiles straightaway. I’m glad I checked Frank’s profile, which I noticed he established his account two days before we became friends. He had only Jamie and me as friends. I mentioned that he has no friends listed, and he reasoned that he “doesn’t like to make much friends. I do come here to post some pictures.” I didn’t see any photos. He explained that his other FB account was blocked, and he opened this one. I asked him how he knows Jamie, and he replied that he didn’t know Jamie. I reminded him that Jamie is the only other friend other than me on his list, but he confirmed he doesn’t know Jamie? Holy cow, what did I get myself into? 

I still didn’t know what to make of this guy, so I asked him more clarifying questions. I asked him where his son is while he’s deployed, and he said his son is “staying in California with a Guardian in boarding school while he is away.” Have you ever heard someone talk like that? If you’re in boarding school, do you need a guardian?

By now, I had enough, and I told him this wasn’t going to work for me. He took it in stride and said, “It’s okay. I understood. Good night, have a wonderful night rest. I had a very busy day, I will need some rest, I appreciate your honesty. Good night.” Somehow, this does not sound like a redneck man or any American man to me. 

So, what just happened? If this person truly wanted a friendship, then why not be yourself. I don’t know what would have transpired had I kept talking with him, but I unfriended him and blocked him from Messenger. 

I’ve encountered a few other scams where the cons impersonated Laine Hardy. Why? Why Laine? These imposters respond to our comments on Laine’s posts as if they were the real deal. They create FB accounts pretending to be the real Laine. Then, they messaged you and tried convincing you that they honestly are Laine. It’s laughable that none of them bother to familiarize themselves with who Laine is or even have a clue about the latest Laine news to hold a decent conversation or to make their role more authentic.

The first “fake Laine” I chatted with said he was speaking with me from Louisiana when at the exact moment, I knew Laine Hardy was on a flight to the Persian Gulf. This con had no idea. There were many red flags, but I played along out of curiosity, waiting for the big bang. Being a Laine Hardy fan, I have tons of questions for him, but this conman kept redirecting my questions to me as he wanted to know everything about my life. He didn’t want to talk about him. He asked me questions like where I live and what I do for a living. I told him I was a student, and he asked where I went to school. See, it’s these questions that confuse me. Why do you want to know where I’m going to school? 

One guy complained that nobody wanted to be his friend. I don’t get it. Why not reach out as yourself and be honest. Why impersonate someone else? I wouldn’t mind being your friend if you were real. See, this is the part that bemuses me. What is the purpose behind these con jobs? Does anybody know? If so, please enlighten me. I honestly want to understand all of this. Sometimes, I’m so tempted to turn the tables on them for a change but to do that, I’d have to think like them, but I can’t. I wonder, though, what it would be like, one day, not today, to con a con.

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