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How to spot a con artist

Posted Apr 11 2010 8:33pm


I've been busy with school holidays, trying to find a new job, find a new boarder, writing, been helping out a friend with hospital appointments  and getting a virus on top of my usual bladder indiscretions.

I had someone come to look at the room I have have available, he seemed o.k initially on the phone and I arranged a time for him to see the room the same day.
This guy proclaimed to be a journalist who worked in Washington, was over here for a few months on holiday, he flew into the country a few days ago and he was finding staying in a hotel expensive. He requested to meet my children which made tiny alarm bells go off as I found this request weird coming from a guy, however I briefly rationalized it, someone moving in may clash with my kids (which hasn't been an issue in the past).
He also said his luggage had gone missing and was usuing a replacement lap top, phone and clothes.  I told him I had to go out and I could see him a few hours later.

Not long after arranging for this person to visit and have an interview of sorts my dog started barking at the drive way. Then I received a text from the perspective boarder requesting my land line number...now remember I had told this guy I was going out and wouldn't be home. His first question was "do you have animals, because I'm allergic to dogs and the place I'm currently living in has animals". I told him yes and how many animals I had, that the animals may be a problem for him (alarm bells ringing as this contradicted his first story). Then he spoke about money and started to get a bit ranty and grandiose speaking of family connections, how much money his family had and how they basically used to own the area I lived in.

Alarm bells were shrill by now, this guy had already breached boundaries by holding me up when I said I intended to go out, he was keeping me on the land line and spinning so much crap I thought he was delusional. He was saying he worked in intelligence in Washington as a journalist..... He questioned my finances and wanted to know the age of my house etc, he started to get personal. I told him I had to go and I will see him at the allotted time.The man had said he was at a mall several miles away and he would be busing over.

I got off the phone thinking, damn he had my address, I didn't want this person coming to my house. I called a friend to come over for the interview, to see if they had the same impression of this man and for support in case he was completely bonkers. They were busy, I understood, but was feeling incredibly creeped out.
Not long after he got off the phone my dog started nutting out at the gate again. I ignored him as I was busy and now wasn't going to have the time to do what I needed to do. After a few minutes I looked down the drive to see a relative in the driveway.
I walked down to see how they were. They leaned out their car window and said there was a man standing in my driveway staring intently at my house, she said she pulled up the drive and he quickly walked away speaking on his phone. She said he looked really dodgy and wore a garish yellow, tie an older man. I felt quite anxious then and explained to her the guy who was coming to look at my room, who was due to turn up in about 35 minutes or so. Nothing was adding up, everything he told me was a lie it seemed. I made it clear the time for him to turn up was 4pm and here he was skulking up my driveway after holding me up on the phone for ages. My relative voiced there fears and I returned inside to check this guy out on the net.

His name didn't match anything, especially not a journalist, what did pop up was a recently deported pedophile from Malaysia. Now I was really freaked, they had the same first name and similar last name they were the same age. I'm thinking O.M.G this guy is outside my house......But I wasn't sure if it was the same guy, calm be calm. This man was NOT going to meet my kids.

In the end this guy turned up late, I think now its because my relative arrived at my home to find him down my drive. He didn't look like the guy on the net he had darkish hair that looked dyed and was fuller in the face, although he had the same eyes..
As soon as he sat down he demanded to hook up to my internet connection, he carried an ancient laptop in a plastic shopping bag. His body language and mannerisms were indicative of someone trying to make a point. I denied him access to my broadband and he continued to insist stating he couldn't move in unless he knew his laptop would connect as it didn't connect at his other house. Later he said it did connect at his house but was slow, another lie. In the end he pulled out his laptop and said he was going to just see if it would connect to my internet.

Two words rude barsted, I quickly showed him the room and the rest of the house. When it came to where my son resides he went to push on into my sons room, I told him no don't go in, he still tried to barge into my sons room. I hoped he would leave as I made it clear I had to go out, he demanded to know what time I was going  to return home, I refused to tell him.
Then he farted in the room, I lead him back to the living room where he tried to delay me longer. When I asked him about his luggage and wrongly said it was stolen? he got angry and stated "I said it was lost, not stolen!", wow he has anger issues also, this guy although he came across intelligent and spoke with a gentile accent, he had real issues....lying is one of my biggest pet hates and I can spot a Bull Sh***er miles away.

He asked me what I wanted in a boarder, I told him clearly BOUNDARIES, which this guy had zilch. Boundaries, respect and privacy. He looked uncomfortable with that request and asked if he could move in, I said I will tell him in 48 hours, he asked if I didn't like him, I explained I have had great boarders and not so great, so now I vet people more carefully. He explained my house was great in comparison to other houses out there "its clean and tidy and sunny and your not a mum with four runny nosed kids and covered in piercings and tattoos, he aimed the last statement at me, to confirm or deny any body art....  I stood to leave he asked for a lift, I refused.
This guy was a class 'A' douche bag. He was coming up 60 and arrogant as hell.
He was right I didn't like him, in fact he repulsed me, their was something about him that made my skin crawl. I went to sell some things so we had some income and food for the next week, I felt on edge all night.

The next morning I woke at 9.am to find the douche had sent a text at 6.30am demanding to know if he basically had a place here, I replied no it wasn't available to him, he called my land line straight away which I ignored. I cannot believe that people like this guy truly believe they would be accepted into a family home, he must have hoped I was stupid or so vulnerable I would be blinded by his b.s. There are some scary guys out there and I really do fear any family this guy stays with.

I would rather starve than have a person like that in my home.

Be aware of an inconsistent  story, if they appear to be lying.
Be aware of personal boundaries.
Go with your gut instinct.
Dont doubt yourself, if they are coming across dodgy, then they are dodgy.
Whatever you do, don't let them access your internet and try not to give out your land line.
Search them on the net.
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