Con artists will cheat, lie, steal & kill for money given the opportunity. Regardless of how harmless they seem they all have this potential. They're dangerous. If you're a sucker then you're in danger.
1. Are you soft? Con artists focus on people they think are easy to manipulate so the faster you show them that you can't be manipulated the faster they will leave you alone. On the flip side if you're soft then not only will they keep coming at you but they may even tell their con artists friends about you and lead other cons to your doorstep.
2. Are you successful? They're attracted to money. If they know you just got some money they may suddenly need more money than they needed before they knew you had it. Pay attention to the timing of when they ask for things. It's not a coincidence if you haven't heard from them in years but 1 day after you get a new job or win the lotto they suddenly want to talk.
3. Do you listen? They like to put pressure on you. Of course that can only happen if you actually give the other person time to talk. This pressure could be in the form of an emergency like, "my car broke down. It's $500 to fix it. Don't know what I will do." or "I'm going to be homeless if I don't find $1,000 by the end of the month". It's not always about money either. It could be to use your resources like trying to get free rides or a free meal.
Now you notice that in these examples the con doesn't directly ask you for anything. That's often the case. They're tossing a lure out to see if any fish bite. The sucker will say, "What can I do!?" or "Where can I send the money?" The wiser person will say something like, "That sucks! Sorry to hear that." Then changes the topic. Or if they're feeling generous they will ask some questions like: "Do you know anybody who can help you?" See, the funny thing with con artists is that they might have 20 friends who they spend all of their time with but they ONLY have time for you when they want something so it's smart for you to ask why their friends don't want to help them. I mean, if they have a real emergency wouldn't they ask their friends?
It's also not always the actual con artist who approaches you. You see many con artists are smart enough to have a sucker approach you for them. They put pressure on that person who then puts pressure on you, not realizing they are just being a tool of the con artist. An example is: "My brother hit some hard times and needs help. Can you donate some money?" Again, ask some questions. They will probably get upset but it's not your problem if asking a fair question upsets someone. Nobody is entitled to your hard earned money without even being able to answer a question or two. If they don't like it let them go beg for change on the corner. Maybe they think that's less humiliating than telling the truth.
4. Do you need friends & close family? The really clever con artist also know how to invest in suckers. They may try to love bomb you or give you an impressive gift. Not because they care but because they think it will make you feel obligated to do whatever they want in the future as you might feel guilty or "mean" if you don't. It's like when the bank robber puts on a disguise to make himself look like he works at the bank and instead of using violence/gun he just walks in and sweet talks the stupid workers into giving him money because they think he's authorized to take it. It's the "we're on the same team" con.
To protect yourself from this, always consider the persons overall character/actions. Yes, there's always the possibility that a person can change. So I'm not saying it's based on their past behavior necessarily. Pay close attention to their behavior going forward. Lying is a symptom of being a con artist. The more lies the more likely they're a con.
Best case you politely refuse any gifts but sometimes that's not socially an option. Just remember that them giving you a gift doesn't entitle them to anything since after all, a gift isn't supposed to have strings if it was given for the right reason. And if it was given for the wrong reason then that's on them.
5. Do you sleep? Sometimes a con. There are some people who can be very nice and giving when times are good. When times are a little hard they suddenly turn into con artists. If you're sleeping & not paying attention as I say above, these types can sneak up on you. Trying to put guilt trips on you is a symptom of the sometimes con. They know what they're doing to. When they aren't a con they're still trying to play you.
6. Do you trust (without evidence)? Do you just take what other people say at face value? Then you're a top level sucker. If you only do it half of the time then you're just a sucker half of the time. I'm not saying everyone lies. But your potential for being taken is great, the less you actually think objectively about what people tell you. Cons are great at spotting the people who don't question what they're told. This type of sucker is also an ideal cult member. Easy to manipulate and use as a tool.
Obviously in a good relationship there should be a large degree of trust (and respect). But trust should never need to be 100% because your SO should never require 100% trust. In other words, if they ask you to wear a blind fold and step out of a window and trust them that you won't fall 30 stories to your death, you probably shouldn't be a sucker. But a good SO would never ask you to do that. So you have to use your brain and not simply use the other person's brain/word all the time.
Cons don't necessarily do what they do because they have something against you personally. It's more like they are mentally messed up and/or desperate and they don't view you as someone worthy of respect. Try to pay attention to whether someone treats you with respect or not. Going back to the friends example... if someone respects you they probably wouldn't have the nerve to contact you for the first time in ages and ask for cash or favors. Or to put pressure on you to give them things, even if they have kept in touch.
Always remember that you have value and your time and feelings are more important than those of people who are rude, demanding, constantly lying to you. Prioritize your life accordingly.
What do you think?