“Count” Victor Lustig has an impressive CV as a con man. By the time he was 40, he was wanted by 45 different law enforcement agencies worldwide, created 25 known aliases and spoke 5 languages. In one particular con, pretending to be a government official in Paris, Lustig took five businessmen to the Eiffel Tower, and “sold” it to them as 7300 tons of scrap metal. Because he was so crafted at his art, he decided he should codify ten commandments of con men.
Surprisingly, they apply pretty well to normal living as well.
- Be a patient listener (it is this, not fast talking, that gets a con-man his coups).
- Never look bored.
- Wait for the other person to reveal any political opinions, then agree with them.
- Let the other person reveal religious views, then have the same ones.
- Hint at sex talk, but don’t follow it up unless the other fellow shows a strong interest.
- Never discuss illness, unless some special concern is shown.
- Never pry into a person’s personal circumstances (they’ll tell you all eventually).
- Never boast. Just let your importance be quietly obvious.
- Never be untidy.
- Never get drunk.