It works something like this: “Stock Broker,” Ira Foghorn, a complete stranger to you, phones and tells you to watch Blowhard Networks on NASDAQ. Its stock is going to go up. You do. It does. A few weeks later he calls again and tells you to watch Simpleton Industries. Its stock is going to tank. Again you watch. It drops, just as he’d said it would. Another few weeks later, guess what? He calls a third time to tell you that Consolidated Bread’s shares will rise. Very curious now, you repeat your observance. And, of course, once more, this mystic is proven to be correct.
How did he do it?
Simple! You were one of eighty people, whose names he’d gathered from the internet, phone book, a directory, or other list. His second call was to the remaining forty, those to whom he’d proved himself correct. By the time he calls the third time, his list is down to twenty. You were one of the remaining twenty.
The word “con,” as in con man, is derived from the word, confidence And, I think you will agree that, based upon abbreviated face-time performance only, “Stock Broker,” Ira Foghorn, has “performed,” thus generating confidence.
In today’s unreal, alternative universe, smoke and mirrors magic proliferate. In this setting it is most tempting to accept the infamous “free lunch,” Now, Ira’s suggestion that for a small up-front fee he will put you into Suckers, International, so that you, too, can share in the benefits of his omnipotence, sounds enticing indeed.
(After all, lunch is always free, isn’t it.)
If you bite, any further conversations with this flim-flam man will only get you a reaction akin to the fast-talking physician checking his watch as he mentally consigns you to his scrap heap of victims. To him, the surgery on your wallet is over. Successfully. Now it’s time to brush you off, and get on to the next “mark.”