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Thoughts on the Christian life in a fallen world

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Con - James Munton and Jelita McCleod

How Scams Work, Why You're Vulnerable, and How to Protect Yourself.  On the cover of this book is a painting by Heronymus, a 16th century painter called The Conjurer, which proves how old the conning game is. In chapter 1 the author states "We need to create a filter through which we pass all communication we receive."
They are talking about discernment.  When you read the stories of how others where conned, You will probably say to yourself, "How could this person not see through this?" But keep in mind the con uses emotions and vulnerability as their tools.
 This is an interesting book on the many variations of cons and ripoffs, some are familiar, and some not, that many have been the victims of.  The authors hope that by bringing these true stories to light they can help others avoid the same mistakes. After interviewing some of the con artists mentioned they came to the conclusion that "con artists, at least those who make a lifestyle of it, have no concern for other people's loss or suffering." 
There are chapters on the various types of scams, through the mail, telephone, face to face, emails, and identity theft. 
As a Christian, I do believe greed can bring out the worst in the fallen nature of man, and we do need to be "shrewd as snakes, and innocent as doves." Matthew 10:16. We also need to be aware of people trying to do us harm, so we can be good stewards of the resources God has given us. We need to balance this with being generous to others in need.  There is a well researched index and resource section, and how to avoid being a victim. 
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in how the con works and doesn't want to be a victim.  After reading The Con, you will be better prepared to spot a con and understand the psychology that goes behind it.

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