Are they swindlers or hidden persuaders? Tricks to cheat people are now revealed – Let’s stop who takes advantage of elderly citizens

Truffa anziani-3by Francesco Caccetta © vietata la divulgazione senza citare l’autore.

Everytime someone gets tricked, the victim himself and both his friends and relatives can’t help wondering how that has ever been possible. We often use to believe that who was caught in these traps must be some careless individual, not so young anymore, and perhaps not so clever to find out a deception, because of his  lack of education. In other words, a naive kind, somehow easy to be deceived. Now, our experience and specific researches on the subject seem to show a quite different truth.

Nearly anybody can actually be exposed to this public menace, especially people who don’t know the basic strategy adopted by swindlers: rules and pitfalls the Police have been investigating for years. Speaking at large, these hucksters turn to techniques and ploys that come from the sales-world, which orbits around the arts of suasion, the laws of mutual agreement, and both clash of interests and consistency. The method of manipulation of thought, aimed to a particular behavior from a particular person, with no initial attempt of psychological pressure, has been detected by the Cognitive Dissonance Theory (Festinger, 1959) and by the Self-perception Theory (Bem, 1965).

How many times anyone of us can have entered a shop, just to take a look around, and after a while we have come out of it with some purchased item, we would have never bought if it were not for that complaisant girl (or boy) working behind the counter so nice and polite to us? We might even repent of our purchase, as soon as we leave the shop. And it is also true that many people find themselevs with a signed contract, discussed and accepted among their own walls, after having been negotiating with some charming door-to-door seller. Even in this case, less than 5 minutes later these people try to understand why they have ever concluded an agreement they did not need at all.

Now, these dynamics are often very similar to the tactics carried out by swindlers, especcialy when their scams are aimed at the elderly. It is quite important to be at least aware of the main action methods adopted by most of the sellers and frequently repeated by a cheater as well.

In such a situation, we might even consider the Guardian Psychology, as Kurt Lewin used to appoint it, establishing that each experimentation must be founded on a previous inquiry, aimed – in cases like these – to bring to light the actual forces that steer people’s choices, when it comes to make a purchase (prices, values and expectation) in addition to understanding whom can be involved in the alluring shifts    offered by the sellers. The best known techniques of behavior induction, identified in a commercial environment, and then tested in laboratory, are The Low Ball (Cialdini and others, 1984), The Door in the Face (Cialdini and others, 1975) and The Foot in the Door (Freedman and Fraser, 1966).

Now, the first one  – that is to say the low ball sistem – starts with a very convenient offer by the seller, so that the customer feels increasingly motivated to buy the item. But, just before the contract is concluded, the seller breaks his own profitable promises and although the customer can even withdraw from the agreemennt in many cases he won’t be able to get back.

One more ploy we often hear of is the Door in the Face, in accordance with the laws of reciprocity and contrast, basically founded on two different steps. The victim receives some expensive offer and nine times out of ten he refuses it. So, in a way, he shuts the door in the seller’s face, which means the negotiation is over.  At this point, the seller submits a second and much cheaper offer, that very often is accepted. Here, we have an example.

The seller apparently tries to convince his victim to buy a 10 $ raffle-ticket, connected with some hypothetical health association, aiming to save children affected from some kind of illlness. Once the proposal has been rejected by the customer – exactly as the seller had foreseen – the trap goes off. As a matter of facts, here we have a second offer: a small pin of the health association, for 2 $ only. Generally  it is accepted, although the victim might very soon repent of this purchase, for he would never had bought it as a first, free choice.

In this case, we can behold the law of reciprocity into action.

Since the buyer had refused the raffle-ticket, he has been caught by a feeling of guilt, and that’s why he tries to be forgiven, purchasing the gadget. On the other hand, the law of contrast reminds us that our choices are often due to a comparison, and that no product can be absolutely considered cheap or expesnsive in itself. The second offer was simply less burdensome than the first one and it has been accepted.

A further interesting system is the well known Foot in the door, that leads the seller (and the swindler as well) to achieve what he wants by putting forward a harmless proposal – precisely for this working as a foot in the door, that by this moment can’t any longer be closed – and therefore not frightening for the victim, who feels reassured by an apparently blameless behavior. But that’s only the beginning. At this point, the victim is somehow forced to listen and maybe to give up, once the proposal gets more exacting.

By this system, the seller (or the swindler as well) starts good terms with his customer (or victim), the conversation stays pleasant, every notion of sale is kept in the background, nearly latent, as no request of money is advanced. The customer feels relaxed and trustful, while he deals himself with  questions of apparent no concern, maybe even about philosophical themes.

One of the most relevant devices, for such a case, is the request of a sign against all drugs. And although it seems to be absolutely pointless (what could actually a round robin against drugs mean???) many people do stop and sign the form. At that point, the seller admits to be a member of a recovery community, and offers a specialized magazine to the customer. Of course, some particular cost is required for publishing the journal, and the community needs help. And since the  magazine is now in the customer’s hands, the foot is in the door!! It’s not infrequent that the victim may accept to pay for it. The victim did what he didn’t want to do, because of a consistency law.

As Kielser has shown us (1971) people do not use to feel bound to their ideas, but try to comply their current behavior with a previous one. Or else, as Joule and Beauvois taught (1987) people underextimate the role  of an outer pressure, because of a deliberate consent.

In other words, so many other cheating techniques are everyday put in place, that months of survey wouldn’t even be enough to describe and hinder all of them. The best way to defend ourselves from  this kind of risk is not to pay much attention to unknown people, don’t let anybody in, to take a behavior that allows us to express our own point of view, without ever going beyond the limits.     

         

English version by Furio C Falvo ©

I segni degli zingari, occhio al citofono….ma anche no!

segni zingari

Ultimamente, ho avuto modo di riscontrare che, molta gente chiama le centrali operative delle forze di polizia per segnalare la presenza di “strani segni” sui lampioni o sugli alberi, o sui muri vicini alla propria abitazione. I segni non hanno niente a che fare con quelli ciclostilati che circolano in rete, e molto prima in fotocopie parrocchiali, cosiddetti degli zingari, ma la generalizzata inquietudine che ormai pervade la nostra società crea un allarme (forse) spropositato.

I “segni degli zingari”, facilmente individuabili in rete, nelle immagini dei motori di ricerca, dagli studi fatti in materia da autorevoli personaggi, trovano giusta collocazione in un ossimoro, quello che io mi azzardo a definire una veritiera menzogna, un luogo comune spacciato per vero!

CONTINUA A LEGGERE L’ARTICOLO: https://www.convincere.eu/criminologia/223/non-e-vero-ma-ci-credono

STREET SWINDLES (OR SWINDLES ON THE ROAD)

truffa-dello-specchietto

Swindles, the ones I use to call “on the road”, are so widely proportional with human fantasy that a digest itself wouldn’t be enough to spell the list. The swindlers are such a kind of multitasking-minded people, who make the worst use of their creative cleverness, besides they are very skilled talkers, if we mean communication as a “rational act“ performed by someone who perfectly knows how to adapt his talents to the goal he aims to, in a particular circumstance. This ability is essential for a cheat to work, and it’s not so easy to save oneself from the trap. The old swindles, even thanks to the media outcry, are now widely known and identifiable by most of people who can oftenescape, but a swindler needs to survive too, which means that by a fewarrangements and a bit of experience he can ever work out new trickssuitable enough to hit the mark. So, just remember that when you park your cars in front of a supermarket, someone is looking over you, and if you hold a shoulder-bag, or a waist-bag, especially if you are alone, the trap is ready to go off. Once you get back to the car, after you’ve put your stuff on the nearside, you start the engine and leave, but only just later you realize something is wrong, and suddenly an other car comes alongside yours, and someone makes you gently notice that you have a flat tyre. What you probably can’t guess at the moment is that the same gentleman who is now offering to help you change the wheel, is the offender himself who previously saw to get your wheel deflated. And that’s it! While you curse and bustle about your spare-wheel, your kind-helper’s accessory steals the bag you had left unguarded, inside the open car, and after all who would lock his car while changing a wheel? This is known as the “flat tyre swindle”. One more amazing and ingenious trick is smudging your outside rear-view mirror, or the bumper of you car, with a coloured chalk exactly the same as the offender’s car. At this point, the swindler waits for you to overtake him, both while he is speeding along or stopping at the side of the road, then he finally reaches you and ask for you to stop. His aim is to make you notice that his car got damaged, because of your passing. He wants you to believe you have a responsibility towards the matter, once he can show you the scrape of your car that matches the colour of his! You admit your fault and he can lead you to compensate for the damage. This is known as the “chalk swindle”. But it could even happen that someone makes you softly crash into his car, and by chance the impact makes a most expensive cell-phone (such an I-phone or a Samsung Galaxy 3, both expensive, but not new, and that is the trick!) fall from the glove compartment and gets the display shattered; what you certainly can’t know is that, in spite of the brand, the object was already dented, since it had been bought second hand, old and half-cracked, for next to nothing, on E-bay. It is the “dent-phone swindle”. I could go on, or even invent myself some kind of new swindle, but what’s more is that such tricks so properly work because in many cases it’s just us who prefer to be cheated. We often pick out to avoid a pointless expense or a waste of time, and so keep off the Insurance Companies, or sometimes we feel the need to be free from a fussy, hot-tempered spouse, which leads us to accept a short-cut; it’s exactly what a swindler relies on. As he knows that since we wish the matter was closed here and now, we actually lay open to a swindle. Now that I think of it, in the early 80s, a comedian trio from Naples, used to repeat a slogan at the end of their comic tv-show; they were the Trettrè and their slogan sounded “Bear in mind that saving is never earning”. Thanks to this successful quip, we may even end the argument, with a simple advice: do never negotiate a deal with anyone, on the road; if and when somebody invites you to settle any account on the spot, without involving the Insurance Company, in order to avoid a rise in costs, feel even free to accept, but only in the presence of a Police patrol, since the cops may write an official report and moreover check the real identity of your opposite party. At this point, a swindler chooses to drop his plan and give up his unlawful trade, but if it all is true and hides no cheat, your interlocutor is surely willing to wait for the Police to arrive. So, do never pay anything when you’re alone on the road. At all events, remember to jot down the number- plate of the questioned vehicle, in order to report it to the Police, and prevent any other unfortunate-one from being cheated. When it is possible, take a picture of your interlocutor’s car, as he moves away, paying attention not to be seen as well: it could be of use to any possible inquiry.

By: Opportunity suits the thief. The neighborhood watch

Francesco Caccetta

Traduttore: F. Falvo

Editore: MGC Edizioni

Anno edizione: 2016

 

Libro L’occasione fa bene al ladro 2

ofbal2 copertina ebookIl nuovo libro di Francesco Caccetta per insegnare in maniera semplice ma scientifica ai cittadini, come difendersi dai reati predatori. In questo nuovo lavoro, vengono affrontati ulteriori temi relativi ai furti e le truffe. L’autore si sofferma a lungo sulla psicologia del ladro, definendo un vero e proprio fenotipo, trasmettendo al lettore, una competenza nel precedere le azioni delittuose permettendo così a chiunque di rimanere immuni dai furti e dalle truffe. Molti luoghi comuni vengono sfatati come, ad esempio, i furti di notte con presunto uso di anestetici, con la testimonianza di due medici autorevoli, sia nel campo veterinario, sia in quello umano. La materia viene analizzata da ogni angolo ed anche il falso stereotipo dei furti, rapine o truffe sotto ipnosi, viene spiegato in maniera semplice ma con basi scientifiche. Un ampio spazio viene lasciato al progetto del Controllo di Vicinato, di cui l’autore è uno dei tre padri, con spiegate le procedure per avviare i gruppi nei propri territori. Restano alcuni capitoli del primo libro, indispensabili per avere maggiore contezza sull’argomento. Un libro alla portata di tutti, pensato per i cittadini e per le forze dell’ordine, per rendere più efficace la collaborazione tra loro e sollecitare il senso di appartenenza al proprio quartiere o paese che sia. Uniti si vince è la parola d’ordine, più volte pronunciata da Francesco Caccetta che non ama definirsi scrittore, ma semplicemente, uno sbirro che scrive! Buona lettura. #castelritaldi #controllodivicinato

Potete acquistarlo anche in ebook https://www.ibs.it/occasione-fa-bene-al-ladro-ebook-francesco-caccetta/e/9788898803255

Controllo di Vicinato patrimonio degli italiani. Favoloso aumento delle Associazioni che promuovono il progetto e aderiscono alla Rete Nazionale di ANCDV (Associazione Nazionale Controllo di Vicinato).

Dieci anni di Controllo di Vicinato in Italia. Evoluzione naturale del progetto.

Gli Italiani sanno benissimo che, da molti anni, i concetti di Sicurezza percepita e Sicurezza Partecipata sono diventati bagaglio culturale di tutti. Le condizioni socio-economiche e la multietnicità del nostro Paese hanno portato i cittadini e le Istituzioni a rivedere le dinamiche di Sicurezza ed i reciproci rapporti, al fine di migliorare le condizioni di vita delle città e dei piccoli centri. L’isolamento dovuto all’individualismo che si è venuto a creare all’interno delle nostre comunità, e tutte le problematiche ad esso connesse, ha risvegliato il carattere forte e determinato degli italiani che finalmente, guidati dal volontariato, si stanno riprendendo i propri territori difendendosi dai reati predatori in stretta collaborazione con le Forze dell’Ordine. All’estero, gli stranieri sono colpiti dalla nostra determinazione, dalla forza di carattere, dallo spiccato senso di appartenenza. Gli italiani, da sempre, si battono per la loro terra con un coraggio invidiabile. Tutte queste caratteristiche hanno fatto si che quel senso di insicurezza percepito, mutasse in una reazione pacifica ma capace di trasformare una risposta emotiva in una razionale e praticabile e tutto questo ha fatto nascere in tutto il territorio nazionale, le pratiche di controllo di vicinato. Queste attività, consistono in aggregazioni spontanee di cittadini, abitanti nelle stesse vie o nello stesso condominio o addirittura quartiere, che imparano ad eliminare le vulnerabilità che rendono più facile l’agire dei ladri e delinquenti vari, recuperando di conseguenza, un rapporto efficace con le Forze dell’Ordine locali con le quali collaborano a stretto giro e senza mai sostituirsi a loro.

Leggi  tutto l’articolo: loghi internazionali cdvhttps://www.convincere.eu/criminologia/855/controllo-di-vicinato-patrimonio-degli-italiani