Stopping The Con.

Stopping the Con.

Con men (and women) have been around forever. They prey on the generous and hopeful, who are willing to believe a sad story and are willing to help. These cases usually come to me after the abuse has been discovered, and what hurts my clients the most—more than the money–is that they feel so blatantly lied to. They feel betrayed, and they become less generous and less hopeful. Lies are destructive, and those who profit from deception are a plague on society. The good news is that we are not without power.

The antidote for the lie is not to abandon trust or generosity—it is diligently seek the truth. This week, I ended several cons against property owners. One was by an allegedly homeless woman whom my clients gave free meals and shelter in their home, but who refused to leave after my clients discovered that she was stealing from them. At trial, the woman argued that she had a four-year lease to live for free based on her “detrimental reliance” upon my clients’ generosity. Apparently, my clients had oppressed her with kindness. It was a fairly easy win once we were at trial, because that is when the light of the truth could finally be shown.

My clients are very happy to be free of this woman. They are no longer victims in their own home; yet, it saddens me that they are likely less trusting. This need not be the case. We can be compassionate without being foolish. As President Ronald Reagan wisely said, “Trust, but verify”. More than that, however, one can preempt treachery by seeking counsel in advance. Cons seek the easy target and look for opportunity. Don’t be an easy mark. I am here to help you stop the con.

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