Dating con artists

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I was what's known as a closer: the guy who gets you to hand over the money.

I'll tell you how, so you can recognize and avoid the techniques I used. If I were still in the game, I'd tell you only one thing: "You and I are going to make a lot of money together." I learned how to do this at an early age.

You would be amazed at how many doctors, lawyers, engineers and college professors I ripped off.

The bottom line is, fraud is a crime that can happen to anyone, given the right con man and a victim with the right set of circumstances.

The celebrity probably doesn't know that people are getting ripped off; he may know nothing at all about the business. Think about the first time you fell in love or a time when someone cut you off on the freeway and you were seething for hours. Fraud victims are people with emotional needs, just like the rest of us.

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If I choose to be fraudulent in my practices, nothing is going to stop me from taking lots of money from you. And the world is filled with people just as dangerous as I am.

I guess people see an Adam West or an Ernest Borgnine (we also hired him) on TV and assume the product he's selling is the real deal or he wouldn't be selling it.

But the celebrity's contract frequently states that he or she cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the claims in the script. Those who believe they'd never fall for a scam don't realize it's not about how smart you are; it's about how well you control your emotions.

So we'd run television commercials and hire famous actors to appear in them.

In that Internet-kiosk scam we hired Adam West of the 1960s TV show Batman.

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