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In indirect crimes, common categories include Internet and telephone scams, although some individuals work via regular mail.
Texting scams are increasingly popular and often target teens.
Swindlers generally choose from two major types of cons: indirect and direct.
In the first type, the con artist contacts and interacts with victims from a distance.
New con artists are coming up with new schemes every day, however, so it is not always possible to use behavioral patterns to detect a potential problem.
Across all categories of schemes, the key element that makes cons successful is trust.
Scams in the direct group are much rarer, as they require the criminal to give away his anonymity and make face-to-face contact with the person he’s targeting, which is riskier to do.
Once a scammer decides which type of con he is more comfortable with, he gets more specific and selects a category.
In some cases where trust was very deep and sincere, the experience of the crime may be so devastating that they later have trouble opening up to other people they meet.Others have family members, such as parents, who engage in the activity, so they come to feel as though scamming is natural and morally acceptable by watching other people do it.Some individuals also engage in this type of criminal activity because of its psychological benefits.If the criminal follows through with his plans, he may mourn the loss of his relationships as deeply as the people he tricked.Trust occasionally — if rarely — becomes so strong that the swindler cannot follow through with his plans, and in extreme cases, he might even admit his original intent and try to make amends for the dishonesty.
Media and members of the public often portray a scammer as shady, but the reality is, his main trait is often that he has the incredible ability to blend into the crowd.