Don’t be taken – Understanding the top 10 secrets of liars

Saturday, May 8th, 2010 By

The best liars aren't crossing their fingers behind their backs as this man is doing.

(Photo: ThinkStock)

Don’t be taken for a ride! We are living through a recession that was built by people who make a practice of using deception for personal gain. What happened at Goldman Sachs is a classic example. Convincing investors, under false pretenses, that a portfolio of mortgage investments would be profitable made the company a lot of money, at least until the SEC caught on. The housing collapse left too many people in a position of borrowing money to avoid financial ruin.  In the aftermath of so much waste, it is apparent that developing strategies for being able to spot the lying cheats of Wall Street is crucial. Perhaps if investors kept in mind the top 10 secrets of effective liars, they’d be able to spot them more readily.

Top 10 secrets liars don’t want you to know

You don’t want to be taken for a ride; that much is clear. Thanks to Psychology Today, you can spot the top 10 secrets of effective liars and make your own determination as to whether to trust that investment adviser or get-rich-quick schemer knocking at your door.

  1. Good liars aren’t pathological. They wait until the key moment to insert falsehood. Thus, much of the information in an investment spiel could be factual, but perhaps a key element or the ultimate promise in the pitch skews the truth. Find the key points that would impact you financially and question the presenter thoroughly on those points in an attempt to expose cracks in the façade.
  2. Good liars practice the lie often before delivery. This is why asking observant questions and phrasing your questions in non-standard ways could be more effective at breaking cheats from their rehearsed presentations.
  3. Good liars use half-truths. Trickery once more, as a statement that is backed up even to a small degree by fact is much more palatable than an overzealous or outlandish claim. Again, you should question everything, or at least the parts where sky-high rates of return are promised to you. The more questions the liar is made to answer, the less likely he is to be successful.
  4. Good liars know their targets. According to Carolyn Saarni, co-editor of the book “Lying and Deception in Everyday Life,” the best liars will attempt to empathize with the mark in order to put them at ease. The mark’s guard subsequently drops. Thus, when it comes to dealing with financial advisers who may be less than reputable, get right down to business rather than giving the potential con the time to size you up first. If it means rushing him through his presentation, all the better, because you’ll be disrupting his polished, pre-rehearsed game. If the potential con can’t get a clear picture of your thought process, they’re much less likely to hit upon your sympathies.

CLICK HERE to see numbers 5-10 of the top 10 secrets of liars who may be trying to steal your investment dollars during this recession!

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