What is a Grifter?


Especially in this age of technology, when so many cons are accomplished via the internet, we must be hyper-vigilant about the detection of grifting. If you have been swindled, scammed, or conned, you know what “grifting” is. Even though it’s a term that may not be used often, or isn’t familiar to you, a grifter is one who is a con artist and makes money by swindling or tricking people. “Grift” and “grifter” are old-fashioned words that are making a way into common lingo because hucksters and scammers are extremely popular.

A grifter employs an opportunistic racket, uses cunning to execute, and is very good at both the act and execution. You have to be extremely careful and observant to look for signs that you are communicating with a con artist. If you are facing criminal charges, you should contact Coolidge Law Firm to discuss your options. In this article, we will give you six things that can identify someone as a grifter.

Communicates Persuasively

Grifters and con artists are very proficient with the use of words. They excel at the art of persuasion by convincing you to do something you don’t want to do. They are what is classified as “smooth” and gifted with communication. Often, their verbal skills are combined with fast talking. A grifter talks fast so you have difficulty ascertaining the details. Through the details, however, they may reveal the clues to their lies.

Offers Help You Did Not Solicit

The grifter presents you with something you may perceive as being a problem, and then offers to solve it. When you are approached by a stranger who wants to “help” you to solve a problem that you didn’t ask for or knew that you had, be dubious. Sometimes they will perform a service for you, but then want payment in return.

Asks for a Small Favor

A grifter may ask you to do something for them. After you respond with no, he/she may follow with a request for a small favor. You may be more apt to respond affirmatively to the small favor. With a con artist, once you provide a small favor, it can evolve into the initial larger favor. That is what the grifter is counting on.

Creates a Sense of Urgency and Ease

Swindlers often try to create a sense of urgency for you to act immediately or make it sound so easy. If you don’t have time to think about it and if it is so easy to make big money, there is probably something wrong with it. Here are some of the tactics they may use:

  • Get rich quick schemes. They will offer something for nothing to get rich off you. Be very wary of these. Most of the time, to make a lot of money, you have to work very hard–not do nothing!
  • Cash only. They will sell you something, but you can only pay for it with cash. Reputable vendors, dealers, and business people do not operate on a cash-only basis, especially for big ticket items.
  • Today Only! They will try to rush you to make a fast decision because the deal is disappearing tomorrow. They may make you a phenomenal price because you just happened to run into them. How fortuitous!
  • Guarantees. They will offer you guarantees that you will make a profit or that the product is legitimate. Be careful if you are told that everyone who invested money made a profit

Shows Excessive Confidence and Charm

A con artist’s confidence level is off-the-charts high. They are so confident of what they are talking about that you can believe anything is possible. They have no problem lying and they show little signs of true empathy. This gives them the ability to not hear the word “no” when you keep saying it. They bounce off every objection and come back to hammer the offer. But, they are charming and full of charisma as they do it. They can come off as being very likeable to gain your good graces.

Impersonates People of Authority

A grifter con artist often has a scheme that hinges on him/her being a person of authority. This lends credence and credibility to their scam. Scams that come to you in the mail, via email, or by telephone can involve assumed authority. For example, a scam gains the air of legitimacy if it appears to be from a bank or government agency. Be aware that your bank will never send you important information about your account through an email, especially not with a link you need to click. Always go to the bank’s website and contact customer service if you have received a suspicious email. And, companies that send mail that looks like it is from an official source is not legal. Read mail carefully.

Contact Us If You Have Been Charged with White Collar Crimes

If you are being accused of being a grifter, whether it’s identity theft or fraud contact us immediately. We can help you determine the next course of actions. Call us today at 919-239-8448 or complete the contact form below.

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