How to make anyone trust you

Go and see master imposter Frederic Bourdin’s amazing story

I went to see The Imposter the other day. It’s a fantastic documentary so I won’t give anything away if you haven’t seen it (you should), but as you can probably guess, it’s about someone pretending to be someone else.

The Imposter of the film, Frederic Bourdin, exploits the human instinct to protect and in fact con artists can often seem vulnerable. They make you trust them by showing how much they trust you – just like when a magician hands an audience member a prop to examine. They’ll make you feel special or helpful… and before you know it you’re handing over the money.

You can’t go through life being wary of everyone who needs your help, though! Trust, but verify. Victims of cons don’t dig too much even when they are suspicious, because they strongly need to believe that they’re doing the right thing (for a great aunt, or whatever the story is). Always check out claims that seem too good to be true ­– they usually are.

There are lots of neat little ‘short cons’ in the excellent David Mamet film House of Games. This one has it all: watch how he gains trust and rapport.

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4 Responses

  1. Thanks for the advice mr. Cook!

  2. The Imposter trailer looks great. Must see it

    • It’s fascinating- you should def go see it – I don’t know when you’d have any spare time though you’re so busy! Hope festival was good for you x

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