Four sure-fire ways to spot a con artist—and what to do when you see them
The eyes are the window to the soul, the old saying goes. While not exclusive to con artists, Wentz said a telltale sign of a fraudster is intense eye contact.
“They will make that eye contact in a fond way, that they’re listening to you, that they’re taking you in, that they’re hearing you and appreciating you. They’re giving you a sense of value, and it feels good,” she said.
Indeed, some studies have associated reduced rates of blinking with certain psychological disorders, like sociopathy.
“They literally blink less than a normal person,” Wentz said. “And by the way, not all con artists are sociopaths, however, all sociopaths are con artists.
One former prosecutor in Michigan, now a judge, described what he called a glint in Gignac’s eye following one of his early arrests.
“He was very fascinated that he was able to do this so easily,” Washtenaw County District Judge Kirk Tabbey said. “It was as if he had found a way to survive or a way to live that was so amazing to him.”
Conversely, con artists can be artful dodgers — deftly deflecting tough questions.
“If you ask them a question they don’t want to answer, they’ll deflect, throw shadows, change the subject quickly,” Wentz said.