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James Randi Educational Foundation

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies

Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

confidence man (also, con man) A swindler, cheat, charlatan. A dishonest person who by charm, earnestness, guile and seeming innocence, gains the confidence of his victims and cheats them out of money and goods, or obtains an endorsement or favorable position as a result of lies and general trickery. Usually, the victim is asked to become involved in a little cheating too, during the course of the action and is thus made to look like a fool and/or a deceiver when the game is discovered. The operator of a three-shell game would also come under this label, since the eventual victim here is made to feel that he knows more about the rules of the game than the operator, and thus cannot be deceived himself.

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Copyright (C) 1995-2007 James Randi.

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