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Topic : 08/11 Conned by a Con Artist

Number of Replies: 256
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Created on : Friday, December 09, 2005, 03:59:23 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original Air Date: 12/12/05) You may have heard, "If something is too good to be true, it probably is." Dr. Phil's guests learned this lesson the hard way. Sandra thought she was marrying a bachelor with whom she would spend the rest of her life. What she didn't know was that she was being conned, and that when she tied the knot, she would be wife number seven! See what happens when Sandra and wife number six get together. Why is Dr. Phil concerned with the way they are coping with their pain? Then, when Coni met Paul, he claimed he owned a business, had a Ph.D. and was an Air Force Major. But the life he detailed was all a big lie. Now that Coni has put her husband behind bars, she fears he's plotting revenge. What does Dr. Phil think? Plus, a former FBI profiler shares the signs to look for so you don't become a con man's next target. Talk about the show here.

Find out what happened on the show.


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December 11, 2005, 9:45 am CST


Quote From: jeanne191

Don't give up.  I was by myself for 5 yrs after my husband died.  Join a fraternal organization, church, singles groups.  Play Bingo! Do not, I mean Do Not stay home by yourself and brood.  Go to a exercise class, or maybe a senior center, volunteer and do something for someone else.  You cannot meet people if you don't get out.  You have to trust your judgement and do not take people on face value, give yourself time to know a little about them.  Ask questions, where do they work, what do they do for hobbies, do they dance, drink, go to church.  The more you know the better judge you will be.  Besides it lets them know you are interested in them.  Good Luck



These people: 

- scam others 


- seem completely normal 

- prey on the best & brightest (and those with some MONEY) 


No, sorry - online dating isn't for me.  I have looked very deep within myself.  Sorry but thats sort of fast-food psychology doesn't cut it when you deal with these guys.  Also, this is NOT the fault of the victim.  12 years of therapy for PTSD from these con men has taught me that!!!  There is NOT A THING WRONG with us.  It's them.  Dr. Robert Hare has a great book out called THE PSYCHOPATH NEXT DOOR.  Go read it.  Only a small percentage of them are killers.   


I am out there, in society, interacting with others in healthy positive ways.  But online dating? or even dating in general?  Not after you have had one of these types in your life.  I am interested in one thing: my children.  But don't worry about me - hey, more for you!! 

December 11, 2005, 11:15 am CST

I married a con artist

I married a horrible man. I was sick and he put a needle in my arm to make me feel better. It was HEROIN!! I was addicted in three days and he wiped out my bank account. Then he made it so my friends did not want to come over. I was in a daze for almost two years. And all that time my mom was sick. She is on to another life now. If only I had not let her see me like that! She can look at me today. I have been drug and husband free {he is dead} for 18 years. I love life and want to keep it. I want to enjoy it with good people and I know a lot of those. Susan Marie
December 11, 2005, 4:26 pm CST

12/12 Conned by a Con Artist

Quote From: fighter9



These people: 

- scam others 


- seem completely normal 

- prey on the best & brightest (and those with some MONEY) 


No, sorry - online dating isn't for me.  I have looked very deep within myself.  Sorry but thats sort of fast-food psychology doesn't cut it when you deal with these guys.  Also, this is NOT the fault of the victim.  12 years of therapy for PTSD from these con men has taught me that!!!  There is NOT A THING WRONG with us.  It's them.  Dr. Robert Hare has a great book out called THE PSYCHOPATH NEXT DOOR.  Go read it.  Only a small percentage of them are killers.   


I am out there, in society, interacting with others in healthy positive ways.  But online dating? or even dating in general?  Not after you have had one of these types in your life.  I am interested in one thing: my children.  But don't worry about me - hey, more for you!! 

Hare's book, Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopath's Among Us was a lifesaver for me as well as counseling. The counseling will continue, and I will continue to learn as much as I can about these predators so this will never happen again. Hare's book should be on everyone's must read list as well as Martha Stout's, The Sociopath Next Door, not just the must read list of victims. Everyone needs to learn what to look for. Until we know what to recognize:  the signs, the red flags, and the subtleness of the antisocial con artist, we are all targets. Dr. Hare hit the nail on the head when he said:

Psychopaths are social predators who charm, manipulate and ruthlessly plow their way through life, leaving a broad trail of broken hearts, shattered expectations and empty wallets. Completely lacking in conscience and feelings for others, they selfishly take what they want and do as they please, violating social norms and expectations without the slightest sense of guilt or regret."



December 11, 2005, 5:17 pm CST

He said one thing; his action said something else

I met my x husband climbing in New Hampshire in 1969. I hadn't done much climbing before and chose the wrong boots. The mountain wasn't very high, but by the the time I reached the summit both feet hurt.  I removed my boots and socks and all the skin  fell off my heels. The leader of the hike helped me bandage my feet but, when we started down, he and the rest of the group took off leaving me behind which is definitely a sin when you're hiking. Only one person stayed with me. The man I eventually married. He stayed, he said, because he wanted to make certain that I got down safely. We seemed to have so much in common. He had majored in History in college; I was a History major. We both loved the out of doors, swimming and hiking. He was going into to Coast Guard, against his parents wishes. This was the Viet Nam era and they wanted him to go to either Canada or Sweden and they said they'd support him and they definitely had the money to do so. He said that he'd told them he couldn't desert his country but he couldn't kill anyone either so he had enlisted in the Coast Guard. I told him how proud I was of his decision. That I admired his compassion for others, his sense of humor and how he was willing to stand up for what he believed. I also told him that I thought he'd found an excellent compromise between his desire to support his country and his beliefs about killing others, especially since his father's family had been missionaries since the 1730s. 


After boot camp, he was stationed in Boston and we reconnected through a mutual friend. We were married in 1971. Now, fast forward to 1973. We were backpacking in the Pemmigawasset Wilderness. Both of us were members of the Appalachian Mountain Club and we were doing the finishing off the mountains which made you eligible for the 4,000 Footer Club. Today there are 48 but list has changed since 1973, so I'm not certain which mountains are now on the list and which have been dropped. However, Owl's Head  is on both lists and, in 1973, the only way up was to climb an old land slide. While climbing up the slide, I slipped and fell onto my left hip. Did the compassionate man I thought I had married help me up? Are you kidding? The only thing he wanted to know was if I'd damaged the camera equipment. After we'd hiked down, we hiked out towards the Kancamagus Highway. It had been a heavy winter, the snow melt was late and it had been raining off and on for three days. There was a large stream to cross and, while normally it was difficult but not dangerous, this was not a normal crossing. I fell, losing my glasses. Without glasses, I have 4 inches of clear vision.  By the time I  flounder to the other bank, I was already so hypothermic I couldn't think straight.  He did, I admit, help me to get into dry clothes because we always kept extra clothes in waterproof bags but when I asked him to warm up some water,using our stove, so I could get something hot into me, he refused. We hiked to our next camp site. Guess who had to cook supper? The next morning, I woke up to find that my left hip was pitch black, swollen two inches high and I couldn't put my foot on the ground with out screaming. I showed him how badly I was hurt. I begged him to hike out for help. He packed the food, tent, sleeping bags and stove in his backpack and told me to hike out or he'd leave me there. So i did. Actually, I didn't hike out. I hopped out 20 miles without glasses and with a cracked hip. 


Everything he had told me about his concern for others, his love of country, was just a con job he pulled out to suck people to him. He lied about loving me. He lied about taking care our of our only child who inherited a rare and fatal genetic disease. When I had to give him custody because I had been disabled by an auto-immune disease, the state he lived removed him from his care after three weeks and placed her in foster care ONLY because I was unable to care for her. The fact that comes from a wealthy family and has provided her with excellent, private care is, in my opinion, the only good thing he's ever done. He claims he loves her but , if he does, then why,when I try to see her, does he sends her on a long trip leaving me to comfort our sobbing daughter when she calls me and says, "Why does he keep doing this to me?"  Even his own brother hates him. 


He's now on his third marriage. I'd like to let her know the truth about the man she married but I know she won't believe me. I just pray that she finds out what he's really like before he puts her in harms way. 


He's been diagnosed as a psychopath with psychotic episodes. 

December 11, 2005, 5:41 pm CST

I refused to believe

I just recently found out that My husband, with whom I married in may of 2004 and have been with since 2001  is a con man.  He was never divorced from his first wife in Canada.  He has lied to me since day 1.  Everything that I was attracted to  was just a story he made up.  I have been throught almost 5 years with him.   I have lost the respect of my family.  I supported him for these last years thinking he was actually a writer.  I was in love with him, I overlooked the red flags, I was totally blinded by him. Now I am loosing my home, my finances are wiped out.   


I can live with the financial aspect of it all, but the emotional battles are the worst I have ever felt.  I have a long road ahead of me,,,,  



December 11, 2005, 5:44 pm CST


Dear Dr. Phil,  I live in Winston-Salem NC, and would Love to be a guest on Your Show, but I am out of work due to an on the jog injury and awaiting Authorization from my Employer to have Fusion and Some much needed Hardware (2 screws and a rod). I was injured August 2004. I look at your show EVERYDAY on NBC at 3pm !  and If it wasn't for your show I really don't know what I would do, I find every show very inspirational no matter what the topic is, I have been in this condition for over a year and a half, but it doesnt compare to what some of your guests have gone through, but since I am not able to travel to attend a show, what do I do to have a chance for any giveaways, I really don't care what you give me, I am appreciative of being a part of Dr. Phil.! 

December 11, 2005, 5:55 pm CST

stand up and be strong

I am a woman in my late 40's, but I look much younger... or I use to, but after 8 years of being with and loving a man who only used me,  you can see the stress in my face and I'll never trust another man again.  I am not bitter, but hurt and questioning "Why me?"... Yes it can happen to anyone, but it can happen to those of you (like me) who had become vulnerable and tired of the drama from past relationships that have gone bad.. Yes!  you can believe anything when you are in love with someone because they don't beat you and take you for granted.. at least in my case this seemed to be the case for a few years, then all hell broke loose.  Yes! I was lied to from the first day I met him, but I only found out about two years ago.  I was used to create a new personality for this guy, get him a music career, hooked him up the theatre and music producers, bands etc. , and put my own music career on hold to manage him.. how was I repaid?  He just went out and found another vulneralbe victim and got her pregnant, and she called me to tell me all about their excapade, knowing that I don't frequent the bars and wouldn't know otherwise.  While with me, this man had one hell of a good life and yes, I loved him with all my heart, but after seeing that he was hooked on hoochies, porn, and alcohol, I had a talk with him that went into one ear and out the other.. I left him and six months later, he got evicted from his place.. Yes! being in love with a looser, I again let my guard down and took him in, only to find out that he told the world and the internet hoochies that he was single and living with his female roomate... some roomate.. we were a couple.  The lies got bigger and bigger, he was an airline pilot, a professonal dancer in his day who owned a studio that some woman bought for him, he was a Cordon Bleu Chef, and he use to tell me stories of his past, like being an addict and a gangster.  He was a LIAR!!!  Do I hate him, NO!... but I do feel sorry for anyone who cannot love themselves enough to tell the truth about who they rally are and to live life covering the lies they have told.  God Bless all of the men / women out there who don't know who they really are... I for one will not get caught up again.  Like the rest of you out there, I am scared of many things, but hell no! I am not going to be afraid to live the life the I deserve to have... a peaceful and sane one...  There are some good people left in this World.  I know because I am one of them... I hope my story inspires someone out there to know that  " If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is"... hold your head up high and never change who you are for anyone... You deserve better.
December 11, 2005, 8:21 pm CST

Thanks and some more information

Wow!! so many of you are talking about either narcissists (destructive ones) or psychopaths. 


Here's some more information about these types (which have NO TELLTALE SIGNS UNTIL ITS TOO LATE!!): 


The Characteristics of a Psychopath: 


Traits of Malignant Narcissism 


If you are with one of these guys (or gals) IT IS NOT YOU!! If you are in counselling - make sure your counsellor GETS IT about these types.  Remember: Scott Peterson - was a psychopath and he only killed ONCE after breaking hearts, minds and souls for YEARS! 


And btw, thanks oneofseven for correcting me about the books.  I have read them both and they are terrific.   

December 11, 2005, 8:52 pm CST


I wanted to add that during my marriage to this man (my second marriage) he was incarcerated at least four times for non-violent crimes, mostly worthless checks over $500, forging checks, uttering forgery, grand larceny, credit card fraud (he stole my credit cards as well as his father's as they were a Sr. and a Jr. who didn't use their generations in signatures), and drug trafficking.  He insisted I live with his parents each time he had to serve his time and his father was an alcoholic who desired to molest me during a few of his stupors.  I read him the riot act once he sobered up, he denied it of course, then I steered clear of him as much as possible.  Thinking back through all the humiliation and sadness, I remember going to church one Sunday and the leader of the class happened to stress how important it was not to get into your husband's business affairs.  He taught that you are not to try to change him, just pray for God to change him; and by no means should divorce EVER be in your vocabulary.  If I had been stronger in faith and more confident in my decisions, perhaps I would have had the guts to divorce him, but I wasn't receiving a ton of income so I had nowhere to go to live.  And I was under constant threat to not ever leave him or he would, well, you know, not want me to live.  So enters the fear factor.  I still have nightmares, as I stated before, where he is chasing me and pinning me on the floor with a knife to my throat threatening me if I ever left him.  That actually did happen during one of his "highs".  He would find me, he knew people who would follow me, etc.  I believe if his father (who lived with us for 5 years after my mother-in-law passed away from cancer)  had not walked in at just the right moment and said "Son, please don't hurt her.  Leave her alone,"  I doubt if I'd be here today writing these words.  So, through counseling I have learned that the longer you stay with someone like this, the more you "enable" them.  Therefore, you become co-dependent.  There are a few books that have helped me tremendously that I would recommend by Melody Beattie, "Beyond Codependency", "Codependents' Guide to the Twelve Steps", and "Playing It by Heart". 

Also, once your relationship has ended with this person, you really need to be on your own (if you choose) for at least one or two years to give your emotions, your soul, your feelings the chance to heal.  I do take medications for depression and anxiety and panic attacks.  And I do go to my counselor for talk therapy.  You MUST for your mental health, pursue healing so one day you will have the courage to meet someone just as a companion at first, if nothing else.  You have the control of your own boundaries, you have the control over what you feel; if it doesn't feel right, then it probably isn't.  But you cannot treat every future man as though he is the same con man.  Every man is different and they bring to the table their own life experience's.  If you insist on honesty and they are not honest, then move on.  It's that simple.  Be good to yourself and cherish yourself.  What happened to me and what happened to you is NOT YOUR FAULT.  You nor I did anything wrong.  Regardless of every single circumstance that happened to me or that has happened to you due to the evil (for whatever reason, drugs, alcohol, demon-possession, paranoia, or bipolar) in these individuals, you WILL heal from this, and you WILL know when you are ready to meet others.  Until then, enjoy your peace so far.  Enjoy every day that you have survived successfully.  Day by day.  You can do it.  I can do it.  We can do this.  God bless and best of luck to all of you.  

December 11, 2005, 10:48 pm CST

I Admire Everyone's Courage

I just wanted to say that I admire the courage of all of you who have shared your stories.  I thought I had it bad when my boyfriend of 3 years cheated on me.  I thought I was lied to and crushed emotionally...but that was nothing compared with what you have had to deal with and overcome.  Your stories have inspired me and I thank you...take care of yourselves....
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