Friday, November 12, 2010

The long con

Faces you can trust?

Although it does not get much publicity, there are still people out there running the long con. The long con is a confidence trick played out over time. The hustler gains the complete or nearly complete confidence of the mark, they use this power to defraud the mark of substantial amounts of dough over an extended period of time.

Today, we ran across one of the worst/best examples we had heard about in quite some while. Roger Davidson was scammed out of somewhere between $6 million and $20 million according to court filings. Computer geek, Vickram Bedi, thirty-six, and his Icelandic girlfriend Helga Invarsdottir, thirty-nine, were first visited by Davidson in an attempt to rid his laptop of a virus.

Upon learning of his wealth, the pair, initiated what the police called "an elaborate social engineering scheme," eg. the long con. They convinced Davidson that his computer virus was part of a larger plot in which he was being menaced by government intelligence agencies, foreign nationals and the shrouded in secrecy, Catholic organization, Opus Dei. How they got Davidson to buy into this conspiracy is unclear. Police allege that Davidson paid the couple $160,000 per month for 24-hour protection against the purported threats. This continued for a period of six years.

Police continue to investigate other ways the couple might have been defrauding Davidson of his money.

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