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Scammers' Secrets 

Wednesday, Mar 12 2014

Cons, Scams, and Undue Influence are everywhere, according to Patrick O'Reilly, a clinical psychologist and professor at UCSF. From Bernie Madoff-style investment schemes, to well-timed phone calls to elderly grandmothers and raggedy folks on the corner with three playing cards and a story, cons and scams all work on the same basic premise. "The techniques used are simple, and they've been used for centuries. Con artists, online swindlers, and cult leaders all draw from the same small pool of techniques, and the same vulnerabilities in their victims," O'Reilly says. He will discuss these techniques, and how to avoid falling prey to them, at tonight's Commonwealth Club discussion, held in conjunction with the release of a book he co-authored, Undue Influence: Cons, Scams, and Mind Control. Future Madoffs are not invited.

Mon., March 24, 5:15 p.m., 2014

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Devin Holt

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