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Are con-artists searching for targets on forums like ats?

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posted on May, 12 2011 @ 04:01 PM
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Are con-artists searching for targets on forums like ats? Do you think it could never happen to you? I hope when it does you are smart enough to recognize it. My paranoid and causious mind saved me from loosing money today... and probably more in the future.

Here is what happened to me today:

At noon today, I was working alone in my store, an Indian looking man wearing a tulband walks up to me. Without asking for permission he starts telling me personal information about myself, then he pauses and explains that he is a “Yogi” and he can make 'good things' happen for me. (being of the paranoid kind, alarm bells immediately went off in my head, but my curiosity let him continue). He spoke in bad English, not dutch which is the language in my country.

-First he read my energy and tells me some more personal information (will go into depth on that below)

-Then he shows me a black and white picture of a meditating group of men and asks me to count 'how many young and how many old men are in that picture'? I count them and tell him I see 11 old men and 4 young men. He said he was just testing my 'knowledge'. Then he shows me a picture of an old Yogi and explained that it was his mentor.

-Next he starts writing on a small piece of paper and then folds it and asks me to hold it in my fist very tight. He asks me questions and I have to write down the answers.
First questions where: my name, age, husbands age, random nr.
I write down: “
my name, 34, 40, 8”
He tells me to look at the paper in my hand, I fold it open and it reads:
“name, 34, 40, 8”
He starts writing again, repeating the above, I hold the paper in my hand, he asks questions:
random color, kind and amount of pet, names of two best friends. I write:
“ blue, 3 cats, S**** and B**** ”. Then I look at the paper in my hand and it had the same answers on them.

I was quite amazed by this “trick” but still cautious.
Next he pulls out an envelope and asks me to put 50 euro in it so he can perform a good ritual for me. I told him I was not going to give him a cent because I didn't believe for a second that what he did was genuine! We ended up having a heated discussion. Before he left he told me that he was going to do a good ritual for me and that in august I would receive the most 'good luck' I had ever received in my life, then in September he would come back because I will want to give him money after I seen the truth in August. He gave me a plastic 'good luck charm' andleft and that was that.

I spend the whole day trying to explain what he did:
He could have gotten my name from looking up my store, my and my husbands ages are easy to find as well. The nr 8 is probably something psychological? Like a nr that most people would pick? Same for the color blue.
He knew that I have 3 cats
and he knew the names of my two offline best friends, which is very odd.

Then the personal information he kept giving me:
He knew that I recently helped my mother with her financial issues.
He knew that I was in the hospital in late 2010.
He knew about my career change in 2009.
He knew that I had trouble with my sister and that our bound was broken
He knew that the job I do is one I really can't handle and that lately I only work when I'm needed (and he suggested to find another job because this one is not right for me... he was right on the spot)
he mentioned that my biggest bad habit was that I couldn't keep my secrets secret and that I always mention to much to others.
He knew that I felt like I am always helping others but no one is helping me.

Besides all that he repeated word for word a personal conversation that I had in the car with my husband two days prior (that I'm not going to repeat here because of the very personal nature of it)

And he concluded with telling me that my sister wished bad things up on me and that I should not tell her about meeting the Yogi, it was our secret that I must keep.
When he left the store I picked up the phone to call.... my sister.... to find out that “suddenly” the stores phone was magically unplugged. (I used it right before he walked in and it was plugged in fine then... besides that I have never unplugged my phone by accident in all the years I run that store)

He also knew I was going to be alone in that store today so he knew my work shedule.

This evening I have called up everyone I could think off and asked them if anyone asked for personal information about me, or maybe they mentioned something to someone.... all of them said 'no'.
I've been thinking about how he could have known all that stuff, since most of it are things I never discussed outside my own family.
And then it hit me. I did never mention anything about that offline BUT I did mention all of it right here on ATS.

I wrote about my mothers suicide attempt and how I decided to pay off her financial depths, (no one else but me, husband, mother and sister knows about this). The money transfer is so recent that he couldn't have gotten the info from bank papers.
I wrote about the problems I had with my sister, (only me and sister know the details)
I wrote about how work is getting really hard on me and how I'd rather be doing something else, (no one knows , I only ranted about it on this forum, my husband knows some of it)
I wrote about the hospital in 2010 and the career change in 2009,
and I wrote (ranted) about how I'm always helping out others and how there is no one for me when I need help (something I never spoke out loud, except doing a topic about that on ats)

Maybe I do mention things on the board that I don't mention to people offline to easily and to often, it's because of the anonymity of a nickname... and my nickname is nowhere linked to my real name. I always make sure that when I write about my experiences they have no link to my offline life. or so I thought.
For a long time Ats is the only forum I am active in, I don't keep a blog or share my experiences elsewhere but here and I'm SURE I never mentioned most of the above to strangers.
I trust my family, they did not give this info to anyone. So I'm pretty much convinced that the info he had on me, he got it right here on these boards. It still remains a mystery to me how he could have linked it to my offline person. Or maybe I just became increadible paranoid but I can't find another explenation. Or maybe he targetted my offline person first and then find my posts on ats? It's another option....

My best friend B**** says that the trick with the notes is just a magic trick and that he really didn't know the answers before I wrote them down, he only created the illusion. He didn't know how exactly the trick works but it should be a rather famous one. Still that doesn't explain how he gotten all that other information, including the very personal conversation I had with my husband in the car.

Anyway,
I know that, if I'm right and he got the info here, then ATS is not to blame here.
But watch out for any Yogi Illusionist that approaches you because if there is someone looking for info on ats they might make victims. Hope you all are as paranoid as me and show them where the door is asap! Don't be fooled and certainly don't give them money.
So, any thoughts on this are appreciated. And I really like to know how that 'magic trick' with the notes works


You know what bugs me most of all? That someone thought I was just another naïve person who would buy all this crap without thinking twice! Now that really bugs me

--------------------------------

I probably posted this in the wrong forum, so please move if I did. Didn't know where it would fit best but since it involves con artists I figured 'conspiracies' would be ok.




posted on May, 12 2011 @ 04:07 PM
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Rule Number One: If something sounds too good to be true, nine times out of ten it usually is. We all get fooled sometimes, but you were smart enough not to give the guy money, and in my opinion you weren't as foolish as you think you might have been.

It is very alarming that he knew so many personal things about you and your life. If I were you, I would look into some identity theft protection. Hopefully nothing serious could happen, but it's better to err on the side of caution I think.



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 04:11 PM
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Sounds a bit strange and scary.
Does your store have a video security system? That you could grab a picture of this guy and put in here on ATS?
If not, install one in time for his September return.

But also, I personally wouldnt have let him go that far. Like hanging up on telemarketers before they even have a chance to say what they want. As soon as he walked in and told me personal information about myself, I probably would have threatened to call the police.



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 04:15 PM
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Although it's possible he tracked you down from ATS...I'm sure that's do-able if you are so inclined...

Sounds to me like he's been talking to your sister, that would be my prime suspect. You mention the bond being broken between you & your sister.....Just sayin'
edit on 12-5-2011 by Signals because: classified



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 04:16 PM
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Wow what an interesting post !

One thing that strikes me whilst reading, was actually how genuine it all seemed, I know that sounds crazy but stranger things have happend.

This guy, left without any money, yet still made a promise of sorts to you, your in a no win no fee kind of situation, and despite saying all this info has been on the net, even if I lived in the same country as you, I would have a hard time trying to work it out to be you on ATS, plus to suss you out before approaching you would take a monumentous amount of effort, for something which did not garruntee a return.

So I say take a leap of faith, you had a moment of enlightenment, lucky you, and should he show up again, and you do have a stroke of luck, please sned him my way


Of course I understand your fears, and they could well be founded, hell I could be a naive optimist, but I think this one could just be one of those surreal experience things, that might well work in your favour, providing you try not to close your heart too much to it


I truely hope I am right, because allowise my faith in human nature would be that little bit more shattered.



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 04:18 PM
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reply to post by GypsK
 


that is very spooky i hope that doesn't happen to me, my friend is a magician so i will ask if its possible to predict that sort of thing but i am sure he can. thanks for letting us all know. peace.



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 04:23 PM
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reply to post by alfa1
 


Ironicaly we took down the security cameras recently because they were not in order with the new laws. (over here you can't film license plate nrs from the cars outside because that is against the law on the privacy) We do plan to install new ones in different places asap and when he comes back in September I will have him on tape. But still, he could sue me for publishing his image on the net. Stupid laws.

My husband also tells me I let it go way to far. But with my interest in spirituality I couldn't help myself....



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 04:25 PM
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reply to post by Signals
 


I've talked to my sister today and she is scared only because he mentioned her. She almost cried and swore she didn't wish bad things upon me at all.
nah... I trust her completely. We had a fallout recently but before that we where like soulmates.



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 04:27 PM
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May I chime in, having let's say, some knowledge of human behavior?

While it's altogether possible it is some trick, what's more likely is, it is someone you know that's either pranking you or worse.

This could turn out badly; I'm glad you're cautious, but I do believe you need to be exponentially more so. If it's just a prank, (hopefully), then you'll simply be more aware....just don't take anything for granted.



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 04:27 PM
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reply to post by solargeddon
 


Don't forget that he did ask me for money and he would have probably come back for more in the near future. He could be making a fortune with this tricks when he finds the right people to pull them on.

lol, we'll see what happens in August I guess.... maybe I win the lottery or something, then I won't mind giving him a couple of euro's... hehe



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 04:28 PM
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reply to post by gazzachel
 


great!
thanks, let me know what your friend has to say about that, I'm really curious about the trick



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 04:37 PM
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reply to post by alphabetaone
 


if this is someone I know then it is even more scary, only I have no idea who would and could do such thing. I already ruled out everyone I know close enough that could have this information.
Of course, a person doesn't really have to know me if they can access my ats account. I did consider that as well.



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 04:42 PM
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Originally posted by GypsK
reply to post by alphabetaone
 


if this is someone I know then it is even more scary, only I have no idea who would and could do such thing. I already ruled out everyone I know close enough that could have this information.
Of course, a person doesn't really have to know me if they can access my ats account. I did consider that as well.


Quite honestly, if it were me, here on ATS would be the last place I look.

The people here are nuts (usually), but I would see little motivation. Not that the online arena isn't totally unsafe (it is), but as long as you maintain a decent level of anonymity it's more unlikely. Have you spurned anyone close to you recently? Or even not close to you....is it possible you met this indian guy before and you simply don't remember?



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 04:48 PM
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reply to post by GypsK
 


I'm crossing my fingers for you.

He may have asked for money, but he left empty handed



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 04:52 PM
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reply to post by alphabetaone
 


of course it's always possible I have met him before, I see hundreds of people every week at work. I don't remember him though...
But still, that doesn't take away the fact that a lot of the details he knew are only available in my topics and rants on ats. So whoever he is, he did read about it here.



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 04:55 PM
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Originally posted by solargeddon
reply to post by GypsK
 


I'm crossing my fingers for you.
He may have asked for money, but he left empty handed



yes keep them crossed till I win that lottery in August


I've been reading a bit about this topic on the net and I'm a bit surprised at how often people get conned this way. But like the first person who replied here said "if it sounds to good to be true it probably is"....



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 05:01 PM
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Originally posted by GypsK
reply to post by alphabetaone
 


of course it's always possible I have met him before, I see hundreds of people every week at work. I don't remember him though...
But still, that doesn't take away the fact that a lot of the details he knew are only available in my topics and rants on ats. So whoever he is, he did read about it here.


Does that include the personal conversation you had with your husband in the car? Do you post that here too that someone from here could have been privy to it?

Edit to add: Sorry for asking all the questions. Perhaps I should just leave it alone, but the truth of it is, if all things are exactly as you have described, this is far too much for an ordinary con-man lookin to score a couple bucks would ever go through. That type of con-man is lookin for the fast and easy score, not something that (obviously) takes planning.
edit on 12-5-2011 by alphabetaone because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 05:05 PM
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Originally posted by alphabetaone

Originally posted by GypsK
reply to post by alphabetaone
 


of course it's always possible I have met him before, I see hundreds of people every week at work. I don't remember him though...
But still, that doesn't take away the fact that a lot of the details he knew are only available in my topics and rants on ats. So whoever he is, he did read about it here.


Does that include the personal conversation you had with your husband in the car? Do you post that here too that someone from here could have been privy to it?


edit after i saw your edit:
Yes I know what you mean and I thought about that as well. Unless he thought he could score more money in the future from us. I live in a rather small town and beying a store owner there, a lot of people tend to think we have more money then we really have.
I really feel he targetted me for money and not for some personal thing.

Like I said in a post above, I've been reading about con-men like these, they keep coming back and when they have you in their pocket, the amounts they ask for become bigger and bigger. Especially if the target is convinced that the rituals work.

In the mean time I'm seriously thinking of filing a complaint, that way if he ever comes back, at least I have something about it on paper already.

no the conversation in the car was completely private and just between me and my husband. That one I'm most puzzled about but I'm sure my own husband has nothing to do with it. I asked him if he repeated anything about it to anyone else and he swears he didn't.
edit on 12/5/2011 by GypsK because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 05:12 PM
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reply to post by GypsK
 


i have just spoken to my friend and he says there are plenty of tricks like that and if you want to see it being performed then go to you tube and type in derren brown he is the perfect example. my friend says he wont tell me how its done because of magicians code, but what he did say is its 1 of the oldest tricks in the book and they do it by fishing for information and they can tell by your reactions. if you had a poker face then it would be impossible to tell. the next time he comes in an says anything just tell him he is wrong and bluff him out. dont forget tho to check derren brown out, he is awesome at what he does. peace.



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 05:15 PM
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Originally posted by GypsK

no the conversation in the car was completely private and just between me and my husband. That one I'm most puzzled about but I'm sure my own husband has nothing to do with it. I asked him if he repeated anything about it to anyone else and he swears he didn't.
edit on 12/5/2011 by GypsK because: (no reason given)


Well, I will say this much, I don't believe in coincidence, nor the supernatural. Something is absolutely off here...I need to re-read your original post a few times and ponder it a bit.

I know what you're thinkin...."it's just a con, don't worry about it".... maybe

hahaha ok after having seen YOUR edit, I will add, good....definitely file a complaint, and yes I know what you mean about the con-game...but I can't help but keep in my mind that, if he knew that much about you down to personal conversations, then clearly, he also knows you're not the type to be that easily fooled either.
edit on 12-5-2011 by alphabetaone because: (no reason given)




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