To spell it out: when we discuss the psychology of fraud here, we are examining the ways in which people who are unhampered by conscience have the ability to manipulate others and by means of a convincing show of confidence, to get them willingly to invest money in unsecured schemes.
Confidence tricksters such as the ones we are writing about count on people being so shocked and depressed by the sudden loss of their money that they are too weak to do much about it. It should be noted that before this Blog was started, Coboco's victims were all isolated and were battling the depression that arose from those losses. Depression can develop into a heavy stupor of self-concern: when we told one of Coboco's victims that this case needs to be followed through to a satisfactory conclusion, the reply was, "Well, good luck with that. For me it was always more about whether I'd get my money back and that's not going to happen."
If enough people were to think and act like that, we could count on a further worsening of the recession that is currently causing so much havoc in our society.
We wonder if readers have considered this: once confidence tricksters have won their victims' confidence and savings, they are in a position of power over them. (We have previously pointed out that an option of legal redress is often considered by victims too expensive for them to take up, and it may also be fruitless). In the case we are looking at, CoBo have frequently used their power as holders of their investors' funds to intimidate, threaten and insult them. CoBo have said to bona fide investors on occasion that they were stupid to trust them and to hand over large sums without insisting on proper guarantees.
The manipulation of others in this completely unprincipled way is done through rationalisation. The perpetrators simply rationalise whatever they do, without any ethical consideration, as being conducive to their own benefit and they take the position that whatever success they achieve might well eventually percolate to their investors as well.
Most people probably assume that everyone cheats to some extent, so what is the crucial factor that turns some kind of cheating into crime? Clearly it is the factor of HARM. As we have pointed out frequently in this Blog, Coboco have actually caused a great deal of harm, unhappiness and despair to a large number of people. Had it not been for this Blog, that number would likely be growing by the day!
Coboco's activities have also caused, and are still causing, a huge amount of trouble to the authorities, who are having to investigate their dealings at no small cost in money, time and effort. Their unscrupulous behaviour has meant that someone else now has the job of sorting out the chaotic mess they have been calling 'business.'
As far as we know, the CoBo street act called Faces of Disco—which basically trades on comic mockery of celebrities by using photographic face masks of them in energetic disco-type physical jerks—is still collecting money from audiences quite unaware of the background of these slippery characters. [See the recent comment added to our post of 28th July 2012 entitled LIAM COLLINS - OLYMPIC FRAUDSTER?]