The usual Marco Kozlowski “At Will Events”, “U.S. Property Network”, “U.S. Property Success” three day program has been running this weekend (April 15, 16 and 17, 2016) at the Toronto Airport Marriott Hotel. Today, Sunday, is the most important part of any confidence game: the “sting”.
The “ropers” got the attendees to come to the evening seminars. In the modern age of course it is the media that accept and publish the ads that perform the “roper” function for the con.
(For confidence game slang see, for example, this useful page: “SCOUNDREL’S SLANG” Here is the Wikipedia article on the “Confidence Trick” A 2015 academic paper by Braucher and Orbach titled “Scamming: The Misunderstood Confidence Man” * can be found here.)
From the Wikipedia article:
“A confidence trick is also known as a con game, a con, a scam, a grift, a hustle, a bunko (or bunco), a swindle, a flimflam, a gaffle or a bamboozle. The intended victims are known as “marks”, “suckers”, or “gulls” (i.e. gullible). When accomplices are employed, they are known as shills“
Full page ads in the Toronto Star lured the “marks” in. (Interesting of course as the Toronto Star itself has run articles warning of these programs – see “Beware ‘free’ real estate seminars” by Mark Weisleder from Jan. 1 of 2010.)
Here is one of the recent advertisements.
These full page ads ran in the Toronto Star on at least April 1, 3, and 4, 2016
The ads had essentially the same content as discussed in earlier posts on this blog. The ad gave the URL of the website used for this round of promotion: www.yourpropertymillions.com.
A few of the attendees at these free seminars were convinced to attend the 3 day that started on Friday. Saturday was about qualifying the top prospects that could be put on “the send” ( “Stage of a swindle in which the victim is sent home or to the bank for more money.”) Sunday is for the the “Grifter”, the “Shill” and the “Inside Man” to take the “marks” or “rubes” that have money aside to make the large “sting”. Today is the day for the big payoff! The only question is how much can the mark be persuaded to part with?
From the Montreal Gazette Story:
“Only on the third day of the conference, he said, are people told they can invest in additional training — a “platinum” program for $60,000 or a “diamond” program for $100,000. That additional training is not mentioned at the first free seminar.
“You’re never under the impression that you have to pay something else besides that $3,500,” the man said. “You think you’ll be good to go after that weekend.”
He says that on the first day of the weekend workshop, attendees are asked to fill out forms detailing their financial situations.
On the third morning, he said, some participants are asked to attend a “VIP lunch,” where they’re told that “only people with great potential” are asked to attend.
“Really, it’s only people that can plunk $100,000 that are invited,” he said. “But it’s all about ego and making you feel special.” “
“The Touch” (the money) will quickly be gone out of Canada – to places, companies, and bank accounts unkown.
The how to of this is contained in the Trump University Playbook and has been discussed in many places – including of course in the Toronto Star paper itself.
For comparison’s sake, here is the Toronto Star ad from September 12, 2015. ( see page GT4) I wonder how much was gained from that trip to Toronto? How much in comparison to the cost of the advertisement? This ad featured the the typical “Diana” and “Steeve” testimonials. That didn’t work out so well… This version of the ad had Diana living in Toronto (she actually lives in Ottawa) and Steeve living in Markham (he actually lives in Montreal.)
* Braucher, Jean and Orbach, Barak, Scamming: The Misunderstood Confidence Man (August 1, 2015). 27 Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities 249 (2015); Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 13-37. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2314071 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2314071