Gypsy Conartists

By Judith Bandsma

DC>This works really well when you have a member of the opposition
DC>do the placing for you, as it makes it appear to be a far
DC>more realistic performance.

The Gypsies I worked with out on the road had a scam similar to this. They would never teach me how to do it and I still cannot see how it was anyone NOT skeptical, the only explanation would be magic.

They walked me through it to show me that I could NOT detect their methods, and they were right.

The scam calls for talking a mark into investing a sum of money, the Gypsies putting up an equal amount. To show you there are no tricks, they never handle the instrument of your downfall.

OK, they want you to invest, say $100, in a venture. They will also invest $100, but it has to be in cash. Your payoff is to be immediate at 100% interest. You hand them the $100. They hand you back $200. The only catch is that you must mail this money to yourself. (Believe me, it doesn't sound so dumb when you are being double talked). But, to make sure you DON'T think they are trying to cheat you, you must never let the money out of your hand, get your own envelope, address it, put the money in, seal it and MAIL it without them ever touching it. The envelope, when it comes in, IS the one you addressed, in your own handwriting, and with no evidence of tampering (no slit bottoms, etc.....they will even allow you to tape it if you want) and with nothing inside but an empty sheet of paper.

They even gave me a $100 bill to do this with. I made them stand across the room while I put the money in, addressed it, sealed it (with tape) and took it to the post office. When the envelope was delivered, the only thing in it was a note that said, 'see, we tried to tell you'. To me it is still one of the most amazing cons going and I'm not real easy to fool. I have, to this day, NO idea of how it was done. Quite frankly, I'm not sure I WANT to know. Even though I know it was a trick, it still leaves alive the idea of magic.

The disappearance of a body could be done as easily, and would leave more than the idea of magic alive.