Con Artists Prey on New Entrepreneurs. Successful Entrepreneurs Share How to Spot These Con Artists

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There are many sharks in the waters, when you are pursuing a dream. One of those sharks is the charlatan.

Charlatans are individuals who recognize your passion and enthusiasm for your dream and seek only to exploit your passion for their own benefit. The benefit they seek is typically your money but it can also be your expertise, your time or your relationships.

Successful people become expert in vetting people they surround themselves with. This expertise enables them to weed out the charlatans – con artists who intend to use you to help themselves in some way.

Charlatans will waste your time, money and damage your relationships with others. You need to become expert in identifying charlatans because charlatans disrupt your march towards success.

What are the characteristics of charlatans? In my research of self-made millionaires I’ve identified certain traits, certain characteristics that all charlatans possess:

  • They Want Something From You – Charlatans want your time, expertise, your money or to tap into your power relationships. Power relationships are individuals inside your inner circle who are influencers and who can open doors for others.
  • They Over Promise and Under Deliver – Charlatans sell you a bill of goods that never arrive. They will make you believe they can help you realize your dreams and achieve your goals. Charlatans never deliver on their promises and will waste your time and money.
  • Overpowering Personalities – Charlatans have strong, overwhelming personalities. They use their personality to exploit your desires and passions.
  • Profuse in Their Approbation – Charlatans drown you in praise as a way of luring you into doing business with them.
  • No Value – Charlatans lack real expertise, knowledge and zero power relationships that can help open doors for you.
  • Deceptive – Charlatans will deceive you. They will take you down the wrong path.
  • Bombastic – Charlatans bang the drums of their triumphs. Only later will you realize they lack any real success of their own.
  • Unsuccessful or Struggling Financially – Charlatans are unsuccessful individuals who are struggling financially.
  • Have Their Own Mission – Charlatans have one thing in mind – to use you to help them achieve their own dreams and goals.

Those who are not on guard against charlatans will lose time, money and will have to perform triage on their damaged relationships. Those who are aware of the characteristic traits of charlatans will be able to identify them, cast them aside, and continue marching towards success.

Tom Corley is an accountant, financial planner and author of “Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to Be Happy and Successful in Life”, Effort-Less Wealth, Change Your Habits Change Your Life, Rich Habits Poor Habits and “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.”



  1. JT on October 12, 2023 at 12:57 PM

    This is a great post Tom. The sooner one learns to identify these people the better