10 Commandments for Con Men?

I see the image of Count Lustig...

I've seen this list attributed to con man "Count" Victor Lustig (he's the guy who's infamous for, among other swindles, "selling" the Eiffel Tower.) I've tried to trace it back to its source, but couldn't find anything definite. So, hoping this is an actual list by Lustig, I present his 10 Commandments for Con Men:
  1. Be a patient listener (it is this, not fast talking, that gets a con-man his coups).
  2. Never look bored.
  3. Wait for the other person to reveal any political opinions, then agree with them.
  4. Let the other person reveal religious views, then have the same ones.
  5. Hint at sex talk, but don’t follow it up unless the other fellow shows a strong interest.
  6. Never discuss illness, unless some special concern is shown.
  7. Never pry into a person’s personal circumstances (they’ll tell you all eventually).
  8. Never boast. Just let your importance be quietly obvious.
  9. Never be untidy.
  10. Never get drunk.
Read about another of Lustig's famous cons: The "money making machine" scam>>


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  2. I just finished reading "The Big Con" by David W. Maurer. The book was originally published in 1940. Maurer has the essentially the same rules in his book, but they are not in a numbered list. He attributes these rules to an anonymous con man.


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