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Author Topic: The psychology of a con man - Zhou  (Read 5858 times)
allten
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July 27, 2012, 03:51:05 AM
 #1

http://goldengate.bbb.org/article/the-psychology-of-the-scam-34976

Great article.

Please Post portions that contradict with Zhou's personality/psychology.
Please Post portions that resonate with Zhou's personality/psychology.

Please try to exclude your bias and "give him the benefit of the doubt".

I post this because we can all benefit from understanding con psychology moving forward.

edit: fixed my poor grammar and changed to a more appropriate title.

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July 27, 2012, 03:55:53 AM
 #2

Psychology is a barbaric and corrupt practice, that entire article is just a load of BS.  Zhou is innocent, and is acting exactly like an innocent man should by doing everything he can to resolve this unfortunate issue.

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July 27, 2012, 05:10:12 AM
 #3

I'm sorry folks around here were ripped off, but that is the inevitable result of the free market beliefs so many people around here believe in, not the fault of an honest man like Zhou tong.  A well regulated market with the government looking over our shoulder to keep everybody in line is the only way to solve this scamming issue.  Believing in an article about a phony, fraudulent science is just falling for one more scam.

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July 27, 2012, 05:22:33 AM
 #4

If Zhou really did this that would make him a opportunist not a con.

(If we assume that bitcoinica was a genuine operation, which it was, for a time imo, since it was profitable and sound)

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July 27, 2012, 05:47:53 AM
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If Zhou really did this that would make him a opportunist not a con.

(If we assume that bitcoinica was a genuine operation, which it was, for a time imo, since it was profitable and sound)

Good point and I agree. I don't believe for a moment that he  started his venture to steal people's money.

If it was him, I believe it was his damaged ego that set him into con motion when the Consultancy was included
in the operation.
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July 27, 2012, 06:45:04 AM
 #6

I believe bitcoinica ran within its liquid means initially but as soon as they changed their service to include interest rates to encourage to actually leave BTC and USD on bitcoinica which would enable them to remain more liquid while pulling out more profit than they should.

At that point any bank run would crush bitcoinica and this is why I believe it all turned into one big scam before a bankrun could occur that would 100% confirm that liquidity of funds didnt actually exist and so would have marked Zhou Tong immediately as a scammer thus its much more convenient to have a bunch of failures to happen which would direct liquidity problems away from bitcoinica and only directed to so-called hacks occurring due to outragious security issues.

Basicly, they needed interest holders to keep BTC/USD on bitcoinica in order to fullfill their obligations to actual traders withdrawals.

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July 27, 2012, 08:35:50 AM
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(If we assume that bitcoinica was a genuine operation, which it was, for a time imo, since it was profitable and sound)

How do you know?

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July 27, 2012, 08:53:11 AM
 #8

(If we assume that bitcoinica was a genuine operation, which it was, for a time imo, since it was profitable and sound)

How do you know?



I don't that is just my opinion.

I haven't checked out the math behind the concept myself at the time, I mean it could have been fallacious. I just consider it unlikely, but who knows...
I mainly follow the whole thing for dramatainment, not for the 9 BTC they owe me. Other people on the other hand don't they are genuinely concerned about it.
They will probably give you a concrete answer.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they keep laughing, then they start choking on their laughter, and then they go and catch their breath. Then they start laughing even more.
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July 27, 2012, 09:03:07 AM
 #9

They will probably give you a concrete answer.

Yeah I'm hoping for Tihan to answer: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=95738.msg1056708#msg1056708

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July 27, 2012, 09:25:05 AM
 #10

If Zhou really did this that would make him a opportunist not a con.

(If we assume that bitcoinica was a genuine operation, which it was, for a time imo, since it was profitable and sound)
He claimed it was both profitable and sound. From the leaked memos, it seems the new operators never managed to make the levels of profits that Zhoutong claimed he was making.

Unrelatedly, the article makes a really good point here:
Quote
The good news is that most con men get caught because they are so good at convincing people of mistruths that they con themselves into believing they won’t get caught. Over-confidence is what traps most of them. They over-reach their skills or underestimate the victim. They get sloppy or lazy, making bad assumptions after some successes. Conversely, they may become too ambitious, have too many “irons in the fire,” and trip themselves up. Some scams collapse under the weight of too many lies or are exposed when a third party identifies the pattern. Others crack wide open when a victim realizes that he’s been rooked and contacts authorities to complain.

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July 27, 2012, 09:29:29 AM
 #11

Quote
It's almost like it's in a psychologist's business interest to promote the idea of an "elusive phantom" lurking around every corner, who people will be extremely fearful of because they sound so realistic.

Exactly this.  Why trust someone who is just trying to make money off your fears and a false promise of feeling better when there are better, more real solutions out there?


"Money is like manure: Spread around, it helps things grow. Piled up in one place, it just stinks."
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July 27, 2012, 10:25:24 AM
 #12

That's a reasonable outline, someone posted a message from Tihan questioning whether the earnings Zhou reported when selling Bitcoinica were real.

I believe bitcoinica ran within its liquid means initially but as soon as they changed their service to include interest rates to encourage to actually leave BTC and USD on bitcoinica which would enable them to remain more liquid while pulling out more profit than they should.

At that point any bank run would crush bitcoinica and this is why I believe it all turned into one big scam before a bankrun could occur that would 100% confirm that liquidity of funds didnt actually exist and so would have marked Zhou Tong immediately as a scammer thus its much more convenient to have a bunch of failures to happen which would direct liquidity problems away from bitcoinica and only directed to so-called hacks occurring due to outragious security issues.

Basicly, they needed interest holders to keep BTC/USD on bitcoinica in order to fullfill their obligations to actual traders withdrawals.
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July 27, 2012, 01:04:39 PM
 #13

We've all seen the evidence that Zhou Tong is guilty.  Even he admitted the evidence was correct, because he tried to deflect it to a "mysterious friend".

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July 27, 2012, 01:09:01 PM
 #14

I'd like to believe that Zhou Tong is innocent. However, having someone who clearly believes in magic and posting in favour of Zhou is making this belief very difficult for me. Rarity, can you refract your support for Zhou, please? It does more harm than good.

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July 27, 2012, 03:37:03 PM
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Psychology is a barbaric and corrupt practice

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July 27, 2012, 03:37:22 PM
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they're just words, folks.
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July 27, 2012, 04:08:54 PM
 #17

Quote from: Rarity
Why trust someone who is just trying to make money off your fears and a false promise of feeling better when there are better, more real solutions out there?

Quote from: Rarity
A well regulated market with the government looking over our shoulder to keep everybody in line is the only way to solve this scamming issue.

LOL 

 Roll Eyes

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July 27, 2012, 04:17:31 PM
 #18

Quote from: Rarity
Why trust someone who is just trying to make money off your fears and a false promise of feeling better when there are better, more real solutions out there?

Quote from: Rarity
A well regulated market with the government looking over our shoulder to keep everybody in line is the only way to solve this scamming issue.

LOL 

 Roll Eyes

Don't bother with this one. Comes to a forum about a decentralized, pseudonymous currency and suggests that the government taking full control of the block chain and issuing addresses to it's subjects as the best use case scenario.

I'm sorry, since when has the government been a bad thing to the majority of Bitcoin users? Bitcoin is not exempt from government regulation.
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July 27, 2012, 05:04:19 PM
 #19

As angry as I am at Zhou for not making proper database backups, I think he is being framed.

The question I have is why Zhou would state that the suspect who supposedly admitted guilt, Chen Jianhai, is a multi-millionaire. What evidence or reason to believe does Zhou have that Chen is a millionaire if he has never met Chen in person? And what type of "webshop" did Chen operate where Zhou used his stevejobs email address and password? How can he confirm that Chen Jianhai is his actual identity?

What's even more curious is who is Zhou's "friend" with the tens of thousands of LR. The timing of Zhou's sales of LR is extremely unfortunate, seems very possible that Zhou could be unwittingly (I agree with others, zhou is probably not that stupid if he were the thief) selling the stolen BTC for this "friend". Zhou really let himself be set-up in offering to do this "favor"...


Quote from the article in the OP
Quote
The good news is that most con men get caught because they are so good at convincing people of mistruths that they con themselves into believing they won’t get caught. Over-confidence is what traps most of them. They over-reach their skills or underestimate the victim. They get sloppy or lazy, making bad assumptions after some successes. Conversely, they may become too ambitious, have too many “irons in the fire,” and trip themselves up. Some scams collapse under the weight of too many lies or are exposed when a third party identifies the pattern. Others crack wide open when a victim realizes that he’s been rooked and contacts authorities to complain.
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July 27, 2012, 09:06:46 PM
 #20

So, if I'm all caught up on everything, the community is currently trying to decide which scenario is more likely?

1. The guy who has all of the tools, knowledge and access required to steal the bitcoins did it.

2. Actually, it was a non-english speaking Chinese man who makes a livelyhood of credit card fraud that had a "business" conversation with him online several years ago, in which he revealed that he was a millionaire, but also not very technically inclined. The subject of bitcoin came up in their discussions, and the Chinese millionaire not having heard of it, took this information to one of his more technical associates, who figured it all out for him, commited the crimes, and gave him all the money (he's very loyal). Afterward, he explained every step of what he did to the Chinese millionaire, in case his associate from long ago who's email account he used for the crime would call him up asking about it, he would be able to provide all of the details if pressured with the threat of "people on the internet are looking into this". As someone who makes millions in the credit card fraud industry, this is something that he is genuinely unprepared for.

Am I missing something?
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