"I value relationships, and I'm willing to give a little extra to those with whom I have them. While I don't know Bender personally, I've chatted with him on this site, I've chatted with him via email, and I've purchased from him in the past. All of those communications have been positive experiences. To me, this means something."
I am sure many very smart folks said the same thing about Bernie Madoff, Allen Stanford, et all. There is a reason they are called "confidence men."