Psychological Musings: The Mysterious Mentality of Scammers and Deceivers
Once again, we got one of "those calls" from someone purporting to be with "Microsoft Security" to let us know that our "computers had been compromised and the passwords stolen, and they needed to perform a remote reset."
X marks the spot for gullible idiots?
Aside from "Bill" — whose accent sounded more like Mumbai than the Midwest — having only a rudimentary command of English, the whole thing is just so... bizarre.
And it made me sit back and ponder exactly what underlies this sort of thing.
Are there actually little kids out there who answer "I want to grow up and rip people off!" rather than "I wanna be an astronaut!" when asked by the adults around them what they want to do with their lives?
Are there actually people out there with a mindset that wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and declare "I wonder how many people I can cheat today?!?" before starting their work day?
What goes on, inside the heads of these people?
I puzzled it for a bit and had a momentary lapse into compassion for those who are so desperate they resort to stealing for survival.
Not sure I buy it, though. I was broke and homeless once, and slept on a bench in a park for almost four months and lived off discarded food from the grocery store dumpster. As miserable as that experience was, it did not make me feel inclined to start scamming and thieving.
Where does the transition happen (if there IS one), that moves someone from "I'm gonna MAKE mine in the world!" to "I'm gonna TAKE yours from you!"
Maybe this has simply always been part of the human condition, and we're just more aware of it in the technological/Internet age because it's so obviously in our faces all the time. When you read Dickens and other writers of that era, it seems like pickpockets were everywhere.
I guess the thing that baffles me most is that socio-economics isn't always an accurate indicator. I know plenty of close to penniless people who'd not resort to scamming and stealing, and I have encountered more than a few plentifully well off people who'd not hesitate for a moment to empty the cash out of a found wallet before returning it.
My ex wasn't exactly a thief, but she did have this strange and disturbing approach to life that she was somehow "owed" having whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted. And if someone called her on something sketchy, she had zero compunction about orchestrating someone else to take the fall. Her thing was mostly what I'd all "theft by open manipulation."
I did mention this was my EX, right?
I did ask her a few times, and she always had this rather blank expression on her face, like she didn't understand the question... "Well... why NOT?" she might reply, and it was as if the place inside where people have a sense of right, wrong, morality and values simply didn't exist.
Perhaps there's just an absence of the part of the human psyche that recognizes that "my actions has an impact on other people."
Maybe "Bill from Mumbai" does not view what he's doing in any different light than I view selling stuff on eBay, or the butcher at my local market views cutting a side of beef.
Of course, there are those who argue that only this thing called "civilization" stands between us and an outright all-in brawl over resources. "It's human nature," they say. I also don't buy that, because isolated indigenous peoples don't tend to have much of a scamming and thievery problem.
It's pretty much all a mystery, to me!
Thanks for reading, and be careful out there! The world is full of scammers, and they are coming for you!
How about YOU? What do YOU think goes on inside the minds of scammers and thieves... if anything? Have you encountered any creative scam attempts, recently? Comments, feedback and other interaction is invited and welcomed! Because — after all — SOCIAL content is about interacting, right? Leave a comment — share your experiences — be part of the conversation!
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Created at 20210310 14:55 PST
...I was broke and homeless once, and slept on a bench in a park for almost four months and lived off discarded food from the grocery store dumpster. As miserable as that experience was, it did not make me feel inclined to start scamming and thieving.
been there to - and same for me. ...Although I did shoplift some food to eat (but even then , would only pick large chain supermarkets - to help rationlize it...lol).
It's the 4%.
Sociopaths and psychopaths (a v. loose term).
With the rise of new technology and less social interaction, the narcissistic traits are being promoted - which is worrying.
Healthy narcissism can easily be turned into more malignant narcissism without any social boundaries - boundaries that were in place previously, through social cohesion..
More importantly - did they fix your windows problem, once you'd given them remote access?
I will never judge someone who shoplifts food that they need. I read that the #1 thing being shoplifted during the pandemic is BABY FORMULA. That's a condemnation of our society, not the people shoplifting. If we can't even keep INFANTS fed, our society is broken.
...judge away - I don't mind! lol
My reasons were totally self inflicted.
I guess they seem more common than 4%, but that's probably due to the fact that they are capable of causing more than 4% of the frustrations and headshakes of the world!
Yeah, the narcissism gets a bit trying at times... everybody's being trained to think they are the center of the Universe, and not in a healthy way, but in that spoiled petulant child way.
Yes, my Windoze are fantastic... I never have to worry about balancing my checkbook ever again, and can rest safely at night knowing that the balance will always reset to zero on a regular basis... and I have a nice new piece of lakefront property somewhere near the Atacama Desert... thanks for asking!
Ah, c'mon! - the property is a total scam!
Good windowz and a guaranteed balance in the bank every morning - now that's excellent news.
Actually, I have some very good property, just south of Argentina, with guaranteed hot weather, 386 days year, if you're interested.
I just need remote access to your comp for a while, and'll drop the property title deeds rights onto your hard drive.
These scammers and thieves are identical to politicians except for the scale of their operation.
Indeed. There is an uncomfortable similarity between the two...
You are so right in that some people can be totally down and out, and never ever try to scam people, and many who have plenty enough already do it with no qualms.
I saw a story recently during the winter storm in Texas, where people had no power or water, and this convenience store had had bottled water stacked on the sidewalk outside their store. People who needed it came and took it while the store was closed - but they PAID for it by sliding money through the door! They even paid more than it would have cost had the store been open! They were desperate and needed water, and they could have very understandably just taken it, but they didn't. I saw that and said, "See how honest most people are??!" And then there are the Texas electric companies who have no qualms about charging people thousands of dollars for their crappy service during that storm...
There are definitely good people in the world, too... and I am grateful for that!
Where I grew up in Denmark was a somewhat semi-rural "bedroom community" of Copenhagen, and the neighboring farmer's daughters always had their fresh eggs and produce stand up during the summer and it was almost exclusively on the honors system. And they pretty much never lost on doing so, and in many cases people would "round up" because they made food available outside business hours at a time when "closing laws" in Denmark meant that by 5:30 EVERYTHING was closed.
Sadly, though, it seems like more and more people feel entitled to have whatever they want, whenever they want.
Holy cow, I can't imagine 5:30 being normal closing time!! I'm from NJ originally so "the city" was NYC, and I was used to lots of things being open all hours. When I first moved to Colorado I was like "What?!! The grocery store closes?!"
I probably get at least 10 robocalls/scammers every day, that is not counting the ones who call when I am not home.
While it is irritating, I also wonder who these people are that feel righteous enough to try to scam anybody. It goes right up there with my household goods. I have moved 23 times, due to work and almost always, there will be things missing. I used to be gutting, wondering how anyone could steal something that wasn't theirs and they didn't earn it. It truly disgusted me thinking that they would take something that I valued emotionally and would end up in a trash heap or a pawn shop.
I am with you on this. I still think I might go to hell for stealing, I am sure Sister Brendan Marie would be proud that she scared the Bejesus out of me and would rather starve than steal.
TEN a day? That's some pretty stout traffic you've got there!
Nice reminder about the thieving of moving companies... we moved all the time when I was young, and we also "lost" things with every move. It was just really distressing and... invasive. My childhood stamp collection even vanished during a move when I was about 15.
Maybe we just have a greater respect for property rights or something.
Probably. Invasive is exactly how i described it on the missing reports.
Hi @cuddlekitten, cool cat today, I see!
I think for some it is a game in many ways, that they scammed you so therefore they outwitted you perhaps.
Other though I think fall into the category of your ex with the simple idea of "why not"
It boggles my mind how much effort some will go through to exploit instead of earn honestly. Crazy.
That last part about the effort always blows my mind... I see some of these things where reasonably intelligent people will go to almost endless lengths to accomplish something by DIShonest means... and it takes three times longer and results in half the rewards.
The only thing I can think is that they have some sort of personal axe to grind concerning "sticking it to the system."