Scam Me If You Can

» Site Navigation
Home Page The Villages Maps The Villages Activities The Villages Clubs The Villages Book Healthcare Rentals Real Estate Section Classified Section The Villages Directory Home Improvement Site Guidelines Advertising Info Register Now Video Tutorials Frequently Asked Questions
» Newsletter Signup
» Premium Tower
» Advertisements
» Trending News
» Tower Sponsors




















» Premium Sponsors
» Banner Sponsors
» Advertisements
Closed Thread
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 12-28-2019, 11:28 AM
Boomer Boomer is offline
Soaring Parsley
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 4,087
Thanks: 1
Thanked 644 Times in 173 Posts
Default Scam Me If You Can

I just ordered a book Scam Me If You Can by Frank Abagnale.

The 2002 movie Catch Me If You Can is about Abagnale’s life as a con man, an imposter. (I have no idea if Abagnale looks anything like Leonardo DiCaprio, but I am certain he knows his way around scams.)

I have known of highly intelligent people who have been taken in by scams. I have done a little research on how this can possibly happen. That is how I learned about the amygdala. I had never heard of the amygdala before — sounded to me like a name millennials might give their baby. (Please don’t take that last part literally. I like millennials and get along just fine with the ones I know. I guess that makes me an OK Boomer - no comma.)

I digress — so anyway, the amygdala is the part of the brain that perceives emotions, like fear, anger, sadness. Tapping into those emotions can be a highly effective tool for scammers. I don’t know if Abagnale talks about the amygdala or not because the book has not arrived yet. But tapping into emotion is definitely the way the game is played and scammers are masters at doing just that, if given the chance. While reading various sources on the psychology of scams, I learned that sometimes those with an arrogant, know-it-all personality trait can be good targets for cons.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know this book is available. Looking at the reviews on Amazon can give you a little preview.

Meanwhile, don’t let your amygdala be compromised.

Last edited by Boomer; 12-28-2019 at 11:30 AM. Reason: Typo
  #2  
Old 12-28-2019, 12:44 PM
Dan9871 Dan9871 is offline
Veteran member
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 864
Thanks: 5
Thanked 84 Times in 52 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomer View Post
That is how I learned about the amygdala. I had never heard of the amygdala before .
Alex Honnold, the free climber in "Free Solo" has an amygdala that apparently has no response to fearful situations whatsoever.

Legendary Rock Climber Alex Honnold Gets Put Into an MRI, and the Results Are Surprising
  #3  
Old 12-28-2019, 07:24 PM
Boomer Boomer is offline
Soaring Parsley
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 4,087
Thanks: 1
Thanked 644 Times in 173 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan9871 View Post
Alex Honnold, the free climber in "Free Solo" has an amygdala that apparently has no response to fearful situations whatsoever.

Legendary Rock Climber Alex Honnold Gets Put Into an MRI, and the Results Are Surprising

Thanks. That is an interesting article.

The longtime debating of Nature/Nurture certainly weighs extra heavily on the side of Nature with this guy. The science showed that clearly.

I guess each of us has built-in wiring that seems to fall into different categories, sort of on a spectrum of some kind. Nurture, of course, is a factor but Nature seems to be hard-wired in the brain.

Regarding the amygdala, I have watched some salespeople in action and sometimes have observed the “creating a sense of urgency” routine. I think that can tap into the amygdala, too.

My book should arrive in a few days. I am curious to see if the author gets into the neuroscience of scamming.

For now, I think Mr. Boomer and I are going to see if we can find the movie Catch Me If You Can to revisit the story of Abagnale’s younger days — before he turned his — er, talents to helping people learn how to watch out for people like him.

Last edited by Boomer; 01-08-2020 at 07:02 AM.
  #4  
Old 12-28-2019, 07:49 PM
oldtimes oldtimes is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 241
Thanks: 15
Thanked 335 Times in 119 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomer View Post

Regarding the amygdala, I have watched some salespeople in action and sometimes have observed the “creating a sense of urgency” routine. I think that can tap into the amygdala, too.
We went to a presentation on very over priced fire alarms where the incredibly charismatic host used scare tactics and urgency as a very successful sales tool.

Last edited by oldtimes; 12-28-2019 at 07:54 PM. Reason: Spelling
  #5  
Old 12-29-2019, 04:20 AM
jebartle's Avatar
jebartle jebartle is online now
Sage
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: LaZamora Village
Posts: 4,052
Thanks: 91
Thanked 322 Times in 134 Posts
Default

Dare I say, village realtors use urgency in selling homes sometimes.
  #6  
Old 12-29-2019, 06:47 AM
ColdNoMore ColdNoMore is offline
Sage
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Between 466 & 466A
Posts: 10,516
Thanks: 82
Thanked 1,447 Times in 630 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jebartle View Post
Dare I say, village realtors use urgency in selling homes sometimes.
Yep...and that is far from the only situation where it is used.

Inciting and preying on a fear, has always been the single easiest manipulation...to make people do what you want them to do.

It's sad that it works so well and that so many otherwise "normal" folks...fall for it.

The antidote is primarily research...and relying on actual facts.

  #7  
Old 12-29-2019, 09:17 AM
Boomer Boomer is offline
Soaring Parsley
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 4,087
Thanks: 1
Thanked 644 Times in 173 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtimes View Post
We went to a presentation on very over priced fire alarms where the incredibly charismatic host used scare tactics and urgency as a very successful sales tool.
Your use of the word ‘charismatic’ is right on target — both figuratively and literally. In the days before cybercrime, a con man — or a con woman — had to work the intended victim by being quite charming in-person.

There is still a lot of in-person scamming around, too. I can get downright preachy on the topic of how too many women say, “Oh, I don’t know anything about our investments or savings. My husband takes care of all that.” Hearing that can launch me into a sort of sermon about how all wives need to get a handle on what and why and where the nest egg is — if they don’t already know because they decided to abdicate all that responsibility. (duh)

I know of at least two situations where a con man with a big smile and a long line of BS moved in on a widow who would have been financially set for life — until the scammer took almost everything. In one case, she mortgaged a paid-for house to set him up in “business.” (I know this happens through cybercrime, too, but the original scumballs are still around, working their scam.)

Last night, Mr. Boomer and I watched the movie Catch Me If You Can. I realize things were, no doubt, Hollywoodized but the facts remain that though Frank Abagnale’s forte was his expertise in forgery, he also had to have been fantastically charismatic. Now, he uses his gifts for good and makes a whole lot of legit money doing so. I am looking forward to reading Scam Me If You Can.

Last edited by Boomer; 02-07-2020 at 09:08 PM. Reason: Typ
  #8  
Old 12-30-2019, 09:12 AM
theruizs
Guest
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jebartle View Post
Dare I say, village realtors use urgency in selling homes sometimes.
Yeah, we were told by our TV realtor that TV would be built out in about 5 years and prices of resales would rise dramatically. That was in 2012. We really didn’t buy for that reason, but if he was telling others the same thing I am sure some did. Maybe he actually believed it.
  #9  
Old 12-30-2019, 09:13 AM
garrykolb garrykolb is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Briar Meadow
Posts: 13
Thanks: 4
Thanked 13 Times in 8 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomer View Post
I just ordered a book Scam Me If You Can by Frank Abagnale.

(I have no idea if Abagnale looks anything like Leonardo DiCaprio, but I am certain he knows his way around scams.)
Frank Abagnale gave a talk at my college - Michigan Tech - somewhere around 1981, give or take, and I can tell you that he in NO WAY looks like Leonardo DiCaprio! Casting Leo was a huge compliment to Frank. :-)

He was a fascinating speaker and told many of the stories that were later made into the movie, Catch Me If You Can.

If you ever get a chance to see Frank Abagnale speak, take advantage of the opportunity. He's funny and incredibly intelligent.
__________________
------------------------------------------------
Garry
Briar Meadow
  #10  
Old 12-30-2019, 03:21 PM
DonH57's Avatar
DonH57 DonH57 is offline
Sage
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Village Santo Domingo.
Posts: 3,312
Thanks: 0
Thanked 182 Times in 84 Posts
Send a message via AIM to DonH57
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by garrykolb View Post
Frank Abagnale gave a talk at my college - Michigan Tech - somewhere around 1981, give or take, and I can tell you that he in NO WAY looks like Leonardo DiCaprio! Casting Leo was a huge compliment to Frank. :-)

He was a fascinating speaker and told many of the stories that were later made into the movie, Catch Me If You Can.

If you ever get a chance to see Frank Abagnale speak, take advantage of the opportunity. He's funny and incredibly intelligent.
That was an interesting movie.
  #11  
Old 12-30-2019, 05:32 PM
Boomer Boomer is offline
Soaring Parsley
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 4,087
Thanks: 1
Thanked 644 Times in 173 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by garrykolb View Post
Frank Abagnale gave a talk at my college - Michigan Tech - somewhere around 1981, give or take, and I can tell you that he in NO WAY looks like Leonardo DiCaprio! Casting Leo was a huge compliment to Frank. :-)

He was a fascinating speaker and told many of the stories that were later made into the movie, Catch Me If You Can.

If you ever get a chance to see Frank Abagnale speak, take advantage of the opportunity. He's funny and incredibly intelligent.

Hey, maybe Abagnale got to choose who played his part in the movie. I bet he negotiated a heckuva good contract.

Abagnale’s Scam Me If You Can just arrived on my doorstep today. I think I am going to read it tonight. I flipped through it and saw it is well-indexed, cites sources, and lists resources that could be needed.

The introduction is titled, “Smart People Get Scammed.” That is followed by a T/F quiz designed to assess vulnerability.

The 14 chapters are organized under 5 rules:

Rule #1: Protect Your Identity
Rule #2: Secure Your Finances
Rule #3: Preserve Your Digital Presence
Rule #4: Safeguard Your Home and Hearth
Rule #5: Shelter Your Heart

The book cost me less than 20 bucks. Even though we might think we know a lot about scams, I am sure Abagnale knows a whole lot more.

Now, I am going to read all about it.
  #12  
Old 12-31-2019, 10:44 AM
BK001's Avatar
BK001 BK001 is offline
Platinum member
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Bay Ridge Brooklyn, NY, The Village of Lynnhaven
Posts: 1,874
Thanks: 83
Thanked 198 Times in 105 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomer View Post
. . .

Now, I am going to read all about it.
Can't wait for your considered review
__________________
A great attitude is a choice, not a disposition
  #13  
Old 01-03-2020, 09:23 PM
Boomer Boomer is offline
Soaring Parsley
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 4,087
Thanks: 1
Thanked 644 Times in 173 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BK001 View Post
Can't wait for your considered review
Hey, BK, here goes:

Even though we already know some of this stuff, I still think Abagnale's book, Scam Me If you Can, is definitely worth reading.

Earlier in this thread, I talked about the part of the brain called the amygdala being targeted by cons.

Abagnale does not use the word 'amygdala' and does not dig into neuroscience, but in the section of the book called "The Playbook Exposed," he writes the CliffsNotes version of the same thing, as follows:

Con men are well trained in the techniques to get targets "under the ether." Ether is a condition of trust and even infatuation with what is being presented. Getting a victim under the ether is crucial to all cons, no matter where or how they are perpetrated. This heightened emotional state makes it hard for the victim to think clearly or make rational decisions. To get these victims under the either, fraudsters hit their fear, panic, and urgency buttons.

Whatever the scam, the victim's emotions must be tapped into.

The chapter "Great Real Estate Ruses" covers various types like rental rip-offs, timeshare resales, home-repair, etc. At the end of that section, he has a list of things to watch out for when hiring work to be done on your home. How many times have we seen posts on TOTV where a homeowner has been taken advantage of.

It would take way too long to get into all the types of scams covered in this book. But there sure is a whole lot stuff that will make you shake your head -- and stop and think.

BTW, today we got two of those Social Security scam calls, one from Texas and one from NY. We did not answer, but one of them left a voicemail saying that the SS number had been used at the Texas border and we should call back immediately. The voice on the message was that of a somewhat older woman, sounding so kind and sincere. -- Yep. Uh-huh. Such concern she pretended to have -- while running that old try-to-tap-into-paranoia routine.

Anyway, Scam Me If You Can is a quick read and entertaining, as well as downright scary -- and scams are only going to get worse. Abagnale quotes some dollar figures that are absolutely horrifying. On and on it goes.
  #14  
Old 01-04-2020, 11:47 AM
Velvet's Avatar
Velvet Velvet is offline
Soaring Eagle member
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 2,420
Thanks: 383
Thanked 1,549 Times in 652 Posts
Default

Great book, Boomer, I ordered it on Kindle. Many great ideas in the book, I have only read the first part so far, which talks about washing checks, among other things. I write a lot of checks in TV, especially when I’m not here. I had no idea you can “wash” a check and write what you want on it, unless a person uses a gel pen, the gel actually embeds itself in the paper. I now have 4 new gel pens.
  #15  
Old 02-07-2020, 08:56 PM
Boomer Boomer is offline
Soaring Parsley
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 4,087
Thanks: 1
Thanked 644 Times in 173 Posts
Default But wait! There’s more!

I started this thread over a month ago when I was reading the book Scam Me If You Can. I just now decided to add to the info because I have been reading more about scams — and — wow — even more sad, scary scams out there.

As I wrote in an earlier post here, there is actually neuroscience behind how scams work the brain, going after emotional responses.

I just found info on 60 different kinds of scams. Who knew there could be so many. And now we have to be aware of the potential for 2020 Census scams.

Of course, I know there are people who get all in a tizz at any mention of AARP. But if you are among those, I am asking you to please not cut your nose off to spite your face, please give some thought and maybe some time to reading further:

To find a ton of info, go to aarp.org and find the menu, top left. Drop down and there you will find a section titled “Scams and Fraud.” Lots of stuff there and when you scroll all the way to the bottom, that’s where you will see the list of more versions of scams than you could ever imagine. If something on the list gets your attention, just tap on it to open an article with the details.

It is known that seniors are often targeted by scammers. Why not learn what you can because what you don’t know just might hurt you.
Closed Thread

Tags
amygdala, don’t, abagnale, book, scams

Thread Tools

You are viewing a new design of the TOTV site. Click here to revert to the old version.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:43 PM.