Cheat sheet



Scams are becoming a part of our everyday lives. We know its not just the 2 of us receiving at least 2-3 robocalls a day. Even some of our favorite TV moms have been caught scamming the college admissions boards to get their kids into top universities. And former rapper Tekashi 6ix 9ine confessed to adopting a gang persona to boost his record sales. No matter what the scam is we were wondering, WHY do we keep falling for it? Are there certain types of people that are more susceptible to scams? In this lab we get to the bottom of it.


Our expert in this lab is Dr. Lasana Harris . Dr. Harris is a Senior Lecturer in Experimental Psychology at University College London. He studies person perception or social perception which is all about how humans process each other.


Scams are new, but the way we are being scammed is always changing. Dr. Harris says the reason why is because we are having a lot less face-to-face interactions and more online/phone interactions. When you are face-to-face with someone who is trying to scam you, you have more evidence (facial and hormonal) that you can gather. When someone is nervous or anxious, they may have a show it in their eyes. Our bodies naturally produce specific hormones when we are stressed.

Another way to think about this is with the new dining trend , “Dining in the dark”. By removing the ability to see your food you lose out on some of the flavor and visual experience of the meal.

Dr. Lasana focuses on 5 motives for human behavior that can make them more susceptible to being scammed

  1. Belonging

  2. Understanding

  3. Control

  4. Self Enhancement

  5. Trustworthiness

The elderly are a specific segment of the population that is targeted by con artists because of their need to “belong” and because their brains have become less elastic with time .

But we are evolving. As the scams become more sophisticated and we learn and adapt. We know a lot about robocalls, phishing, catfishing, etc. so we are more equip to spot them. Our only question now is, what is the next form of scam that will emerge in the future??

Check out the “Sorry to This Man” artwork Zakiya mentioned!


you can read a transcript to the episode here!