Title: Anatomy of a Scam
Length: 23 minutes
Planet Money Episode #680
What it is:
An explanation of how people get tricked out of their money by telephone scams.
Who should listen:
Anyone who has a loved one who might be vulnerable to a fraudulent salesman.
What stuck out to me:
Of course PlanetMoney tends to explain things in a fun and interesting way, but I was more captivated to learn about the individual they interviewed perpetrated these crimes and found liable.
The complexities of life are often confounding to me. It is easy to get caught up in the wrong thing, especially when you are young. I am not making excuses for Ryan Jensen, but we have all probably been close to walking down a dark path. Whether it is greed, pride, ignorance - it can be easy to set off on a course and much harder to change course later.
The sales techniques discussed in this podcast are pretty much universal. From a lemon of a used car to the perfect new home, the odds are that the salesman used at least some these techniques on you. As I see it, the difference does not lie in the product.
I think that the difference really lies in to what extent the salesperson is willing to prioritize their own best interests over yours. In these cases it is clear, their commission for a non-product. In the case of that lemon, it depends on whether you spent more than you could afford, whether you believe they had prior knowledge of the car’s problems, and more.