I just read an amazing article on scams with some insight on how to avoid scams of all types. I wonder how much of the current financial debacle could have been avoided by using these tools. Were we, as society, taken in by any of these tricks?
Just at a glance it seems that we were. Take these two instances as an example:
Appeals to trust and authority
Obviously, the fund managers know something we don't. These companies must be sound if they are investing in them.
Everyone is trying to get rich as quickly as possible. Everyone is buying housing beyond their means at the behest of unscrupulous mortgage companies who appeal to Trust and authority (see above).
You might miss out! Take advantage of this limited time offer now.
Obviously the above examples are sweeping generalizations but it is interesting to see how these principles can be applied to our current financial woes.
I tend to blow off 'amazing' offers without much consideration of the actual offer. I'm not sure why this is but it works for me.