2024 State of Vishing Report

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fear feeds the scammers

Phobias are irrational fears experienced by some people when they are exposed to certain situations or objects. Unlike mental health experts, scammers want you to become numb so they can take advantage of you more easily.

Mental Health Professionals

Mental health professionals sometimes employ the method of systematic desensitization, where a person is exposed to their fears until the fear reaction is diminished.  The theory behind this treatment is that by consistently exposing a client to the source of their anxiety in a controlled and therapeutic environment, the fear response will weaken over time, allowing one to relax and react without anxiety. This therapeutic treatment is based on the very real principle that consistent exposure to any stimuli will eventually cease to have the same physiological or psychological impact on the recipient. In these instances, the act of desensitization is necessary and useful; but in our daily lives, it’s prudent to consider the numbing effect that our routines and technology can have on us.


Online scammers are often able to take advantage of us because we get comfortable behind our computers while we open our emails, visit websites, and exist on the web. Phishing emails often contain misspellings and grammatical errors that trusted websites and businesses clearly would not allow in genuine mailings. Regardless, people that know better end up falling prey to phishing emails every day.

Thieves operating over the telephone are increasingly using spoofing to take advantage of our trust in Caller ID. By disguising their own phone numbers as official police or government numbers, crooks are able to intimidate some of their victims more effectively because it doesn’t register with some that the caller ID could be wrong.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is a concept we’ve stressed for quite some time. Technology cannot keep you safe. It’s great to have antivirus software, firewalls, and other technology to help evade the effects of an attack. But if we fail to take that last step and get out of our comfort zone, we may find ourselves victims of people who simply understood that most people probably take most things at face value.  Learn to think critically. Keep educated. That’s what will keep you safe.

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