The Eternal Business of Scams

Author: PeopleFinders on May 18th, 2020
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Scams seem to be everywhere: the FTC constantly releases new information about the latest scams, the FBI sends out alerts regarding newly discovered scams, and most news sources try to keep people up-to-date on scams in general. However, you may not have considered scams on a more meta level.

How did scams start? Why are they so popular? Here’s everything you need to know about where scams came from, and where they could be going:

1. Scams Have Been Around Forever

You may think of scams as somewhat of a new trick: after all, the internet and telephone are what help these scammers proliferate, right? In fact, the first recorded financial scam dates all the way back to the year 300 B.C. in Greece, when a man attempted to collect on a false insurance claim. That doesn’t even count other scams that likely happened back in the day that no one wrote down for posterity.

People play on loopholes and humans’ trusting nature to try and scam others. That’s as true now as it was back in the year 300 B.C. Although it may seem strange to look at previous scams and see them seemingly replicated in today’s world, it’s interesting to understand how these scams have grown and changed over the years.

2. Scams Come From All Over

You aren’t more likely to fall victim to a scam just because you live in a specific area or just because you have a strong email spam filter. Every country deals with scams in some form or another, even though they’re expressly illegal in most countries.

While scams have existed for centuries, it’s true that modern technology has made it easier than ever for scammers to make them a reality. It’s become quite easy to spread a scam using a variety of different techniques. A scammer can get in touch with you via phone, email, social media, physical mail and much more. That’s why it’s so important to stay on your guard at all times.

3. Anyone Can Be Taken In

There isn’t just one type of person who’s more likely to fall victim to scams. It’s true that scammers tend to target those who are more trusting and elderly people, but anyone can fall victim to a scam. Even very knowledgeable people that understand a lot about scams on paper can find themselves taken in by a very skilled con man.

Remember, if you’re taken in by a scam, it’s not a testament to your gullibility or lack of intelligence. It’s a testament to these scammers’ skill in representing themselves as something they’re not. That’s why you need to approach it with high-quality tools and lots of knowledge.

4. Scams Aren’t Likely to Ever Go Away

Why are there so many scams in the first place? The simple answer is greed. It’s often easier for people to make money scamming people rather than making money legitimately. Plus, many scams have a very high return on investment. Even with a scam worth only a few hundred dollars, a scammer only has to convert about one person per day to make it worth their time.

In 2017, Americans lost around $9.5 billion overall to scams. Individual victims lost $430 each on average, an increase of over 50% from 2015. Such numbers are tantalizing to scammers. They’re the numbers that make scammers keep going, attempting to make more money off each mark.

5. You Can Keep Yourself Safe

If you have the right tools, it’s much easier for you to try to avoid and deal with scams. Your first step when it comes to scams? Knowledge. Having more information makes it less likely you’ll find yourself embroiled in a scam.

By using a site like PeopleFinders, you don’t have to just hope you can determine a scam once you’re on the phone with a scammer. You can perform a reverse phone lookup to try and see who actually owns the number that’s calling before you even pick up the phone. You may also be able to verify someone’s information, starting with a people search. When you have tools like these at your disposal, you can try to take your power back from scammers.


Information will always be your greatest defense against scams. When you want to stay up-to-date on the newest scams, and learn more about how to handle yourself in today’s world, read the PeopleFinders blog to gain the knowledge you need.

Image attribution: Андрей Яланский –

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Categorized in: Scams