Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Hi, I'm a highly qualified professional.

  • If you're suffering from sleepiness, awakeness, over eating, under eating, or a case of the shaky bones, well then, I fully endorse this brand new miraculous supplement I am in no way affiliated with.

  • Trust me.

  • Why not? Right?

  • If this highly accredited person signs off, it must be trustworthy.

  • Sometimes these people are real experts with our collective best interests in mind.

  • But other times, a lab coat is just a prop to gain our trust.

  • So what is it about lab coats, and uniforms in general, that might lure us into a trap?

  • Sanjay is hard at work when an email marked urgent steals his attention.

  • His stomach drops.

  • The IRS claims he owes back taxes and must pay immediately.

  • Sanjay flushes and tilts his laptop screen so his coworkers won't see this and think he's irresponsible, or worse a criminal.

  • Fortunately, the fee is just a few hundred dollars, and he follows the instructions in the email and wires the money from his bank.

  • Relieved, Sanjay takes his lunch break, blushing from this near catastrophe.

  • That was a close one.

  • According to a 2021 study, nearly one in four people find it hard to say no to a request from a stranger because they don't want to be rude.

  • Fraudsters often pose as polite, respectable figures from reputable places.

  • This gives them a sense of legitimacy that causes the target to lower their guard.

  • We want to trust people, and that's what makes scams so effective in conning you out of your money.

  • Trying to trick us into making the easy decision they want us to make.

  • Whether that easy decision is to be afraid, or the easy decision is to give them money because we'll get greater returns in the long run.

  • A study from 2020 showed that when given an instruction, the responsibility we feel for our own actions is lowered.

  • In other words, if someone is telling us to do something, we become more passive.

  • But do people just obey any orders given by anyone?

  • Does dressing like a professional or sending an email from a professional looking account really make a difference?

  • According to a phenomenon known as the lab coat effect, it does.

  • What the scammers are good about is managing up, sort of what kind of lab coat to what kinds of victim.

  • You know, certain dress, certain political views, they all have done some background research.

  • Maria is enjoying a book on a lazy Saturday morning.

  • The ring of her doorbell pulls her from her fantasy novel and back into her real life, and her real surroundings.

  • She heads downstairs, curious who it could be.

  • She opens the door to a man with a work suit, hard hat, and clipboard.

  • This seems serious.

  • He's a housing contractor working a job in the area and he noticed some signs of structural damage at her residence.

  • A new homeowner, Maria's already overwhelmed by the unending stream of upkeep.

  • She's relieved to have the keen insight of a professional.

  • The contractor assures her that all she has to do is pay his reasonable fee now, and he'll get to work tomorrow.

  • Fixing this now means avoiding greater future costs.

  • Maria nods, grabs her mobile phone, and sends the payment with a few taps.

  • Talking to people who seem like an authority can cloud our normal decision-making skills.

  • Scammers take advantage of this dynamic with many different types of scams, including phishing scams, door to door scams, IRS scams, and utility scams.

  • And it's profitable.

  • According to the Federal Trade Commission, they received almost 5,000 complaints of utility scams in 2020, and $3.5 million scammed away.

  • So if our brains follow authority, how do we bolster our defenses against scammers in sheep's clothing?

  • The first thing to do is learn what a scam looks like.

  • If they're asking you to pay via gift cards and they want the gift cards to solve a problem, it's probably a scam.

  • If you are not expecting contact from the utility company, then hang up the phone, don't respond to the email.

  • Actually contact the company directly through a known good phone number.

  • Look it up on your bill.

  • At the end of the day, we are all subject to the lab coat effect.

  • But by taking a moment to slow down and verify the information, we can better protect ourselves against this type of scam.

  • And most importantly, Zelle would like to remind you to only send money to those you know and trust.

Hi, I'm a highly qualified professional.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

A1 US Vox narrator lab coat sanjay maria

What Does a White Lab Coat Have to Do With Online Fraud? [Advertiser Content From Zelle®]

  • 3819 166
    Jeff Chiao posted on 2022/03/25
Video vocabulary