At Wesley Financial Group, we understand that no one is immune to mistakes. Sometimes people fall for scams, and they fall hard. This includes timeshare scams. If you or someone you know is a victim of timeshare fraud, it’s not too late to seek help. Maybe we can all learn a little from an article written by Shane Snow that examines Maria Konnikova’s book on why those who are too proud fall for scams. The important thing to take away from the article is that everyone, even great leaders, gets duped. The telling thing is whether you decide to do something about it, or you just let it get worse.
Snow’s article starts, “Think you’re too smart or savvy to fall into somebody’s trap? You probably aren’t, and it’s that very belief that makes you vulnerable. In her new book, The Confidence Game, psychology writer Maria Konnikova explores why we fall for scams and schemes. Victims of cons, she argues, aren’t just the foolish and the ignorant. They’re often regular people who happen to be desperate or emotionally compromised by their circumstances. For leaders, who largely pride themselves on being rational, strategic thinkers, the deception Konnikova’s research warns us about begins with that very emotion: pride.” (Snow, 2016).
Next, Snow explores Konnikova’s book, “In The Confidence Game, Konnikova tells the story of one of the world’s greatest con artists, Fred Demara, a man who impersonated everything from priests to businessmen. He even once posed as a trauma surgeon on a Canadian destroyer during the Korean War—and performed surgeries using a manual he convinced a real doctor to write for him. In fact, Demara commissioned a biography to be written about him and then stole the identity of the person writing it. But things got even weirder: The biographer went on to spend years defending Demara! The very people whom Demara deceived went to bat for him, over and over again. In large part, this was due to their unwillingness to admit that they’d been conned—a tendency Demara wasted no time taking advantage of…As the Arbinger Institute writes in Leadership and Self-Deception, “Self-deception obscures the truth about ourselves, corrupts our view of others and our circumstances, and inhibits our ability to make wise and helpful decisions.”
Leaders who get fooled are the ones who first manage to fool themselves.” (Snow, 2016). Snow’s exploration of Konnikova’s description of Demara emphasizes to us that anyone can be taken advantage of, no matter how crazy the circumstances may be. The important thing is coming forward to do something about the issue, rather than avoiding it. If you are the victim of timeshare fraud, come to us for help at Wesley Financial Group. Scam artists in the timeshare industry are nothing new to us. We can help you cancel your timeshare contract. You just need to take the first step and contact us.
Benjamin Franklin Leads by Example
Snow continues, “Pride, like most emotions, is part of human nature. But because it’s often treated as a favorable trait (taking pride in your work, etc.), it opens us up to being conned—first by ourselves, followed by other people. So how can we combat these tendencies as leaders? Admit you might be wrong.” (Snow, 2016). If you have been duped in a timeshare, then you are not alone. Come to us for help at Wesley Financial Group. Scam artists shouldn’t win. No matter how you were duped, it is likely that we have heard a story like yours before. Don’t be embarrassed to reach out to us for help at Wesley Financial Group. Scams in the timeshare industry are nothing new to us. We’ve seen and heard a lot. The hardest part may be letting yourself reach out for help. If you’re having second thoughts, consider what Snow shows us about Benjamin Franklin.
Snow then examines Benjamin Franklin, and Franklin’s ability to admit error. Snow states, “In his famous autobiography, Benjamin Franklin writes of his decision to start admitting that he could be wrong when he put forth arguments. He said that by doing that, and by hearing people out when he disagreed with them rather than jumping in with his own point of view, he reduced his fear of being wrong:
I made it a rule to forbear all direct contradictions to the sentiments of others and all positive assertion of my own. I even forbade myself the use of every word or expression in the language that imported a fixed opinion, such as “certainly,” “undoubtedly,” etc. I adopted instead of them “I conceive,” “I apprehend,” or “I imagine” a thing to be so or so; or “so it appears to me at present.” (Snow, 2016).
Snow continues with Franklin statement:
”When another asserted something that I thought an error, I denied myself the pleasure of contradicting him abruptly, and of showing him immediately some absurdity in his proposition. In answering, I began by observing that in certain cases or circumstances his opinion would be right, but in the present case there appeared or seemed [sic] to me some difference, etc. I soon found the advantage of this change in my manner; the conversations I engaged in went on more pleasantly. The modest way in which I proposed my opinions procured them a readier reception and less contradiction. I had less mortification when I was found to be in the wrong, and I more easily prevailed with others to give up their mistakes and join with me when I happened to be in the right.”
Snow claims, “This strategy basically made Franklin less prideful. Based on Konnikova’s research, it’s reasonable to assume that he was fooled less—by himself and others—because of it. Be willing to change your mind completely. Our motivation to maintain a good reputation opens us up to being conned. Writes Konnikova, “Even after, despite our best efforts at self-delusion, it becomes apparent that we’ve been taken for a ride . . . our reputational motivation will be strong enough to keep us quiet.” (Snow, 2016). Just because you may have been duped in a timeshare, it doesn’t reflect on who you are as a person. Reach out to us at Wesley Financial Group. Scam artists and their tricks can take a toll on people. You shouldn’t think that falling for timeshare fraud is something to try to deal with alone. We have the tools to help you at Wesley Financial Group. Scam artist shouldn’t win.
Snow discusses other present-day leaders, but concludes, “Leaders who are willing to change positions in light of new information—regardless of the social consequences—are less likely to fall into the pride trap. As the Arbinger Institute writes, “Self-deception . . . blinds us to the true causes of problems, and once we’re blind, all the ‘solutions’ we can think of will actually make matters worse.” There may be short-term political ramifications to admitting our errors, but the job of a good leader is to persuade people to do the right thing. To do that, we need confidence—not to fall for it.” (Snow, 2016).
With Our Help at Wesley Financial Group, Scam Artists Won’t Win
Come to us for assistance at Wesley Financial Group. Scam artists shouldn’t win, and they won’t win when you come to us for help. If you’ve been taken advantage of by a timeshare company, we can help you beat timeshare fraud. We can help you cancel your timeshare contract. Find time in your schedule today to reach out to us at Wesley Financial Group. Together, let’s beat timeshare fraud for good.
Snow, Shane. (January 13, 2016). How to Avoid Letting Others Deceive You. www.fastcompany.com, https://www.fastcompany.com/3055357/how-to-avoid-letting-others-deceive-you