You Can’t Cheat an Honest Person

A dear friend of mine, whose infinite wisdom I respect tremendously, has a blog. And in her blog she blogged me and something I said. And a comment to that blog included a very poignant statement:

I remember an essay by Ayn Rand in which she illustrates the meaning of the saying, “you can’t cheat an honest man.” An honest man always knows he has to pay for what he gets (one way or the other). Scammers always appeal to the temptation to get something for nothing.

That bolded part was just so profound that it stuck out at me. Scammers DO appeal to the temptation to get something for nothing. Almost every instance of a scam I am aware of involved the elusive “deal of a lifetime”. That feeling of striking gold, that you finally found the mother-lode.

The funny thing is that people always look for signs of a scam, Dunn & Bradstreet reports, Better Business Bureau reports, message boards with information, checking telephone numbers and addresses. But time and time again, I have found the best sign is intuition. Every instance of a scam I know of the person who was scammed always knew something was wrong but went ahead despite their intuition.