How many of you have ever received an email informing you of a serious threat to your account, and urging you to click on a link provided to take immediate action to secure your accounts?
If you are lucky (and wise), you will likely recognize that this email is not from a legitimate account, but is an attempt at what has come to be known as phishing.
Phishing is an attempt to gain access to user accounts, banking information, basically anything that uses a PIN or password to secure private information on an individual. Phishing emails attempt to gain this access in order to defraud people of their money, resources or personal information.
Thankfully, people are becoming wise to these attempts, even as phishing attempts become more and more sophisticated in their tactics.
As most of us find these types of deceptive tactics offensive, I have come to see it as a masterful blueprint for how deception works on the human psyche.
In order for phishing to work, it requires engagement with the person they are targeting. A hacker would not typically send a demanding email to you, expecting you to divulge your credit card information. If they did this they know that virtually 100% of people would ignore or report them. So they have to come up with a way to engage the person and get them to willingly hand over their personal information. To do this, they have to enter the realm of human psyche and play on a tried and true playbook favorite.
They send an email dripping with fear–fear that your account or identity has been stolen, fear that you have unsecured accounts, basically exploiting the target’s vulnerability, using anything to put the recipient in a state of fear.
But fear is just a tactic used to create an imbalanced and vulnerable state in the targeted individual. The hacker wants the person to take ACTION, so they need some way to motivate them to act. How do they do this? They use urgency.
“Your account has been suspended. In order to regain access, click on this link here….”
“We have found that your account has been hacked. Click on this link to change your password and secure your account.”
Each email example above uses fear combined with urgency to take action. Urgency is the tool used to dupe the intended target into bypassing logic rather than thinking their options through. It is done with the express purpose of not giving someone enough time to say no.
The ultimate goal of phishing, of course, is to gain total control over your accounts and information. Someone (in this case, the hacker) wants to control you. They use fear and urgency to get you to comply.
When you recognize that the goal is to control, and that fear is a tactic of manipulation being used to put you in a vulnerable and controllable state of mind, and that in order to feed his or her need to control you, the hacker simply needs you to be persuaded with urgency to go along with their scheme, you can effectively diffuse the situation by not playing along, not going along, and not taking the bait.
The best way to diffuse someone attempting to control or deceive you is to ask questions. In the case of the hacker, Is this email legitimate? Is it from a recognizable email address? Would my bank send me an email such as this? Or, Is this person trying to control me? Why is this so urgent? Is there any truth to what they claim? Are they trying to undermine me to get me to make a quick decision before I have time to think it through? Who benefits?
Recognize that fear is the bait. To understand why a scheme is being done, look to who is seeking to control, and what they are aiming to control. Remember, control is the goal. Fear is simply a tactic used to get there. Fear combined with urgency is the mother of all deception.
Another idea is to listen to how you feel. Does this person attempting to get you to make a rushed decision make you feel fearful? Do you feel something in the pit of your stomach that just doesn’t feel right, but you can’t put your finger on what that is?
Trust your gut! That’s why you have one. It’s called your intuition. It is there to help guide you.
So, let’s look at another specific real-world example of how fear and urgency are being used right now against the American people.
Recently, legislation was proposed in the House of Representatives called The Green New Deal. This legislation is teeming to the brim with efforts to control the American population. This legislation seeks to enable far reaching government control over all aspects of travel, housing, goods and services, and a host of other areas of life.
On its face, the legislation is a gross example of governmental authoritarianism and overreach with the need to control all aspects of life over the citizenry of the United States. And since most people naturally recoil at such brazen efforts to control their lives, those who seek to pass this legislation of control need something to get the population to comply.
Insert freshman congressperson Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. What better way to destabilize the population than to use the fear of a looming climate crisis as a means to enact sweeping legislation, and top it off with the urgency that we only have 12 years left to stave off the Doomsday Armageddon Apocalypse!!
Talk about Mega fear combined with Mega urgency!!
When Alexandria was recently asked about the legislation, she brushed the question off with a remark like, “We are running out of time. We have to do something!”
There is no logic in these types of answers, only an attempt to further ingrain the message of fear combined with the urgent need to take action.
We need to be asking questions! How will this legislation impact me and my family? Will my taxes go up? Where will we get the money? How will banning air travel impact people living in Hawaii and other remote areas? What will be the negative impact of retro-fitting every building in the U.S.?
Or, go for the juggernaut: Is there really even a climate disaster on the horizon? Or, did you just make that one up by relying on junk science so you could put your pet legislation through the House?
Seriously. I thought Al Gore told us in 2004 that all the glaciers would all be melted by 2014 and coastal cities would be under 30 feet of water by then.
People who see through these types of tactics recognize it for what it is–an attempt to play on the emotions of the populace in order to get them into a vulnerable and malleable state of perpetual fear where they can then enact sweeping legislation aimed at controlling them.
Carbon Tax, anyone?
The key is to begin to ask questions, and think things through to their conclusion. It is folly to simply accept blanket or pat answers like, “We have to do something!”
This unbridled urgency on the part of Ms. Cortez and her cohorts is a tactic of a manipulative controller, exploiting and preying on the fears of the masses.
Fear is the number one vehicle of deception that preys on emotions in an effort to get people off center. To reiterate here–fear is born of a need to control. Fear and control go hand-in-hand. Control needs fear to get people to comply.
Love, on the other hand, casts out fear. Love does not need to use fear to control people. In fact, Love does not seek to control anyone. True Love seeks to alleviate people’s fears by using logic and allowing people to come to their own conclusions, recognizing them for their own individuality and talents. Love respects people.
We are entering a time in our human evolution where the choice is becoming more and more clear. We are being given the choice whether we wish to go down the road of social and governmental control over every aspect of our lives, or whether we choose to not comply with being controlled, but choose to live authentic lives based in respect for ourselves and others.
Part of this evolution comes from a deep understanding of Natural Law and the ways that we can support our own growth and ability to evolve.
We can choose Love, or we can choose to be controlled.
Control seeks to dehumanize people by using fear to make them mere objects of control. Politicians are notorious for wanting to control the lives of others.
Remember that, the next time someone invites you to go phishing.