Yes social engineering is amazing!
And depending on the kind of heart you have or how sorry you feel for people. Etc. You can easily fall victim.
This is their living their careers and they get real good at it. From the tarot card fortune tellers to the unholy holy guys. Not so easy to stop yourself from getting wacked. From white vans to a professional looking web site.
And they happen all the time in any surroundings from your local watering hole to the guy swinging his little kid on a swing at the playground. You always need to be on guard.
I purchased this book a while back as entertainment reading. The back cover reads " a legendary hacker reveals how to guard against the greatest security risk of all human nature"
The book title: the art of deception by Kevin D Mitnick.
Mitnick being a somewhat famous hacker that now does training for companies I believe. That is still what he knows best. I know purchase of book helps him get rich so a double edge sword for sure.
I think everyone does it to a certain level.
But when it involves many people and large sums of money. I don't think the justice system has any real good way to undo the damage. I met a guy that lost out to an investment scam. Well he won his case but is still out his whole retirement nestegg. He has never seen a penny. It is truly unreal.
As a kid I loved magic tricks but when you start to read and learn the secrets it is the art of fooling to entertain. The pledge, the turn, the flurrish the reveal. The art of deception.
But for entertainment it is accepted.
I guess because they announce themselves as such and just trying to figure out how they did it is fun. ??? Penn and Teller know the craft and tell you just enough to stay three steps ahead of you.