YANSS 097 – What scam artists can teach us about the human brain

For centuries, scam artists, con artists, and magicians were the world’s leading experts on biases, fallacies, heuristics and all the other quirks of human reasoning and perception.

On this episode, magician and scam expert Brian Brushwood explains why people fall for scams of all sizes, how to avoid them, and why most magicians can spot a fraudster a mile away.

DownloadiTunesStitcherRSS – Soundcloud

Great Courses PlusThis episode is sponsored by The Great Courses Plus. Get unlimited access to a huge library of The Great Courses lecture series on many fascinating subjects. Start FOR FREE with Your Deceptive Mind taught by neurologist Steven Novella. Learn about how your mind makes sense of the world by lying to itself and others. Click here for a FREE TRIAL.


blueapronThis episode is sponsored by Blue Apron who sets the highest quality standards for their community of artisanal suppliers, family-run farms, fisheries and ranchers. For less than $10 per meal, Blue Apron delivers the best ingredients along with easy-to-read, full-color recipes with photos and additional information about where your food came from. Check out this week’s menu and get your first three meals free with free shipping by going to www.blueapron.com/YANSS

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Brian Brushwood tours the world giving lectures that mix comedy with stage and close-up magic designed to deliver an overall message about how to better navigate a world filled with scams, frauds, pseudoscience, and paranormal beliefs. His video series, Scam School, teaches people to do the kind of easy-to-learn tricks that can win bets and score free stuff in bars and parties, and his series on Nat Geo, Hacking the System, takes that concept and expands it to cover social engineering in everyday life. In his new show, The Modern Rogue, he and Jason Murphy “field test the things that will make you the most interesting person in the room.” He hosts a number of podcasts, and his hair used to look a lot like Guile’s from Street Fighter.

Links and Sources

DownloadiTunesStitcherRSS – Soundcloud

Previous Episodes

Boing Boing Podcasts

Cookie Recipes

Brian Brushwood’s Website

Modern Rogue

Scams, Sasquatch, and the Supernatural

Why do Nigerian Scammers Say They are from Nigeria?

Why We Should Scam the Scammers