Shows Like Inventing Anna Makes Us Criticize The Victims- Here’s Why

Published 02/23/2022, 9:30 AM EST

Ever since Netflix has brought cons of people like Simon Leviev and Anna Delvey; the shows have topped the charts. Setting such milestones, shows like these often make us wonder what’s so charming about them? Whether it’s the scam or the scammers that have spellbound the viewers. While the Tinder Swindler told us how a con artist can swindle thick money pretending to be the son of a billionaire on a dating app. Just a week later, Inventing Anna makes us realize how it actually feels like to be conned!

This time, what amazed us more than these shows or scammers was how viewers reacted to the situation of victims. Those who exploited their friends and romantic partners out of their money are legends to our eyes. And those who suffered this are being constantly criticized! But why so? Why are we not sympathetic towards their situation? Let’s dive deeper into the psychological factor that plays a key role here.

Inventing Anna legitimizes the con making us critical towards its victims


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Sure, it takes a legendary mindset and humongous willpower to attempt a scandal like this. But is it necessary to see the victims in dark light or poorly motivated? As viewers watched Katie Lows play Rachel Williams who was robbed of $62,000, iterations like, I would never fall for such scams, went viral on social media platforms. Similarly, when we saw Cecilie Fjellhoy’s story and how she was pursued to provide financial aid of $270,000 made many people label her as ‘stupid.’ But don’t you think it’s all random? I mean, it can happen to anyone!

For instance, people lost an estimated amount of 2.3 billion Euros to such tricksters in the UK alone. Furthermore, the number of romance frauds also increased significantly during the pandemic. With an average victim losing more than 6,100 Euros! Plus, post-pandemic, cons revolving around health services are nothing new as well. And all these people unfortunately losing their fortunes and just like us. The commoners. Even some of us may also have fallen for such scams on a smaller scale. But have you ever wondered why it happens?

Psychology used by these con artists:

The psychologist and bestselling author of The Confidence Game Maria Konnikova explain that this is because the default state of the human brain is to trust. “Cons are really all about our belief that things for us are going to be better,” she says. “Con artists figure out what our dreams are and how we see the world. Then, they sell our version of what we want the world to be like back to us, and we’re predisposed to believe it because it makes sense to us.”

And that is exactly what Anna Sorokin and Simon Leviev did. They first started a cycle of showing what their target victims desired the most. Companionship, lavish lifestyle, and expensive presents. And when the thin line between what is real and what these poor souls perceived as real became blurry, they conned them out of thick money. So why do we judge the people being tricked? Well, that’s because “we can instantly find excuses when it comes to other people,” says the psychologist.


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She further emphasizes how this could happen to anyone, saying, “You can have a PhD and you can be the most sceptical person in the world, or you can be someone who never finished school, and you’re equally vulnerable to be conned.”

It becomes hard to stay sympathetic towards the victims

Both Anna Delvey and Simon Leviev are elegant artists of manipulators. “It’s really important to remember that con artists are nasty individuals,” states Konnikova. “But, they’re so good at being charismatic and getting people on their side. That’s one of the reasons we like to watch them. So, it can be really difficult to show how compelling they are, and yet remain sympathetic to the victim.” It’s rather interesting to observe how we are falling for these tricksters in order to blame their victims.


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Do let us know in the comment section what do you think about the victims of such scammers. Would you fall for their tricks?



Prithvi Shah

856 articles

Prithvi Shah is a writer at Netflix Junkie. Currently pursuing her Bachelor's in English Literature at St Xavier's University, Prithvi, who is a brown belt in Karate, adores Cobra Kai; her other favourite shows include The Witcher, Emily in Paris and Gilmore Girls. Home Alone and Harry Potter have been her go to movies since childhood.