An interesting question at Quora. My reply :
I’ve not worked in or for scam companies but met a few.
Some people are so desperate, they will say yes to anything to put food on the table. They do as they are asked in order to survive. When survival counts, there are no ethics (a construct of first world sufficiency).
I have a friend in India. He is from the west and returned through circumstance, not choice. Even he comments on the scams everywhere. From landlords wanting a year’s rent upfront then trying to evict him a month later to common thieves on the street. From being knocked off his bike and left to die in a gutter without any passing persons helping. This is the nature of the third world – everyone for themselves. If you are rich, you can afford to ‘share’ your wealth. If you are gullible, then it is survival of the fittest.
There are ‘white’ people who scam too. Some for the challenge, some for the get rich quick. Some feel like outcasts and simply lose the interaction with society that provides the moral compass. Some are revenge driven (like the mass shooters).
Generally, scamming is an expression of a personality developed by circumstance. Not all people have the same TV ideal upbringing nor the opportunities. Consider what you would do if you were homeless and broke.
From cannibals after a plane crash to people who live in toilets whilst working and studying to better themselves, society has a vast range of motivations and attitudes.
Here is my question – Is is more or less ethical to scam $1000 from someone or charge $100 in a mall for a $5 dress made in a sweatshop by children working 18 hours a day, 7 days a week with no safety measures and environmental pollution all around?