There was much buzz today about an article in the Cut (a lifestyle website from Vox Media/New York Magazine) – “The Day I Put $50,000 in a Shoe Box and Handed It To A Stranger.” Charlotte Cowles, the Cut’s financial advice columnist, discussed in embarrassing detail how she fell victim to what she termed a “cruel and violating [scam] but one painfully obvious in retrospect.” Cowles did not believe she could ever be a victim—she did not fit any stereotype; her mom called her “maddeningly rational.”

Reaction on social media was about as you would expect so I am not linking to it, but many posters were incredulous, wondered how the author got her column in the first place, stating they would have found the Six Red Flags Over Texas right away and hung up/called 911/whatever.

Years ago, when our now-13-year-old son was little, my spouse and I both handled daycare dropoff. We did not have a regular pattern—whoever had more time that morning would generally do it. One thing we did was always make sure we always texted the other when our son was dropped off at daycare, typically with a snippet of how dropoff went (whether he was fussy or just wandered over to the breakfast table or what).

Why did we do this? To make sure our kid ended up at daycare, and not left in the car. A year before he was born, Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten wrote an absolutely devastating article about how excellent parents can make that horrifying mistake—“The problem is simple: People think this could never happen to them.” We decided to accept that people are smart but brains are not, and be vigilant.

Lots of bad things happen to educated and good-hearted people, almost all of whom know that the bad things are possible but they assume they’re immune. That can be the problem with scams, too. We lose our vigilance and become vulnerable.

When a sophisticated-at-first-but-revealed-itself-quickly trust account scam hit our firm five years ago, we caught the scam before we lost anything but our pride, but we [I] spent way too much time and effort “negotiating” with a fake client and a fake opposing party before it all fell apart. Remember—I concentrate my practice on legal ethics and best practices. I know what a scam is supposed to look like.

The large international law firm Holland & Knight, which has a robust Lawyer Ethics, Risk Management, and Regulation practice, got hit with a scam that redirected proceeds from a client acquisition from the client’s bank account to an account in Hong Kong (allegedly to the tune of $3.1 million dollars).

The State Bar has written extensively about scams specifically directed at lawyers, too. Scammers can play a confidence game—they know how lawyers operate and think, and can prey on that.

So, we should reframe our thinking—sure, we’re educated and smart, but we are also human and have vulnerabilities. Instead of thinking it won’t happen to us, we should start preparing for how to react and avoid falling for it when it does.