fall prey to

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fall prey to (someone or something)

To have one's vulnerability exploited by someone or something, leading to harm, destruction, or manipulation; to become a victim of someone or something. It is unfortunately very common for elderly people to fall prey to online scam artists, who take advantage of their lack of technological know-how. Many major cities have fallen prey to terrorist activity in recent months.
See also: fall, prey

fall prey to

1 be hunted and killed by. 2 be vulnerable to or overcome by.
See also: fall, prey

be/fall ˈprey to something

(formal) be harmed or affected by something bad: He was often prey to doubt and despair.Thousands of small businesses are falling prey to high interest rates.
Prey is an animal, a bird, etc. that is hunted, killed and eaten by another animal.
See also: fall, prey, something

fall prey to

To be put into such a vulnerable position as to be at risk of harm, destruction, or invasion: a person who fell prey to swindlers; did not want the country to fall prey to terrorists.
See also: fall, prey
References in periodicals archive ?
Police have urged people not to fall prey to such blackmailers and report them to the police on the toll free number 800 151.
Here they fall prey to holiday consumerism before realizing that Christmas is really about kindness and hospitality.
Innovate, or you'll fall prey to the self-fulfilling prophecy.
Struggling to survive in a soft market, small insurers could fall prey to their larger competitors.
However, in more dramatic instances patients are beginning to fall prey to opportunistic infections.
New studies suggest that people who fall prey to a severe stress reaction following military combat or sexual abuse have an unusually small hippocampus, a brain structure that helps to regulate memory.
Unfortunately, it has also become an area in which consumers can easily fall prey to deceptive business practices.
Summary: Since the beginning of Ramadan, the Sharjah Police have launched a campaign titled "Do not fall prey to beggars" to warn people against entertaining beggars roaming the streets.
Will and Ado Annie finally come to an understanding that their relationship will be ``All 'Er Nothin''' and Ali willingly surrenders her only to fall prey to Gertie's (Amber Van Loon) wiles - and her annoying laugh.
As the ex-gay movement continues to gather force, Chester hopes his film will drive home a number of messages not only to the ministries but also to gay people who fall prey to them.
Bathed in this sea of germs, why doesn't even the slightest cut fall prey to serious infection?
Our goal is to help girls build a sense of self and self-esteem so they'll be less likely to fall prey to the pressures of fitting in and being popular.
The vet knew the score: Shannon was the latest victim among a growing number of pet buyers who fall prey to street hustlers selling sick puppies as high-priced, purebred dogs.