fall prey to something

fall prey to (someone or something)

To have one's vulnerability exploited by someone or something, leading to harm, destruction, or manipulation. It unfortunately very common for elderly people to fall prey to scam artists online, who take advantage of their lack of technological know-how. Many major cities, once thought to be untouchable by such attacks, have been falling prey to terrorist activity in recent months.
See also: fall, prey

fall prey to something

COMMON If you fall prey to something bad, it happens to you or you are affected by it. On the flight from Paris to Toulon, Mechiche fell prey to panic. Children in evacuation centres are falling prey to disease.
See also: fall, prey, something

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