Empathy and compassion are a weakness. Watch
Empathy is, by this situation, entirely self interested. By maintaining the strength of the wider community you increase your chances of surviving (comfortably).
The current neo-liberal capitalist paradigm rewards ruthlessness, selfishness and division and empathy and kindness punished. For me, that needs to change.
Yes, could, meaning it's hypothetical. So you have to ask yourself, are you going to have your defences up all the time, just in case? Or be empathic.
I think this is where you'd have to rely on a keen perception.
And sometimes it is best to pretend to be defenceless to lure out any ulterior motives.