opportunist

Opportunists are people who see a chance to gain some advantage from a situation, often at the expense of ethics or morals. An opportunist seizes every opportunity to improve things for himself.

Say you won millions in the lottery. People would come out of the woodwork hoping to get their hands on some of it. These people act as if they are close friends. But they are not; they are opportunists. Famous opportunists include “carpetbaggers,” Northern opportunists who, after the American Civil War, poured into the South to turn Reconstruction into personal financial gains.

Definitions of opportunist
  1. noun
    a person who places expediency above principle
    synonyms: self-seeker
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    types:
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    backscratcher
    someone who is willing to trade favors or services for mutual advantage
    bottom feeder
    an opportunist who profits from the misfortunes of others
    carpetbagger
    an outsider who seeks power or success presumptuously
    hustler, operator, wheeler dealer
    a shrewd or unscrupulous person who knows how to circumvent difficulties
    timeserver
    one who conforms to current ways and opinions for personal advantage
    wire-puller
    one who uses secret influence (i.e. pulls wires or strings) for his own ends
    type of:
    selfish person
    a person who is unusually selfish
  2. adjective
    taking immediate advantage, often unethically, of any circumstance of possible benefit
    synonyms: opportunistic, timeserving
    expedient
    serving to promote your interest
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