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Psycholigical resons for responding to scams.

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clowdi

Corporate Services
Business Angel
The present research suggests that the psychological reasons for


responding to scams involve a mixture of cognitive and motivational


processes. Whilst different kinds of scam do exploit different


vulnerabilities to some extent, there are similarities between scams in


their content and the use of persuasive techniques. The greatest and


most consistent emphasis was on:


• appeals to trust and authority: people tend to obey authorities so


scammers use, and victims fall for, cues that make the offer look like


a legitimate one being made by a reliable official institution or


established reputable business;


• visceral triggers: scams exploit basic human desires and needs – such


as greed, fear, avoidance of physical pain, or the desire to be liked –


in order to provoke intuitive reactions and reduce the motivation of


people to process the content of the scam message deeply. For


example, scammers use triggers that make potential victims focus on


the huge prizes or benefits on offer.


There are also a number of other error-inducing processes that emerged,


including:



• Scarcity cues. Scams are often personalised to create the impression


that the offer is unique to the recipient. They also emphasise the


urgency of a response to reduce the potential victim's motivation to


process the scam content objectively;


• Induction of behavioural commitment. Scammers ask their potential


victims to make small steps of compliance to draw them in, and


thereby cause victims to feel committed to continue sending money;


• The disproportionate relation between the size of the alleged reward


and the cost of trying to obtain it. Scam victims are led to focus on


the alleged big prize or reward in comparison to the relatively smallamount of money they have to send in order to obtain their windfall;


a phenomenon called 'phantom fixation'. The high value reward


(often life-changing, medically, financially, emotionally or physically)


that scam victims thought they could get by responding, makes the


money to be paid look rather small by comparison;


• Lack of emotional control. Compared to non-victims, scam victims


report being less able to regulate and resist emotions associated with


scam offers. They seem to be unduly open to persuasion, or perhaps


unduly undiscriminating about who they allow to persuade them.


This creates an extra vulnerability in those who are socially isolated,


because social networks often induce us to regulate our emotions


when we otherwise might not.


Other key findings


Some of the psychological processes we identified as contributing to


falling for a scam were to be expected, on the basis either of previous


research literature, or common sense. Some others were less


predictable.


For example, it was striking how some scam victims kept their decision


to respond private and avoided speaking about it with family members


or friends. It was almost as if with some part of their minds, they knew


that what they were doing was unwise, and they feared the


confirmation of that that another person would have offered. Indeed to


some extent they hide their response to the scam from their more


rational selves.


Another counter-intuitive finding is that scam victims often have better


than average background knowledge in the area of the scam content.


For example, it seems that people with experience of playing legitimate


prize draws and lotteries are more likely to fall for a scam in this area


than people with less knowledge and experience in this field. This also


applies to those with some knowledge of investments. Such knowledge


can increase rather than decrease the risk of becoming a victim.


amount of money they have to send in order to obtain their windfall;


a phenomenon called 'phantom fixation'. The high value reward


(often life-changing, medically, financially, emotionally or physically)


that scam victims thought they could get by responding, makes the


money to be paid look rather small by comparison;


• Lack of emotional control. Compared to non-victims, scam victims


report being less able to regulate and resist emotions associated with


scam offers. They seem to be unduly open to persuasion, or perhaps


unduly undiscriminating about who they allow to persuade them.


This creates an extra vulnerability in those who are socially isolated,


because social networks often induce us to regulate our emotions


when we otherwise might not.


Other key findings


Some of the psychological processes we identified as contributing to


falling for a scam were to be expected, on the basis either of previous


research literature, or common sense. Some others were less


predictable.


For example, it was striking how some scam victims kept their decision


to respond private and avoided speaking about it with family members


or friends. It was almost as if with some part of their minds, they knew


that what they were doing was unwise, and they feared the


confirmation of that that another person would have offered. Indeed to


some extent they hide their response to the scam from their more


rational selves.


Another counter-intuitive finding is that scam victims often have better


than average background knowledge in the area of the scam content.


For example, it seems that people with experience of playing legitimate


prize draws and lotteries are more likely to fall for a scam in this area


than people with less knowledge and experience in this field. This also


applies to those with some knowledge of investments. Such knowledge


can increase rather than decrease the risk of becoming a victim.


This is some how good reading and I hope it will help a few people not to be scammed :)
 

clowdi

Corporate Services
Business Angel
Psychological harm to victims


Scams cause psychological as well as financial harm to victims. Victims


not only suffer a financial loss, but also a loss of self-esteem because


they blame themselves for having been so 'stupid' to fall for the scam.


Some of the victims we interviewed appeared to have been seriously


damaged by their experience.


Vulnerability to repeat scam victimisation


Our research suggests that there is a minority of people who are


particularly vulnerable to scams. In particular, people who reported


having previously responded to a scam were consistently more likely to


show interest in responding again. Though a minority, it is not a small


minority; depending on how it is assessed, it could be between 10 per


cent and 20 per cent of the population. Furthermore, the research


suggests that the vulnerability is not specific to the persuasive


techniques most characteristic of current common mass marketed


scams, though it does include them.


This means that there are othertechniques, which scammers do not currently use very much, which would put people further at risk if they were introduced.


People who show above average vulnerability to scams do not seem to


be in general poor decision-makers, for example they may have


successful business or professional careers. They simply seem to be


unduly open to persuasion, or perhaps unduly undiscriminating about


who they allow to persuade them.


The existence of individual differences in general persuadability throws


some light on the fact that some people become 'chronic' or serial scam


victims: it would not be surprising to find that such victims are


exceptionally highly persuadable – though that is unlikely to be the


complete explanation of chronic victimhood, as other factors such as


cognitive impairment are likely to be of some relevance.
 

bizman

Corporate Services
Thanks for sharing and we all hope it helps the sorry people which don't have brain enough to find them self scammed.
 

Mockingbird

Offshore Agent
sometimes people just think they are being nice and helping someone out. They have this pink colored glasses sort of view of the world and think if it were me I would want someone to help me
 

clowdi

Corporate Services
Business Angel
Mockingbird said:
sometimes people just think they are being nice and helping someone out. They have this pink colored glasses sort of view of the world and think if it were me I would want someone to help me
Agree - lol :attention:
 
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