Scams happen to the best of the people. Recognizing and avoiding them can save money, health, and peace of mind.
What do you call a scam?
Wikipedia clearly describes the nature of the scam:
A scam or confidence trick is an attempt to defraud a person or group by gaining their confidence.
Unfortunately, the nature of scams does not change from the Dark Ages. Now it is more sophisticated, especially when the Internet opened doors to individuals who want to use their imagination, knowledge for their excellent.
How do people get scammed?
As I mentioned before, people can be scammed anytime. It can happen to the best of us. Nobody gives money away to crooks that create fraudulent situations.
Ways to scam people
You can trick people in all areas of your life. Most popular scams are:
- Money scams such as lottery, cryptocurrency, trust funds, or money left by will by somebody who lives far way
- Romance scams. Who does not want to be loved and taken care of?
- Travel scams
- Prize scams
- Covid-19 and other associated with wellbeing scams
I found out an interesting research paper where a team systemized results after thoughtful research.
Scientists checked various groups of people who were scammed and find out how people get fooled.
How do scammers find victims?
- Media advertising
- Phone calls for help
- Authority letters with logos and typed
Who prone to scams?
- 2006 research found out that older adults are prone to be victims thanks to reduced cognitive abilities.
- That I found interesting that positivity does not play a beneficial role in deciding what is a scam and what is not. It seems that people can overestimate their abilities to detect fraud and control the situation.
- It is the same counts to findings that people who knowledgeable in a particular area can overestimate their abilities to detect scams and make the right decisions.
- Scammers find people who can relate to their offers. For example, if somebody has an interest in a New Age theory, he or she can buy or acquire things or services that would fulfill wishes, will increase various abilities, or will protect from some type of influence, individuals, and so on. The scamming area is vast, and the sky is the limit for ways how to fool people.
- People who believe in becoming rich through a short time or get of harmful habits are perfect targets for scammers.
What do scammers use to convince their future victims?
Words used in letters, conversations, on social media, or TV play an enormous role in attracting potential victims.
Scammers use words such as money ( according to research, it was used 381 times after analyzing transcripts), categories for describing fraudulent offers.
Categories can be the size of prize and reward, trust and security, personal approach, get in contact with scammers. Of course, individuals who contact potential victims do not present themselves as crooks.
Contrary. There are helpless orphans, prize winners, generals, who looked for the bride and lost soul.
Scammers use emotional triggers such as promising wealth without work or love without knowing a person or being the last hope what will provide support (monetary, of course) for so-called needy individuals.
Vulnerable people do not recognize the danger and believed in most everything that crooks promise them.
You do not need to live in a shelter or woods, but it is enough to lose hope finding a job or pay mortgage and possibility to get hooked on miraculous stories grow faster as long people do not think clearly.
Sadly, victims send small amounts of money to scammers hoping to get a large sum of the prize, winnings, or earnings.
In this table, you can see most used scam communication words:
Source: Psychology of scams
Are people who fall into scams fools?
I guess that some of them are, but most of the victims are desperate, curious, or willing to take a chance.
They create visions of how it is going to be when they will win money, get a prize, or become happily married. It seems that they want to have a positive experience without work or checking facts about suspicious offers.
Illusions about positive outcomes play a role before accepting offers from scammers. People think that they can control the situation and will stop when something goes wrong.
Is it a mistake?
Yes, it is a real danger because of crooks preparedness for various answers and behaviors of victims. Some people hesitate, some of them catch an offer right away, some of them rush to believe because of the regret that they can miss a golden opportunity.
Scammers are smart and know the psychology of potential victims. They use all possible tools to reach their goals.
Can you imagine when you thought that you find a love of your life, but in reality, you have a conversation with teenagers from Nigeria, what chats with you on another side of the phone or computer screen?
What is typical for all scams?
According to research about scams authors, four notions show up mostly in every type of fraud:
- The amount of benefit or prize
- Persistent triggers and outreach to persuade victims
- Authority, security, and trust
- Payment methods
Scammers use all available methods to hook up victims and do not let them go.
This research paper analyzes intensely how scammers work and why people suffer consequences of believing in lies and made-up stories.
However, it is clear that if you want to stay away from trouble, you must remember that there is no free lunch.
Yes, your mom or your family will behave to your benefit. Your dog or cat always will be at your side.
Scammers and crooks were and will be active as long will be potential victims. They will use more and more sophisticated tools thanks to the new technologies, better access to the Internet, and people’s ageless beliefs that somehow they can get that they want without work and efforts or knowledge.
Do you want to stay out of trouble? Before giving somebody money check the credibility and how real this person or organization is. Simply googling and typing the name of the offer, or an individual, you will find some information. Do not rush with decisions because of fear that the golden pot will disappear from your sight.