The psychology of scammingMake Text Bigger
What is your image of someone who is the victim of a scam? Take a few moments to think about this before reading on.
I am sure we all have the image of the gullible person with the street wise con artist slyly taking their money. Well think again. Research conducted by Exeter University and others shows it in a very different light.
Think you are safe from the con man? Think again. In Britain hustlers tricked over 3.2 million people into handing over 3.5 billion pounds. So how do con artists chose their victims???
Lets get rid of the first myth it does not matter if someone is brilliant or stupid and naïve everyone is susceptible to con artists. From this research though it is seen that they are some common factors.
- You are going through some kind of transition in your life. Either positive or negative and this makes you emotionally vulnerable.
- You are a risk taker.
- You are in debt.
- You live alone or do not discuss the idea with anyone else.
- You have a trust in authority.
- You are put under pressure to act quickly.
- You are vulnerable to certain psychological triggers such as building of relationships, impressed by authority etc.
- You have a history of been scammed.
- You are older in your 50s or above, married, degree, investor, male, experienced in the world.
- You see the scam as a long odds gamble and take the risk.
- An the appeal to the greed element of a high return for a small investment.
- Scam victims spend more time analyzing scams then people who are not victims
Any of these surprise you?? Surprising the more knowledge of investments you have actually increases your risk of becoming a victim.
A good con artist is an intuitive psychologist who exploits our vulnerabilities and these are our strengths rather than our weaknesses. They know how to offer meaning and certainty. They play on our fears and basic human desires.
The effects of all this can cause serious damage both psychologically and financially. We tend to deny it has happened. Surprising only 10% of people report the fraudster the rest tend to hide away.
So why am I writing this article? I too have just been scammed, but I am not looking for sympathy or kind words. I just want to understand and researching this article has helped me a lot. My con artist clothed his fraud in a respectable business. There was such a local authority scheme offering property for 1 pound. He had respectability as his company was under the Property Redress Scheme, so you thought you were covered. He offered a high return and solutions to problems of been a landlord. I am going through a transition, I have no pension and I am near retirement.
I have though reported this to the Police and Trading Standards. So far I have not received any feedback just a number. I have found out this person has been doing this for years and gets away with it. The opposite is yesterday a women was just fined for finding a 20 pound note and done for theft.
So I hope that I learn by my mistake. I have seen it written on these pages before. If the deal looks too good it probably is.