What factors make us bite into online fraud? - psychology - 2023



The hackers, or hackers, examine the structure and the way in which certain programs work to detect cracks in them and to find opportunities to infect computers.

In the same way, people who develop strategies to scam others over the Internet (and from the comfort of their home) they have to put themselves in the shoes of the person they want to scam and detect the corners in which their way of making decisions leaves unprotected flanks through which to introduce deception.

Are we vulnerable to internet scams?

And the truth is that, as much as for some people these deceptions seem ridiculous as obvious as they are, they have their "audience" of poor Internet users who They end up giving their bank details without knowing that they are falling for a scam. Moreover, there are people who, depending on the context and how they are, could be the victim of these deceptions at a certain moment and easily detect them in others.

This is at least one of the conclusions reached in a study conducted by AARP and published in a report called Caught in the Scammer's Net. This document explains the risk factors that could make us victims of fraud online, and many of them are amazing.

The weight of emotions

Traditionally we have been thinking that rational arguments basically influence decision-making. Thus, for example, deciding whether or not it is worth clicking on a link that has reached us through an email would be based on assessing the pros and cons of that action, the estimation of the risks, and the value that is given to the possible utility of doing that action.

However, the AARP study shows that the emotional state in which people are when exposed to scams online is incredibly relevant. People who had just been through a highly stressful experiencesuch as dismissal from your job or sudden loss of purchasing power, are significantly more likely to fall for these scams. Similarly, individuals with feelings of isolation and loneliness also fall into these traps more easily.

In the same way, the simple fact of being a more impulsive person and with a tendency to carry out risky activities also predisposes us to fall for the scam online.

The explanation for this could be that staying in certain emotional states acts as a distraction that makes you "lower your guard" and pay less attention to relevant information. Thus, non-rational factors would be making it more likely to choose one option than the other, regardless of whether it is more or less attractive based on rational criteria. This, by the way, occurs even in the choice of partner.

The profile of the "easy prey"

Beyond situational factors, there are also certain personal characteristics that make some profiles especially prone to cheating on this type of deception. For example, people who tend to sign up for the use of products to try the trial version that lasts a few days are easy prey, and the same is true of those who are more predisposed to share their birthday and relationship status online. social networks like Facebook (specifically, they are 8% more likely to be cheated).

In turn, people predisposed to click on pop-ups (the little windows that open while browsing the Internet to advertise things) have a 16% higher risk of being victims of online scams.

The wisdom of the digital generation

It should be noted that these percentages do not indicate the potential danger of clicking on pop-ups or putting personal data on Facebook, but rather it simply explains factors that predict the risk of falling for the scam online. Although all the pop-ups you click on are harmless, clicking on them indicates that when the opportunity to fall for an online scam appears, you will be more likely to fall for it.

This means that there is a part of the population that surfs the Internet with a certain level of alertness and that is not exposed to this type of risk, while other people are more confident in this regard or simply lack information about online actions those that are safe and those that can be dangerous.

That is why simply knowing certain basic internet rules makes it much less likely that you will get caught on the hook of the online scam. People who know or what the privacy policies of a website or service are, for example, are less likely to be deceived, and the same is true of those who know that banks never send links to forms to fill in to "verify" personal information.

On the other hand, the experience in Internet browsing also influences. Among the people who participated as volunteers in the research, those who have started using the Internet more recently were those who fell for the scam of the Nigerian prince who writes to us to deliver a large amount of money, while the rest of users deleted that email.