New research published in the Journal of Financial Crime has considered the different factors that may help in predicting whether a given consumer is likely to fall victim to online scams.
It surveyed over 700 online fraud victims, around half of whom had been conned on multiple occasions.
Victims of “cyber-frauds” were likely to be older, more impulsive and more inclined to addiction than the general population. These patterns were consistent across one-time and repeat victims.
There were some surprising findings as well, notably that higher education correlated with the propensity to fall victim to an attack. One explanation offered was that of overconfidence – smart people could be less wary as they feel they are able to identify scammers more easily.
The authors write: “The work here has implications for the design of websites (e.g. shopping sites, dating sites etc.).
“Given that victims tend to be those who score high on urgency and sensation seeking – safer guards might be built into the design where users are forced to carry out their own checks (and/or the sites carry out further checks) prior to: engaging with someone on the site to date, discuss a job opportunity, purchase an item, etc.
“Moreover, advice on these sites needs to be upfront, easily accessible and provide useful and correct advice.”
The conclusion goes on to suggest that concise, digestible information on how to avoid scammers may be of more use than long guides. This is due to the impulsive nature of many of the victims – quick, interactive warnings could be better received by such an audience.
Read more here.