We recognize the scams, and we keep falling, why?
is the headline of the news that the author of WTM News has collected this article. Stay tuned to WTM News to stay up to date with the latest news on this topic. We ask you to follow us on social networks.
Scams are the order of the day, and digitization is not helping. And it is that, the more platforms we use to enjoy the advantages of the Internet, the more opportunities scammers will have to explore our data.
So if we know this, why do we keep falling for the same scams? In response, ESET has released the most common reasons why social engineering tricks and methods aimed at separating us from our money are so effective.
Fraud has, of course, been around in various shapes and sizes for many years. However, the Internet has breathed new life into even age-old strategies, expanding the opportunities, and the number of potential targets for scammers.
10 reasons why we fall for scams
- Scams that are passed down from generation to generation. First of all, there are different types of fraud that have been implanted in society for many years. That accumulated knowledge is passed down from generation to generation of cybercriminals. Proven characters and techniques are often meticulously constructed, and many phishing emails are crafted so that something won’t look fishy, at least at first glance.
- Our fingerprint can be used against us. Some scammers will use all available and seemingly harmless data about all of us to their advantage, monitoring our every move online, usually on social media, to end up exploiting our digital footprint. Unless you’re careful, the more you interact digitally, the more likely they are to know a lot about you. Ultimately, it will be easier for them to deceive you.
- Scammers are good storytellers. Many scammers can create plausible stories and characters that don’t always trigger your spam filters. They are also quick to exploit current events for their own benefit, even taking advantage of fears surrounding public emergencies, as has happened with COVID-19 or the war in Ukraine.
This is why we keep falling for scams
- We are always in a hurry. Scammers pressure you to act now, they don’t want you to think things through. An award will be for a limited time only and an invoice will be due the same day, to name just a few examples where you are urged to make a decision as quickly as possible. So, you are likely to pull the trigger without taking into account the whole picture and without checking if the message is legitimate. Remember that you must stop and think before making any decision.
- Everyone likes the term “free”. Taking advantage of your financial difficulties or simply the desire for easy money, many scams start by offering fake gifts or include promises of sky-high investment returns.
- We are programmed to obey authority. People tend to trust those in positions of authority. Scammers often pose as people who have some kind of experience: a government official, a lawyer, a company executive, or an expert in a specific field. They are people we have been taught to trust. Scammers will try to appear to be official agencies and will use the names of companies or organizations that you may recognize to achieve their goal.
- We can have fun. Scams are becoming more prevalent, and someone may try to scam you on a day when you’re feeling sick, tired, or otherwise vulnerable. Being preoccupied with more important things, you may pay less attention to detail, which opens the door to potential risks. Scammers can even sense your vulnerability and take advantage of it.
- Scammers are always one step ahead. While you’re trying to figure out if a calling phone number can be legitimate, they’re already taking over your mind, so to speak.
- We like to help. Schemes involving requests for help build empathy with the scammer or the people the scammer claims to represent. For example, narratives of personal tragedies or public emergencies are still effective. Even if you know in the back of your mind that it might not be true, you’re still inclined to help “just in case.” Scammers realize that people want to feel useful.
- Scammers are fake empaths. If you happen to interact with, say, a romance scammer, usually through text, they can spend some time preparing to gain your trust, making you feel understood, and even testing how far they can go with you.