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Scam victim psychology: What makes you vulnerable?

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posted on Nov, 1 2011 @ 11:25 PM
I came across an article that I felt fitting of this forum. The semblance of this article is that of technology and the security that entails technology to show how security software designers often forget the "human element" in regards to creating proper securities to prevent people from getting scammed.

However, it started to take on a different meaning for me once I made it to the "lessons" section. I frequent ATS and as I was reading the article I began to put thought to the "psychology" they were mentioning in that these techniques could very well play a huge role in nearly EVERYTHING that is presented to one on a daily basis through the multiple forms of information and media sources that most everyone is exposed to in some fashion throughout history.

Here is an excerpt of the article regarding the "lessons" to give one an idea of just how vulnerable one may very well be, despite the "it will never happen to me, I am too smart to be scammed" mentality that more than likely we have all felt at one time or another. Many a smart fella has fallen victim to scams throughout history I'm sure.

They assert that human element is very often the weakest link when it comes to protecting a system, and that security engineers should delve into the victim psychology to prevent their end user from becoming one.

1. The Distraction principle - While you are distracted by what retains your interest, hustlers can do anything to you and you won’t notice.

2. The Social Compliance principle - Society trains people not to question authority. Hustlers exploit this “suspension of suspiciousness” to make you do what they want.

3. The Herd principle - Even suspicious marks will let their guard down when everyone next to them appears to share the same risks. Safety in numbers? Not if they’re all conspiring against you.

4. The Dishonesty principle - Anything illegal you do will be used against you by the fraudster, making it harder for you to seek help once you realize you’ve been had.

5. The Deception principle - Things and people are not what they seem. Hustlers know how to manipulate you to make you believe that they are.

6. The Need and Greed principle - Your needs and desires make you vulnerable. Once hustlers know what you really want, they can easily manipulate you.

7. The Time principle - When you are under time pressure to make an important choice, you use a different decision strategy. Hustlers steer you towards a strategy involving less reasoning.

The big question is, how many people can be scammed at once, for how long, and on what scale? I leave it open for discussion. Article Source

posted on Nov, 1 2011 @ 11:44 PM
Great thread. To sum it up in a few words, people get scammed because they want to believe... They want to believe the world is a "nice place", that people are altruistic, etc. And in that longing, they leave themselves open to being taken for.


posted on Nov, 1 2011 @ 11:50 PM
reply to post by UberL33t

my observation is that :

common sense isnt

posted on Nov, 1 2011 @ 11:58 PM
reply to post by ignorant_ape

Indeed, makes you wonder why they decided to precede "sense" with "common", because it's not.

posted on Nov, 2 2011 @ 05:01 PM
I'm rather surprised, I thought there would at least be a couple of more folks that would at least admit to the possibility of potentially being scammed.

In my humble opinion, I still fall back to people feeling as they themselves individually are too smart to be scammed.

If you look at the tactics used however, it's not to unthinkable that we're are now and have been the past, in the midst of quite a few "scams". Propaganda just to name one, is for all intents and purposes a scam in of itself as far as I am concerned.

posted on Nov, 2 2011 @ 06:49 PM

The big question is, how many people can be scammed at once, for how long, and on what scale? I leave it open for discussion. Article Source

Anyone who says that they cannot be scammed are instantly leaving themselves open for an attack by advertisement or a sales pitch.........or any idea really. It's easy to scam the masses, if your scamming them with what they want; big tv's, alcohol, cigarettes, lower insurance rates, a better mortgage, you get the idea. One of the best ways to reduce your contact with this stuff is to watch tv ALOT less, or an even better way, train yourself to live without the self convincing viewpoint that we need certain things that we don't; big tv's, alcohol, cigarettes. i would argue that mortgages and insurance rates are also a good thing to get rid of, but than i realize that most peoples families rely on these things to have a place to sleep. They have taken control of what our actual survival needs have become, thus eliminating natural selection.

i know that i got off topic by the end of my response but this is an interesting post..........thanks op

posted on Nov, 3 2011 @ 05:34 PM
reply to post by facewhatly

This is one of the directions I was hoping this thread would head in. Advertisement is a good example of a scam, more a scheme (terminology). If you compare a lot of the tactics that are used to the list in the OP, to get someone to buy a particular product, it's clear that these companies pull out no stops.

Advertising agencies are well aware of the psychological aspect of what works to get people to buy their products. It's a war in itself, where by the victor goes the spoil, which is usually the company that boasts the most sales at the end of each quarter. Advertising, in essence, is a companies arsenal of weapons.

posted on Nov, 3 2011 @ 05:40 PM
Sounds like my ex. 8 years of college but would fall for any money maing scam she could find. 3rd in charge of a multi billion dollar corporation but not a lick of common sense. We were together for 10 years so that proves it

posted on Nov, 4 2011 @ 04:07 PM
reply to post by UberL33t

agreed. I often dream about creating a codex of sorts that explains the understanding of scheme advertising psycology, and than somehow get it out there because if more people had the same/a similar understanding of how it works, than it gives them the oppurtunity to better understand how each ad/tv show/movie/video game is affecting their psycology and the ability to better overcome the guise of capitalist industry

posted on Nov, 4 2011 @ 04:23 PM

Originally posted by UberL33t

The big question is, how many people can be scammed at once, for how long, and on what scale? I leave it open for discussion.

Looking at the list in the article, what comes to mind for me is that it seems to describe elderly people, mostly for scam artists, although any of us could be fooled.

Anybody with aging parent should give this article to their parents and have them post it next to the telephone so that they will remember to tell phone solicitors especially THAT THEY DO NOT GIVE OUT ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION OVER THE PHONE!!!!!

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