So, you like to ‘click,’ eh? There’s a reason, researchers say

As we all know, scams are everywhere, yet it is also true that some people fall for them while others do not. A new AARP survey of American adults age 18 years or older, Caught in the Scammer’s Net, revealed some new statistics and risk factors that increase the chance of becoming an Internet fraud victim. The survey identified 15 particular behaviors, life experiences, and knowledge attributes that may make a person more vulnerable to online fraud:

Behaviors:

  • Clicking on pop-ups
  • Opening email from unknown sources
  • Selling products on online auction sites
  • Signing up for free limited time trial offers
  • Downloading apps
  • Purchasing through an online payment transfer site
  • Visiting a website that required them to read a privacy policy;
  • Visiting a website that required them to read a terms of agreement statement
  • Being impulsive

Life Experiences:

  • Feeling isolated/lonely
  • Loss of a job
  • Negative change in financial status
  • Being concerned about debt

Knowledge:

  • Being unaware that banks do not send emails to their customers asking them to click on a link to verify personal information
  • Being unaware that a privacy policy does not always mean the website will not share their information with other companies

Based on its survey, AARP estimates that there are 34 million Internet users who are at higher risk of becoming victims.

It is important that consumers are aware of these factors which may make them more vulnerable to online fraud. Scammers specifically target Internet users who display these traits, so it is crucial that internet users understand how they could be tricked before it happens.

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1 Comment

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One response to “So, you like to ‘click,’ eh? There’s a reason, researchers say

  1. Mark Burrows

    I am probably one of the most wary of people on the planet of scams, yet I am not completely invulnerable. Yes, I do somethings on purpose because it is necessary to discover where the scam leads and what the fallout is, but I do these on separate computers that I can restore back to original factory Operating System specifications so they are void of any lingering malicious viruses or bots.
    On the other hand, I am still a consumer and I do make purchases online, but again, I accept the risk factor, and put things into perspective of let the buyer beware. Sometimes I purchase used items, and I prepared myself to fully expect them not to work or meet any expectations. Then if they do work or go beyond any expectations then I am excited. I always make sure that what ever it is, the cost is so low that the loss is less than the hassle of trying to return it. Although I do make the effort to put a public report on the site of the poor condition it was received. Such is the case as buying used CDs from eBay. I do return any used ones from places such as Amazon as they charge far too much anyway.
    I stay completely clear from Craigslist. Does it still exist? I have not heard a complaint about it for a while, and I can’t imagine it becoming wholesome overnight.
    I strongly suggest staying away from free trial offers, some of them do not even work at all, they just appear to do something then tell you that you need to purchase the pro version to solve the problem. It might even be a good product but it is a lousy way to sell their product. The other downside is they will often attach a bunch of other small programs that will run in the background of your computer and collect data that will go out as a piggyback when you do an online reply or send and email, and you are not even aware of it.
    If you wish to have software, then purchase it. If you want to know what it is all about, then do your homework and read about it. There are plenty of sites that will review products that are not owned by the product. Users will tell you what they like and why, as they tell you what they bought and found out it was not to their liking.
    Some of us have been around such a long time, that we are fortune enough to be Beta testers for some software manufactures, and get the free Beta versions, and discounts on the final release of the Pro versions. Unless you have some track record of IT experience or software development, I would not recommend asking manufactures to be a Beta tester, but you can still attempt if you simply ask for the sake of consumer curiosity, they might bend to give you a clean version of a fully working trial program for a time period.
    You have to understand that the internet is a composite of the good, the bad, and the ugly. As it is, it is close to those terms, the bad and the ugly taking up two thirds of what is out there.
    Such as it is, they assume that you are ignorant, lack intelligence, fail to use common sense or logic, are opportunists who want things without the effort, believe in luck, or are just simply lazy. So they will feed upon what you don’t know, and what you are not aware of. They will abuse your fears and your paranoia, they will eke out those who fall for the too good to be true scenario. They even are so bold to advertise as such and say: If you think this is too good to be true, it is better than that it is amazing. Yet, the red flag in that statement, is that they glossed over the word true, or the concept of the truth. You see how simple that is?

    Mark Burrows

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