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Thirdly, the research revealed that individuals who have an addictive personality are more likely to be the victims of romance scams.
The reason given for the monetary request is usually some kind of emergency for example they have to pay an unexpected hospital bill arising from a sudden illness or accident.
relaying the story of an emergency requiring rapid and urgent help).
The victim has no time to carefully consider the scammer’s monetary request or their own response, and this is therefore the reason as to why impulsive individuals are more likely to fall victim to this tactic.
Psychological Factors Affecting the Likelihood of Being Scammed Firstly, Whitty found that the respondents who scored high on impulsivity were more likely to be the victims of scams.
One of the tactics employed by the scammer is the creation of a sense of urgency to respond to their request (e.g.
It would seem reasonable to assume that kind people may be more likely to want to help people in distress and be more likely to be scammed.
Yet contrary to this prediction, the results of this study found that less kind people are more likely to be scam victims.
The participants in this study were 11,780 people from the UK who completed an online survey.
10,723 were not victims of scams, 728 were one-off victims, with 329 being repeat victims.
Those who score highly on measures of addiction find it more difficult to ‘walk away’ from the scammer and the scam once it has started, and surprisingly sometimes even when they are informed by the authorities that they have been scammed.
The explanation is that the scam victims are similar to gamblers in that they get caught up in the process, perceiving it as a ‘near win’ situation.
A recent study by Monica Whitty, examined several psychological characteristics which she suggested might be important in predicting whether someone may be likely to fall victim to being scammed.