A new report by the AARP has collectively identified the key behaviors and life experiences that cause a certain group to fall victim to online fraud.
According to a recent report titled “Caught in the Scammer's Net,” 34 million people are at higher risks of scams if they open an email from an unfamiliar sender, sign up for free trial offers, or click on pop-up advertisements.
Its conclusion was based on a 15-question survey, which garnered answers from 11,000 adult Internet users last November and December.
The survey's questions encompassed all the key factors that induce fraudulent acts. Online fraud victims were reportedly involved in seven of the 15 risk factors.
However, personal issues heavily influenced some people's choices as well. (image)
AARP's Joe Sanchez, who helps manage the organization's latest Fraud Watch Network in Texas, says that engaging in such online activities doesn't always mean that it's linked to a scam. However, “if such online engagement occurs during a vulnerable moment when you're feeling lonely or have just lost your job, it can add up to the perfect opportunity for a scammer.”
AARP's statistic results share how additional life experiences could cause online deception:
- Sixty-six percent of victims and 42 percent of non-victims said they “often or sometimes feel isolated.”
- Twenty-three percent of victims and 10 percent of non-victims said they had experienced loss of a job.
- Forty-four percent of victims and 23 percent of non-victims said they had suffered a “negative change in financial status” in the past two years.
Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond says that Fraud Watch Network will help prevent such cases from happening. The program plans to assist AARP members and non-members by connecting them with professionals who could help them combat the issue.
“We're arming people with information about what makes them vulnerable and giving them access to the tools they need to outsmart con artists before they strike,” she said.
Law enforcement will also play a major role in cracking down on Internet frauds.
Free services such as prevention tips, watchdog alert emails, and phone call hotlines will be available to those concerned about their risk or who have already been victimized by online scammers.
Image via YouTube