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Why Some People are More Vulnerable to Online Scams

Why Some People are More Vulnerable to Online Scams

The year 2014 set record numbers in terms of victims of online scams. Even though every day there are much more warnings on the internet regarding the risks, people continue to fall victim. Philippines investigators have reported a significant increase in internet fraud for last year.  But why?

Where you come from is important

No one is immune from fraud, but people from certain countries are definitely better targets for scammers. It basically has to do with one thing: money.  Developed countries like the United States, Australia, Canada or the U.K. have greater GDP´s per capita than many countries in the world, or at least their income is a lot greater than in the Philippines.  The second factor is that people from all the above countries speak English as their native language, which in practical terms means that chances are pretty good of finding someone with whom a scammer can communicate easily, and who is in a financial condition that allows gifts and economic assistance on a monthly basis. So people from wealthy countries should be more cautious, because it´s more likely that they will be targeted.

Internet connectivity and age

Statistics of internet crime show that people over 50 are more susceptible to online fraud. One of the reasons is that they were not born with the Internet, and getting used to the online culture is not that easy. Younger people are more aware of the threats, they know better what is a normal thing to do online and what seems a scam.  People over their 50´s tend to be more naïve when it comes to clicking on bad links, giving out their information on fake websites, and even on online dating relationships.   The simple truth is, the world is not a safe place like it once was.  Criminals are at every turn.

Another reason is that retirees use the web for entertainment. While people who are still working use the internet more for work-related things, seniors connect to have fun. Normally they are either browsing the web for news and interesting information, or they are trying to meet new people. Social networks and online dating sites are the greatest grounds for scam, so it´s easier for them to fall for any of the online scams running in Facebook. Besides, online scammers in the Philippines are pretty well connected, unlike other countries, and are constantly looking also for new content.

Having a trusting nature

There is a personal factor in the online scamming game. Some people can´t imagine how anyone else in the planet could take advantage of someone with a disability, or a lonely and recently widowed man, or the victims of a tragic event. But sadly all of the above are the most appetizing cases for a scammer.  Online criminals have no boundaries, and they will do whatever they need to in order to get their money. Being skeptical about everything is a good rule nowadays, and it is always better to verify who is behind a profile, especially when dealing with people from the Philippines.  Of course there are great people in the Philippines who are trustworthy and honest.  However, due to the high risk for fraud and scams, it pays to be extra cautious and to verify, rather than learning the hard way.

Remembering to be cautious

Do not think that if you don´t match the above you´ll never be a victim. The truth is that everyone is vulnerable in their own very way. We are all human beings, we are very much driven by curiosity, we like to meet new people, and we like to help. Scammers are getting more and more expert at what they do, and is not so easy to distinguish right from wrong anymore. If you´re getting into any new online relationship, play it safe and get a background check!  Speak to a professional today about how to verify your online contacts and relationships, and don’t be a victim of fraud.

C. Wright
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