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:
- 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 terms of agreement statement
- Being impulsive
- Feeling isolated/lonely
- Loss of a job
- Negative change in financial status
- Being concerned about debt
- Being unaware that banks do not send emails to their customers asking them to click on a link to verify personal information
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.