Embassy receives reports almost every day of fraud committed against U. Typically, the Russian correspondent asks the U. Embassy has received many reports of citizens losing thousands of dollars through such scams. American citizens are advised never to send money to anyone they have not met in person. Embassy in Moscow does not have the authorization to initiate investigations of these scams. Complete and authoritative information on applying for a U.
Moreover, victims are told elaborate and fantastical stories, 7 which might explain why they score higher on sensation seeking compared with nonvictims. Victims are also more likely to score high on addiction characteristics compared with nonvictims, suggesting they find it difficult to pull away from the scam once introduced to the narrative.
This is also in line with previous research that has found that victims find it difficult to believe they have been scammed even when told by law enforcement. Contrary to what was predicted, those who were more highly educated were also more vulnerable to becoming romance scam victims. It may be that better educated people are more likely to use dating sites; however, this finding also suggests that being well educated does not necessarily protect individuals from becoming scammed.
Fisher, Lea, and Evans 11 have suggested that overconfidence can cause individuals to become more vulnerable to scams and it may well be that well-educated people are more confident that they can spot a romance scam.
These speculations require future research and are important to consider when developing prevention programs. The finding that less kind individuals were more likely to be scammed by romance scams was less easy to explain.
Perhaps, less kind individuals have fewer networks to help them check profiles or perhaps they seek out more harmful relationships. Kindness might also be a more transitory disposition. At the time of the scam, researchers have found that criminals isolate the victim from loved ones and push them to focus their time and resources on the fictitious relationship. This might explain why victims of romance scams are less likely to rate highly items such as: Overall, the findings reported here provide some new and important insights into the sorts of people who are scammed by romance scams.
The findings have important implications for prevention and awareness raising programs. Dating sites and SNSs might draw from the information here to target certain types of people to make them aware of romance scams. Moreover, given that romance scam victims scored significantly higher on the addiction scale, programs that could be developed to prevent revictimization of romance scams might draw from programs that have been developed to prevent other addictive problems—such as alcoholics or gamblers anonymous.
National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking. Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw.Internet Scammers - Documentary 2015
Published online Feb 1. Whitty , PhD 1,, 2. Find articles by Monica T. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer.
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Abstract The online dating romance scam is an Advance Fee Fraud, typically conducted by international criminal groups via online dating sites and social networking sites. Introduction M ass-marketing fraud MMF is a type of fraud that exploits mass communication techniques e.
Typology of Victims There has been some speculation about the typology of fraud victims. Current Study This study was interested in whether romance scam victims differ in personal characteristics compared with individuals who have not been scammed.
Age There have been mixed findings on age differences and vulnerability to scams. Gender Although little is known about whether gender predicts likelihood of becoming scammed, in a study on the number of reports of being scammed in an Australian population it has been found that women are more likely to be scammed compared to men. Education There is little known about whether more or less educated people are more likely to be scammed.
Knowledge about cybersecurity Research has found a clear distinction between experts and nonexperts regarding basic security behaviors, such as patching and updating software.
Impulsivity Much of the literature that theorizes about why individuals become defrauded highlights the use of the scarcity tactic employed by criminals and their push for urgency to respond to a crisis. Trust in others gullibility It is a popularly held belief in the media that scam victims are more likely to be gullible individuals. Kind Little is known about whether the victims of MMF are more kind compared with nonvictims; however, given that many of the romance scam narratives involve a victim helping out another it is hypothesized that individuals who score high on a survey measuring kindness are more likely to be victims of romance scams H9 compared with those who have not become victims of romance scams.
Greed Some theorists have argued that victims of fraud tend to be greedy people.
Dating & romance
Materials Data were collected using a questionnaire hosted on the Qualtrics online survey platform. Results The analysis examined whether personal characteristics predicted whether someone became a romance scam victim by comparing those who had been scammed by romance scam with those who had never been scammed by any MMF.
Open in a separate window. SD , standard deviation. Discussion Although there is a paucity of research on the victimology of MMF victims, in line with previous research and thinking, this study supports the notion that specific psychological characteristics may predict the likelihood of becoming a victim of romance scams.
Author Disclosure Statement No competing financial interests exist.
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Why do individuals respond to fraudulent scam communications and lose money? The psychological determinants of scam compliance.
Internet dating email scams
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Human aspects of information security, privacy and trust. Springer; Vol , pp. Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud. Australian Institute of Criminology: If the request for funds is indeed a scam, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to ever recover the money. Please call Member Services at Welcome to Consumer Reports.
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Do You Love Me? Psychological Characteristics of Romance Scam Victims
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