Internet News Hass Associates Warning Article Code 85258083266-HA: Don't Be Fooled By Phishers, Fraudsters, and Scammers

485 views

Published on

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/romeo-vitelli/how-fraudsters-scam-people-psychology_b_3299701.html#slide=754167


"Every year, Americans lose about 40 billion dollars in telemarketing fraud and they lose another 100 billion dollars a year in fraud in general."

In his talk at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry convention held in Nashville, Tennessee last October, Anthony Pratkanis had no problem getting his audience's attention. Pratkanis, a professor of psychology at the University of California in Santa Cruz, is a well-known expert on economic fraud crimes, marketing behaviour, and subliminal persuasion. Along with being the author of several books on fraud, including Weapons of Fraud: A Source Book For Fraud Fighters, he has made numerous television appearances warning the public about the various con games played on vulnerable adults, particularly the elderly.

The consequences of these schemes can be devastating. In a recent court decision, a British judge sentenced three members of a phishing gang to heavy prison time after a British woman lost her entire life savings (US$1.6-million) through a phishing scam. The woman's bank account was siphoned off using an elaborate system of "mules" to withdraw the money without the bank noticing. The gang members then spent the money in an elaborate shopping spree that left little for police to recover. Though the judge ordered the money to be repaid, there seems little likelihood of this ever happening. While the case is unusual for the amount of money stolen from one individual, frauds just like it are being carried out every day.

The con artists can interact with their intended target in any number of ways, whether through spam email, telemarketing, investment seminars, or television commercials. Some of the scams that Pratkanis mentioned in his talk include: charity frauds, investment scams (such as gas and oil development schemes), lottery frauds, etc.

One thing victims share is that they are often too afraid to come forward for fear of being seen as "too gullible." However, Pratkanis and his colleagues' research found that there were no other real pattern to the targets. "Victims come in all shapes and sizes," he said. "Some are active in their community and leaders whereas others fit more stereotypical notions. The only thing they have in common is they have money."

Related Video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es_pDyjw1ec

Related Articles:

http://www.shelfari.com/groups/101845/discussions/487576/Hass-and-Associates-Online-Crime-Ware-Warning-and-Online-Fraud-W

http://hassausooke.wordpress.com/

http://hassbiggerprice.wordpress.com/tag/hass-associates-online-cyber-review-scam-du-jour-theyre-creative/

Published in: Technology
1 Comment
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • I was frankly surprised at the writing style and the amount of info presented in this post. Are you interested to accept a guest blogging gig for a blog with the same niche topics that you deal with? Please let me know..
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
No Downloads
Views
Total views
485
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
2
Comments
1
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Internet News Hass Associates Warning Article Code 85258083266-HA: Don't Be Fooled By Phishers, Fraudsters, and Scammers

  1. 1. Internet News Hass AssociatesWarning Article Code85258083266-HA: Dont BeFooled ByPhishers, Fraudsters, andScammershttp://www.huffingtonpost.ca/romeo-vitelli/how-fraudsters-scam-people-psychology_b_3299701.html#slide=754167
  2. 2. "Every year, Americans lose about 40 billiondollars in telemarketing fraud and they loseanother 100 billion dollars a year in fraud ingeneral."In his talk at the Committee for SkepticalInquiry convention held inNashville, Tennessee last October, AnthonyPratkanis had no problem getting hisaudiences attention. Pratkanis, a professor ofpsychology at the University of California inSanta Cruz, is a well-known expert oneconomic fraud crimes, marketingbehaviour, and subliminal persuasion. Along
  3. 3. The consequences of these schemes can bedevastating. In a recent court decision, aBritish judge sentenced three members of aphishing gang to heavy prison time after aBritish woman lost her entire life savings(US$1.6-million) through a phishing scam.The womans bank account was siphonedoff using an elaborate system of "mules" towithdraw the money without the banknoticing. The gang members then spent themoney in an elaborate shopping spree thatleft little for police to recover. Though thejudge ordered the money to be repaid, there
  4. 4. The con artists can interact with theirintended target in any number ofways, whether through spamemail, telemarketing, investment seminars, ortelevision commercials. Some of the scamsthat Pratkanis mentioned in his talk include:charity frauds, investment scams (such asgas and oil development schemes), lotteryfrauds, etc.One thing victims share is that they are oftentoo afraid to come forward for fear of beingseen as "too gullible." However, Pratkanisand his colleagues research found that therewere no other real pattern to the targets.
  5. 5. Among the things that can make olderpeople more vulnerable is loss of a spouse.Often after a death, potential "saviours"come forward offering solutions that canlead to grieving seniors taking unsafe risks.Part of the danger again comes from whatPratkanis calls the "Disneyland influence,"with scam artists using tactics familiar tosocial psychologists to gain a potentialvictims trust.Some of the most common strategies usedby scam artists are:
  6. 6. • Social proof - if everyone agrees, it mustbe a good deal• Door in the face - asking a potentialvictim for a large commitment which, whenrejected, is followed by a request for asmaller commitment more likely to beaccepted• Authority - the person or companypitching to you is someone to be trusted• Scarcity - if you dont take this dealnow, youll lose out and never get anotherchance
  7. 7. Sweepstakes prizes are one example of aphantom fixation suggesting that purchasingmagazines, etc. can make you eligible forwinning a fabulous prize that nevermaterializes. Making one purchase oftenleads to requests for more money to"increase the chances of winning" the bigprize. The prospect of winning millions canbe overwhelming for people with modestnest eggs.Many older adults also feel they have fewyears remaining and can see the big prize astheir "last chance" at becoming wealthy.
  8. 8. Then there is authority. Scam artists usuallypresent themselves as being, orrepresenting, high-status figures orcelebrities who command instant respect.One convicted con-man in an educationalvideo described how he successfully calledpotential victims posing as bankpresidents, branch managers, or FBI agents.Authority also plays a role in mail andinternet scams with "official" stamps ofgovernment or corporate agencies tocommand respect. Use of celebrities isanother example of authority to help promotescams.
  9. 9. Other familiar scam tactics include:• Reciprocity - providing a free gift to thepotential victims which then makes them feelobligated to buy something• Similarity - the scam artist will pretendto share your values and experiences. Peopleare more likely to be taken by someone withwhom they can identify• Consistency - trapping the intended victimswith their own words. If the proposedvictims report a specific need, such as agood investment, the scam artist willpromptly play on that by insisting that the
  10. 10. No scam artist will rely on only one tactic andthe intended victim will usually be subjected toa barrage of different tactics to wear downresistance. During any direct contact, whetherin person or on the phone, a good scam artistwill essentially interview intended victims tolearn their weak spots. The first sale is usuallyjust a "foot in the door" which makes thevictim more likely to make further purchases.And not just from one scam artist, either. Sincescam artists often share customerlists, accepting one scam can lead to beingsubjected to numerous other scam artistssince you have been identified as a "live one."
  11. 11. Using "mooch lists" that police agencieshave seized from known scam artists, namesand telephone numbers of potential victims offraud are collected. Volunteers from theNational Telemarketing Victim Call Center(NTVCC) call these victims and warn themthat they are potential targets for fraud. Inoperation since 2006, NTVCC maintains a"Reverse Boiler Room" for contactingpotential victims. Fraud Fighters warn thesepotential victims of high-pressure telephonetactics and also provide referrals to localagencies.
  12. 12. Drawing on social psychological researchinto scam techniques, the OutsmartingInvestment Fraud campaign combinesmoderated presentations, educationalvideos, and group exercises to increaseconsumer awareness. The campaign isdesigned to teach consumers to ask the rightquestions and to check the credentials ofbrokers selling the investments. Educationalvideos include interviews with victims, scamartists, and securities regulators as well asshowing the right and wrong way to respond
  13. 13. While information seminars and onlineresources can be effective in teachingpotential victims to be morecautious, curbing a multi-billion dollarindustry will take time and effort.As new cases of people being cheated outof their life savings come to light, stayingvigilant and asking more questions aboutthose "too good to be true" deals is morecritical than ever.Related Video:
  14. 14. Related Articles:http://www.shelfari.com/groups/101845/discussions/487576/Hass-and-Associates-Online-Crime-Ware-Warning-and-Online-Fraud-Whttp://hassausooke.wordpress.com/http://hassbiggerprice.wordpress.com/tag/hass-associates-online-cyber-review-scam-du-jour-theyre-creative/

×