Could your personality increase your risk of fraud?

We have all been relying on virtual means of communication for quite a while now.  Many of us study or work from home, we shop online and try to conduct as much of our business as possible without seeing anyone face to face.

As we can expect, scammers are taking advantage of this new reality, and are spending more of their energy trying to do us out of our money with online and phone scams.

People respond to scams in different ways, and scammers are wise to this – they take differing approaches to try to catch us out, based on a range of potential personality characteristics – much like a person fishing would use different sorts of bait to trick different fish – in the hope of catching something – anything.

You can read this Which? article which alerts people to the ways in which scammers are trying to make us give them our personal information and bank details, using more and more sophisticated psychology to play on our fears and anxieties or our empathy.

The article looks at different personality traits, such as anxiety, sociability, or introversion to examine how they might make us more susceptible to fraud.  Those who are inclined to worry might be more easily threatened by authority, so the well-known HMRC scam may frighten people into immediately ringing back the number given and hand over their personal information because they may be afraid of arrest.  Those who are more inclined to engage sociably online could be susceptible to hard-luck stories and ‘romance’ frauds for instance.

Which? are not suggesting you to change your personality, but be aware of how you engage online, and how scammers might try to defraud you.  There are also helpful tips on how to spot fraudulent websites so you can be safer when you shop online.

We are hoping you will all keep safe, and look after yourselves, including your money.  And remember, if you’re not sure about a scam email, you can contact the Student Advice Service and we can help you go through the checks.

Be safe online

Student Advice Service

Helen is the Student Advice Service Manager within Student Services and is based in Tithe Barn on the Moulsecoomb campus

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