(English) Who do fraudsters target and why do we get caught out?


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Hello tellows friends,

For our blog this week, we thought it would be fun to do something different and give you a more general report about who fraudsters target and why we fall for scams.

Who do scammers target and why?

  1. Senior citizens

Because senior citizens are often not as tech savvy as younger people, they can easily become a target for scammers. Older people are the most likely to fall victim to the notorious tech support scam, which you can read about here in one of our recent blog posts. Unfortunately, it is not only tech scammers who target older people.

A user wrote the following comment about the number +6449749482:

Scammer selling health products targeting my elderly mother

Mary commented on the number 02081237264:

Supposed to be HMRC demanding money for outstanding tax and threatening court action. Appears to be targeting the elderly

The elderly are also frequently targeted by persistent and sometimes threatening sales calls.

Julie wrote the following about the number 01202879317:

Called me a while ago and I told them to do one so they contacted my elderly mother direct she is terrible memory problems the start of onset dementia they reduced her to tears threatening if she doesn’t pay now she’ll occur further bank charges I’m so so angry I had to rush to my mums and when I tried to call it back it won’t connect. I’m so sick of cold callers targeting my elderly mum and persuading her to give bank details

  1. Students

Students are often living away from home for the first time and can be a little unsure about how to react to fraudulent calls. Some perhaps don’t question the identity of cold callers and hand over their details straight away. International students are another at-risk group, as they may not be completely used to the customs and laws in their new country. These students especially are more vulnerable to fake official scams given that they may not be so familiar with the authorities in the new country. This demographic are also targeted by numerous scams about student loan repayments.

Why do we fall for scams?

  1. We get scared

This is especially true of fake official scams, which are unfortunately particularly common. The two key types of these are tax scams and fake police scams. The tax scam involves someone claiming to be from the HMRC ringing to either offer a tax refund or recover more tax money from you. With the fake police scam, you may be told that there is a warrant out for your arrest and the only way to avoid jail is by transferring money out of your bank account.

  1. The scam is realistic

Scams can seem realistic for a variety of reasons. Firstly, when the fraudsters know some or all of your details. When the caller knows who you are and maybe even where you live it can definitely be tempting to trust them. Similarly, some types of scam are particularly realistic. For example, fake investment fraudsters often have all sorts of made-up evidence to back up their claims, such as official looking resources like websites and customer testimonies.

  1. We believe their backstory

These are the kind of scams that we hear about in the news. Fraudsters take advantage of other people’s good nature and ask for their help, only to steal their money. This is often an easy trick to fall for. Maybe you think that you are donating to a charity or to help fund someone’s life-changing operation. Unfortunately, however, these callers aren’t always who they claim to be.

Can you think of anything that you would add to these lists? Let us know on our social media channels!

Your tellows team



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