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Posted 29 May 2023

Being Targeted by Fraud

It is easy to think “I will never fall into a fraudulent trap” or “I know I would recognize the signs immediately.” The reality is the illusion of invulnerability can make it easier to be victimized by fraud. No one is exempt from the possible attempt of fraud. Scams come in all shapes and sizes, and are customized to target certain groups of people. Everyone is most likely to land in one or more of those targeted groups. What is most important is to learn how to respond when under fraudulent attack.

Target groups

People are targeted for a variety of reasons and in a plethora of different ways. The most common reason people are preyed upon are age and economic status. The elderly are usually targeted for reasons of assumed establishment and emotional vulnerability. This could be in regards to money, such as savings or investments, property ownership, family and personal/romantic relationships.

The younger population may not be considered established, and therefore their desires of monetary growth are used against them. Others are targeted at random or because of the easy accessibility to sensitive information. Easy access may even mean the person who may be trying to scam you is someone you know personally.  Scammers search for all kinds of perceived weaknesses or soft spots to fraudulently violate someone.

Why we fall

Fraudsters hope to manipulate the decisions you make by putting their prey in situations that will create emotional responses and cause you to act quickly. These responses usually cause some sort of stress, which can affect decision making. A scammer creates a sense an urgency to get someone to make a decision under stress that they would not normally make if they were able to think things through. Anger can lead to impatience which can also alter the way you make a decision. Being aware of your emotions while making decisions will help to make better choices. Linking emotion with logic is key to not become prey.

Think before reacting

According to OVC Archive, every year tens of millions of people become a causality of some type of fraud. The best way to protect yourself from fraud of any kind is to be well informed. Stay up to date on the kinds of fraud that exist and how scammers may be choosing their prey. Remind yourself that fraud can also be presented in a way to trigger a psychological response. The goal is to cause immediate confusion, anger, or even panic. These emotions may cause you to act quickly making costly decisions with mislead information. Do not make the mistake of believing you are immune to becoming a target and make sure that you always think before reacting.


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