The Psychology of Email Scams…

Recently I posted a topic “Tis the season to be email scammed..” and someone asked me, “How does someone fall for something that is so obvious?”. I thought about this awhile and concluded that there are certain psychological elements or behavioral characteristics that are within us all that the cybercriminal focuses upon when crafting the scam email.  

Greed – visions of grandeur; that inner compulsive or excessive desire to acquire more or you feel you deserve more. Almost in a sense it is uncontrollable and you will believe just about anything (even when you doubt it); especially if it is something that you think will enhance your standing and is only a “mouse click a way”.

Compassion – a deep awareness of and sympathy for another’s suffering AND the wanting to do something about it… Like greed, it is a behavioral element that can be uncontrollable as well; the person feels a sincere obligation to help. They like to trust everyone!

Vulnerability (Newbies) – a newcomer to computers and the internet. Very vulnerable, susceptible, fearful, afraid they will look dumb if they ask nonsensical questions; AND they don’t know that you should “believe nothing and verify everything”. A Newbie mixed with Greed; or A Newbie mixed with Compassion are prime targets, in my opinion, for an email scam.

Remember, these are just my thoughts and I am no Psychologist by any means; however, to put this all into perspective and to show “in real life” how the psychology of a person can be used against them; click on the link below, “Woman Bilked Of $400K By Nigerian Internet Scam”. This is an article and video that is featured on the “Tech-for Everyone” web site.

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clipped from techpaul.wordpress.com
Woman Bilked Of $400K By Nigerian Internet Scam
I am not exactly sure of the original date of this story, but the blogs are atwitter with it now.
This is the oldest scam on the Internet (well.. one of the oldest anyways) and, frankly, I’m kind of flabberghasted by this woman. There is a wealth of information about these scams on the Internet.. I wonder, if she read Tech-for Everyone, would she have been so ___________ ?
I also wonder why she went public.
I do give ‘props’ to the news crew, though– they almost completely kept their chuckles out of the story.
  blog it

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