Why Do People Fall for Scams?

Why Do People Fall for Scams?


A reader wrote in with the following question about scams: I just came across a new (to me) scam. I received an automated message that my Windows key had expired and that my computer would no longer work! They gave me a toll free (844) number to call. My questions are: 1)My computer is obviously still working, so how do they hook someone? 2) I am tempted to call them for entertainment purposes to hear their pitch/con; any thoughts?

These are great questions! I think the number one reason people fall for scams like this is panic. They see a notice that says there is a problem with their operating system or that they have a virus infection, or even that they are in trouble with the FBI, and the panic response clicks in. Adrenaline begins to rush through their bodies. They want to hit a button or call a number or do something, anything, to correct the problem. It is the same response that causes someone in a panic to run into a wall while looking for an exit.

Part of the issue is that a lot of people don’t feel they are very tech savvy, and they are willing to accept that. Instead of making the effort to learn about things like viruses or how operating systems work, they are content to see technology as something they are at the mercy of. And computers aren’t the only thing people take this attitude toward; for some people, it is vehicles or managing their finances. They think it is too hard, so they just give up.
If more people took a minute or two to take a deep breath and really think, a heck of a lot fewer of them would fall for scams like this. Seriously, your best defense against scams it to just take five minutes to think about whether it makes sense or not.

As for calling a scam company back, if you have the time, you certainly might enjoy yourself. And you will be keeping them from calling someone else.

~ Cynthia
Courtesy of Worldstart.com