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relaying the story of an emergency requiring rapid and urgent help).
The victim has no time to carefully consider the scammer’s monetary request or their own response, and this is therefore the reason as to why impulsive individuals are more likely to fall victim to this tactic.
Furthermore, it is females who are middle aged who are also likely to be more vulnerable.
The findings from this research provide insight into the types of people likely to become scam victims, and have implications for scam awareness and scam prevention.
It could be that less kind individuals have fewer social networks (presumably as a result of being less kind), and therefore focus more of their time on the fake relationship created by scammers and thus fall victim.
In addition to the promise of a great relationship, the victims of romance scams are often promised wealth.
Scammers operate by constructing false profiles on dating sites, cultivating relationships with potential victims, before attempting to extract money from them.
Furthermore, scammers sometimes steal the identities of other people who have internet or social networking profiles, and use these stolen identities in their fake dating profiles in order to appear more attractive or appealing.
Stories exist of victims parting with their life savings and even remortgaging their houses to obtain funds to send to the scammer. The scenario described above sounds so incredible that doubtless we would say that we would never fall for such a ploy. Therefore the question is whether psychology can help in predicting the types of people most likely to fall victim to dating scams.
Thirdly, the research revealed that individuals who have an addictive personality are more likely to be the victims of romance scams.
Whitty suggests that people get involved in scams because they become addicted to the scam itself.
In fact, the opposite was the case with better educated people more likely to be scammed.
Previous research by Fisher, Lea and Evans (2013) suggested that overconfidence may cause people to be more vulnerable and therefore it may be the case that better educated individuals are confident that they can identify a scam whereas in reality they cannot. Other Factors Predicting Likelihood of Being Scammed In addition to the psychological factors outlined above, this study also found that age predicted vulnerability to being scammed, with middle aged people more likely to be the victims of scamming than younger or older people. Psychological Characteristics of Romance Scam Victims’ Cyberpsychology, Behaviour and Social Networking.