Caught in the Scammer’s Net: Risk Factors that May Lead to Becoming an Internet Fraud Victim, AARP Survey of American Adults Age 18 and Older
Authors: AARP: Doug Shadel, Karla Pak, and Jennifer H. Sauer
Focus Area (s): Victim Profiling, Fraud Surveys, Consumer Behavior, Prevention Techniques
Relevance: Identifying risk factors for being victimized by internet fraud may help identify and protect those who are most vulnerable.
Summary: This multi-state survey of over 11,000 individuals age 18 and older sought to answer three questions:
- Are there behaviors and life experiences that may increase a person’s risk of becoming a victim of online fraud?
- What proportion of individuals may be at risk of being victimized by online fraud?
- How concerned are Americans about online fraud and what if any steps are they taking to protect themselves?
Key findings include:
- Nearly one in five Americans (19%) who use the internet, or as many as 34.1 million people, engage in at least 7 of the 15 behaviors or experience life events that may put them at increased risk of being victimized by online fraud.
- Two-thirds of Americans (65%) who use the Internet, or as many as 116 million, people received at least one online scam offer in 2013.
- Nearly eight in ten (79%) Americans who use the Internet are concerned about being scammed on the Internet.
First Paragraph: A new AARP survey finds there are 15 particular behaviors, life experiences, and knowledge attributes that may make a person more vulnerable to online fraud. Data from this national and multi-state survey of over 11,000 online users also shows that Americans are very concerned about online fraud, yet many avoid taking basic precautions to protect themselves.