Exposed to Scams: What Separates Victims from Non-victims?

By Marti DeLiema, Ph.D., Stanford Center on Longevity,
Emma Fletcher, Federal Trade Commission,
Christine N. Kieffer, FINRA Foundation,
Gary R. Mottola, Ph.D., FINRA Foundation,
Rubens Pessanha, Ed.D., MBA, PMP, GPHR, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, International Association of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.,
and Melissa “Mel” Trumpower, BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust

Victimization by scams and fraud depends, in part, on two-way engagement between the target of the scam and the fraudster. Some individuals simply do not engage with a scammer; others engage but at some point recognize the deception and cease engagement. Still others engage with the fraud and lose money (sometimes a lot of money). Despite the enormous personal and financial costs of fraud victimization, little is understood about the factors that differentiate these three groups.

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