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However, in the current study, a person’s level of greed or their perception of their own trustworthiness did not predict their susceptibility to being scammed.Similarly, there was no difference of likelihood of being scammed between people with an internal or external locus of control.

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It would seem reasonable to assume that kind people may be more likely to want to help people in distress and be more likely to be scammed.

Yet contrary to this prediction, the results of this study found that less kind people are more likely to be scam victims.

How Scams Work Typically, after developing a fallacious relationship with a potential victim, the scammer relays a sob story to them which will involve a request for money.

The reason given for the monetary request is usually some kind of emergency for example they have to pay an unexpected hospital bill arising from a sudden illness or accident.

As the scam progresses the nature of the emergency becomes more desperate and more and more money is requested from the victim.

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.

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.

Those who score highly on measures of addiction find it more difficult to ‘walk away’ from the scammer and the scam once it has started, and surprisingly sometimes even when they are informed by the authorities that they have been scammed.

The explanation is that the scam victims are similar to gamblers in that they get caught up in the process, perceiving it as a ‘near win’ situation.

relaying the story of an emergency requiring rapid and urgent help).

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