GREENSBORO, N.C. — Scam victims come from all walks of life, education levels and backgrounds. So why do some people fall for a scam while others do not?
A new study from the Better Business Bureau and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority or FINRA is shedding light on what they call the “scam mentality”.
"Certain people are more vulnerable to certain types of scams," said Gary Mottola, Research Director, FINRA Investor Education Foundation.
Mottola and other researchers interviewed people contacted by con artists. They found those who lost money were less likely to question authority.
"You don't want to mess with the IRS, that was my viewpoint at that point," said Jackie. “They said on the phone, we have a miscalculation on your tax file, you owe us some money."
Jackie says that's what a caller claiming to be an IRS agent told her. But it was actually a con artist who demanded $500.
The study also showed scam victims may believe people who ask too many questions seem ignorant and that wealth is built on random opportunities, which can make them vulnerable to job scams.
"I couldn't find another job like I said I'm, I'll be 60 years old in November," said Karl.
Researchers discovered many scam victims think the world rewards good people, leading them to trust others.
Mottola says whether it's a phone call or email, always question why someone is asking for money or personal information, and don't be afraid to ask friends and family for advice. The worst that happens, is you’re embarrassed in front of someone who knows you. It’s better than being out of money.