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EASY TO BE SCAMMED

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 Have you ever been scammed or know someone who has? We have all had those dubious emails claiming to be from your bank, but scammers are also getting increasingly wily.


In fact, you can be scammed through the post, on the phone, by a person, via text messages or someone on your doorstep you think you know and can be trusted.


Falling for a scam is something most people will not admit to. Scammers know this and use it to their advantage; the type of person you would think could not fall for a scam.


I too was a victim of a travelling package scammer. Scammers are good at their job; this is their chosen profession. In fact, your embarrassment is the key to their continued success. It is time to end their success by taking action.


As a social worker someone may innocently wonder why I am so concerned about the issue of scammers, also frequently known as imposters. As individuals it is easy to think that we are smart enough to avoid getting ripped off. But, the truth is, it happens to the best of us. Including me!


‘Victims’ suffer both financial losses and psychological impacts; with the latter sometimes outweighing the former, with large sums of money lost. One of our motivations to investigate this old phenomenon is the severity of this psychological harm.
In some cases victims have been known to attempt or commit suicide. Familiar reactions to being scammed include shame, guilt, embarrassment, depression, grief, anxiety and loss of trust.


Additionally, studies have shown that the impact of financial scams cannot be measured by monetary loss alone; in some cases, particularly when the victims are older and vulnerable people, they can cause permanent damage to a person’s quality of life.


Thus, while it is nearly impossible to know when you will be scammed, it is important to know what kind of scams exist round about you and what to do should the situations arise. There are so many types of scams. But for this particular article I will stick to a travelling or holiday package. Many people plan to take off from their hectic work and go on vacation.


Once we plan a holiday trip, the very first step we do is searching for a travel agency that offers attractive holiday packages for a very reasonable price.


Believe it or not, the moment you search for holiday packages or respond to an advert, you are under the vicinity of unscrupulous scammers, who are ready to pull your hard earned money. 


The author feels we have often underplayed hugely the emotional and psychological significance of feeling duped and having someone come in and con you of your life savings so much that we tend to snub it until it happens to you. Time has shown that scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods.


Under normal circumstances people tend to obey authorities so scammers use or are people from reputable organisations that commands authority, and victims fall for cues that make the offer look like a legitimate one as being made by a reliable official pretending to be linked to a reliable institution. Scams are often adapted to create the impression that the offer is unique to the beneficiary.


They also accentuate the urgency of a response to reduce the potential victim’s motivation to process the scam content objectively. Scammers ask their potential victims to make small steps of compliance to draw them in and thereby cause victims to feel committed to continue sending money.


Fraud victims are led to focus on the alleged exciting reward in comparison to the relatively small amount of money they have to send in order to obtain their windfall; a phenomenon called ‘phantom fixation.’


The high value reward that scam victims thought they could get by responding, makes the money to be paid look rather small by comparison.
Sadly, fraudsters take advantage of judgement being clouded by the thrill of buying tickets for that dream destination with fake and fraudulent resort presentations.
Scam alert: The only payment option is a bank transfer!

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