These clients are more likely to fall victim to a financial scam

Research reveals certain behaviours and beliefs that make people more susceptible to fraud

These clients are more likely to fall victim to a financial scam
Steve Randall

Financial fraud is on the rise, exacerbated by heavy use of online systems and accounts including financial services.

But what makes some people more likely to be victims of financial scams including cybercrimes than others?

That’s what a study conducted ahead of World Investor Week (Oct. 4-10, 2021) has investigated and the findings show several behaviours and beliefs that put people at risk.

It’s not as simple as those who use inadequate or duplicate passwords. The research discovered that an individual’s world view – or ‘mental frames’ play a key role in their susceptibility to fraud.

Specifically, the mental frames governing compliance, opportunity, intelligence, and order, increased the risk.

These include beliefs such as:

  • Authority should not be challenged.
  • Financial opportunities are a zero-sum game with clear winners and losers.
  • The world is organized in a way that rewards good people.
  • Asking too many questions can make a person seem ignorant.

The study was conducted by The FINRA Investor Education Foundation (FINRA Foundation), Better Business Bureau (BBB) Institute for Marketplace Trust, and the University of Minnesota.

"This research gives us new ways to understand who is at risk for losing money to financial scams and opens novel possibilities for protecting people against different forms of fraud," said FINRA Foundation president Gerri Walsh. "We hope these insights into the role that beliefs and attitudes play in fraud victimization will stimulate additional research and the development of effective strategies to reduce consumer losses."