Sky News UK has reported on the results of research into victims of online fraud. The survey revealed that some fraud is never reported due to embarrassment, indifference, or simply not being aware that the fraud has even occurred.
These reasons might seem strange to some people who would assume that any fraud victim would want to see justice and would immediately report the matter to authorities. Unfortunately online fraud caused by spam, phishing, and other scams often does go unreported. Let’s take a closer look at the reasons for this, and why those reasons should be put aside in favour of more reporting.
There are a few different reasons why someone may be too embarrassed to report a fraud. The first is if the amount of money lost is very high. Being scammed out of your life savings would be a devastating and embarrassing event that a lot of people would feel so ashamed about they may want to keep it secret. An attitude of “I should have known better” can sometimes play a role in this.
Another reason is when the nature of the scam is sensitive and embarrassing. Examples of this include Russian mail order bride scams, and fake male enhancement drug scams. In both cases a person could easily be too embarrassed to admit they were attempting to purchase those items in the first place, on top of the embarrassment of being a fraud victim.
It takes a lot of bravery to come forward and admit you were fooled. Two things should be remembered here – firstly these are professional criminals often with very effective methods for tricking people. Secondly, reporting your incident to authorities can help prevent other people from becoming victims in future.
Say what you want about criminals, but they usually aren’t stupid. It might seem strange to look at them this way but a lot of online criminals are basically malicious marketers, and have all of the skills that honest marketers have. One of these is an understanding of human nature, and one of the natural instincts of a lot of humans is not to bother with trivial matters.