Stacey Wood, professor of psychology and Molly Mason Jones chair in psychology, has shared the results of her research published in with The Conversation.
She and her co-researchers studied consumer vulnerability to mass-marketing scams—those that show up in junk mail or as robocalls—to identify factors that increase risk for falling prey to fraud.
The authors found that participants in the study who saw high potential benefit to a prototype, one-page solicitation letter were more likely to respond to that solicitation, even when an “activation fee” of up to $100 was required.
“To best protect yourself from being targeted, you need to be careful and use resources to help avoid scams,” writes Wood. “It is also important to resist clicking and responding to suspicious material in any way. Consumers who quickly identify a solicitation as a risk and dispose of it without wasting time are less vulnerable.”