Investigating factors that influence scamming vulnerability through an online money scamming scenario.
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Attempts to maliciously influence people in an online environment, irrespective of the consequences, is dramatically escalating due to the growth of the internet. Furthermore, the change and development of social rules and norms from an offline environment to an online environment cause feelings of uncertainty regarding the authenticity of online communications and transactions. Thus, this led to the investigation of what makes an individual more susceptible to online manipulation such as fraud. Current understandings reveal certain demographic and personality factors result in an individual being more scam vulnerable. However, due to some conflicting research within this field of research, the present paper aims to review the previous literature regarding scamming vulnerability and overcome these uncertainties through the analysis of certain demographic and personality factors. Data was collected using snowballing and opportunity sampling techniques from 109 participants. The present study involved completing an email scam scenario from a low or high visceral approach, then completing the Online Trust Behaviour Scale (Taylor-Jones & Graff, 2014), the Gullibility Scale (Teunisse, 2016) and the Tromso Social Intelligence Scale (Silvera, Martinussen & Dahl, 2001). Results demonstrated that there was a main effect between age and the likelihood of compliance, and visceral influence and the likelihood of compliance. However, there was no interaction between these factors, nor was a significant effect found between gender and the likelihood of compliance. Additional analyses revealed that online trust significantly predicted the likelihood of compliance; however, gullibility and social intelligence were not significant contributors to predict the likelihood of compliance. Henceforth, the findings from the present study are later discussed in relation to prior research within the field of scamming vulnerability.
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