The psychology of scams, ebook

In this case there is nothing better than the quote “Know your enemy” - Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, we’re submerged by SCAMS everyday, this ebook is a good to read in order to increase your defence against them.

Prepared for the Office of Fair Trading by theUniversity of Exeter School of Psychology [May 2009]. The psychology of scams: Provoking and committing errors of judgement



  • 1 Executive summary
  • 2 Introduction
  • 3 Previous research on the psychology of scams
  • 4 A new theoretical approach: Scam response as an error of judgement
  • 5 A strategy for researching errors of judgement in falling for scams
  • 6 Study One: extended interviews with scam victims
  • 7 Study Two: text mining of a sample of scam communication materials
  • 8 Profiles of different scam types
  • 9 Study Three: a comparison of susceptibility to errors of judgement in victims and non-victims of scams
  • 10 Study Four: an experiment with a scam simulation
  • 11 General conclusions
  • 12 Implications for policy and practice
  • 13 References


  • A Literature review on the psychology of scams
  • B Study One: Details of the interview method
  • C Study One: Further details from the analysis of interview transcripts
  • D Study Two: Details of methods used for text mining analysis of scam materials and results
  • E Study Three: Details of method
  • F Study Three: Text of the questionnaires
  • G Study Three: Tests of the significance of group differences in questionnaire responses
  • H Study Four: Text of the letter inviting participation in study 4b
  • I Study Four: Questionnaire used in both studies 4a and 4b
  • J Study Four: Results of factor analyses of responses to the questionnaire items
  • K Study Four: Tests of the significance of group differences in return rates and questionnaire responses

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