Intelligence and experience can make you vulnerable to scams - Expert

11 Dec 2023 07:00am
 Image for illustrative purposes only - Photo by 123RF
Image for illustrative purposes only - Photo by 123RF

SHAH ALAM - In a surprising revelation, experts have highlighted that confidence in intelligence or experience can paradoxically render individuals vulnerable to scams.

Technology-driven schemes exploit this assurance, making even well-educated people susceptible to fraud by preying on their perceived immunity.

This revelation comes in the wake of recent police statistics in Malaysia revealing a troubling trend.

Individuals aged 31 to 40 disproportionately engage in investment fraud cases, prompting a need to analyse contributing factors and explore prevention strategies amid 1,099 reported instances within this age group out of a total of 4,435 cases.

CyberSecurity Malaysia's CEO Datuk Dr Amirudin Abdul Wahab highlighted the potential development of overconfidence in individuals, particularly those with more life experience, to recognise and avoid scams.

“This overconfidence can lead to a lack of diligence in assessing the legitimacy of offers or investments.

"Other than that, individuals who have navigated various life challenges successfully may become complacent, assuming that they are immune to scams,” he told Sinar Daily on Wednesday.

Amirudin highlighted that this complacency could decrease vigilance, making individuals more susceptible to sophisticated scams.

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However, he stressed that scammers are opportunistic and indiscriminate, targeting individuals across diverse backgrounds, ages, educational levels, and incomes.

“The pervasive nature of scams highlights the vulnerability that cuts across society, affecting people nationwide.

"Regardless of demographic factors, individuals fall prey to scams, stressing the need for a comprehensive and inclusive approach to combating fraudulent activities,” he added.

In a related matter, Novem Cyber Security CEO T Murugason delved into the role of self-confidence as a significant factor contributing to individuals falling prey to scams.

He pointed out that individuals of any age who believe they are too smart or well-informed to be tricked are highly likely to become victims, especially in the contemporary landscape where technology is extensively employed in various scams.

Murugason further shed light on the paradox of well-educated individuals with intact cognitive abilities frequently becoming victims of scams.

This paradox arises partly because their confidence leads them to believe they do not fit the profile of fraud victims and, therefore, they cannot fall for such schemes, making them less cautious in their approach.

“The stereotype of which people are susceptible to scams and frauds often is wrong.

"People who never expected to be victims of scams and frauds often are scammed and are among the most vulnerable.

"This stereotype is that older people with reduced cognitive abilities are the most likely to be scammed. But many other people are vulnerable, and those who do not fit the stereotype must stay alert for potential scams,” he said.

Recently, a media report highlighted those between the ages of 31 and 40 were the most gullible to scams, making up the bulk of the 4,435 investment fraud reports.

According to the police statistics, those aged 31 to 40 accounted for 1,099 of investment scams, with those aged 41 to 50 involved in 953 cases and those aged 21 to 30 involved in 835 cases.