FROM THE SCAMMER PERSPECTIVE: PREDISPOSITIONS TOWARDS ONLINE FRAUD MOTIVATION AND RATIONALIZATION
Cybercrime and online scams are rampant in today’s tech-savvy world. In the past, scammers relied heavily on emails to contact potential victims but today, the presence and widespread usage of social networking platforms and e-commerce businesses has increased the availability of potential victims and made them easily accessible. It could be assumed that since unsuspecting users seek various products or services online - rentals, booking trips, seeking jobs, dating, it makes them easy targets for scammers yet, it is not just individual users who suffer from fraud, but organizations and institutions as well. A study at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research found that cybercrime costs the global economy up to approximately 540 billion euros annually. There is plenty of research on the technical measures that individuals and organizations may take to prevent themselves from falling prey to fraudsters, however, research trends in the recent past have shifted towards analyzing the human element present in the scenarios. Researchers have argued that identifying the underlying psychological and sociological factors used by fraudsters could help tackle the very root cause of such fraudulent attacks. While there exists some research focusing on the experiences and psychology of victims of these attacks as well as the countermeasures that can be taken to protect them from such attacks, there is little research on the psychology and motivation of those who commit online fraud. This study aims to identify the psychological factors that affect the predilection of scammers to commit online fraud.