How fraudsters sell to older people

mobile-paymentCreating excitement about a proposition, putting a time limit on making a purchase decision, invoking trusted sources.

These are recognisable strategies that are often used to encourage potential customers to buy, and buy fast.

Whether you like them or not, they are often employed by genuine businesses to get people off the “I’m not sure” fence and buying.

Now, though, it seems financial fraudsters are using the same methods to victimise older people.

A new report from Stanford University has found that scammers are using “high-arousal” emotions such as anger or excitement to encourage people to make risky purchases.  And older people seem to be more vulnerable to this approach than younger people.

Even though they may recognise that an appeal may not be credible, older people are still more likely to make that decision to buy if their emotions have been heightened than if they are in a more “low-arousal” state of being bored, depressed or tired..

This puts a new perspective on how we sell to this age group.

You could argue that if the research is valid, it’s a perfectly feasible approach to selling real goods and services to older people. But if fraudsters are busy perfecting the art, should we be taking the moral high ground and refusing to get involved?