Professor Stephen Lea

Find out more about Professor Lea's research into why people fall victim to scams.

Psychology Professor appears on Panorama

Professor Stephen Lea has appeared on Panorama talking about his research into why people fall for scams.

The Panorama programme titled ‘Why Hate Junk Mail’ investigates whether Royal Mail would be able to survive without junk mail, and asks what the postal service gets out of scam business post as well as speaking to the victims of scam mail.

Professor Lea is featured talking about his research into why people fall for scams. The research, undertaken by the University of Exeter on behalf of the OFT, provides a valuable insight into why consumers fall victim to scams, as well as the psychological techniques used by scammers to con the UK public out of an estimated £3.5 billion every year.

Professor Lea, who led the research team, said: ‘Modern economic life is complicated and we have to use all sorts of short cuts and rules of thumb to navigate our way through it.  Scammers take advantage of those necessary, everyday processes.  This means that no-one is immune to being scammed.  We need to be on our guard both for ourselves and for our friends and family.  If you have any worries that something might be a scam, you need to talk to someone else about it: It very likely is.’

You can watch the programme in full on the BBC website and Profesor Lea appears at 16mins.

Find out more about Professor Lea's research into why people fall victim to scams.

Date: 8 July 2011

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