Business

Fraudsters 'use tricks of speech' in cons

Older woman on phone Image copyright Science Photo Library

Cold-calling fraudsters use an urgent tempo of conversation or apologetic language to convince victims they are genuine, research has suggested.

The con-artists often adopt the persona of someone in authority such as a police officer or a fraud detection manager, transcripts have shown.

The Take Five campaign, which raises awareness of scams, asked a speech pattern analyst to study calls.

Dr Paul Breen said fraudsters use a variety of techniques to garner trust.

"The process used by fraudsters is carefully scripted from beginning to end - knowing the language fraudsters will use to mimic patterns of trust can help people to avoid becoming a victim," he said.

He found that while many people are more likely to trust a stranger over the phone if they sound like a "nice person", a caller acknowledging someone's concerns and sounding apologetic can be the hallmark of a scam.

Analysis suggested that fraudsters use snippets of information about their victims, remain patient and acknowledge concerns about security to gain the trust of the person being called.

Cases of identity fraud have been rising, with young people a growing target, often after people give up personal information to someone pretending to be from their bank, the police or a retailer.

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