Criminologist, Dr. Jones Opoku Ware, says the state must make it a point to conscientise citizens against Ponzi schemes, scams and frauds.
Describing scams and frauds as psychological warfare, he stated that scammers prey on the vulnerabilities of unsuspecting victims, toying with their reasoning in order to swindle them of their money.
He noted that to prevent these schemes from happening year on year, the government through its agencies must create awareness campaigns to educate and sensitise the public on how to identify and avoid these schemes entirely.
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, he said, “It is about a certain level of vulnerability and that is why I was talking about the cognition. Somebody can have a high IQ, high intelligence quotient but then will still have problem with logical reasoning and be vulnerable.
“So that is where we have to look at. And I’m thinking that if the state would have to come in, one, we have to make sure that we give more information to the people and educate the people.”
He noted that while it is necessary for state institutions and regulators to release press statements, these press statements are not enough to prevent the scammers from continuing with business as usual.
He said there must be a more holistic approach to addressing these schemes in the society.
“For me it is fine, but is it far-reaching enough to be able to conscientise people because we have already said that this thing is a psychological warfare. And now once something is psychological what we have to do is that we have to work on changing the psyche of people and engaging in what we call behavior modification.
“So it is a conscious effort that we have to make ensure that we psyche the people up and to turn their minds from those kind of schemes. So it is not just a matter of issuing statements and saying that look, don’t do this, don’t do that.
“This is something that is psychological so you need to work on people’s thought processes and I’m thinking that that is where the state will have to channel its energy, and then also apply the rules and the laws that govern how that space is regulated so that people will not just get up and then begin to now demand certain monies and begin to do things.
“If they don’t do that, I’m telling you every year we’re going to have people falling prey to some of these things,” he said.
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