The troubling rise of the romance scam

Kate Kleinert was home by herself one day in summer 2020 when she received a friend request from an attractive stranger on Facebook. He introduced himself as Tony, a Norwegian physician stationed in Iraq.


Eve Upton-Clark


Archa Dileep ’24 and Hannah Lak ’23 Research Scams, Fraud, and Catfishing

Archa Dileep ’24 and Hannah Lak ’23 have been working in Professor Wood’s lab since fall 2021 as part of a collaborative, passionate group studying psychological issues around scams and fraud. 

Katie Hanson


Pension Poachers are Targeting America’s Elderly Veterans

Larry Eber’s life was derailed when middlemen pledged to help him get supplemental benefits. Similar tales of alleged manipulation are playing out for thousands of former service members and their families.


Nick Leiber

San Francisco Chronicle

‘He held me hostage with no gun but with his words’: The phone scam gaslighting therapists

It started with a voice mail on Jaime Bardacke’s cell phone that sounded work-related.


Carolyn Said


How catfishers exploit basic human neuroscience

Science explains why so many smart people let their guard down in the realm of online dating


Dr. Stacey Wood


E! True Hollywood Story: Star Sisters

In episode 1 of Star Sisters, E! explores iconic sisters Beyoncé & Solange Knowles, Britney and Jamie Lynn Spears, and Miley and Noah Cyrus, and Dr. Stacey Wood discusses how conservatorships play a role in some of these celebrities’ stories.


Dr. Stacey Wood
The New York Times

MacKenzie Scott Gave Away Billions. The Scam Artists Followed.

She has no large foundation, headquarters or public website. That makes it easier to dispense money on her own terms — and for others to prey on the vulnerable in her name.


Nicholas Kulish
BBC News

Boom time for scammers


During the Coronavirus pandemic, people have been spending more time at home, and online, than ever before. This has given online scammers a golden opportunity to find new victims.


Business Daily
Los Angeles Times

Column: Scam victims may feel stupid. And ashamed. And that’s perfectly normal

Getting scammed is bad enough. But what are victims then supposed to do with the feelings of foolishness and frustration that often accompany acts of fraud?

David Lazarus
The New York Times

Bogus Vaccines. Fake Testing Sites. Virus Frauds Are Flourishing.

By telephone, phishing emails, text messages or social media promotions, unscrupulous actors are using their warped creativity to separate people from their cash.


Ann Carrns

The New York Times

Americans Have Lost $145 Million to Coronavirus Fraud


More than 200,000 complaints of scams and fraud have been filed so far this year, data from the Federal Trade Commission shows.


Morales, Christina

The New York Times

Is Your Vaccine Card Selfie a Gift for Scammers? Maybe

You finally got your vaccine, and you’re excited to share the proof. Here’s why that may not be a good idea, and what you can do instead.


Christine Hauser


6 Psychological Tactics Used by COVID19 Scammers


Scam artists will stop at nothing to exploit the fear, social isolation and uncertainty fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Sari Harrar


Here’s how scammers are exploiting coronavirus fears

Scammers are exploiting coronavirus fears: Every epidemic brings with it accompanying grifts. Here’s how scammers think.


Wood, Stacey, David Hengerer, Marian Liu & Yaniv Hanoch


Star Trek Icon Nichelle Nichols the Victim of Abuse


Court documents filed to the Los Angeles district of the Superior Court of California describe allegations of sustained elder abuse


Whalen, Andrew

Los Angeles Times

Britney Spears hasn’t fully controlled her life for years

In late April, Britney Spears delivered a plea to her 22 million Instagram followers. Fans insist it’s time to #FreeBritney. Los Angeles Times.


Newberry, Laura

Psychology Today

Reporting on elder fraud from the field and the lab


The Fraud Crisis: Reporting on elder fraud from the field and the lab.



Wood, Stacey


What I learned by chatting with Chinese robocallers

Have you received a Chinese-language robocall lately? Or a hundred of them? Federal authorities say these computer-generated scams are on the rise again.

Tong, Scott

Contact Dr. Wood Today

Molly Mason Jones Professor of Psychology; Licensed Clinical Psychologist in Washington State and CA.

Phone: (909) 607-9505
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