Religious more prone to being scammed?

November 23, 2010
By tomsander

Nicole Neroulias with the Religion News Service notes how many scams have preyed on the religious (Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Baptists, black churches and other denominations, and even Utah Mormons).  Is there a pattern she asks?  Quite possibly:

Harvard scholar Robert D. Putnam and Notre Dame’s David E. Campbell found a connection between religiosity and trust in others in their new book, “American Grace: How Religion Unites and Divides Us.”

Based on Harvard’s 2006 Faith Matters Survey, Putnam and Campbell conclude religious people are viewed as more trustworthy by both religious and nonreligious Americans, and also tend to be more trusting of others.

In an interview, Campbell said the strong social networks found in some faith communities, such as “the tight bonds among Mormons,” seems to make them especially vulnerable to fraud.

“The underlying issue, I think, is the question of mutual trust,” agreed Nancy Ammerman, a Boston University professor of religion and sociology. “These schemes rely on and exploit that trust, and people within religious communities tend to have high levels of trust for others within their community.”

Read “Do Religious People Make Easy Targets for Scams” (Huffington Post, by Nicole Neroulias, 11/21/10)


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One Response to Religious more prone to being scammed?

  1. […] I recently wrote on the American Grace blog about the evidence that the religious are more vulnerable to being scammed since they are deemed as more trustworthy and are also more trusting.  Read it here. […]

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