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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

An examination of the online romance scam

Grant reference: RES-000-22-4022

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Journal article details

The online dating romance scam : causes and consequences of victimhood
Journal article describing survey-based research on online romance scams. Online daters (N = 853) and participants recruited from a victim support site (N = 397) completed a battery of online questionnaires. High scores on the romantic belief of Idealization were associated with likelihood of being a romance scam victim. Victims experienced significant emotional distress as well as financial losses. Even respondents who reported being fooled by scammers, but who had not lost any money, reported significant distress. Level of emotional distress was associated with high Neuroticism, and also with high Loneliness and low Openness to Experience among victims not losing money. The findings have implications for the feasibility of crime-prevention measures based on victim characteristics, and for treatment of victims by law enforcement and other stakeholders.

Primary contributor

Author Tom Buchanan

Additional contributors

Co-author Monica Whitty

Additional details

Final version of article accepted 17/12/12
Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
01 January 2014
Psychology, crime and law