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Our Research Catalogue contains grants and outputs data up until April/May 2014.

An examination of the online romance scam

Grant reference: RES-000-22-4022

« View grant details

Conference paper/presentation details

The online dating romance scam : drawing from the ‘hyper-personal theory’ to explain how scammers pull their victims into the romance scam
The online dating romance scam: drawing from the ‘hyper-personal theory’ to explain how scammers pull their victims into the romance scam' disseminated the qualitative findings and discussed how these findings are now being used to train the police. Abstract: The online dating romance scam emerged around 2007 and has its roots in paper-mail based fraud. Whitty and Buchanan (2012) estimated from a nationally representative survey that almost 230,000 people may have been conned by romance fraudsters in Great Britain alone. In this scam, criminals pretend to initiate a relationship through online dating sites or social networking sites with the intention to defraud their victims of money. Scammers create profiles with stolen photographs. At a very early stage the scammer declares their love for the victim and requests that their relationship move from the dating site to Instant Messenger and email, stating they want an exclusive relationship with the victim. Communication is frequent and intense, over periods of weeks, months or even years. Phone calls might also be made, but are typically less frequent. When they feel that the victim is ready, the criminal starts by requesting small amounts of money, which then accelerates to larger amounts of money. Sometimes this involves other characters being brought into the narrative, depending on the country where the scammer resides. Money might be requested to pay fictitious hospital bills, or for airplane tickets. In some cases the victim might be persuaded to visit an African country where they risk being kidnapped. Towards the end of the scam, some individuals are asked to take off their clothes and perform sexual acts in front of the webcam. The fraud ends only when the victim learns they have been scammed and ceases to give money. This study was interested in the strategies criminals employ to successful persuade victims to part with their money. The study employed Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA).
English

Primary contributor

Author Monica T. Whitty

Additional contributors

Co-author Tom Buchanan

Additional details

Yes
18 October 2012
Internet research 13.0
Salford
13
18 October 2012

Files

Whitty_romance scam_AOIR.pdf (.pdf / 3046kb)

Cite this outcome

Harvard

Whitty, Monica T. and Buchanan, Tom The online dating romance scam : drawing from the ‘hyper-personal theory’ to explain how scammers pull their victims into the romance scam. Internet research 13.0, 13, Salford, 2012.

Vancouver

Whitty Monica T. and Buchanan Tom. The online dating romance scam : drawing from the ‘hyper-personal theory’ to explain how scammers pull their victims into the romance scam. Internet research 13.0, 13, Salford, 2012.