Research Paper: Do You Love Me? Psychological Characteristics
of Romance Scam Victims by Monica T. Whitty, Ph.D.
Published in: CYBERPSYCHOLOGY, BEHAVIOR, AND SOCIAL NETWORKING
Volume 21, Number 2, 2018
The online dating romance scam is an Advance Fee Fraud, typically conducted by international criminal groups via online dating sites and social networking sites. This type of mass-marketing fraud (MMF) is the most frequently reported type of MMF in most Western countries. This study examined the psychological characteristics of romance scam victims by comparing romance scam victims with those who had never been scammed by MMFs. Romance scam victims tend to be middle-aged, well-educated women. Moreover, they tend to be more impulsive (scoring high on urgency and sensation seeking), less kind, more trustworthy, and have an addictive disposition. It is argued here that these findings might be useful for those developing prevention programs and awareness campaigns.
Keywords: romance scam, fraud, cybercrime, mass marketing fraud
Notice: SCARS neither agrees or disagrees with the findings presented. They are shared for the purpose of furthering the understanding of both the crime and the victims they impact.
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Miami Florida U.S.A.
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