The ACA effect: Examining how current affairs programs shape victim understandings and responses to online fraud

Cross, Cassandra & Richards, Kelly (2015) The ACA effect: Examining how current affairs programs shape victim understandings and responses to online fraud. Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 27(2), pp. 163-177.

View at publisher


In recent years, numerous current affairs stories on online fraud victimisation have been broadcast on Australian television. These stories typically feature highly organised, international ‘sting’ operations, in which alleged offenders are arrested and investigated by law enforcement. These portrayals of police responses influence the expectations that some online fraud victims have about how their individual cases will be handled by law enforcement. Based on interviews with 80 online fraud victims, this article argues that a narrow media portrayal of online fraud by television current affairs programs — termed the ‘ACA effect’ — informs victims’ understandings of online fraud and their responses to it. In particular, current affairs programs influence what victims of online fraud expect from police. The article further demonstrates that current affairs programs present themselves as de facto law enforcement agencies, to which victims who receive an unsatisfactory response from police might turn. Overall, the article highlights the importance of current affairs programs portraying a more realistic image of official responses to online fraud.

Impact and interest:

Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

111 since deposited on 10 Dec 2015
75 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 91155
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Online fraud, Crime victims, CSI effect, Media, Policing
ISSN: 1034-5329
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Crime & Justice Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 The Author(s)
Deposited On: 10 Dec 2015 05:19
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 14:51

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page