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.

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Abstract

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:

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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
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 The Author(s)
Deposited On: 10 Dec 2015 05:19
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2015 23:04

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