Why we need to do more for the victims of online fraud and scams

Cross, Cassandra (2016) Why we need to do more for the victims of online fraud and scams. The Conversation, May(19).

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Abstract

For the past eight years, I have been researching online fraud. Much of my work has been done sitting at kitchen tables across Australia, as victims share intimate details of their fraud and the impact it has had on their lives with me.

For many, it was the first time they were able to talk about what had happened. The shame and stigma associated with fraud victimisation means that most suffer in silence.

Despite what you may think, these are not foolish people. They are intelligent and educated. And they are successful.

They simply made one decision that saw everything unravel, and this one decision became the defining moment of their life.

With fraud, there are obvious financial losses. But it also affects their physical health and their psychological well-being, with all experiencing some degree of depression.

It can lead to relationship breakdown, unemployment and homelessness. In worst case scenarios, victims take their own lives.

It is hard to imagine that we currently have a justice system, where the barriers to reporting fraud outweigh the ability of victims to be heard and where fraud victims are often directly blamed for their situation. Where what has happened is trivialised, minimised or not even acknowledged, by law enforcement, other agencies, families and friends.

But this is the stark reality for most victims.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 96378
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: online fraud, victims, victim support, victim blaming, cybercrime
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200) > Causes and Prevention of Crime (160201)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Crime & Justice Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 Conversation Media Group
Deposited On: 29 Jun 2016 00:02
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2016 04:27

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