The romance scam is a mass-marketing fraud, which emerged around 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. This paper reports the findings of two studies that were carried out in the UK to gain a better understanding of the typology of the victims of this scam and the psychological impact on victims. The second study carried out in-depth interviews with 20 victims about their experience and their understandings as to why they believe the criminal was able to trick them.
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Skip to content. Skip to navigation. As international criminal gangs increasingly target online dating and social networking sites, as a means of extorting money from unwary victims, research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council ESRC suggests that new strategies are needed for tackling the crime and supporting its victims. The research, which was carried out by Professor Monica Whitty of the University of Leicester and Professor Tom Buchanan of the University of Westminster, argues that the police, policy-makers, doctors and dating companies need to take into account the emotional state of those who have been conned, in order to prevent the crime, bring criminals to justice and support victims effectively.
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