Hack the aged: the impact of socially engineered fraud on victims

Stuteley, Samantha Anne (2015) Hack the aged: the impact of socially engineered fraud on victims. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    Fraud has been described as a victimless crime, but how can any crime be victimless? With limited research available, it is difficult to understand this perception. It is also difficult to understand the reasons why people fall for fraud when they are personally targeted. This study intends to explore the impact on victims of fraud, specifically a socially engineered fraud, named ‘courier fraud’. The social engineering element is important as fraudsters use it to achieve the seemingly impossible in convincing people to willingly hand over money. Scenarios like this can fuel the perception that the victim was simply very gullible and therefore to blame.
    To explore these issues telephone interviews were undertaken with 131 victims of courier fraud, who described their experience and the impact. An inductive content analysis methodology was used on victim responses, to define the results.
    The methodology allowed the respondents to be categorised depending on their level of compliance, from none/low to fully compliant. Those that were more compliant tended to internalise the blame and berate themselves, as opposed to the less compliant respondents who externalised the blame and anger towards the fraudster. Across all the categories, 96 percent of victims experienced a detrimental impact, despite 97 percent experiencing no permanent financial loss.
    The findings in this study adds considerable weight to the argument that fraud is not a victimless crime, as the majority of respondents suffered a negative impact., not as a result of losing money, but as a result of their experience.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2016 12:24
    Last Modified: 22 Feb 2016 12:24
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/19860

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