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Romance Scam Research Center

2012: UK: The Online Romance Scam: A Serious Cybercrime

Monica T. Whitty and Tom Buchanan

Published Online: 12 Mar 2012

Abstract: "The Online Romance Scam is a relatively new form of fraud that became apparent in about 2008. In this crime, criminals pretend to initiate a relationship through online dating sites then defraud their victims of large sums of money. This paper presents some descriptive statistics about knowledge and victimization of the online dating romance scam in Great Britain. Our study found that despite its newness, an estimated 230,000 British citizens may have fallen victim to this crime. We conclude that there needs to be some rethinking about providing avenues for victims to report the crime or at least making them more comfortable when doing so."

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