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Romance Scam Research Center

2013: UK: Advance fee frauds messages - non-declining trend

Dobovsek, Bojan; Lamberger, Igor; Slak, Bostjan.  Journal of Money Laundering Control; London Vol. 16, Iss. 3, (2013): 209-230. DOI:10.1108/JMLC-04-2013-0012

Abstract: "Purpose - This paper aims to present some intake on advance fee frauds. Frauds of which frequency of occurrence, despite being long present and people are globally aware of them, still present great danger. Several quantitative and qualitative analyses were done in order to find out how and why these messages actually work. Design/methodology/approach - The paper is based on a literature review, quantitative analysis (using SPSS) and qualitative analysis (using MAXQDA). Databases ware composed from messages accumulated in two periods, 1998-2005 (547 messages) and Jan-Sept 2012 (59 messages). Findings - Advance fee frauds are not declining in occurrence. They are constantly developing and use both bulk sending and narrower targeting. The latter present more dangers as the messages are more adapted to the interest of the message receiver. There also seems to be a severe resemblance and connection to other types of fraud, especially cybernetic frauds (like pilfering, phishing, or e-mail spoofing). These types of frauds are global and no country is immune, nor can any country be excluded, from hosting the perpetrators. Research limitations/implications - Though the authors' quantitative research database was big enough, there are some minor problems connected with it. Part of a database is a product of Slovenian police, which intended to analyze the content of messages, therefore because of police confidentiality issues, the database lacks some traceability. One would maybe argue that the methodology used by the police is not always the same as scientific usage of research methods, but in this case the database possesses all other necessary empirical attributes. The second database was composed from messages received by the authors, therefore they cannot say that it's totally globally representative. Originality/value - Though there are several qualitative and quantitative studies of advance fee messages done almost daily, only a limited number are done in academic settings. However, some academic studies would benefit from non-academic and vice versa. So the authors present some input to both kinds of studies."

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