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Romance Scam Research Center

2013: UK: The Scammers Persuasive Techniques Model: Development of a Stage Model to Explain the Online Dating Romance Scam

June 2013

British Journal of Criminology 53(4):665-684

DOI: 10.1093/bjc/azt009

Monica T. WhittyMonica T. Whitty

Abstract: "This study examined the persuasive techniques employed by criminals in the online dating romance scam. Twenty participants were interviewed, including financial and non-financial victims. The paper first examines errors in decision making and finds victims make similar errors compared with victims of other mass marketing frauds. It is also proposes that the near-win phenomenon is useful in explaining why individuals remain in the scam and why some become re-victimized. A model called the Scammers Persuasive Technique Model is developed to highlight the processes involved in the scam. It provides a description of the victim and highlights how criminals groom victims prior to any financial requests. The various stages that follow to keep the victim involved in the scam are highlighted."

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