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Romance Scam Research Center

2016: CA: ‘I’m anonymous, I’m a voice at the end of the phone’: A Canadian case study into the benefits of providing telephone support to fraud victims

Cross, Cassandra.  Crime Prevention and Community Safety; London Vol. 18, Iss. 3, (Aug 2016): 228-243. DOI:10.1057/cpcs.2016.10

Abstract: "Globally there are limited support services that specifically target fraud victims. Despite the devastating effects of fraud on an individual, dedicated support programmes are rare. This article examines the ‘Senior Support Unit’ (SSU), a Canadian-based telephone support service for older victims of fraud. The SSU is a unique example of a service that seeks to address some of the specific needs of fraud victims. Using data obtained from interviews with 21 SSU volunteers, this article presents the three main roles of the volunteer: providing advice and warnings; providing a listening ear; and providing reassurance. It argues how these particular roles respond to identified needs of fraud victims, and analyses the perceived effectiveness of this support model, from the perspective of the volunteers, incorporating both harm reduction and crime prevention elements. Overall, this article uses the evidence presented on the SSU as a foundation to advocate increased recognition of the needs of fraud victims and an expansion of support programmes dedicated to addressing these issues."

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