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Romance Scam Research Center

2020: UK: Contextualised Cyber Security Awareness Approach for Online Romance Fraud

Dickerson, S., Apeh, E.T., & Ollis, G. (2020). Contextualised Cyber Security Awareness Approach for Online Romance Fraud. 2020 7th International Conference on Behavioural and Social Computing (BESC), 1-6.

Abstract: "Action Fraud reported 50 million pounds was lost to romance fraud in 2018, a 27% increase on the previous year, despite an increase in publicity and guidance surrounding the issue. Romance fraud is an ever-increasing issue, and the statistics highlight the need for a proactive, adaptable, and bespoke approach to assist online dating platforms in combatting the problem, providing targeted awareness to customers while improving the user experience of dating platforms. Currently, there is no effective approach for increasing user awareness and providing real-time intervention on romance fraud. Existing methods on the platform focus on identifying, preventing, and stopping threat actors with technological measures rather than educating potential victims. This paper discusses the existing state of romance fraud and proposes a solution to mitigate the problems by developing a targeted awareness approach. The solution can be adopted by online dating platforms for early identification and timely intervention. It includes bespoke advisory messages to be provided to the user and risk categorisation criteria as well as workflows and prototypes to assist platforms with implementation. The results from the primary research clearly support the objectives showing that timely intervention helps to mitigate against fraud, decreasing the likelihood of it occurring. This approach offers demonstrable improvements to dating platforms."

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