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Romance Scam Research Center

2021: CN: The Spatiotemporal Pattern and Driving Factors of Cyber Fraud Crime in China

Chen, Shuai; Gao, Chundong; Jiang, Dong; Hao, Mengmeng; Ding, Fangyu; et al.  ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information; Basel Vol. 10, Iss. 12, (2021): 802. DOI:10.3390/ijgi10120802

Abstract: "As a typical cybercrime, cyber fraud poses severe threats to civilians’ property safety and social stability. Traditional criminological theories such as routine activity theory focus mainly on the effects of individual characteristics on cybercrime victimization and ignore the impacts of macro-level environmental factors. This study aims at exploring the spatiotemporal pattern of cyber fraud crime in China and investigating the relationships between cyber fraud and environmental factors. The results showed that cyber fraud crimes were initially distributed in southeastern China and gradually spread towards the middle and northern regions; spatial autocorrelation analysis revealed that the spatial concentration trend of cyber fraud became more and more strong, and a strong distinction in cyber fraud clustering between the north and the south was identified. To further explain the formative causes of these spatial patterns, a generalized additive model (GAM) was constructed by incorporating natural and social environmental factors. The results suggested that the distribution of cyber fraud was notably affected by the regional economy and population structure. Also, the high incidence of cyber fraud crime was closely associated with a large nonagricultural population, a high proportion of tertiary industry in GDP, a large number of general college students, a longer cable length, and a large numbers of internet users."

"Frequent instances of cyber fraud include, but are not limited to, online purchase fraud, online romance scam, email fraud, phishing, and identity theft."

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