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Romance Scam Research Center

2021: UK: Distort, extort, deceive and exploit: Exploring the inner workings of a romance fraud

Carter, Elisabeth. "Distort, extort, deceive and exploit: Exploring the inner workings of a romance fraud." The British Journal of Criminology 61.2 (2021): 283-302.


Abstract: "Romance fraud is a crime where the fraudster must strike a balance between the romantic and financial aspects of the communication for their criminal intent to remain hidden. This discourse analytic research examines the setup of information early in the interaction, the use of visceral language and isolation as key tactics of exploitation enabling the distortion of reality and manipulation of power. With demands shrouded in a health narrative, and secrecy urged for the preservation of the relationship and the victim’s happiness, this research reveals how the language of this financially and emotionally devastating crime involves grooming strategies akin to coercive control and domestic violence and abuse and exposes the inaccuracies of popular narratives surrounding victims and in awareness-raising and crime prevention strategies."

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