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Romance Scam Research Center

2021: UK: Just the Money? Does the Criminal Law Appropriately Tackle Romance Frauds?

Gillespie, Alisdair A.  Journal of International and Comparative Law; Hong Kong Vol. 8, Iss. 1, (Jun 2021): 143-174.

Abstract: "This article considers the legal response to romance frauds. This is an issue that attracts increasing scholarship, as digital communication technologies not only make it easier for people to meet but also for scammers to prey on unsuspecting victims. Initially, these scams would take place solely online, and they could proceed very rapidly. While these still exist, they increasingly take place over a prolonged period and can be very sophisticated, including the establishment of a real relationship. Historically, the law responds to this crime through offences relating to fraud, but this arguably leaves parts of the behaviour unpunished. Using hypothetical case studies (vignettes), this article compares how the law in England and Wales, Scotland and Canada tackles romance fraud. It concludes by suggesting the need for a new offence where sexual activity is procured by deception."

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