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Romance Scam Research Center

2022: US: Exploring Fraudsters Strategies to Defraud Users on Online Employment Databases

Cole, Tessa.  International Journal of Cyber Criminology; Thirunelveli Vol. 16, Iss. 2, (Jul-Dec 2022): 61-86. DOI:10.5281/zenodo.4766567

Online fraud is ever-increasing with fraudsters who use a variety of platforms, like online employment classified advertisement databases, to defraud unsuspecting users. The literature suggests fraudsters achieve this by imitating legitimate individuals and organizations to deploy their SE characteristics and tactics for the purpose of gaining users' personal, sensitive and financial information for their own personal gain. The research objective of the current study is to explore the extent fraudsters' SE attacks, such as linguistic cues and tactics, differ depending on a user's online resume presentation on employment database websites. The current study uses a mixed methods analysis to quantify the qualitative data extracted from fraudsters who pretend to be legitimate employers/employment opportunities online. The findings suggest an association between unique fraudsters and fraud instances and the demographics of a featured resume profile. Additionally, the results indicate that a fraudster's technological ability and thus sophistication may influence SE characteristics, especially their tactics to defraud targets. The study emphasizes the critical role human behavior plays during an online fraud attack with recommendations for future research and policy. The findings suggest fraudsters socially learn and adapt to their online environment and consequently emphasize the importance of identifying offenders' ever-changing strategies to defraud users while educating potential targets.

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