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Romance Scam Research Center

2023: US: How are financial institutions enabling online fraud? A developmental online financial fraud policy review

Cole, Tessa.  Journal of Financial Crime; London Vol. 30, Iss. 6, (2023): 1458-1473. DOI:10.1108/JFC-10-2022-0261



The criminalization of online financial fraud is examined by analyzing the existing literature, policies and state statutes within the context of the cybercrime ecosystem. Therefore, this paper aims to investigate online fraud policies within the USA and the prevalence of such incidents to explore the effectiveness of current fraud policies.


This examination explores policies related to online fraud within the USA by defining online financial fraud incidents within the context of the cybercrime ecosystem and analyzing such incidents with routine activities theory to emphasize the current legislative inadequacies with provisional policy recommendations.


This research suggests online financial fraud is not unanimously conceptualized among regulating or criminal institutions. Although federal regulators have governed financial institutions, federal institutions have failed to account for the capabilities of computer-mediated and technological device use (12 USC §1829).

Research limitations/implications

The limited research analyzing the effectiveness of guardianship that prevents or deters internet-mitigated or dependent financial fraud crimes.

Practical implications

Policy recommendations include but are not limited to mandating federal and privatized financial institutions to disclose all fraudulent activity to all stakeholders (e.g. customers and local and federal criminal justice agencies).


This paper provides an innovative approach using a criminological theory and policy framework to examine the prevalence of online fraud and the regulations enacted to counteract such violations."

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