No laughing matter: blaming the victim of online fraud

Author(s) Cross, Cassandra
Title No laughing matter: blaming the victim of online fraud
Source International Review of Victimology, published online before print 12 March 2015; pp. 1-18
Date 2015
Document type Journal article
Coverage Queensland, Australia
Summary The article discusses the stigma surrounding victims of online fraud and how popular discourse places blame and responsibility on the victim's part for participating in the actions that led to their loss, usually related with a perception of greed and gullibility. The author conducts 72 interviews with 85 seniors who had received fraudulent emails to find the reasons as to why they had either responded to the email or ignored it. The study goes further to examine the manner in which online fraud is discussed amongst the participants and how humour is used as a mechanism of coping but which trivialises the nature and impact of the fraudulent emails. These joking conversations reinforce the negative perceptions of online fraud victims and prevent open discussion of the impact of online fraud victimisation. The author discusses her findings in relation to victim-blaming and the barriers it builds in terms of coming forward to friends and families. The author concludes by suggesting that the victims of online fraud experience significant consequences and are unlikely to receive the support they need.
Keywords Online fraud; victim-blaming; victim support
Topic Non-violent crime; victimisation