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E-Thesis 132 views

Vulnerability and Repeat Victimisation in a Digital World: A Study of Computer Misuse and Fraud Reported in Wales / SARA CORREIA

Swansea University Author: SARA CORREIA

  • E-Thesis – open access under embargo until: 30th September 2024

DOI (Published version): 10.23889/SUthesis.58168

Abstract

While the estimated volume and cost of fraud and computer misuse (F&CM) is astoundingly high, much remains unknown about patterns of victimisation, especially in relation to repeat, ‘chronic’ and/or ‘vulnerable’ victims. These ‘unknowns’ have both theoretical and practical implications. Theoreti...

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Published: Swansea 2021
Institution: Swansea University
Degree level: Doctoral
Degree name: Ph.D
Supervisor: Macdonald, Stuart ; Lorenzo-Dus, Nuria
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa58168
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Abstract: While the estimated volume and cost of fraud and computer misuse (F&CM) is astoundingly high, much remains unknown about patterns of victimisation, especially in relation to repeat, ‘chronic’ and/or ‘vulnerable’ victims. These ‘unknowns’ have both theoretical and practical implications. Theoretically, understandings of repeat victimisation (RV) and vulnerability remain under-developed and under-studied, particularly with respect to F&CM victims. In practice, the ways in which victim vulnerability is defined and assessed have a direct impact on what response victims of F&CM get from the Criminal Justice System. Too often, however, such policies appear to reproduce idealised notions of ‘the victim’ or assumptions of what kinds of victims and vulnerability ought to be recognised – rather than being driven by evidence.This work is a study of F&CM victimisation. It draws on a sample of crime reports (n = 17,049), made within Wales to the UK’s National Fraud and Cybercrime Reporting Centre Action Fraud, between October 1st 2014 and September 30th 2016. A mixed-methods approach is used, encompassing descriptive and bivariate statistics, generalised linear models, deterministic and probabilistic data linkage, as well as qualitative thematic analysis. Throughout, the socially constructed nature of crime categories and the concepts of ‘the victim’ and vulnerability are recognised, while remaining committed to empirically grounded discussion of findings and (where applicable) the replicability of the analysis.The analysis in this thesis highlights flaws in the reporting system that negatively impact on analysis and police response. These include data quality issues and the lack of a robust system to identify vulnerable and repeat victims. It also demonstrates the unsustainability of an online/offline distinction with respect to recorded F&CM crimes, identifies patterns of RV and their implications for crime prevention. Finally, this thesis advances an original framework for understanding vulnerability in the context of F&CM victimisation and better target a victim response.
Item Description: ORCiD identifier https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0261-6872
Keywords: Cybercrime, fraud, victims, vulnerability, online crime, victomology
College: Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law