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Is online fraud just fraud? Examining the efficacy of the digital divide

Is online fraud just fraud? Examining the efficacy of the digital divide Fraud is not a new offence. However, the recent evolution and proliferation of technologies (predominantly the internet) has seen offenders increasingly use virtual environments to target and defraud victims worldwide. Several studies have examined the ways that fraud is perpetrated with a clear demarcation between terrestrial and cyber offences. However, with moves towards the notion of a “digital society” and recognition that technology is increasingly embedded across all aspects of our lives, it is important to consider if there is any advantage in categorising fraud against the type of environment it is perpetrated in. This paper aims to discuss these issues.Design/methodology/approachThis paper examines the perceived utility of differentiating online and offline fraud offences. It is based upon the insights of thirty-one professionals who work within the “fraud justice network” across London, UK and Toronto, Canada.FindingsIt highlights both the realities faced by professionals in seeking to ether maintain or collapse such a differentiation in their everyday jobs and the potential benefits and challenges that result.Practical implicationsOverall, the paper argues that the majority of professionals did not feel a distinction was necessary and instead felt that an arbitrary divide was instead a hindrance to their activities. However, while not useful on a practical front, there was perceived benefit regarding government, funding and the media. The implications of this moving forward are considered.Originality/valueThis paper provides new insights into how fraud justice network professionals understand the distinction between fraud offences perpetrated across both online and offline environments. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Criminological Research Policy and Practice Emerald Publishing

Is online fraud just fraud? Examining the efficacy of the digital divide

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References (48)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2056-3841
DOI
10.1108/jcrpp-01-2019-0008
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Fraud is not a new offence. However, the recent evolution and proliferation of technologies (predominantly the internet) has seen offenders increasingly use virtual environments to target and defraud victims worldwide. Several studies have examined the ways that fraud is perpetrated with a clear demarcation between terrestrial and cyber offences. However, with moves towards the notion of a “digital society” and recognition that technology is increasingly embedded across all aspects of our lives, it is important to consider if there is any advantage in categorising fraud against the type of environment it is perpetrated in. This paper aims to discuss these issues.Design/methodology/approachThis paper examines the perceived utility of differentiating online and offline fraud offences. It is based upon the insights of thirty-one professionals who work within the “fraud justice network” across London, UK and Toronto, Canada.FindingsIt highlights both the realities faced by professionals in seeking to ether maintain or collapse such a differentiation in their everyday jobs and the potential benefits and challenges that result.Practical implicationsOverall, the paper argues that the majority of professionals did not feel a distinction was necessary and instead felt that an arbitrary divide was instead a hindrance to their activities. However, while not useful on a practical front, there was perceived benefit regarding government, funding and the media. The implications of this moving forward are considered.Originality/valueThis paper provides new insights into how fraud justice network professionals understand the distinction between fraud offences perpetrated across both online and offline environments.

Journal

Journal of Criminological Research Policy and PracticeEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 9, 2019

Keywords: Police; Victims; Fraud; Cybercrime; Digital society; Fraud justice network

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