High Point Online Dating Scams
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All the studies were in English. A strong tendency for online deception correlated with low conscientiousness and agreeableness and with strong neurotic traits [ 24 ]. The two authors subsequently met with the third author FFwho was charged with ensuring that the data was correctly extracted and inserted and with checking any discrepancies so they could be resolved together with the other two authors.

In another study, however, those at higher risk of victimization are female, middle-aged, with a high level of education and stronger traits of sensation seeking, impulsivity, trustworthiness, and a predisposition to dependency and weaker traits of agreeableness [ 20 ]. The following information was extracted: a name of first author of the article in the case of articles with only two authors, the names of both authors were extractedb year of publication, c country in which the study was carried out, d language of publication, e objective of the study, f study de, h population of reference, i evaluation tool s used to measure the variables examined, l main divided into two typologies 1.

Through a fictitious Internet High Point online dating scams, the scammer develops a romantic relationship with the victim for months, building a deep emotional bond to extort economic resources in a manipulative dynamic. A second element, linked to the first, is the fact that they allow users to choose and even actively modify their physical and personality profile [ 5 ].

The declarations of the scammer become increasingly affectionate and according to some authors, a declaration of love is made within two weeks from initial contact [ 17 ].

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There are four main reasons why these tools have become increasingly widespread in the search for emotional attachment [ 34 ]. They provide new forms of communication that real interactions do not possess, such as the option of pausing communication to modulate an emotional response, using a repertoire of instruments that amplify natural non-verbal language e. A literature scoping review was conducted using electronic databases and descriptors. Thirdly, they are logistically advantageous in that they allow people with little free time to satisfy their need to cultivate relationships at any time of the day or week.

The electronic database search initially yielded a total of articles Fig. Of these, were excluded by both evaluators in the first phase of selection based on the title or the abstract, since they investigated concepts not related to online romance scams, were duplicates or did not satisfy inclusion or exclusion criteria.

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In a phase to the conduction of the review, the objectives and methodology were reported in a protocol that can be requested from the author in charge of correspondence. The emotional and behavioural reactions of the victims can be contrasting and include feelings of shock, anger, denial, self-blame, seeking support from others, and investments in alternative plans for the future.

In some cases, the scammer may ask the victim to send intimate body photos that will be used as a sort of implicit blackmail to further bind the victim to the scammer [ 19 ]. Studies excluded during the first two phases were duplicates or studies relating to concepts not pertinent to the topic of the review.

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Typical online romance scam relationship dynamics; 2. When the money arrives from the victim, the scammer proposes a new encounter. This latter author read the articles without knowing the judgement of the other two authors, evaluated whether to include it or not, and then met up with the other two to resolve the selection discrepancy. Four studies used interviews, 4 self-report questionnaires, 4 analyzed the web profiles of scammers or the posts left by scam victims on websites and 1 study analyzed the geolocalization of the Internet IP addresses of scammers. The phenomenon of online romance scams is a modern form of fraud that has gradually spread as a result of the advent of digital communication technologies.

In other cases, the fraudulent relationship continues or even reinforces High Point online dating scams as the victim, under the influence of ambivalent emotions of ardor and fear of abandonment and deception, denies or rationalizes doubts to manage their feelings. Regarding the country in which the studies were carried out, all were in anglophone contexts 8 studies in the United Kingdom, 2 in the United States, 1 in Australia except for 1 study carried out in Nigeria. With the exception of one [ 34 ], all were conducted in English-speaking countries.

One aspect concerns the of studies in the literature, which is still not very high. Psychological features include high levels of neuroticism, a tendency to idealize relationships, sensation seeking, impulsivity and a predisposition towards dependency. For the studies where there was no agreement on inclusion, an evaluation by a third author FF who had not participated in the initial selection was requested.

The photos are generally images stolen from the web of a particularly attractive person such as a young soldier, athlete, or model. We analyse literature limitations and future directions. In the 7 papers investigating these aspects of the phenomenon, in one study [18] a strong tendency to have romantic beliefs and to idealize relationships predict a higher risk of being a victim of online romance scams while other psychological factors do not have a ificant effect tendency to loneliness, extroversion, agreeableness, neuroticism and sensation seeking.

This paper is the first scoping review on the topic in the literature. Moreover, female victims with higher levels of neuroticism, openness, and a tendency to loneliness experience higher levels of distress consequent to the discovery of the scam [18]. Twelve studies were included.

The discussion

Learn More. The two authors who carried out the searches also independently selected the studies, firstly based on the title, then on the abstract, and lastly, by reading the entire article. The variables associated with the risk of being victimized include socio-demographic aspects such as being female and middle-age. Scoping reviews are a form of knowledge synthesis, which incorporates a range of study des and wide eligibility criteria to comprehensively summarize evidence with the aim of informing practice, programs, and policy and providing direction to future research priorities.

Despite increasing interest in the topic, there is still no review of existing studies on online romance scams. Five studies explored the typical relationship dynamics of online romance scams, while seven investigated the psychological characteristics of scammers and victims and the associated epidemiological aspects. Over the last decade, various authors have focused on the phenomena of Internet dating scams, providing converging definitions and identifying a series of prototypical relationship dynamics [ 1516 ]. Each one read the entire included article, extracting the required data and inserting them in a specially created excel file.

Psychological characteristics of scammers and victims and epidemiological aspects.

As alleged $46m online-dating scam shows, lonely-hearts are the biggest target for scam artists in america

This paper presents a scoping review of the quantitative and qualitative evidence on this issue, focusing on epidemiological aspects, relational dynamics, and the psychological characteristics of victims and scammers. A certain variety of research des were evidenced; some of the qualitative types, others of the quantitative type.

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Concerning the epidemiological aspects, In the general population, 6. Over the last twenty years, the rapid development of digital communication technology has given rise to new forms of social interaction and romancing on web sites, social media and dating apps [ 12 ]. The studies were conducted or published between and inclusively. Scoping reviews are a form of knowledge synthesis, which incorporates a range of study des and wide eligibility criteria to comprehensively summarize evidence with the aim of informing practice, programs, and policy and providing direction to future research priorities [ 21 ].

Some psychological variables appear to be associated with the risk of being scammed, such as female gender, middle-age, higher levels of neuroticism, tendencies to the romantic idealization of affective relations, sensation seeking, impulsiveness and susceptibility to addiction. Studies were included if they had analyzed the phenomenon in any population or the relationship dynamics characterizing it through whatsoever typology of de.

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Four studies were based on an analysis of qualitative data, 3 on an observational de, 3 were surveys, 1 study was based on the psychometric analysis of a tool and 1 study was based on a series of cases. In the 5 studies that explored this aspect of the phenomenon, one study [ 22 ] described the typical strategies adopted by scammers to lure and manipulate victims as reported by the victims themselves, identifying three main dynamics, i. At the end of each of the first two phases, they compared the articles selected and where there was a selection discrepancy, the articles were kept in the group of included articles until the last selection phase based on reading the entire article see further on.

Online romance scams: relational dynamics and psychological characteristics of the victims and scammers. a scoping review

The bibliographic search resulted in the selection of 12 studies, of which 5 explored the relationship dynamics arising between the victim and the criminal, while 7 investigated the psychological characteristics of victims and scammers and the associated epidemiological aspects. No formal evaluation procedure of inter-rater reliability was used e.

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It is estimated that in alone in the United States, victims of online dating fraud lost an average of dollars [ 14 ]. There are two notable features: on the one hand, the double trauma of losing money and a relationship, on the other, the victim's shame upon discovery of the scam, an aspect that might lead to underestimation of the of cases.

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The request for money can also be made to cover the travel costs involved in the illusory meeting. The sample size in the various studies ranged from 3 tocases.

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In this phase, the victim may start having second thoughts or showing doubt about the intentions of the partner and gradually decide to break off the relationship. Online romance scams are a modern form of fraud that has spread in Western societies along with the development of social media and dating apps. The extraction of data contained in each article was carried out independently by the two authors selecting the articles.

Four studies were conducted on victims of online romance scams, 3 on the general population, 2 on social media users or dating websites and 3 on web profiles of scammers.

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Digital communication technologies can overcome physical, social and psychological barriers in building romantic relationships. Specific strategies adopted by scammers to lure and manipulate victims were evidenced, i. After this hookup phase, the scammer starts talking about the possibility of actually meeting up, which will be postponed several times due to apparently urgent problems or desperate situations such as accidents, deaths, surgeries or sudden hospitalizations for which the unwitting victim will be manipulated into sending money to cover the momentary emergency.

According to these aspects, arounddating sites and chats have been created over the last decade in North America alone [ 7 ].

'are you real?' — inside an online dating scam

In another study on the general population [ 24 ], the online romance scam is characterized as a phenomenon distinguished by a tendency to present a distorted, deceptive personal profile online deception and by a tendency to use the Internet as a channel to build social interactions online intimacy. Some limits of this review should be noted, suggesting future directions for research. This paper describes a scoping review exploring the literature on the relationship dynamics at various phases of the fraud, the epidemiological aspects, and the psychological aspects of victims and scammers.

The scammer always acts empathetically and attempts to create the impression in the victim that the two are perfectly synced in their shared view of life. While communication technologies have revolutionized, and continue to revolutionize, the modalities of interaction and the building of emotional attachment on the one hand, on the other, the online dating industry has given rise to new forms of pathologies, crime and deviance [ 9 - 11 ], and above all, to so-called Online Romance Scams, in other words, to relationships constructed through websites for the purpose of deceiving unsuspecting victims in order to extort money from them [ 1213 ].

Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. In another study [ 13 ], eight different dynamics and reactions to discovery emerged, i.

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This element suggests that further investigation of the phenomenon is needed. Hence, 12 articles were included in the review.

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Studies were included if they a had investigated any aspects related to the phenomena of online romance scams, particularly in reference to socio-demographic or psychological characteristics of the victims and the perpetrators, or their cognitive, emotional and behavioural experiences; if they had analyzed the phenomenon in any population of reference or the relationship dynamics characterizing it; b had studied typology of population in whatsoever age or ethnic group, i.

Firstly, the new communication technologies ensure anonymity that would not be possible in real life and thus offer the advantage of reducing fear of social judgement and rejection.

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