Preface to fraud and fraud prevention: international perspectives

Publication Date09 March 2020
Date09 March 2020
AuthorTim Prenzler
SubjectHealth & social care,Criminology & forensic psychology
Guest editorial
Tim Prenzler
The impetus for this special issue of The Journalof Criminological Research, Policy and
Practice is the continuing growth in the fraud problem internationally. Fraud is one of
the largest areas of increasing crime, going against the overall downward trend in
crime in the last 30years. This broad category of offending is increasingly a major topic of
academic research, with Criminal Justice Abstracts listing over 5,700 publications in the
area, while Google Scholarlists 1.8 million. It also constitutes a major issue of policyconcern
for governments.
The scale of the fraud problem and the issue of rising rates of fraud draw attention to the
problem of prevention. Why is fraud increasing and why have not established techniques of
crime prevention been applied successfully in this area? While “the internet” provides the
obvious likely main answer to the issue of causality through increased offender access to
victims and enhanced offender anonymity the internet should also provi de a variety of
situationaltools that work against victimisation.Consequently, internet-based fraud andvictim
vulnerabilityvia the internet are major themesof this special issue. Researcherswith expertise
in these areas were soughtout and invited to provide content. Theresult is a set of six papers
demonstratingcutting edge research acrossdiverse aspects of the fraud problemincluding
traditionalareas of fraud and of innovationsin prevention.
The first paper is titled “TheMedia, Personal Digital Criminal Legacies and the Experienceof
Offenders Convictedof Occupational Fraud and Corruption” authored by David Shepherd,
Emma Beatty, Mark Button and Dean Blackbourn. The paper is unusual in examining the
issue of rehabilitation and stigma from the perspective of offenders, using interviews with
convicted fraudsters and content analyses of selected newspapers in the UK. The findings
are important in showing how the internet creates long-lasting “personal digital criminal
legacies” that can inhibit offenders’ successful social reintegration and desistance from
The second paper “A Study of Cybercrime Victimisation and Prevention: Exploring the Use
of Online Crime PreventionBehaviours and Strategies” makes a valuable contribution to our
understanding of factors behind self-protection strategies adopted by internet users.
Drawing on Australian survey data, Jacqueline Drew shows that efforts to educate citizens
about prevention strategies often favoured by governments are unlikely to be effective
unless they are prefaced by increased knowledge about the prevalence and harms of
The next paper “Who’s to Blame? Exploring Accountability in Fraud Victimisation” by
Cassandra Cross, addresses the challenging issue of victim facilitation in fraud. Cross
interviewed anti-fraud professionals in England and Canada, with results highlighting how
responsibilityfor fraud applies across a range of actors and agencies. In particular,the paper
draws attention to the issue of negative stereotypes about victim culpability and the ways in
which victimisationexperiences can be worsened by inappropriate responsesby authorities.
The fourth paper “Vulnerability as a Driver of the Police Response to Fraud” by Mike
Skidmore, Janice Goldstraw-White and Martin Gill maps out a range of recent anti-fraud
initiatives in the UK. “Vulnerability”has been a core component of these initiatives, partlyin an
effort to direct scarce resources to areas where there is likely to be maximum benefit. This
data-rich paper deploys victim variables from a large official database of cases, as well as
Tim Prenzler is based at the
Department of Law,
University of the Sunshine
Coast, Sunshine Coast,
DOI 10.1108/JCRPP-03-2020-074 VOL. 6 NO. 1 2020, pp. 1-2, ©Emerald Publishing Limited, ISSN 2056-3841 jJOURNAL OF CRIMINOLOGICAL RESEARCH, POLICY AND PRACTICE jPAGE 1

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