'They're Very Lonely': Understanding the Fraud Victimisation of Seniors

International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 5(4), pp. 60-75.

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) – Law & Justice Legal Studies Research Paper No. 17-04

17 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2017

See all articles by Cassandra Cross

Cassandra Cross

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2016

Abstract

There are many theories which seek to explain fraud victimisation. In particular, older victims find themselves at the intersection of various discourses which account for victimisation, primarily from a deficit model. This article examines two discourses relevant to older fraud victims. The first positions older victims of crime as weak and vulnerable and the second positions fraud victims generally as greedy and gullible. Using interviews with twenty-one Canadian volunteers who provide telephone support to older fraud victims (all seniors themselves), this article analyses the extent to which these two discourses are evident in the understandings of these volunteers. It finds that volunteers overwhelmingly perceive fraud to occur out of loneliness and isolation of the victim, and actively resist victim blaming narratives towards these individuals. While neither discourse is overly positive, the article discusses the implications of these discourses for the victims themselves and for their ability to access support.

Keywords: Fraud, Seniors, Older persons, Victimisation, Victim support, Victim blaming

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Cross, Cassandra, 'They're Very Lonely': Understanding the Fraud Victimisation of Seniors (2016). International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 5(4), pp. 60-75. ; Queensland University of Technology (QUT) – Law & Justice Legal Studies Research Paper No. 17-04. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2924927

Cassandra Cross (Contact Author)

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law ( email )

Level 4, C Block Gardens Point
2 George St
Brisbane, QLD 4000
Australia

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