The online romance scam: a serious cybercrime

Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2012 Mar;15(3):181-3. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2011.0352. Epub 2012 Feb 3.


The Online Romance Scam is a relatively new form of fraud that became apparent in about 2008. In this crime, criminals pretend to initiate a relationship through online dating sites then defraud their victims of large sums of money. This paper presents some descriptive statistics about knowledge and victimization of the online dating romance scam in Great Britain. Our study found that despite its newness, an estimated 230,000 British citizens may have fallen victim to this crime. We conclude that there needs to be some rethinking about providing avenues for victims to report the crime or at least making them more comfortable when doing so.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Fraud / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Fraud / psychology
  • Fraud / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Internet / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • United Kingdom