INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH
The following discussion serves as an extensive, but in no way comprehensive, review of recent fraud related research.
For purposes of this project, fraud is defined as:
The deliberate deception of an individual with the promise of goods, services or other financial benefits that are actually nonexistent, were never intended to be provided, or were grossly misrepresented (Titus, 1995).
Given this definition, this center’s focus is on criminal acts that involve a “con man” interacting with a victim. Common consumer protection issues related to unfair and deceptive practices such as misleading advertising, car repair problems or contractual disputes are not included, though information found here may inform an understanding of them. Identify theft is not a focus unless it was accomplished though some kind of social interaction (e.g. phishing schemes).
Prevalence: How much fraud is out there?
A. What percentage of the population is defrauded each year?
B. What types of scams are most common?
C. How much money is lost to fraud each year?
Profiling: Who falls for what?
Persuasion: Why do people comply with fraud pitches?
Prevention: How has fraud prevention evolved?
(credit: Doug Shadel, AARP Washington State Director. Stanford Financial Fraud Conference. 2009.)