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Revisiting the “Ideal Victim”Developments in Critical Victimology$
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Marian Duggan

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447338765

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447338765.001.0001

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Denying victim status to online fraud victims: the challenges of being a ‘non-ideal victim’

Denying victim status to online fraud victims: the challenges of being a ‘non-ideal victim’

Thirteen Denying victim status to online fraud victims: the challenges of being a ‘non-ideal victim’
Revisiting the “Ideal Victim”

Cassandra Cross

Policy Press

Online fraud victimisation affects millions of individuals globally. Despite its prevalence, it remains a contested area, whereby there is a strong victim blaming attitude towards those who are victims. There is a strong negative stereotype that victims are greedy, gullible, uneducated and somewhat deserving of their victimisation. This works as a barrier to silence and stigmatise individuals who are fearful to disclose their victimisation to family, friends, law enforcement and other third parties. Using Christie’s (1986) notion of the ‘ideal victim’, this chapter examines how online fraud victims are denied victim status despite the offences perpetrated against them. Through an application of the five characteristics that Christie (1986) asserts constitute an ideal victim, this chapter explores the challenges that currently exist for online fraud victims to be recognised as legitimate victims, and the factors which operate to deny them of this victimisation status. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the implications for online fraud victims in the current environment. It advocates the need for change to better respond to online fraud victims, rather than exacerbating or adding to the trauma they have already experienced at the hands of offenders.

Keywords:   online fraud, ideal victim, non-ideal victim, victimisation, victim blaming, cybercrime 

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