Online Deception and Situations Conducive to the Progression of Non-Payment Fraud

David Maimon, Georgia State University
Mateus Santos, University of South Florida
Youngsam Park, Yahoo Labs

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Adopting the criminal event perspective, we explore how online fraudsters make use of urgency cues in their interactions with potential victims throughout the progression of an online nonpayment fraud attempt. Integrating claims from the ‘Interpersonal-Deception Theory’ with situational explanations of crime, we investigate whether fraudsters’ presentations of verbal cues of urgency during the early stages of a criminal event are followed by a consistent presentation of verbal and non-verbal urgency cues. To answer this question, we posted a large number of ‘for-sale’ advertisements over a classified-ad website and interacted with online fraudsters and legitimate users who responded to our ads over email. Our findings highlight the relevance of the criminal event perspective in guiding research on targets and offenders in cyberspace.