‘They’re Very Lonely’: Understanding the Fraud Victimisation of Seniors
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.
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY 4.0) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Please see our Creative Commons page for more details. Authors are encouraged to post their work online (e.g. in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See the benefits of Open Access).