‘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.

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Except where otherwise noted, content in this journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Published: 2016-12-01
Pages:60 to 75
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How to Cite
Cross, C. (2016) “‘They’re Very Lonely’: Understanding the Fraud Victimisation of Seniors”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 5(4), pp. 60-75. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.v5i4.268.

Author Biography

School of Justice, Faculty of Law QUT