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Addressing the Challenge of Chronic Fraud Victimization: Understanding the drivers of chronic fraud victimization and identifying key intervention strategies

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2021
13 pages

After identifying the drivers of chronic fraud victimization, this report proposes key intervention strategies.


Based on interviews with experts involved in the analysis of fraud cases, an initial workshop on this issue, and an in-depth literature review, this report posits that chronic fraud victimization Is “a consequence of chronic susceptibility due to certain situational factors.” Chronic victims of fraud are unlikely to critique their behaviors or be dissuaded by family members or friends from the belief that the fraudulent benefits promised them will materialize.  The Fogg Behavioral Model is presented as a valid platform for understanding which factors may make a victim susceptible to fraud, as well as how these factors might interact with other elements of the victim’s behavior. This model proposes that every behavior or action includes a prompt (or trigger), a motivation (or need), and an ability. According to this model, behavior (B) happens when motivation (M), ability (A), and a prompt (P) come together at the same moment (“B-MAP at the same time”). This model informed interviews with chronic fraud victims and their families. These interviews provided guidance for addressing and disrupting one or more of the four elements of the model, i.e., situational factor, trigger, motivation, and ability. This research identified an initial set of opportunities within each of these model domains to disempower scammers and empower victims. This report advises that better understanding of the domains of situational factors, triggers, motivations, and ability are individualized and require attention from researchers, clinicians, and policymakers.     

Date Published: March 1, 2021