Online Romance Scam

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1. INTRODUCTION
1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Life in modern times is forcing people to keep pace with technological advances. All daily businesses are now able to be resolved with just a few clicks. Social networking has become a very important medium since business is easy with the aid of technology. Websites for social networking and online dating are booming in popularity and have hundreds of millions of subscribers around the world. However, people are now finding friends and romance via the internet with major websites like Skype, Twitter and Facebook connecting people around the world, and new websites are popping up all the time. Sometimes technology does not necessarily provide comprehensive benefits. Technological advances give opportunities to people who are not obligated to do their activity which is online fraud. Online fraud generally refers to any kind of fraud that comes from online based. Examples of the online fraud are online romance scams, purchase fraud, online work-at-home fraud and many more.

Fraud and scams is a phenomenon because it has been first. The use of the internet has opened the door to the crimes. The scary aspect of this type of new fraud is that perpetrators can now use the anonymous advantage of the Internet to cause harm (PBI Media, 2003).

Online romance scam cases are common on the internet. Evidently, scammers targeted the young, or the teenagers. They are easily cheated online as most teenagers communicate through technology in their daily life. According to Ige,(2008), the Internet remains a mechanism for dissemination of information, collaboration and interaction among individuals and computers without regard for geographical location. Besides, as observed by (Adeniran, 2008), information communication technology has altered African cultures, patterns of socialization, and social institutions, particularly with regard to telecommunication and the Internet. This happens in Malaysia where information communication technology development has reflected in major changes a good and bad. The development is good to the country, but the ways and how people use the new technology is questionable.

Romance scams, or ‘sweetheart swindles’, are an emotionally devastating type of fraud, where the romance component of the scam acts as a bait to lure victims, before committing other types of fraud, such as identity theft and financial fraud (Arms, 2010). Scammers make their victims believe they have strong feelings for them; they create and use false identities on dating or social networking sites, stolen photographs of models, actors or even army officers and pretend to have an interest in building a romantic relationship with their victim. Some examples of counterfeit acts from scammers including having links with victims' personal information such as personal identification number (PIN), credit cards, passports, e-mail accounts and identification card numbers.

“Online romance scams continue to grow and become more sophisticated each year” (Dana Badgerow, 2009). Youth involvement in social network site makes teenagers more exposed to online romance scams. With line awareness a teenager can be easily cheated and this explains the yearly increase by year. According to ( Brenda K, 2008),“This crime is very serious and unfortunately often overlooked. The costs to the victim are both hidden (emotional) and more visible (monetary)”.

According to Monica Whitty and Tom Buchanan (2009), their research identified three aspects of online romance scams. Their first part identified people who have the risk or possibility to become scammer victims. Their findings showed that middle-aged women group have lower risk of becoming victims. Many of the victims were those looking or those with the intention of seeking partners. Their study also examined how the scammers persuade their victims. They focused on 200 posts on...
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