Preventing Fraud and Cybercrime in an Ageing Society and the Potential for Technology

Fraud and cybercrime, through a wide variety of genres, have become some of the most common crimes individuals experience and such is the scale of the problem, RUSI (a highly respected think tank) have described it as a threat to national security. Older adults represent promising targets for criminals because they are often cash rich with pensions, lump sums, life savings. Many also have traits that increase the chances of victimisation: cognitive decline; social isolation; a lack of capable guardian to protect them. The pandemic has also meant many older adults have spent more time at home and online, contributing to increased victimisation.

The growing use of digital technologies has been a huge benefit in many areas of social and economic life, but has also opened up new risks. Access and usage of the internet is no longer limited to the younger, tech-savvy population. The ONS in the UK reported the proportion of those aged 75 years between 2013 and 2020 reporting recent internet use has nearly doubled from 29%, to 54% in 2020. However, despite their gradual familiarisation with information technologies, it is argued that older adults can often be vulnerable to cybercrime risks.

Juxtaposed to these developments has been the advanced technological developments associated with the so called ‘4th Industrial Revolution’ (4IR). Some of the technologies associated with 4IR are already being utilised to prevent fraud and cybercrime, such as the use of data-analytics to counter banking frauds. But there are many other technological developments in general that are increasingly been applied to fraud and cybercrime, such as apps and call blockers.

The problem of fraud and cybercrime against older adults has stimulated a wide range of initiatives around the world to attempt to address this problem. Fraud in general has also stimulated growing technological solutions. These together are stimulating a growing body of research. To explore these issues we are seeking papers that explore any of the following areas:

  • Fraud and/or cybercrime against older adults;
  • Evaluations of schemes preventing fraud and/or cybercrime against older adults;
  • Evaluations of technological schemes in general to prevent fraud and/or cybercrime, which could be applied to older adults and/or applied to older adults;
  • Theoretical and thought provoking articles on the opportunities to prevent fraud and/or cybercrime against older adults.

The timescale

01 March 2023 Submissions open

The editors welcome abstracts for an initial assessment of the potential suitability of the article.

Last date for submissions 31 December 2023

All papers agreed and ready by 31 March 2024

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