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Online Romance Scams: Relational Dynamics and Psychological Characteristics of the Victims and Scammers. A Scoping Review

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dc.contributor.author Coluccia, Anna
dc.contributor.author Pozza, Andrea
dc.contributor.author Ferretti, Fabio
dc.contributor.author Carabellese, Fulvio
dc.contributor.author Masti, Alessandra
dc.contributor.author Gualtieri, Giacomo
dc.date.accessioned 2020-09-03T21:13:07Z
dc.date.available 2020-09-03T21:13:07Z
dc.date.issued 2020
dc.identifier.citation Coluccia, A., Pozza, A., Ferretti, F., Carabellese, F., Masti, A., & Gualtieri, G. (2020). Online Romance Scams: Relational Dynamics and Psychological Characteristics of the Victims and Scammers. A Scoping Review. Clinical practice and epidemiology in mental health: 16, 24–35. https://doi.org/10.2174/1745017902016010024 en_US
dc.identifier.uri https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7254823/pdf/CPEMH-16-24.pdf
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11990/2046
dc.description.abstract Background: Digital communication technologies can overcome physical, social and psychological barriers in building romantic relationships. Online romance scams are a modern form of fraud that has spread in Western societies along with the development of social media and dating apps. Through a fictitious Internet profile, the scammer develops a romantic relationship with the victim for 6-8 months, building a deep emotional bond to extort economic resources in a manipulative dynamic. There are two notable features: on the one hand, the double trauma of losing money and a relationship, on the other, the victim's shame upon discovery of the scam, an aspect that might lead to underestimation of the number of cases. Objectives: This paper presents a scoping review of the quantitative and qualitative evidence on this issue, focusing on epidemiological aspects, relational dynamics, and the psychological characteristics of victims and scammers. Methods: A literature scoping review was conducted using electronic databases and descriptors. Studies were included if they had analyzed the phenomenon in any population or the relationship dynamics characterizing it through whatsoever typology of design. Scoping reviews are a form of knowledge synthesis, which incorporates a range of study designs and wide eligibility criteria to comprehensively summarize evidence with the aim of informing practice, programs, and policy and providing direction to future research priorities. Results: Twelve studies were included. Sixty-three percent of social media users and 3% of the general population report having been a victim at least once. Some psychological variables appear to be associated with the risk of being scammed, such as female gender, middle-age, higher levels of neuroticism, tendencies to the romantic idealization of affective relations, sensation seeking, impulsiveness and susceptibility to addiction. We analyse literature limitations and future directions. Conclusion: Since this emerging phenomenon is still largely unrecognized, understanding the psychological characteristics of victims and scammers will allow at-risk personality profiles to be identified and prevention/intervention strategies to be developed. (Author Abstract) en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher National Institutes of Health (NIH) en_US
dc.subject Scoping Review en_US
dc.subject Literature Review en_US
dc.subject Social Media en_US
dc.subject Online Victimization en_US
dc.subject Risk Factors en_US
dc.subject Internet Dating Fraud en_US
dc.subject Online Fraud en_US
dc.subject Romance Scams en_US
dc.subject Identity Fraud en_US
dc.subject Technology-based en_US
dc.subject At Risk en_US
dc.subject Offenders en_US
dc.subject Perpetrators en_US
dc.subject Characteristics en_US
dc.subject Victims en_US
dc.subject Imposter Scams en_US
dc.title Online Romance Scams: Relational Dynamics and Psychological Characteristics of the Victims and Scammers. A Scoping Review en_US
dc.type Article en_US


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