Exploring notions of “justice” for individual fraud victims from those across the fraud justice network

Dr Cassandra Cross1
1Queensland University Of Technology, Brisbane, Australia

Each year, millions of individuals experience fraud victimisation globally through a variety of approaches. The impacts of fraud can be significant and extend beyond pure financial losses to many non-financial harms. Sadly, there is a consistent body of research that documents the overwhelmingly negative experiences faced by fraud victims in seeking to lodge their complaint with authorities and receive what they perceive to be a satisfactory response to their incident. In some cases, it can be argued that part of any additional trauma suffered by victims is based upon unrealistic expectations of what they can actually expect in terms of an official response by agencies across the fraud justice network (including police/banks/remittance agencies/other government/private sector organisations) contrasted against what they believe is “justice”.

In order to better understand the discrepancies between organisational and individual perspectives, this presentation shares insights from thirty-one professionals across the fraud justice network in London (UK) and Toronto (Canada). Professionals were asked what they thought “justice” looked like for the many fraud victims they interact with. Dominant answers included getting their money back as well as references to traditional criminal justice outcomes (such as arrest, prosecution and imprisonment).

However, given that both of these are unlikely, this has significant implications for how “(in)justice” is experienced in the context of fraud. Combined with what is known from victims, the presentation ponders how justice can be realistically achieved (if at all) for fraud victims and what this might look like.


Dr Cassandra Cross is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Justice, Queensland University of Technology. Previously, she worked as a research/policy officer with the Queensland Police Service, where she commenced research on the topic of online fraud. In 2011, she was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to examine the prevention and support of online fraud victims worldwide. Since taking up her position at QUT in 2012, she has continued her research into online fraud, across the policing, prevention and victim support aspects. With colleagues, she has received highly competitive Criminology Research Grants, the first in 2013 to conduct the first Australian study into the reporting experiences and support needs of online fraud victims, and another in 2016 to examine the policing of cybercrime in Australia. She is co-author (with Professor Mark Button) of the book Cyber frauds, scams and their victims published by Routledge in 2017.


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