Understanding Romance Fraud: Insights from Domestic Violence Research

Romance fraud is a particularly harmful issue that affects thousands of people every year. The damage that romance fraud can cause makes particularly startling the relatively little research that has been done on this subject.  Cassandra Cross, Molly Dragiewicz and Kelly Richards provide insights by comparing romance fraud and domestic violence in the hope that the intersection of these areas of research could be useful.  Using interviews with 21 Australian victims of romance fraud they looked into the characteristics of the perpetrators methods including  the use of economic abuse, violence, isolation, monopolization, degradation.  There were some correlations between the methods used by romance scam fraudsters and domestic abusers in terms of both active and passive abuses. There are lessons to be learned from both the domestic violence literature for those researching romance fraud and for domestic violence scholars from the act of romance fraud as there appears to be similarities in the methods of manipulation to coercively control victim behaviours for the benefit of the abusers.


Cross, C., Dragiewicz, M., & Richards, K. (2018). Understanding Romance Fraud: Insights from Domestic Violence Research. The British Journal of Criminology.