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Exploring how, why and in what contexts older adults are at risk of financial cybercrime victimisation: A realist review

Burton, A; Cooper, C; Dar, A; Mathews, L; Tripathi, K; (2021) Exploring how, why and in what contexts older adults are at risk of financial cybercrime victimisation: A realist review. Experimental Gerontology , 159 , Article 111678. 10.1016/j.exger.2021.111678.

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Abstract

Although older people rarely report being victims of financial cybercrime, there is evidence that older online users are at increased risk. This realist review identified factors leading to older adults' victimisation and reviewed the theory and evidence for interventions to reduce victimisation risks. We developed an initial programme theory from a scoping review and expert stakeholder consultations. We searched electronic databases, references and websites for literature meeting inclusion criteria. We analysed 52 primary and secondary data sources, seeking stakeholder views to develop and refine the programme theory and generate Context-Mechanism-Outcome Configurations (CMOCs) explaining how, why and in what circumstances older adults become financial cybercrime victims; and extrapolated this to consider rational intervention strategies. Our programme theory comprised 16 CMOCs describing how: social isolation, cognitive, physical and mental health problems; wealth status, limited cyber security skills or awareness, societal attitudes and content of scams led to victimisation. Our refined programme theory provides a novel framework to guide future intervention design. Only interventions to enhance older internet users' awareness and skills have been trialled to date. Other theoretically plausible interventions include: offender management programmes, tailored security measures, society-wide stigma reduction and awareness-raising with groups who support older people.

Type: Article
Title: Exploring how, why and in what contexts older adults are at risk of financial cybercrime victimisation: A realist review
Location: England
DOI: 10.1016/j.exger.2021.111678
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exger.2021.111678
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Crime victims, Fraud, Internet, Older adults
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10141564
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