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Bringing the world home: Lessons learnt in the prevention and support of online fraud victimisation

74 Leichhardt Street, Griffith ACT
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM 31 May 2012

Dr Cassandra Cross, Queensland Police Service

Online fraud poses a significant challenge to society. These types of offences are often complex and sophisticated and can have both devastating and long lasting consequences for their unsuspecting victims. While enforcement action is an important step in fighting online fraud, it is suggested that focusing efforts on the prevention of online fraud will have far greater benefits. The prevention of victim losses before they occur is preferable, both in terms of time and resources, to the investigation of an offence once a victim has lost their money. However, while prevention is important, a certain level of victimisation is inevitable therefore, there is a strong need to provide support services to individuals who find themselves victims.

This paper presents the outcomes of a Churchill Fellowship undertaken in 2011. The Fellowship funded travel to the United Kingdom, United States of America and Canada to examine other jurisdictional responses to the prevention and support of online fraud victims. While much work has already been undertaken in Queensland, there is considerable room for improvement and a great deal can be learnt from these overseas jurisdictions. This presentation highlights several examples of innovative and effective responses of overseas agencies to online fraud, particularly in the area of victim support. Consequently, this presentation concludes that Australia can continue to improve its position regarding the prevention and support of online fraud victims, by applying the knowledge and expertise learnt overseas to a local context.


Dr Cassandra Cross
2011 Churchill Fellow
Community Safety and Crime Prevention Branch Queensland Police Service

Dr Cassandra Cross completed all of her studies through the School of Justice, Queensland University of Technology, and was awarded her PhD in criminology in 2008. She currently works as a research and policy officer within the Community Safety and Crime Prevention Branch, Queensland Police Service and has been with the police for the past five years.

In 2011, Dr Cross was recognised as a Churchill Fellow for her work in the area of fraud, and was awarded the Donald Mackay Fellowship for Organised Crime. Under this fellowship, Dr Cross travelled to the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Canada to examine other jurisdictional responses to online fraud prevention and victim support services. This builds upon a very successful research project that she has undertaken over the past three years, examining seniors and online fraud. This project interviewed 85 seniors across Queensland to understand why some choose to respond to fraudulent emails/online requests for money, personal details or passwords, while others do not.