Shopping fraud victimization among the elderly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Purpose - This study aims to investigate whether low self-control and routine activity theories explain fraud outcomes among the elderly. Specifically, the effects of low self-control and remote purchasing behaviors on shopping fraud targeting and victimization are empirically assessed. Design/methodology/approach - Cross-sectional survey data from telephone interviews conducted in Arizona and Florida are used. A total of 2,000 adults aged 60 and over were surveyed. Because selection bias was observed, a two-stage probit regression model was estimated to assess theoretical hypotheses in a multivariate context. Findings - The results demonstrate that two forms of remote purchasing - telemarketing purchase and mail-order purchase - increase the probability of shopping fraud targeting. Infomercial purchase and mail-order purchase are significant correlates of shopping fraud victimization. The probability of becoming a target and victim is affected positively by reduced levels of self-control. The effects of demographic characteristics on fraud outcomes are null. Research limitations/implications - This research lends support to the argument that low self-control and routine activity theories shed light on fraud victimization among elderly consumers. Future research should examine the influence of low self-control, individual routines and lifestyles on other forms of victimization that the elderly experience. Practical implications - The findings underscore the need for fraud prevention and increasing public awareness among elderly consumers. Originality/value - This is the first study to examine shopping fraud targeting and victimization of the elderly in a broad theoretical context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-337
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Financial Crime
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 22 2013


  • Elderly people
  • Elderly victimization
  • Fraud
  • Remote purchasing
  • Self-control
  • Two-stage probit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Law


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