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Publication - Professor Awais Rashid

    The Geography of Online Dating Fraud

    Citation

    Edwards, M, Suarez-Tangil, G, Peersman, C, Stringhini, G, Rashid, A & Whitty, M, 2018, ‘The Geography of Online Dating Fraud’.

    Abstract

    This paper presents an analysis of online dating fraud's geography. Working with real romance scammer dating profiles collected from both proxied and direct connections, we analyse geographic patterns in the targeting and distinct characteristics of dating fraud from different countries, revealing several strong markers indicative of particular national origins having distinctive approaches to romance scamming. We augment IP geolocation information with other evidence about the dating profiles. By analysing the resource overlap between scam profiles, we discover that up to 11% of profiles created from proxied connections could be assigned a different national origin on the basis of text or images shared with profiles from direct connections. Our methods allow for improved understanding of the origins of dating fraud, beyond only direct geolocation of IP addresses, with patterns and resource sharing revealing approximate location information which could be used to target prevention campaigns.

    Full details in the University publications repository