Teaching the Victimology of Fraud

Lindsay Reed, The University of Memphis
Hannah Scott, Univ. of Ontario Inst. of Technology

Victimology can be a difficult subject for both teacher and student. Although fraud victimization is generally nonviolent, it has been compared to sexual assault victimization in the types of emotions brought up, including guilt and anger in the victim, as well as skepticism and victim-blaming from others, and therefore it can be just as difficult to teach. In this presentation we will describe a small class exercise that engages the students in an instance of fraud. Experimenters employ various methods to con the students out of a dollar or less on several occasions and later reveal the fraud and reimburse them. The experiment provides students with an opportunity to understand fraud victimization with little at stake, demonstrates how they fell victim to fraud, and provides tips on how to avoid fraud int hef uture.

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Updated 05/20/2006