Psychological Antecedents and Consequences of Online Romance Scam Victimization Fear

Nabid Alam, Gurpreet Dhillon, Tiago Oliveira

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The internet has transformed the way people initiate and nurture romantic relationships. Cybercriminals see a massive opportunity to fraud this emerging demography of online daters by launching online romance scams. The scammers pretend to engage in a romantic relationship with the victim through online platforms and eventually defraud the victim financially. In addition to the financial loss, online romance scam victims face significant emotional loss and psychological distress from the betrayal by someone they love. Online romance scam victimization fear is the psychological stress online daters feel while interacting with someone on the dating platforms. Extant literature on online romance scams is largely silent regarding the causes and consequences of online romance scam victimization fear. In this research, we integrate the Etiology of Fear Theory and Broaden-Build Theory to check how online dater’s negative psychological states such as uncertainty, vulnerability, and fear reduce positive psychology. The objective of this research is to propose and test how online daters’ psychological states influence online romance scam victimization fear and how these feelings impact the online dating psychological capital. We are going to conduct the research in two phases following a developmental mixed-method design where the qualitative study will help us to generate insights about the constructs and hypotheses, and the quantitative study will be used to test the hypotheses. This research has several potential theoretical contributions- 1) it extends the etiology of fear theory by introducing a social vulnerability construct and operationalizes the theory in the context of an online romance scam, 2) it reconceptualize the psychological antecedents of victimization fear in the context of online romance scam, and 3) it is one of the earliest studies to test the interplay between negative and positive psychology in online dating and to establish that online romance scam victimization fear negatively influences online dating psychological capital. Moreover, the research helps us to contribute to the practice– 1) findings will help online dating platforms to understand the causes and consequences of online romance scam victimization fear, 2) using the insights online dating platforms can initiate strategies to reduce users’ feeling of uncertainty and vulnerability that in turn can lead to a lower online romance scam victimization fear, and 3) online dating platforms can develop strategies to reduce online romance scam victimization fear that can provide users with higher psychological capital to continue the usage of the application.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAMCIS 2021 Proceedings.
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021
EventAmericas Conference for Information Systems (AMCIS 2021): Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship - Virtual
Duration: 9 Aug 202113 Aug 2021
Conference number: 27th


ConferenceAmericas Conference for Information Systems (AMCIS 2021)
Abbreviated titleAMCIS 2021
Internet address


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