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Just the Money?: Does the Criminal Law Appropriately Tackle Romance Frauds?

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/06/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of International and Comparative Law
Issue number1
Number of pages32
Pages (from-to)143-174
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This article considers the legal response to romance frauds. This is an issue that attracts increasing scholarship, as digital communication technologies make it easier for people to meet but also for scammers to prey on unsuspecting victims. Initially, these scams would take place solely online, and they could proceed very rapidly. While these still exist, they increasingly take place over a prolonged period and can be very sophisticated, including the establishment of a “real” relationship. Historically, the law responds to this crime through offences relating to fraud, but this arguably leaves parts of the behaviour unpunished. Using hypothetical case-studies (“vignettes”) this article compares how the law in England & Wales, Scotland and Canada tackles romance fraud. It concludes by suggesting the need for a new offence where sexual activity is procured by deception.