The psychological and financial impact of cybercrime victimization: A novel application of the shattered assumptions theory

Jildau Borwell, Jurjen Jansen, Wouter Stol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

While criminality is digitizing, a theory-based understanding of the impact of cybercrime on victims is lacking. Therefore, this study addresses the psychological and financial impact of cybercrime on victims, applying the shattered assumptions theory (SAT) to predict that impact. A secondary analysis was performed on a representative data set of Dutch citizens (N = 33,702), exploring the psychological and financial impact for different groups of cybercrime victims. The results showed a higher negative impact on emotional well-being for victims of person-centered cybercrime, victims for whom the offender was an acquaintance, and victims whose financial loss was not compensated and a lower negative impact on emotional well-being for victims with a higher income. The study led to novel scientific insights and showed the applicability of the SAT for developing hypotheses about cybercrime victimization impact. In this study, most hypotheses had to be rejected, leading to the conclusion that more work has to be done to test the applicability of the SAT in the field of cybercrime. Furthermore, policy implications were identified considering the prioritization of and approach to specific cybercrimes, treatment of victims, and financial loss compensation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0894439320983828
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalSocial Science Computer Review
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Jan 2021

Keywords

  • cybercrime victimization
  • financial cybercrime
  • hacking
  • person-centered cybercrime
  • psychological impact
  • shattered assumptions theory

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