Determinants of Fear of Cybercrime Victimisation: A study of Credit/Debit card Fraud among students of the university of Saskatchewan
Fear of crime studies is an enduring theme in criminological research. The focus of such research, however, has been on conventional physical or place-based crimes. This study was aimed at investigating the fear of Cybercrime (credit/debit card fraud) victimisation among University of Saskatchewan students. This was achieved by asking questions about: 1. students’ knowledge/perceptions of cybercrime; 2. exploring their experiences of victimisation; 3. examining students’ internet use patterns and frequency; 4. behavioural responses and finally; 5. demography. The study was informed by the framework of Beck’s theory of a Risk Society. Beck’s view is that given the various unintended consequences of the numerous techno-scientific innovations, risks and hazards have become a permanent feature of the modern time (Beck, 1992). Data was obtained from an online survey of students. Binary Logistic Regression and Cross tabulation were used to predict both fear and risk of cybercrime victimisation. The findings of the study indicate that prior experience of victimisation and internet use behaviours are both positively associated with students’ fear and their risk of becoming victims of credit/debit card fraud. On the other hand, socio-demographic factors and knowledge of cybercrime were both found to be non-significant predictors of students fear and risk of becoming victims of credit/debit card fraud. Based on the findings, the study argues for the need to rethink risks and to further examine reflexivity, as people negotiate the challenge of remaining in the threshold of risk and actual victimisation. The findings from the study demonstrate that the risk society theory has explanatory power and greatly enhanced our understanding of risk in the contemporary technology driven era. The study concludes with a number of recommendations for further studies.
Cybercrime, Risk Society, Conventional crime, Place-based crime, System immanent
Master of Arts (M.A.)