The client’s consent strengthens the ‘Gamers’ hand; The deterrence theory’s perspective of the Internet romance fraudsters.

  • Dr. Lomatey Toku Koforidua Technical University
  • DR. Martin Otu Offei Koforidua Technical University
Keywords: deterrence, punishment and shame (certainty, severity), internet romance fraud


Internet romance fraud (IRF) is an international crime which has great consequences for individuals, businesses and nations. This emerging crime is based on a romantic love relationship over the internet between a victim (with love intention) and an offender with a criminal intention. Offenders recruit victims from dating sites with the sole intention of defrauding these victims by deception. This study surveyed 320 respondents from validated internet romance fraud (IRF) hotspots which includes, internet cafés and university campuses in Ghana. Structural equation modelling (SEM), with partial least square (PLS) was use to model and analyze the casual relationships of the dependent and independent variables.  The evidence from this study suggests, deterrence - dimensions of punishment (certainty, severity) and shame (certainty severity) negatively influence intention to commit internet romance fraud (IRF) however, intention to commit internet romance fraud (IRF) positively influence the actual IRF crime. Whereas, punishment dimensions are negative and significant, shame dimensions are negative and insignificant, implying IRF are not shamed in their quest to defraud their victims. Internet romance fraudsters are not deterred by punishment and or shame to defraud their victims, although they know their acts are criminal in nature and punishable by law. Offenders’ criminal intention ensures that victims are ultimately defrauded under the pretense of romantic love relationship. This embolden attitude of internet romance offenders must inform law enforcement and prosecutions. Maybe the punishment meted to IRF criminals are not deterrent enough, thereby, sending the wrong signals to IRF criminals and encouraging more young persons to participate in internet romance fraud (IRF) activities.


Author Biography

DR. Martin Otu Offei, Koforidua Technical University


How to Cite
toku, L., & Otu Offei , M. (2023). The client’s consent strengthens the ‘Gamers’ hand; The deterrence theory’s perspective of the Internet romance fraudsters . International Journal of Technology and Management Research, 8(1), 56-69.