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A Taxonomic Literature Review of Fraud Detection & Prevention

Within each paper found and included, I'm looking particularly for descriptions of techniques applied to either detect or disrupt fraud operations, and evaluations of their effectiveness. I have a secondary interest in locating any data sources that might be available. Studies that only characterise crime or estimate damages are out of scope.

Beals et al., 2015 of the Financial Fraud Research Center at Stanford provide a systematic categorisation system for dealing with fraud, including a standardised coding scheme. Their definition of 'fraud against an individual' for the most part overlaps neatly with that I'm working with for 'mass-marketing fraud'. This taxonomy provides an ideal basis for systematically categorising the literature, providing some structure for further research. I will be omitting the leading '1' from the codes here, and will only use the additional tags where they are relevant. Studies are grouped below according to their Level 2 categorisation.

  1. Consumer Investment Fraud - where someone knowingly misleads an investor using false information about securities, commodities etc.

  2. Consumer Products and Services Fraud - fraud related to the purchase of tangible goods and services, with no intention of delivery.

  3. Employment Fraud - false business opportunities or job placements.

  4. Prize and Grant Fraud - fraud hooking victims through false lotteries or windfalls.

  5. Phantom Debt Collection - fraudsters invent debts, which victims are then pressured into paying.

  6. Charity Fraud - false charities.

  7. Relationship and Trust Fraud - either a relationship is fraudulently created, or an existing relationship is preyed upon by a fraudster.