Financial Cybercrimes in Poland – In the Search of Victimization Factors

Jan Garlicki, Daniel Mider
European Research Studies Journal, Volume XXV, Issue 3, 299-313, 2022
DOI: 10.35808/ersj/3010


Purpose: Hereby article examines the factors influencing the victimization of adult Poles in the field of financial cybercrimes. Social and demographic factors as well as skills and habits in the field of cybersecurity were taken into account. Approach/Methodology/Design: The method of computer assisted telephone interviews (CATI) was used for this purpose. Descriptive statistics and selected inductive statistics were used in the analyzes. In turn, intra-group differentiation was investigated using a statistical exploratory method called two-step cluster analysis. The analyzes were carried out in the following three groups, those who experienced financial cybercrimes, those who experienced non-financial cybercrimes, and those who did not experience any cybercrime. Findings: The results of foreign studies show contradictions in the answer to the question of what social and behavioral characteristics induce victimization. The use of the cyber-victimized persons segmentation procedure allowed to explain this contradiction, which from now on can be treated as apparent. Among the cyber-victimized group there are several groups that differ in terms of sociodemographic (gender, age, education, income, place of residence) and behavioral (IT competences). These are both groups with low IT competences as well as medium or high. They are both young people and middle-aged and elderly people. An important observation is also that the group structures captured in this way are similar among the victimized and non-victimized, and among the victims of financial cybercrimes and non-financial crimes. Practical implications: Identification of significant features (social, demographic, psychographic and the level of competence in the field of avoiding cyber threats) of people particularly vulnerable to victimization, allows to indicate who can be used awareness-raising, educational and remedial measures. The article addresses the urgent and heavily underinvested need to ensure cybersecurity of ordinary Internet users, especially those who are less able to cope with technical issues, for whom age, disability or other reasons prevent such activity. This is of particular importance in the face of the implementation of further digital services as part of e-government activities. Originality/Value: This is the first study on a nationwide sample of adult Poles that reveals the relationship between cybercriminalization in the field of financial crimes, and socio-psycho-demographic features, as well as IT competences and knowledge of the respondents.

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