Examinations of Email Fraud Susceptibility: Perspectives From Academic Research and Industry Practice

Examinations of Email Fraud Susceptibility: Perspectives From Academic Research and Industry Practice

Helen S. Jones (University of Dundee, UK) and John Towse (Lancaster University, UK)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4053-3.ch005


The internet provides an ever-expanding, valuable resource for entertainment, communication, and commerce. However, this comes with the simultaneous advancement and sophistication of cyber-attacks, which have serious implications on both a personal and commercial level, as well as within the criminal justice system. Psychologically, such attacks offer an intriguing, under-exploited arena for the understanding of the decision-making processes leading to online fraud victimisation. In this chapter, the authors focus on approaches taken to understand response behaviour surrounding phishing emails. The chapter outlines how approaches from industry and academic research might work together to more effectively understand and potentially tackle the persistent threat of email fraud. In doing this, the authors address alternative methodological approaches taken to understand susceptibility, key insights drawn from each, how useful these are in working towards preventative security measures, and the usability of each approach. It is hoped that these can contribute to collaborative solutions.
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Email Fraud Typology

As most internet users will be aware, phishing emails come in all shapes and sizes, covering an array of subjects from sale of Viagra pills to urgent account updates. As such, providing a specific definition of phishing is not straightforward, although one useful example comes from Myers (2007):

Phishing: A form of social engineering in which an attacker, also known as a phisher, attempts to fraudulently retrieve legitimate users’ confidential or sensitive credentials by mimicking electronic communications from a trustworthy or public organisation in an automated fashion. (p. 1)

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