Fraud and Poverty: Exploring Ex Ante Victim Data
Fraud studies rely on potentially underreported/misreported victim data in developed countries, virtually ignoring developing countries. This paper proposes using ex ante victim data, to be collected before attempted victims become aware of the fraudulence, and examines recruitment fraud, which is tightly linked with poverty. In rural Fiji, almost one quarter of households were defrauded of application fees for labor migration. The bigger problem is indirect costs: Controlling for victim endogeneity reveals that households' false expectations about international remittances led to a significant reduction in the domestic private transfers victims received. The analysis sharply identifies who was victimized and why/why not.
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