Current Research Projects
Cybercrime Victimization Survey
We are partnering with local law enforcement and victims’ advocacy offices for this research. The planned survey study will identify victims of cybercrime to ask about their online behaviors and activities that may have precipitated their victimization. We will be able to recommend various best practices in cyber hygiene to help reduce their risk of re-victimization. Following up, we will measure the effectiveness of various interventions.
Cybercrime Victimization during the Pandemic
In this project, we surveyed Floridians about their general online behaviors and their experiences with online fraud during the pandemic in 2020. You can read the report on the findings here: Online Victimization during COVID-19. We continue to analyze the data from the survey. Our goal is to model the correlates of online victimization with economic and social pressures caused by the pandemic, especially given that most social interactions had to be done virtually.
Disrupting the Identity Theft Supply Chain
Integrating both a theoretical rationale (i.e., rational choice models) and practical approaches for data collection, our interdisciplinary research team will seek to better understand the online identity theft supply chain by enhancing data collection skills on victim identities from encrypted communication platforms, developing effective communication strategies to alert victims of past, current, and ongoing threats against them, and interviewing active identity theft offenders to better understand their modus operandi, the identity theft supply chain, and the full scope of online identity theft. After determining the most effective notification method for alerting victims, automated tools will be developed and employed to systematically gather actionable threat intelligence pertaining to identity theft victimization from encrypted online platforms (e.g., Telegram, Discord). Identified identity theft victims will then be notified of threats against them and directed to report past victimization experiences, mitigate current threats against them, and prevent future victimization from occurring. Notified victims will be directed to an educational website, which warns of the dangers associated with identity theft and provides guidance on how to report, mitigate, and prevent victimization. Finally, the efficacy of our notification and education system will be assessed using survey-based and experimental research designs.