Vol. 8 No. 1 (2023): Proceedings of Botconf 2023
Additional articles

Scambaiting as a Preventive Tool in the Fight against Cyberfrauds: the Case of Romance Scams

Renaud Zbinden
Institut de lutte contre la criminalité économique
Olivier Beaudet-Labrecque
Institut de lutte contre la criminalité économique
Flore Grandjean
Institut de lutte contre la criminalité économique
Cloé Gobeil
Université de Montréal
Luca Brunoni
Institut de lutte contre la criminalité économique
David Décary-Hétu
Institut de lutte contre la criminalité économique
Cristina Cretu-Adatte
Institut de lutte contre la criminalité économique

Published 2023-05-02


  • Covid-19,
  • Cybercrime,
  • Romance scams

How to Cite

Zbinden, R. ., Beaudet-Labrecque, O., Grandjean, F. ., Gobeil, C. ., Brunoni, L. ., Décary-Hétu, D. ., & Cretu-Adatte, C. . (2023). Scambaiting as a Preventive Tool in the Fight against Cyberfrauds: the Case of Romance Scams. The Journal on Cybercrime and Digital Investigations, 8(1), A9-A18. https://doi.org/10.18464/cybin.v8i1.37

Download Citation


The following paper discusses the potential of using scambaiting techniques to mitigate online fraud. It draws from the experience and the results of a recent project led by the authors, in which researchers posed as targets on dating platforms and interacted with criminals engaging in romance scams – a prominent type of fraud that generates massive economic and emotional damages. The aim of the project was to model their modus operandi, use the gathered data to explore possible ways to disrupt and frustrate further criminal conduct, and evaluate the potential of such techniques. After providing the scientific context of the project, this paper will detail the methodology and the strategies used by the research team for their scambaiting experiment. A brief survey of the most interesting results will then be presented. The last part of this paper will focus on the challenges and opportunities of using scambaiting as a law enforcement tool to fight online fraud.


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