Reporting behavior of fraud victims and black’s theory of law: An empirical assessment

Academic Article


  • As many as one-third of the adult U.S. population have been victims of fraud; yet, fraud victims are reluctant to report their victimization. Although previous research has uncovered some characteristics of fraud victims, that research tends to be atheoretical. In the current study we attempt to move beyond these descriptive studies by placing fraud-reporting behavior into the general theoretical framework developed by Black. Using data from a survey of 400 residents of a large southeastern city, we investigate fraud victims’ reporting behavior in the context of Black’s propositions about the use of law. Specifically, we examine why some fraud victims report their victimizations while others do not. We conclude that Black’s theory only partially explains fraud reporting. It provides important insights, however, into why some people report and others do not. © 2001 Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Justice Quarterly  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Copes H; Kerley KR; Mason KA; Vanwyk J
  • Start Page

  • 343
  • End Page

  • 363
  • Volume

  • 18
  • Issue

  • 2