Exploring the voluntary response to cyber-fraud: from vigilantism to responsibilisation

Mark Button, Jack Whittacker

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Online crimes such as frauds have grown substantially in volume over the last 20 years, with the associated changes in technology such as the internet and use of email. The state response through the police has lagged in many countries with law enforcement often struggling to cope with the volume and new challenges of such crimes. Private policing has traditionally filled the gap through commercial forms where clients are willing to pay through to voluntary actions such as vigilantism. Cybercrime has not escaped such outcomes with a growing voluntary sector responding to such crimes. In doing so there have been a wide range of such responses ranging from vigilantism through to state supported initiatives. This paper seeks to chart this voluntary response and in doing so conceptulizes it through three waves of voluntarism.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100482
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Law, Crime and Justice
Early online date29 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


  • cybercrime
  • fraud
  • scams
  • vigilantism
  • voluntary policing
  • volunteerism


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