Perceived risk of internet theft victimization: Examining the effects of social vulnerability and financial impulsivity

Michael D. Reisig, Travis C. Pratt, Kristy Holtfreter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

72 Scopus citations


This study examines the antecedents of online consumers' estimates of the risk of credit card theft victimization and whether risk perceptions are empirically linked to online lifestyles. Using telephone survey data from a sample of adult Internet users in the state of Florida (N = 573), the regression analysis shows that socially vulnerable (e.g., lower socioeconomic status consumers) and financially impulsive respondents perceive higher levels of risk when using their credit card online. Results from the negative binomial models show that consumers with higher risk scores spend significantly less time on the Internet and make fewer purchases from Web sites, yet financially impulsive respondents fail to engage in such risk-reduction strategies. Overall, these findings suggest that key features of Ferraro's risk interpretation model generalize to the online victimization context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-384
Number of pages16
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009



  • Credit card theft
  • Fear of crime
  • Impulsivity
  • Internet crime
  • Self-control
  • Victimization risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology(all)
  • Law

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