The low self-control/risky lifestyles perspective posits that people deficient in self-control engage in certain risky behaviors that increase their exposure to motivated offenders in the absence of capable guardianship, which in turn elevates their risk of victimization. Using survey data from telephone interviews conducted in Florida and Arizona with individuals aged 60 and over, the current study tests whether this theoretical framework partially explains risky remote purchasing and identity theft victimization among older Internet users. Results from the two-stage probit models conform to expectations: Individuals with lower levels of self-control have a significantly higher probability of making a purchase after receiving an unsolicited email from a vendor with whom they have not previously done business. What is more, making a risky remote purchase significantly increases the probability of identity theft victimization. The findings not only speak to the generality of the low self-control/risky lifestyles perspective, but also indicate that older Internet users can reduce their victimization risk by taking specific precautions.
- identity theft
- lifestyle theory
- remote purchasing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine