Purpose of the Study: This study examines the effect of survey context on self-reported rates of personal fraud victimization, and explores if the effect is influenced by age and gender. Design and Methods: Participants (3,000 U.S. adults) were randomly assigned to 1 of the 3 versions of a fraud victimization questionnaire: questions about fraud were identical across conditions, however, the context varies. One questionnaire asked about crime, one about consumer buying experiences, and a third focused only on fraud. Results: Participants who were asked about fraud victimization in the context of crime reported significantly less victimization (p < .05) than those in the fraud-alone condition, yet the number of reports from those asked within the context of a consumer survey did not differ from the fraud-alone condition. The effect of the crime context interacted with age (p < .05), such that there was no effect of survey context for the middle age group (35-64), and a strong effect for younger (25-34) and older (65 plus) adults. The combined effect of being female and older was associated with the greatest effect of crime context on self-reported fraud victimization. Implications: These findings inform the production of new surveys and guide the development of effective social and health policies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geriatrics and Gerontology