Online dating offers new opportunities for individuals to seek a romantic partner; however, the platform has also been exploited by criminals seeking to perpetrate scams, classified as online dating (romance) fraud. These are arguably one of the most distressing frauds, as victims suffer both financially and emotionally. Thus, this emergent issue has fielded increasing attention from diverse disciplines, though research still remains limited – in particular, investigation of romance fraud from a risk mitigation and information systems (IS) approach has been neglected. This study begins to address these shortfalls by utilising Protection Motivation Theory (PMT) as a framework for understanding the factors and processes underlying intention to use protective tools safeguarding against online dating (OD) scams. The results of Partial Least Squares analysis showed the perceptions and importance of PMT factors differs among protection mechanisms, highlighting the need to better understand and thus enhance the mechanisms based on empirical evidence. Additionally, an online dater‘s assessment of the protective mechanism (and protective response) generally has a greater influence on adopting protective behaviour, than the evaluation of the scam itself.

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