Paper 'Can criminals create opportunities for crime? Malvertising and illegal online medicine trade'

Opportunity theories suggest that the occurrence of an offence depends on the presence of a motivated offender and a specific condition in the environment that presents an opportunity for crime. While offenders may be able to choose among crime opportunities, the question is whether they can create new crime opportunities. Based on a qualitative analysis of court cases, investigative reports and the news media, this article examines the genesis of crime opportunities by looking into the malicious online advertising (malvertising) of substandard, spurious, falsely labelled, falsified and counterfeit (SSFFC) medical products.

While further research on this topic is needed, the findings of the article help to understand the importance of unsavoury advertising as a tool that perpetrators use to manipulate consumer demand and proactively create (or expand) criminal markets.

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