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What is Advance Fee Fraud

Handbook of Research on Discourse Behavior and Digital Communication: Language Structures and Social Interaction
is a confidence trick targeted at people to make them advance a sum of money with the hope of getting a significantly higher sum.
Published in Chapter:
A Digital Forensic Analysis of Advance Fee Fraud (419 Scams)
Christine I. Ofulue (National Open University of Nigeria, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-773-2.ch019
One of the significant implications of digital communication is the receipt of unsolicited emails. Several such mails share common features which characterize what has now come to be known as Advance Fee Fraud (AFF) mails or 419 mails. In particular, this chapter presents a structural analysis of the content of email correspondences for linguistic clues to help detect scams. Using a qualitative approach, the data comprising several unsolicited emails were analyzed for linguistic features vis a viz standard features of email communication and Standard English (SE). Findings revealed that the language of AFF emails share common linguistic features in aspects such as address, message, content construction, English as Second Language (ESL) errors, and non-native English features. The findings of this study enrich our understanding of language use in digital communication, and equip individuals and investigators with linguistic tools to determine authenticity through digital forensic examination.
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