Online-dating romance scam in Malaysia: An analysis of online conversations between scammers and victims

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The study of online romance scam is still at its infancy in Malaysia, despite the increase in the number of reported cases in this country. This research primarily aims to identify the steps and strategies involved in the online romance scam in Malaysia. Apart from that, it also aims to identify the pattern of deceptive language used in online romance scam in Malaysia through a comprehensive linguistic analysis of actual online conversations between scammers and victims. The empirical investigation of this research focuses on the language strategies used by scammers as a modus operando in deceiving their targets. With the help of the Malaysian Police Department, a database of romance scam cases was gathered and established. From the database, 30 sets of online communication between scammers and 30 Malaysian victims were selected and analysed using content analysis method. One of the aspects involved in data analysis was scammers’ linguistic styles and patterns in manipulating their targets. This was analysed using Brown and Levinson Politeness Model as well as Whitty’s Scammers Persuasive Techniques Model. The findings indicate a common linguistic pattern and style of conversation used by online scammers in persuading and deceiving their victims.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-115
Number of pages19
JournalGEMA Online Journal of Language Studies
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019

Fingerprint

Malaysia
conversation
linguistics
politeness
research focus
language
content analysis
data analysis
police
communication
Romance
Data Base
Language

Keywords

  • Content analysis
  • Deceptive language
  • Linguistic analysis
  • Online romance scam
  • Politeness model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory

Cite this

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title = "Online-dating romance scam in Malaysia: An analysis of online conversations between scammers and victims",
abstract = "The study of online romance scam is still at its infancy in Malaysia, despite the increase in the number of reported cases in this country. This research primarily aims to identify the steps and strategies involved in the online romance scam in Malaysia. Apart from that, it also aims to identify the pattern of deceptive language used in online romance scam in Malaysia through a comprehensive linguistic analysis of actual online conversations between scammers and victims. The empirical investigation of this research focuses on the language strategies used by scammers as a modus operando in deceiving their targets. With the help of the Malaysian Police Department, a database of romance scam cases was gathered and established. From the database, 30 sets of online communication between scammers and 30 Malaysian victims were selected and analysed using content analysis method. One of the aspects involved in data analysis was scammers’ linguistic styles and patterns in manipulating their targets. This was analysed using Brown and Levinson Politeness Model as well as Whitty’s Scammers Persuasive Techniques Model. The findings indicate a common linguistic pattern and style of conversation used by online scammers in persuading and deceiving their victims.",
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