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A LINGUISTIC ANALYSIS OF SCAM MAILS

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CHAPTER ONE

1.0     INTRODUCTION

This chapter presents the general overview of this research work as well as its significance and statement of problems and also possible solution to those problems as this study is aimed to achieve.

1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

Scam mails are a form of financial fraud in which huge offers of money are made to people provided they pass on bank details and other personal information to the perpetrator. This kind of message presents us with a typical instance of globalized communication, they are produced in the margins of the world and sent to other places; they are electronically mediated and they are written in varieties of world languages, mostly English.

Patterns in content include similar narratives involving vast sums of money to be transferred from the scammer’s home country with outside help and common persuasive strategies frequently involving apologies, flattery, attempts to intrigue, trust and religious feelings while patterns in writing features include use of attention inducing buzz words like “urgent’’ and “secret’’ in subject headings

as well as in the letters themselves, and obvious nonnative English

grammar, mechanics and vocabulary errors. Inspite of the cruder elements of

these letters and worldwide efforts to fight the con artists sending

them, recipients  are  still  drawn  into  these  scams  in  large  numbers, losing  huge

sums of money every year. The best defense against them must still entail

comprehensive public education about the nature of this scam.

For now, it still seems likely that for every antiscam measure someone develops, scammers will devise a counter measure. Perhaps, then preventing scam from reaching personal computers might better be treated as a secondary concern, the primary goal should infact be the education of netizens to recognize deceptive content, specious persuasive strategies, inaccurate and unfair stereotypes of a scam when they see them ensuring that they will avoid becoming its next victim.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

In scam messages,authors claim particular identities and relationships and have to do so using specific,generically regimented forms of communication.Investigating such forms yields a complex view of what it takes to communicate in a globalized environment at least three different forms of communicative competence seem to be blended.

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