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Detecting advance fee fraud emails using self-referential pronouns: a preliminary analysis

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We promote awareness of the features of emails that propose advanced fee fraud schemes. These are commonly known as 419 emails (after Section 419 of the Nigerian Penal Code). We outline the structural features of 419 emails and conduct a preliminary study of their distinctive linguistic features, using word frequency counts and DICTION text analysis software. We find that the incidence of first person singular pronouns is seven times greater in 419 emails than non-419 emails. We suggest elements of a future research agenda that can build on our preliminary results to help reduce advanced fee fraud.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-85
Number of pages8
JournalAccounting Forum
Issue number1
Early online date18 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


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