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NCJ Number: 223048 Find in a Library
Title: Qualitative Analysis of Advance Fee Fraud E-mail Schemes
Journal: International Journal of Cyber Criminology  Volume:1  Issue:1  Dated:January 2007  Pages:137-154
Author(s): Thomas J. Holt; Danielle C. Graves
Date Published: January 2007
Page Count: 18
Document: HTML
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: India
Annotation: Based on a qualitative analysis of 412 fraudulent e-mail messages, this study examined the mechanisms used by scammers to elicit money and identity information from recipients of their e-mails.
Abstract: The findings show that fraudsters use deceptively simple messages in attempting to gain identity information and money from potential victims. They use apparently proven phrases throughout each e-mail that increase the plausibility of their circumstances and the likelihood of responses. Most messages have an enticing subject line that may attract attention to the e-mail. In the body of the e-mail, the scammer creates a false impression of professionalism by providing business credentials and statements about the need for trust and confidentiality. References to current events, the use of religious phrases, and emotional language are designed to appeal to sympathy for spiritually minded victims of some well-known disaster. Fraudsters typically present a scenario of having a large sum of money they must transfer to a new bank account. Recipients of the e-mail will receive a percentage of this transfer if they assist in completing the transfer by sending a specified amount of money. Half of the e-mails examined required the recipient to give the sender personal information, including name, address, and phone numbers. Research is needed in order to determine the ways fraudulent e-mail messages are distributed and responses received. This information will assist law enforcement investigators and computer security professionals in developing strategies to combat unsolicited, fraudulent e-mails. The 412 e-mail messages examined were received in 2 e-mail accounts at 2 medium-sized State universities. The messages were not requested or sent from any individual known to the researchers. They were apparently generated from 121 different public and private e-mail providers around the world. 1 table and 22 references
Main Term(s): Victims of Crime
Index Term(s): Computer related crime; Criminal methods; Fraud; Fraud investigations; Identity Theft
Note: Downloaded June 18, 2008
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