Deception and fraud

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This chapter attempts to explore the following multipart research question: What, if anything, can linguistics and linguists offer: (1) in defining deception and fraud, (2) in detecting deception and fraud, and (3) in providing assistance to the various entities involved in legal systems with respect to the nature and detection of deception and fraud? After defining deception and fraud from lay, linguistics and legal perspectives, we explore the linguistic elements of the Nigerian Advanced Fee Fraud in order to see how linguistic knowledge can be used to detect deceptive language. We then critique research aimed at using linguistics to detect deception in real-time contexts. We conclude by offering ways linguistic science can be legitimately employed to uncover deceptive and fraudulent language.


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