HomeTin-awvol. 2 no. 1 (2018)

Facebook Posts of Fraudsters in Networking Businesses: A Discourse Analysis

Mark G. Suico



Fraudulent networking business employs marketing strategies including Facebook posts aimed at deceiving people for personal and financial gain. With the outstanding loss of finances among the victims, one could easily wonder how people were deceived. The purpose of this qualitative-discourse analysis study was to explore the typical elements of the Facebook posts of fraudsters in various networking businesses as well as to expose the lexico-semantic features found in the typical elements. Results of the discourse analysis showed that the Facebook posts of fraudsters had typical elements which include the use of tempting numbers, use of second person pronoun, use of first person plural pronoun, use of enticing negative claims, use of high pressure selling technique, use of capitalization, use of simple sentence structure, use of supportive pronouncements, and employment of specificity reduction. A variety of lexico-semantic features were also observed in the typical elements of the Facebook posts of fraudsters in networking businesses which include polysemy, compound, colloquial, and syntactic paraphrase. These linguistic features indicated that fraudsters used language common to genuine business persons. Hence, detecting such deceptive language can be challenging to any unsuspecting individuals. The persuasive and deceptive discourse elements of the Facebook posts of fraudsters were intriguing yet interesting linguistic corpora one would like to further explore.