Love fraud conversations

Published: 15 May 2024| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/fccb66s94k.1
Pamela Faber


Love fraud conversations between 75 fraudsters and the author.


Steps to reproduce

Corpus of conversations between 73 fraudsters and their target (the author), as well as 16 formats used in West Africa to guide communication between fraudster and victim in the love fraud event. The corpus consisted of 1,045,921 tokens, and 898,377 words. These conversations between 75 fraudsters and the author were obtained from November 2020 until April 2024. Also useful were the formats and contextual information provided by three ex-scammers in Nigeria. Each conversation was copied from FaceBook Messenger, Instagram, GoogleChat, Spike, Telegram, or Skype and converted into txt. format, after which each was uploaded to SketchEngine. The conversations were then compiled as a corpus. This corpus manager and text analysis software developed by Lexical Computing CZ s.r.o. (Kilgarriff et al., 2014) was used to study language behaviour to search large text collections, based on linguistically motivated queries. Corpus analysis was based on the data extracted with the Concordance, WordSketch, Keywords, WordList, and Thesaurus modules of SketchEngine. The fraudsters in this study all identified as male in false profiles created on FaceBook, Instgram or the InterNations website. Twenty-eight claimed to be generals (Gen), deployed in Afghanistan, Korea, Yemen, Turkey, or Syria. Eighteen said that they were doctors (Doc), working for the United Nations in Syria, Yemen, Norway, or Somalia. Ten were oil riggers (Oil) who were supposedly working on oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, North Sea, Alaska, Newfoundland, and the Adriatic Sea. Fifteen were engineers (Eng), who either worked on ships or who were in charge of multi-million-dollar projects in the USA, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, Yemen, or Ireland. Two claimed to be ship captains (Capt) from Canada, who were sailing the high seas. One owned a tire company (Tires) in Atlanta Georgia, and another was a retired Unicef director (Unicef), who was in London to recover the inheritance of his 13-year-old daughter.


Universidad de Granada


Linguistics, Pragmatics, Lexical Semantics