Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Creating urgency in tech support scam telephone conversations
by Tabron, Judith L., M.A., Hofstra University, 2016, 99; 10253641
Abstract (Summary)

Previous research has examined the discourse features of legitimate phone interactions including commodity trading calls (Firth 1994), emergency phone calls (Zimmerman 1992), company-initiated sales calls (Freed 2010), and call center telephone calls (Hultgren and Cameron 2010). This research describes the structure and operation of phone fraud calls, specifically calls in which scammers pretend to provide Windows technical service and support. In contrast to expectations in the work on social engineering that indicates that it operates on trust, this research finds that this bulk phone scam follows a rigid discourse structure in which the calls pass quickly to a “proof” phase that convinces the target that they need the service and then a “sales” phase that is surprisingly varied in its length. An analysis of lexical chains in the proof phase show how those lexical chains create cohesion and thus texture, creating an overall linguistic meaning between the target and the scammer even when neither understands the technical topic under discussion and creating a situation in which the target is faced with an urgent problem for which a solution is being sold.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gales, Tammy
School: Hofstra University
Department: Forensic Linguistics
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: MAI 56/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics
Keywords: Conversation, Cybersecurity, Fraud, Persuasion, Telephone
Publication Number: 10253641
ISBN: 978-1-369-52641-7
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