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Romance Scam Research Center

2022: CN: Persuasive Schemes for Financial Exploitation in Online Romance Scam: An Anatomy on Sha Zhu Pan (杀猪盘) in China

Fangzhou Wang & Xiaoli Zhou (2023) Persuasive Schemes for Financial Exploitation in Online Romance Scam: An Anatomy on Sha Zhu Pan (杀猪盘) in China, Victims & Offenders, 18:5, 915-942, DOI: 10.1080/15564886.2022.2051109


Abstract: "Sha Zhu Pan (杀猪盘, Pig-Butchering scam) is a new online romance scam targeting mainly Chinese-speaking individuals. While a few studies in Chinese have paid attention to Sha Zhu Pan, no study in English considers the role of scammers’ persuasive techniques in shaping the progress of fraudulent discourse. This study attempts to address this gap by analyzing the rhetorical moves of the Sha Zhu Pan scammers through using data from both victims and offenders. Victims’ testimonial data were collected from Zhihu, a prominent Chinese online platform for posting questions and answers and users’ personal experiences. This study also uses four complete police reports from law enforcement in China to provide objective evidences from offenders’ perspective in a natural setting. This study advances the model of criminal persuasion for Sha Zhu Pan developed from Gardner’s original persuasive framework. Such a model points out the type of persuasive techniques that the Sha Zhu Pan scammers frequently use during different stages of the scam. The results reflect a preliminary understanding of scammers’ behaviors, showing that the language of this financially and emotionally devastated crime indeed follows a premeditated arrangement. Moreover, such evidences can also support the proposal of related theoretical and policy implications for researchers, the government in China and other countries."

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