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Online deception is disrupting our daily life, organizational process, and even national security. Existing approaches to online deception detection follow a traditional paradigm by using a set of cues as antecedents for deception detection, which may be hindered by ineffective cue identification. Motivated by the strength of statistical language models (SLMs) in capturing the dependency of words in text without explicit feature extraction, we developed SLMs to detect online deception. We also addressed the data sparsity problem in building SLMs in general and in deception detection in specific using smoothing and vocabulary pruning techniques. The developed SLMs were evaluated empirically with diverse datasets. The results showed that the proposed SLM approach to deception detection outperformed a state-of-the-art text categorization method as well as traditional feature-based methods.