• 07 Jan 2013 at 4:17 PM

Anti-Fraud Technology Helping FBI Nail Morons

Are you considering committing fraud? Do you plan to discuss your activities over email? Are you unaware of the fact that writing things like, “Nobody will find out” or “I’ll leave a garbage bag filled with our ill-gotten gains in the dumpster out back” might help tip off people looking to crack down on crime? If you answered yes to all of the above, this information could actually be of use to you:

Phrases such as “nobody will find out”, “cover up” and “off the books” are among those most likely to litter the in-boxes of corporate rogues according to fraud investigators deploying increasingly popular linguistic software. Expressions such as “special fees” and “friendly payments” abound for those embroiled in bribery cases, while rogue employees feeling the heat are likeliest to write that they “want no part of this” as well as the somewhat misguided “don’t leave a trail”.

More than 3,000 such words and phrases used in email conversations among employees engaged in corporate wrongdoing have been identified through specialist anti-fraud technology, according to research by Ernst & Young based on evidence from corporate investigations in conjunction with the FBI. “The language, which is a mix of accounting phrases, personal motivations and attempts to conceal, are very revealing,” said Rashmi Joshi, Ernst & Young’s director of fraud investigation and disputes services. He said that the monitoring of email traffic played almost no role in the compliance efforts of companies looking for possible problems. “While most organisations only focus on the numbers when investigating discrepancies, what we are seeing are ways of analysing words – emails, SMS or instant messaging – to identify and isolate wrongdoing.”

Bad language can catch financial rogues [FT]
Related: Libor manipulation? Done for you, Big Boy

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Comments (10)

  1. Posted by UBSbackofficeintern | January 7, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    Man, with this kind of groundbreaking research, I really wish I hadn't turned down that EY internship offer!

  2. Posted by We Never Lost Money! | January 7, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    Old news?

    "Suppose we want to learn more about Enron's role in the California Energy Crisis by analyzing e-mail traffic. One aspect of this is to learn how information was being distributed within the company — who knew what, when? Who are the "big players" that might effect Enron's corporate behavior? One way to start is to first seek out nodes that either send or receive messages from numerous employees, thus possibly representing either hubs or authorities in the network.

    We start by using the connectivity slider to filter the graph, revealing the more electornically-connected individuals within the organization. We can then visually search for message traffic involving the California Energy Crisis by searching the edge labels for the matching category color. One can then sample the various e-mails involved to search for clues.
    http://boingboing.net/2005/06/07/social-network-a

  3. Posted by mikep | January 7, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    the feds are idiots, shit flows downhill

  4. Posted by RBC Expressions MD | January 7, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    use sensy

  5. Posted by UFOinsider | January 7, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    *affect

    - Apollo voice recognition quant

  6. Posted by Ashley Madison | January 8, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    I suspect more than a few hook-ups involve the phrase "no one will ever know".

  7. Posted by Bud | January 8, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    Blue Horseshoe loves Anacott Steel.

  8. Posted by Scott | January 8, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Love it!

  9. Posted by sohbet | May 12, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    telling these little stories, here's a good idea: Have a point. It makes it so much more interesting for the listener.

  10. Posted by Chris | November 6, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    Nice story! thanks for sharing with others!!