Those wild-eyed, hard-partyin' investigators at the FBI and Ernst & Young have teamed up to help us tweak our fraud-spotting skills.
Ernst & Young email keyword analysis identifies fraudsters
Next time you're poring over terabytes of corporate e-mail to detect evil-doers, try these keywords:
Nobody will find out
They owe it to me
Do not volunteer information
Off the books
Pull earnings forward
Fraud is common where there is a combination of pressure, rationalisation and opportunity, researchers found.
The software revealed common phrases in email conversations where rogue employees are under pressure include “not comfortable”, “want no part of this”, “don’t leave a trail’ and “make the number”.
Conversations involving rationalisation include “told me to”, “not hurting anyone”, “won’t miss it" and “fix it later”.
Language associated with opportunity includes “off the books”, "off balance sheet transactions” or “pull earnings forward”.
The anti-fraud software also scans for "out of band" events such as “call my mobile” or “come by my office”, suggesting the writer does not want to be overheard.
Of course a wily fraudster would promptly incorporate all of those phrases into their e-mail signature, completely polluting the agency's detection efforts through gazillions of hits.
I can only imagine what Google (and the FBI, and Ernst & Young) will do when they realize that those keywords are now stored on a website about early retirement...