Expressions such as ‘failed investment’, ‘nobody will find out’, ‘grey area’ and ‘write off’ are the terms to look out for, according to the FBI and Ernst & Young, who have launched software to curb corporate fraud.
According to the developers of the software, the programme uses a library of more than 3,000 terms logged in to monitor the conversations, and connects the dots where ‘pressure’, ‘rationalisation’ and ‘opportunity’ meet to form the ‘fraud triangle’.
The software also picks up words out of formal communication line events such as ‘call my mobile’ or ‘come by my office’. Additionally, it has the ability to pick up uncharacteristic changes in tone and language, a feature especially tailored for wholesale and retail businesses.
For corrupt employees, the programme has been set to flag expressions such as ‘special fees’ and ‘friendly payments’ with the use of words such as ‘no inspection’ and ‘do not volunteer information’ also placed on the radar.
According to Rashmi Joshi, director of Ernst & Young’s fraud investigation and disputes services, the programme will enable companies to uncover fraudsters via emails.
“Most often, such email traffic is only seized upon by regulators or fraud investigators when the damage has been done. Firms are increasingly seeking to proactively search for specific trends and red flags,” he said.
Other phrases that the developers say feature in most of corrupt conversations include ‘illegal’, ‘cover up’, ‘failed investment’, ‘not ethical’, ‘they owe it to me’ and ‘off the books’, among others.
The software comes in the wake of increased cases of fraud worldwide including HP, the Autonomy fraud case, Bank of America Mortgage and real estate fraud in addition to the UBS £1.4billion fraud.