Top email fraud terms revealed as “cover up” and “write off”

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For those working in big organisations with access to reams of data that others would love to get their hands on, the chance to make some serious cash on the side by passing it on or selling it must occasionally prove tempting.

Of course, millions of workers resist such temptations daily. But once in a while stories break of insider dealing and information passing that underline the importance of keeping a close eye on suspicious behaviours.

These days one of the main ways people communicate is email yet tracing email conversations for keywords is not a frequently used method, according to Ernst & Young, which has released a list of keyword discovered by its own email monitoring software.

These include, perhaps not surprisingly, "cover up", "write off" and "illegal", although V3's favourite is "nobody will find out" which ranks at fifth. The firm wants to raise the possibility of monitoring emails proactively to tackle fraud before it occurs.

"Most often such email traffic is only seized upon by regulators or fraud investigators when the damage has been done," said Rashmi Joshi, director of Ernst & Young's Fraud Investigation & Disputes Services.

"Firms are increasingly seeking to proactively search for specific trends and red flags - initially anonymously - but with the potential for investigation where a consistent pattern of potential fraud is flagged."

Other terms that appear regularly show those being pressured into fraud abuses, with phrases like "not comfortable", "want no part of this" and "don't leave a trail" appearing regularly.

However, if you're thinking that now you know the key words and terms to avoid you can get away with it more easily, Ernst & Young claim the software - developed with help from the FBI - also searches for "out of band" events.

This means changes in tone or uncharacteristic language and terms are noted for further investigation.

You have been warned.

07 Jan 2013

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