Schemes

‘Nobody Will Find Out’ Is a Thing Corporate Criminals Actually Email Each Other

Famous last words.
"Shit, it's the cops!" (Cashcats.biz)

“Shit, it’s the cops!” (Cashcats.biz)

Surprise, surprise: When corporate criminals exchange communiqués over email, guess what sorts of phrases they’re actually dumb enough to use? Try “cover up” and “nobody will find out,” according to the Financial Times.

Well, maybe no one would find out if you’d stop using a method of communication that lives forever on your employers’ servers!

These little factoids are brought to you by researchers at Ernst & Young, who’ve worked with the FBI to identify 3,000 keywords that could serve as useful flags for wrongdoing:

“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.

As of right now, fraud investigators mainly find email evidence useful once they’ve already been tipped off somehow, despite all the ominous wording in employee handbooks about your employer’s right to monitor your online activities. But as linguistic analysis software tools grow more sophisticated, even the company cops in the compliance department may be able to catch offenders early.

Call it further proof of Marc Andreessen’s contention that software is eating the world. In this case, skullduggery by corporate employees is the latest market due for disruption. If you’re attempting to embezzle enough to send your kids to private school, better do it quickly.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com