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A document is like a crime scene

Posted by attorney Athina Karamanlis Powers

Most of us connect a crime scene with a dead body and special task units trying to find evidence of the murderer. You get the impression that forensics are involved, DNA samples, weapons of a specific type, the examination of how the blood is spattered here and there, the motive, etc.--the list goes on and on. Profiling the criminal of the homicide is the utmost importance for the investigation.

In order to profile fraudsters, we also need to get our hands on concrete evidence.

Most of the times, simple documents, letters, emails, texts, twitter posts, Facebook updates and even little post-it notes with handwriting samples--those are all the evidence that a Certified Fraud Examiner needs to find the perpetrator.

From fraud examiners, words and documents are our sources of DNA, our blood from the crime scene, that we use for evidence and tracking down the criminal mastermind behind the crime. Everything revolves around not only what was said, but how it was phrased; it falls back on the tense usage, the adjectives, the adverbs and the repetition of statistically incriminating words and phrases. These are some of the forensics of a fraudster's crime scene and what we depend on to track them down.

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