Finding the Fraudulent Needle in the Haystack

Finding the evidentiary needle demonstrating fraud in the big data haystack By Samir Syed, Senior Manager, KPMG Forensic Services, KPMG in Canada. Nate Silver may have been talking about politics and baseball, however forensic accountants using data analytics to look for signs of fraud would do well to pay attention to his credo.

Network Forensics 101: Finding the Needle in the Haystack Network Analysis today: big questions, vague answers organizations depend on their networks more than ever before, so monitoring and managing those networks is a mission-critical job for IT. But monitoring and managing networks has become increasingly difficult for several reasons.

Finding the Needle in the Haystack. An artwork transfer that took longer than usual at a museum’s loading dock. In the right hands and with the right set of investigative talent, these apparent minutiae can become revelations that lead to larger patterns, networks of fraud, and ultimately, solutions for our clients.

needle in a haystack. An item that is very hard or impossible to locate, as in Looking for that screw in Dean’s workshop amounts to looking for a needle in a haystack. Originating in the early 1500s, with meadow instead of haystack, this metaphor exists in many other languages as well. See also: haystack, needle.

And, while the data is there, it’s difficult to find the fraud indicators amidst the huge number of daily transactions. So, what can we do in the face of all this data? How do we find the needle in the haystack? We have to take it one step at a time.

Layer funds to conceal the source: To ensure that the fraudulent funds are impossible to recover, via a series of transactions including ACH, wire transfers and/or purchases, the fraudster conceals the source of the funds, or at least makes it extremely difficult to trace the funds to their ultimate destination.

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Finding the Needle in the Haystack of Fraud To combat debit fraud, turn to your own members for help identifying legitimate transactions.

When it comes to financial services and financial technology startups, making the right investment decisions is not easy or obvious work. Thousands of firms are born each year – all promising the next.