The 8 characteristics of false claims

Not all complaints received by police stations are true. Sometimes, whistleblowers file such reports with the intention of deriving a benefit by reporting that they have been the victim of theft or theft.

However, the vast experience of the police coupled with the existence of certain algorithmic programs that analyze the language of such complaints can detect whether the complainant lied or not.

Surprising as it may sound, the bogus claims are detectable, which should scare anyone who wants to deceive officers. Then we will find out what are the characteristics of false claims, especially in terms of language.. Be sure to read on if you want to find out!

    There are keys to detecting false claims

    It almost makes sense that not all allegations made in police stations or courts are true. A percentage are false claims, which can be especially common for crimes such as theft, robbery, and anything that involves some sort of short-term economic gain. There are also false reports of incidents which, if reported, may result in the recovery of an insurance policy.

    Filing a false complaint is, legally, the act of accusing a person of a complaint for having committed an alleged crime before the corresponding authority, knowing that the content thereof is false or that it is known that the The story expressed therein does not correspond to the truth. Complaints, whether true or false, always carry the possibility of socially harming the person being reported, which is why if you are the victim of a false report, it is always advisable to report the offense.

    That there are false claims is a reality, however, what are the characteristics of false claims? What characterizes a complaint for having been flagged as false content? Finding out whether or not a complaint is false may seem like a divination exercise, but the truth is, it’s not as difficult as you might think. In fact, you could say that those who lie when they file a complaint use their own language, a series of grammatical expressions and constructions that betray them.

    Despite what most may believe, the truth is, people lie the same way. When we are in front of a police officer, our tale of how the theft we invented happened is almost always the same. With the exception of the stolen object, the rest remains stable: ambiguity, the day when events became blurry and it was not possible to see who stole it from us.

    These are just some of the characteristics of false claims, aspects that have been processed algorithmically through programs such as the one proposed by Miguel Camacho’s group in 2018 called VeriPol, a powerful tool that can provide reliable data to establish whether the complainant’s story is true or not. This program, along with the years and years of experience of police officers in detecting the lies of those who make false allegations, have found a number of characteristics common to false allegations of theft and robbery.

      Characteristics of false claims

      Most false claims have more or less obvious language patterns for the expert cop, and more so for a sophisticated math program.

      For a few years now that of detecting whether a complaint is true or not is no longer a mystery, and thanks to the development of powerful grammar analysis programs, the syntax and semantics of the theft reports, it is possible to know how true the story the complainant gave us is. This is proof that expert police detect almost 75% of false allegations, and the aforementioned program reaches 91%.

      1. Temporary ambiguity

      One of those predictors that someone is lying when explaining what happened is the word “day”. This word appears in the false allegations not because the thefts took place in broad daylight, but because the complainant uses very indeterminate time expressions such as “a few days ago”, “a day”, “there a few days’.

      When you are the victim of an actual crime, it is normal to have a clear reminder of the day it happened., something that is evidenced in the real allegations with more specific temporal expressions such as “yesterday”, “Thursday”, “Monday morning” … The ambiguity of when the facts occurred is a characteristic pattern false claims.

        2. Flight from behind

        Another expression that usually appears in this type of complaint is that the “theft occurred from behind” and so on. The complainant was the victim of a crime from behind, in the form of pulling a bag or opening his backpack, without giving him time to see it.

        False thefts often occur behind the scenes as it saves the complainant from having to give details, saying he couldn’t see anything else from who stole it from him because he didn’t give time to anything. Words such as “stretch”, “shoulder”, “backpack”, “back” can serve as warning signs.

        3. Thief well covered

        In the bogus theft and robbery allegations, the criminal looks like a really bad villain in a movie. He is often referred to as a person wearing a helmet and was dressed in black, as bad guys are always in black.. In this type of complaint, the thief is usually well covered, as if he is going to rob a bank or be taken out of the cast of La Casa de Papel.

          4. Focused on the object

          Regardless of what has been stolen from us, being the victim of a crime is a traumatic experience that we inevitably remember as a trance. If they stole anything of value from us, it is clear that we will remember it, but the act itself is remembered in a particularly vivid way.

          Descriptions in false claims do not focus on the facts, but on the subject matter. The most frequently cited words in this type of claim relate directly to the economic value of the stolen item, such as “insurance”, “business” and “contract”.

          It is also often the case that the brand of the stolen device is expensive, which can be particularly striking if the complainant is found to have a fairly low purchase level. This is why we find words like Apple or iPhone.

            5. Distance from the complainant’s house

            One of the more curious features of false claims is that the closer you get to the complainant’s home, the more likely they are to be true, unless it happened at home.

            A complaint that the events took place near the victim’s home, with phrases such as “on the doorstep”, is more likely to be true.

            However, those who make false claims tend to locate the facts far from home, far from his knowledge as neighbors who could confirm to the police that this person is lying.

              6. Syntactic and grammatical aspects

              The grammatical and syntactic resources of the complaint can also indicate whether it is false or not.. It seems that the personal and demonstrative pronouns (I, he, they, this, that …) and even the verbs “to be” and “to be” appear in greater proportion in the true denunciations. In forgeries, on the other hand, complainants are not inclined to specify using specific pronouns such as “I”, “he”, “this”, “that” …

              The syntax also betrays. Sentences introduced with the adverb “hardly” (“I could hardly see”, “I barely remember”) often indicate a lie. A high number of denials are also linked to lying, with phrases such as “I can’t give more data”, “I didn’t receive any injuries”, “I couldn’t see it”, “I didn’t. could not recognize it ”. .

                7. Context in action

                True allegations focus on the substance of the action, while false allegations focus on the description of objects, which is the only one the complainant has. seen. In real words, words related to specific qualities and actions appear in greater proportion, such as “face”, “hair”, “beard”, “age”, “man” …

                8. Extension of the complaint

                False claims are usually shorter, although we shouldn’t interpret this to mean that any squared expression of something is necessarily wrong. One thing are complaints in the courts and others, quite different, are the reviews posted on the comments page of a restaurant or hotel page. Brevity is not removed from all lies, but it must be contextualized.

                Final reflection

                All of these characteristic features of false claims do not in themselves constitute falsehood. It is their combination and persistence between the total number of words that indicates the likelihood that someone’s reported fact is false. It must also be said that it is difficult to expose all the characteristics of false allegations and even if they are known, they will not save anyone if their complaint is not identified as false by a police officer well versed in the matter.

                Since false allegations are a crime and the police have powerful tools to detect them, it’s best to think twice before trying to sneak them on officers.

                Bibliographical references

                • Quijano-Sanchez, Lara & Liberatore, Federico & Camacho-Collados, José & Camacho-Collados, Miguel. (2018). Applying Deceptive Text-Based Auto-Detection to Police Reports: Extracting Patterns of Behavior from a Multi-Step Classification Model to Understand How We Lie to Police. Knowledge-based systems. 10.1016 / j.knosys.2018.03.010.
                • Zhou, L., Burgoon, JK, Nunamaker, JF and Twitchell, D. (2004). Linguistic-based signal automation to detect deception in computerized text-based asynchronous communications. Group decision and negotiation, 13, 81-106.
                • Fornaciari, T., & Poetry, M. (2013). Automatic detection of fraud in Italian court cases. Artificial Intelligence and Law, 21, 303-340.
                • Fitzpatrick, E., Bachenko, J. and Fornaciari, T. (2015). Automatic detection of verbal deception. Automatic detection of verbal deception.

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