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Understanding the art of deception

Proving someone is lying, let alone getting them to confess, is difficult to say the least. Let’s face it, fraudsters are slippery characters and adept at the art of deception. Here David Lieberman, Ph.D., a psychotherapist and an expert in the field of human behavior, helps us understand the signs of deceit and how to get a confession.

Honoré de Balzac, the 19th century French author known for his realistic depiction of human nature, once wrote: “Whoever talks too much wants to deceive.” Many may disagree with that statement, especially extroverts who are naturally talkative. But what’s certain is that humans have long practiced the art of deception in love, war, politics — and fraud. And like Balzac, we’re keen to find ways to expose a liar, even if sometimes we’re wrong in our assessments. David Lieberman, Ph.D., a psychotherapist and an expert in the field of human behavior, has dedicated much of his career to unlocking the mysteries of the human mind and helping the public, including fraud examiners, understand some of the signs of deceit. Lieberman, a keynote speaker at the 34th Annual ACFE Global Fraud Conference, expounded his ideas to a packed session and later spoke to Fraud Magazine during the event in Seattle. Here we look at some of this expert’s techniques for catching fraudsters in a lie and how to get them to confess.

Lieberman first caught the public’s eye when he published his second book “Never Be Lied to Again,” in 1998. Timing proved “very fortuitous,” he says, as this happened to be the same year that lawmakers impeached former U.S. President Bill Clinton for, among other charges, lying under oath following revelations about his sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Lying soon became a hot topic, and the book quickly found a place on The New York Times top 10 bestseller list. Lieberman has since become a valued expert in the field, training personnel in the U.S. military, the FBI, the CIA and the National Security Agency.

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