Paper 1: Novel Methods for Resolving False Positives during the Detection of Fraudulent Activities on Stock Market Financial Discussion Boards
Abstract: Financial discussion boards (FDBs) have been widely used for a variety of financial knowledge exchange activities through the posting of comments. Popular public FDBs are prone to being used as a medium to spread false financial information due to larger audience groups. Although online forums are usually integrated with anti-spam tools, such as Akismet, moderation of posted content heavily relies on manual tasks. Unfortunately, the daily comments volume received on popular FDBs realistically prevents human moderators to watch closely and moderate possibly fraudulent content, not to mention moderators are not usually assigned with such task. Due to the absence of useful tools, it is extremely time consuming and expensive to manually read and determine whether each comment is potentially fraudulent. This paper presents novel forward and backward analysis methodologies implemented in an Information Extraction (IE) prototype system named FDBs Miner (FDBM). The methodologies aim to detect potentially illegal Pump and Dump comments on FDBs with the integration of per-minute share prices in the detection process. This can possibly reduce false positives during the detection as it categorises the potentially illegal comments into different risk levels for investigation purposes. The proposed system extracts company’s ticker symbols (i.e. unique symbol that represents and identifies each listed company on stock market), comments and share prices from FDBs based in the UK. The forward analysis methodology flags the potentially Pump and Dump comments using a predefined keywords template and labels the flagged comments with price hike thresholds. Subsequently, the backward analysis methodology employs a moving average technique to determine price abnormalities and backward analyse the flagged comments. The first detection stage in forward analysis found 9.82% of potentially illegal comments. It is unrealistic and unaffordable for human moderators or financial surveillance authorities to read these comments on a daily basis. Hence, by integrating share prices to perform backward analysis can categorise the flagged comments into different risk levels. It helps relevant authorities to prioritise and investigate into the higher risk flagged comments, which could potentially indicate a real Pump and Dump crime happening on FDBs when the system is being used in real time.
Keywords: Financial discussion boards; financial crimes; pump and dump; text mining; information extraction