Officials to get lessons in reading facial cues to catch benefit cheats
French social security officials are to be given classes in discerning lies to prevent fraud estimated to cost the state billions of euro a year.
They will be trained to assess whether people applying for family allowances, disability benefits or pensions are lying from their body language, facial expressions and changes in their tone of voice.
A budget of €750,000 has been set aside for the first year of classes, to be based on the methods of Paul Ekman, an American psychologist and scientific adviser to 'Lie To Me', a US television crime drama.
Small classes will receive two or three days of instruction. They will be taught to spot micro-expressions, which last about a 25th of a second, such as tiny shakes of the head, indicating no, while the interviewee is verbally saying yes.