Fraud investigations are growing every day, with more cases popping up in the most unlikely places across the world. They pose unique problems not found in other types of cases because there are so many different types of fraud.
With fraudsters now equipped with a mound of new technology that makes their job easier, it’s important to work with the right fraud investigation services as quickly as possible to get back what you have lost.
What is a Fraud Investigation?
Put simply, fraud is when an individual or company lies to you in order to make some form of personal or financial gain. For example, a company could make you a sales pitch regarding a product they have. If they make specific claims about the product’s benefits knowing that their claims are untrue, that is fraud.
Fraud investigation services establish whether or not you have been the victim of fraud in order to then gather and analyze the right evidence with the aim of regaining anything you lost during the process. Most of our clients who contact regarding fraud investigations want to find out who is behind the fraud -sometimes it can be someone inside the organization.
We investigate these types of frauds
Fraud investigation services vary depending on the type of fraud committed. There are dozens of different types of fraud, some of the most common frauds that we investigate are:
Insurance fraud comes in various forms. Either an individual makes a false claim to receive insurance money, or a company can refuse to pay for a legitimate insurance claim. Here at ISRA, we work with leading insurance companies across the globe to gather evidence and intelligence against Fraudsters. One of our major inquiries is often regarding long term sick leaves or when a person claims to have personal disabilities.
Financial fraud can be anything from health care fraud to tax evasion, telemarketing fraud, and in more severe cases terrorist financing, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Internet fraud has become more prominent because of advancements in technology. With internet fraud, individuals are often caught selling fake items or selling products with no intention to post them once they receive payment. However, the amount of such fraud must exceed a value of at least 20 000 USD to be profitable for you as a client to hire private investigators to investigate the scam.
Identity fraud can be the most damaging for a person. It is when an individual steals another person’s identity in order to withdraw money, claim dishonest benefits, and much more. The most common is that people hijack your ID using your regular mailbox beside your house or apartment. Fraudsters might then apply for credit cards in your names, and order other valuable items/products or services in your name.
Corporate fraud can ruin a company’s reputation. Corporate fraud involves criminals stealing information, some of which includes confidential customer data. Another type of corporate fraud is slip and fall claims where individuals stage accidents inside a store in order to claim insurance money. This could also fall under insurance fraud. One of regular Inquiries is though about people; everyone from regular workers to CEO:s using the company as their own bank machine. We investigate unauthorized transactions, corruptions, and which contact(s) key persons might have with competitive firms. Problems that our corporate clients often face is:
- Unjustified sick leaves regarding members of staff
- Inappropriate contacts/ meetings with competitors
- Leaks or violations against non-disclosure agreements
- Suspicions of stealing intangible properties, patents, data or similar
- Unauthorized payments/invoices/expenses paid on company’s behalf
- Employees that do not really work or work less hours than they should
Some fraud types are too expensive to investigate
Ticket fraud is when an individual buys tickets to an event, concert, or sporting event that aren’t real. Commonly, these tickets either don’t exist, are fake, or have already been used.
Charity fraud is when criminals take advantage of others, convincing them to donate money to causes that do not exist.
Buyer/seller frauds when criminals take advantage of others, convincing them to donate money to pay for a product or service and then disappear with the money. To investigate this kind of fraud, we recommend a total value of minimum 20 000 USD.
Inventory fraud involves employees over ordering or stealing produce from the company they are working for. Often, in these cases, employees will claim that produce is expired or modify the inventory to keep the items for themselves.
The above are just some of the fraud cases we see on a weekly basis. Work-from-home scams, pyramid schemes, and debt elimination, among others, are also examples fraud. It can be hard to identify which type of fraud has taken place which is why it is important to hire the right fraud investigation services for your case.
What Happens During the Fraud Investigation Process?
The fraud investigation process is very straightforward. As with any investigation, it starts with a meeting between our private fraud investigators and the client. When offering fraud investigation services we typically ask the individual to tell us where their allegations stem from. We then ask them to provide us with any evidence they may already have. From there, we break up the case into four stages:
1- Identifying the Type of Fraud
The type of fraud must be identified in order to establish which investigatory methods should be used for each individual case. It is a way to contain the situation while creating a list of contacts to identify suspects and rule out anyone who is not involved.
2- Creating a Plan
In order for us to offer the best fraud investigation services we can, we have to create an investigative plan so that the case remains focused and organized. Typically, fraud cases take time because they involve us having to go through mounds of documentation.
We run through the timeline at which the crime allegedly occurred and establish who could have had any involvement in it. Despite accusations, we do not rule out anyone as suspects and continue to gather evidence, updating our plan to ensure no stone is left unturned.
3- Take action
Once we’ve created our plan, the next step is to take action. Our methods are quite unique and we take needed measures in order to gather intelligence/physical evidence, digital evidence or any other measure in order to collect clear and reliable evidence. We have many options available, and we are able to do a very deep and more complex investigations that require specific competence and/or a vast network. For obvious reasons we are not going to list all measures/investigation methods, but when you engage ISRA nothing is actually impossible.
4- Analyzing and Compiling Evidence
When we feel that we have enough, then it is time to gather and analyze all the relevant evidence we have collected, for example our digital forensic investigation, surveillance operation and collected intelligence in order to build a solid case that can be used in court.
The client will always be aware of our actions, and we will always present the information to our client before we involve police authority or similar.