Healthcare fraud is a critical issue that significantly impacts the healthcare industry, leading to enormous financial losses and undermining the quality of care provided to patients. This blog aims to delve into the intricacies of healthcare fraud, examining its nature, types, responsible parties, detection methods, and ways to address and prevent such fraudulent practices. If you suspect healthcare fraud, you may want to consider hiring a corporate fraud investigator.

What is Healthcare Fraud?

Healthcare fraud involves the intentional deception or misrepresentation in healthcare that results in unauthorized benefits. This type of fraud can be committed by patients, healthcare providers, and other entities. It not only causes financial harm to healthcare systems and insurers but also jeopardizes patient safety and the integrity of healthcare services.

The Different Types of Healthcare Fraud

Healthcare fraud manifests in various forms, each characterized by specific deceptive practices. These include:

  1. False Billing: Submitting claims for services that were never rendered or exaggerating the services provided.
  2. Upcoding: Billing for more expensive treatments or services than those actually provided.
  3. Unbundling: Charging separately for procedures that are usually billed together at a reduced cost.
  4. Kickbacks: Receiving illegal payments in exchange for patient referrals or prescribing specific drugs.
  5. Identity Theft: Using someone else’s insurance information to receive healthcare services.
  6. Phantom Billing: Billing for unnecessary tests or services not based on medical necessity.

Who is Responsible for Healthcare Fraud?

Responsibility for healthcare fraud lies with various actors within the healthcare system. Healthcare providers, including doctors, nurses, and administrative staff, can perpetrate fraud. Patients themselves can also be involved in fraudulent activities, such as by providing false information or forging prescriptions. Additionally, other entities like pharmaceutical companies and medical equipment suppliers may engage in fraudulent practices.

How to Detect Healthcare Fraud

Detecting healthcare fraud requires vigilance and an understanding of potential red flags. These include irregular billing patterns, discrepancies in patient records, and inconsistencies in healthcare claims. Regular audits and analysis of healthcare data can reveal anomalies indicative of fraudulent activities. Patients should also review their medical bills and insurance statements to spot any unauthorized charges or services they did not receive.

What Should You Do If You Are a Victim of Healthcare Fraud?

If you suspect that you are a victim of healthcare fraud, take immediate action:

  1. Review Your Records: Examine your medical bills, insurance statements, and health records for any discrepancies.
  2. Contact Your Insurance Provider: Inform them about the suspicious charges and seek clarification.
  3. Report the Incident: Notify the appropriate authorities or regulatory bodies about the potential fraud.
  4. Keep Documentation: Maintain records of all communications and documents related to the suspected fraud.

How to Report Healthcare Fraud

Reporting healthcare fraud is vital to combating this illegal activity. Reports can be made to government agencies, such as the Department of Health and Human Services or the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association. In addition, many insurance companies have hotlines or dedicated departments for reporting fraudulent activities. When making a report, provide as much detail as possible to aid the investigation.

How to Prevent Healthcare Fraud

Preventing healthcare fraud involves concerted efforts from all stakeholders in the healthcare system:

  • Educate Healthcare Providers: Training on proper billing practices and the legal implications of fraudulent activities is crucial.
  • Implement Robust Verification Processes: Regular audits and verification of claims and medical records can deter fraudulent practices.
  • Encourage Patient Involvement: Educating patients on reviewing their medical bills and understanding healthcare services can help identify fraud.
  • Strengthen Regulatory Oversight: Effective laws and regulations, along with stringent enforcement, are necessary to curb healthcare fraud.

Investment scams, a pervasive problem in the financial world, deceive investors and rob them of their hard-earned money. This guide aims to comprehensively address what investment scams are, their various types, responsible parties, detection methods, actions to take if you’re a victim, reporting procedures, and prevention strategies. If you suspect that you are a victim of an investment scam you may want to hire a private investigator that can provide corporate fraud investigation services.

What is an Investment Scam?

Investment scams involve the deceptive promotion of financial opportunities, promising high returns with little to no risk. Scammers use various tactics to lure investors into fraudulent schemes. These scams exploit the trust and lack of knowledge of individuals, leading to significant financial losses.

The Different Types of Investment Scams

Investment scams can take many forms, including:

  1. Ponzi Schemes: Paying returns to earlier investors with the capital of newer investors, rather than from profit.
  2. Pyramid Schemes: Requiring participants to recruit others, with returns primarily based on the number of recruits.
  3. Pump and Dump Schemes: Inflating the price of owned stocks through false and misleading positive statements and then selling them at a high price.
  4. High-yield Investment Programs (HYIPs): Unregistered investments typically promising unsustainably high returns.
  5. Advance Fee Fraud: Asking for an upfront fee with the promise of delivering significant returns later.

Who is Responsible for Investment Scams?

The responsibility for preventing investment scams primarily lies with regulatory bodies like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). These organizations establish and enforce laws to protect investors. However, individuals also hold responsibility for conducting due diligence before investing.

How to Detect Investment Scams

Detecting investment scams involves being alert to red flags, such as:

  • Promises of high returns with little or no risk.
  • Aggressive sales pitches pressuring quick decisions.
  • Investments not registered with regulatory bodies.
  • Lack of clear information about the company, investment product, or how returns will be generated.

Researching and verifying the legitimacy of the investment opportunity is crucial.

What Should You Do If You Are a Victim of an Investment Scam?

If you fall victim to an investment scam:

  1. Contact Financial Authorities: Immediately report the scam to bodies like the SEC or FINRA.
  2. Document Everything: Keep a record of all communications, transactions, and documents related to the investment.
  3. Consult a Financial Advisor or Lawyer: Seek professional advice for possible recovery options.
  4. Alert Others: Warn your network to prevent them from falling for the same scam.

How to Report Investment Scams

Reporting investment scams is crucial for preventing further victimization and possibly recovering lost funds. Reports should be made to:

  • Financial regulatory authorities like the SEC or FINRA.
  • Law enforcement agencies if fraudulent activity is suspected.
  • Consumer protection agencies.

How to Prevent Investment Scams

Preventing investment scams involves a combination of awareness, education, and vigilance:

  • Educate Yourself: Understand basic investment principles and be skeptical of ‘too good to be true’ offers.
  • Research Thoroughly: Investigate the background of the company and the legitimacy of the investment.
  • Consult Professionals: Seek advice from independent financial advisors or regulators.
  • Be Cautious with Unsolicited Offers: Be wary of aggressive sales tactics and unsolicited investment opportunities.

Tax evasion, a critical issue within the realms of finance and law, affects governments, businesses, and individuals worldwide. This guide aims to provide a thorough understanding of what tax evasion is, its various forms, responsible parties, detection methods, steps to take if you’re accused, reporting procedures, and prevention strategies. If you suspect tax evasion then consider hiring a corporate investigation service to make sure that your company isn’t breaking the law.

What is Tax Evasion?

Tax evasion is the illegal practice of not paying taxes by individuals, companies, trusts, and other entities. Unlike tax avoidance, which is the legal utilization of the tax regime to one’s own advantage, tax evasion typically involves dishonest tactics to escape from the tax obligations.

The Different Types of Tax Evasion

Tax evasion can occur in numerous ways, including:

  1. Underreporting Income: Deliberately reporting less income than actually earned.
  2. Inflating Deductions or Expenses: Claiming exaggerated or false deductions to reduce taxable income.
  3. Hiding Money or Assets: Concealing assets or income in unreported accounts or offshore entities.
  4. Using Fake Documents: Submitting false documents to justify fraudulent tax returns.

Who is Responsible for Tax Evasion?

The primary responsibility for preventing and addressing tax evasion lies with the taxpayers themselves, who are obligated to comply with tax laws. Governments and tax authorities are responsible for enforcing tax laws and ensuring compliance through audits and investigations.

How to Detect Tax Evasion

Detecting tax evasion typically involves identifying discrepancies or anomalies in tax returns and financial records, such as:

  • Income and lifestyle not matching declared earnings.
  • Inconsistencies in reported income and expenses over several years.
  • Transactions with known tax havens.
  • Records not matching the reports submitted to tax authorities.

Tax authorities use various tools and techniques, including data analysis and audits, to detect tax evasion.

What Should You Do If You Are Accused of Tax Evasion?

If you are accused of tax evasion:

  1. Seek Legal and Financial Advice: Consult with a tax attorney or a financial advisor experienced in tax law.
  2. Review Your Tax Returns: Examine your returns for possible errors or omissions.
  3. Gather Documentation: Collect all relevant financial records and documents.
  4. Cooperate with Authorities: Work with your legal and financial team to respond to investigations properly.

How to Report Tax Evasion

Reporting tax evasion is important in maintaining fiscal responsibility. If you suspect someone of tax evasion:

  • Report to the tax authorities in your country, such as the IRS in the United States.
  • Provide specific information and, if possible, evidence to support your claims.

How to Prevent Tax Evasion

Preventing tax evasion involves both personal integrity and systemic measures:

  • Accurate Record-Keeping: Maintain clear and honest records of income and expenses.
  • Understanding Tax Obligations: Be aware of your tax liabilities and legal obligations.
  • Seek Professional Advice: Consult with tax professionals to ensure compliance.
  • Strong Internal Controls for Businesses: Implement rigorous financial controls and auditing processes.

Insider trading, a critical issue in the financial and corporate world, has significant legal and ethical implications. This comprehensive guide aims to dissect what insider trading is, its various forms, responsible parties, detection methods, steps to take if you’re implicated, reporting procedures, and prevention strategies. If you suspect insider trading, you may want to consider hiring a fraud investigation service like ours.

What is Insider Trading?

Insider trading involves the buying or selling of a publicly-traded company’s stock by someone who has access to non-public, material information about the company. It’s considered illegal when it gives an unfair advantage in the stock market to those with privileged information, undermining market integrity and investor confidence.

The Different Types of Insider Trading

Insider trading can manifest in different scenarios, including:

  1. Trading by Insiders: Executives or employees trade stocks based on sensitive information not available to the public.
  2. Tipper-Tippee Liability: An insider (“tipper”) passes on non-public information to an outsider (“tippee”), who then trades on this information.
  3. Misappropriation Theory: An individual misappropriates confidential information for securities trading, violating a duty owed to the source of the information.

Who is Responsible for Insider Trading?

Responsibility for preventing and addressing insider trading lies with both individuals and regulatory bodies. Individuals, especially those in positions of trust within corporations, are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of sensitive information. Regulatory bodies like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforce laws and regulations to prevent and penalize insider trading.

How to Detect Insider Trading

Detecting insider trading involves monitoring and analyzing unusual trading patterns and activities, such as:

  • Significant trades made shortly before major public announcements.
  • Trades that deviate from an individual’s usual trading patterns.
  • Unexplained profitability of certain trades.

Regulatory authorities use sophisticated tools and algorithms to detect suspicious trading activities.

What Should You Do If You Are Implicated in Insider Trading?

If implicated in insider trading:

  1. Seek Legal Counsel: Immediately consult with a lawyer experienced in securities law.
  2. Preserve Records: Keep all documents and communications that can provide context to your trades.
  3. Cooperate with Investigations: Work with your legal team to respond appropriately to regulatory inquiries.
  4. Do Not Trade Further: Avoid any additional trading that could be construed as suspicious.

How to Report Insider Trading

Reporting insider trading is crucial in maintaining market fairness. If you suspect insider trading:

  • Report to regulatory authorities like the SEC.
  • Utilize whistleblower programs, if applicable, which can offer protection and sometimes rewards.
  • Companies should also report any internal discoveries of insider trading to the appropriate authorities.

How to Prevent Insider Trading

Preventing insider trading requires a multifaceted approach:

  • Implementing Strong Corporate Policies: Clear guidelines about handling non-public information and trading policies.
  • Regular Training: Educating employees about insider trading laws and corporate policies.
  • Effective Internal Controls: Monitoring and restricting access to sensitive information.
  • Prompt Disclosure: Releasing material information to the public promptly to level the playing field.

Embezzlement, a form of financial fraud, is a significant issue in the corporate world, affecting various organizations across sizes and industries and private investigators like ourselves offer corporate fraud investigations to catch the fraudsters. This guide provides an in-depth look at what embezzlement is, its various forms, responsible parties, detection methods, steps to take if you’re a victim, reporting procedures, and prevention strategies.

What is Embezzlement?

Embezzlement involves the misappropriation or theft of funds placed in one’s trust or belonging to one’s employer. It is a breach of trust where an individual entrusted with the management of assets or money uses them for personal gain. Unlike theft or burglary, embezzlement typically involves a pre-existing relationship between the victim and the perpetrator.

The Different Types of Embezzlement

Embezzlement can take many forms, depending on the methods used and the context in which it occurs. Common types include:

  1. Siphoning Company Funds: This involves redirecting company funds into personal accounts.
  2. Payroll Fraud: Overpaying oneself or creating fictitious employees to receive additional funds.
  3. Expense Reimbursement Fraud: Submitting false or inflated expense reports for personal gain.
  4. Skimming Revenues: Diverting a portion of business revenues before they are recorded in the accounting system.

Who is Responsible for Embezzlement?

Responsibility for preventing and addressing embezzlement lies primarily with the organization’s leadership and its internal control systems. Effective checks and balances, regular audits, and a culture of transparency can help mitigate the risk of embezzlement. When embezzlement occurs, the individual perpetrator is legally responsible and can face criminal charges and civil liabilities.

How to Detect Embezzlement

Detecting embezzlement requires vigilance and an understanding of potential red flags, such as:

  • Inconsistencies in financial records.
  • Discrepancies between actual and reported revenues.
  • Unusual or unexplained transactions.
  • Employees displaying a sudden change in lifestyle or financial behavior.

Regular audits and implementing strong financial control systems are critical in detecting embezzlement.

What Should You Do If You Are a Victim of Embezzlement?

If you suspect embezzlement within your organization, take immediate action:

  1. Conduct an Internal Investigation: Engage forensic accountants or auditors to examine the suspicious activities.
  2. Secure Evidence: Preserve all relevant documents and electronic records.
  3. Restrict Access: Limit the suspected individual’s access to financial systems and records.
  4. Seek Legal Advice: Consult with legal professionals to understand your options and next steps.

How to Report Embezzlement

Reporting embezzlement is essential for legal and recovery purposes. This includes:

  • Reporting to law enforcement agencies.
  • Notifying regulatory bodies, if applicable.
  • Considering civil litigation to recover lost funds.

Prompt reporting can also help in deterring future incidents and holding the perpetrator accountable.

How to Prevent Embezzlement

Preventing embezzlement involves creating an environment where fraud is difficult to perpetrate. Effective strategies include:

  • Implementing Robust Internal Controls: Regular audits, separation of duties, and strong financial policies.
  • Fostering a Culture of Ethics: Encouraging transparency and ethical behavior within the organization.
  • Educating Employees: Training staff to recognize and report signs of embezzlement.
  • Using Technology: Employing financial monitoring tools to track and analyze transactions.

Credit card fraud is a prevalent issue in today’s digital age, impacting millions of individuals and businesses worldwide. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of what credit card fraud is, its various forms, responsibilities, detection methods, steps to take if you’re a victim, reporting procedures, and prevention strategies.

What is Credit Card Fraud?

Credit card fraud refers to the unauthorized use of a credit card to make purchases or withdraw funds. It occurs when someone gains access to your credit card details and uses them without your permission. This can happen through various means, such as theft of the card itself, skimming devices, phishing scams, or data breaches at companies.

The Different Types of Credit Card Fraud

There are several types of credit card fraud, each involving different methods and consequences. Some common forms include:

  1. Skimming: This occurs when a device is attached to a legitimate card reader, like an ATM, to capture card information.
  2. Phishing: This involves tricking individuals into revealing their credit card details through fake websites or emails.
  3. Application Fraud: This happens when someone uses stolen or fake documents to open a credit card account in someone else’s name.
  4. Account Takeover: This involves the fraudster gaining access to a person’s existing credit card account, often by obtaining personal information that allows them to pass security checks.

Who is Responsible for Credit Card Fraud?

Responsibility for credit card fraud is a complex issue. Primarily, the cardholder and the financial institution that issued the card have a stake in preventing and addressing fraud. While cardholders are responsible for safeguarding their card information, banks and credit card companies also implement security measures to prevent fraud. When fraud occurs, these institutions often bear the financial loss, provided the cardholder has complied with their terms and conditions regarding security.

How to Detect Credit Card Fraud

Detecting credit card fraud involves vigilance and awareness. Warning signs include:

  • Unrecognized transactions on your statement.
  • Alerts from your bank about suspicious activity.
  • Receiving no mail or emails regarding your account, which could indicate someone has changed your contact details.
  • Declined transactions when you know there should be sufficient funds or credit available.

Regularly reviewing your credit card statements and monitoring your credit report are effective ways to detect fraud.

What Should You Do If You Are a Victim of Credit Card Fraud?

If you suspect you’re a victim of credit card fraud, take the following steps immediately:

  1. Contact Your Bank or Credit Card Issuer: Inform them about the suspicious transactions and request to freeze or cancel your card.
  2. Change Online Passwords and PINs: This helps prevent further unauthorized access to your accounts.
  3. Check Your Credit Reports: Look for any unusual activity that could indicate broader identity theft.
  4. Keep Records: Document all communications and steps taken in response to the fraud for future reference.

How to Report Credit Card Fraud

Reporting credit card fraud is crucial. After notifying your bank or credit card issuer, you should also report the fraud to the relevant authorities. This might include local law enforcement, national fraud reporting centers, or consumer protection agencies. Reporting the crime helps in investigating and possibly prosecuting the fraudsters, and also aids in improving overall fraud prevention measures.

How to Prevent Credit Card Fraud

Preventing credit card fraud involves a combination of personal vigilance and utilizing security features offered by your bank. Here are some tips:

  • Keep Your Card Details Secure: Don’t share your credit card number, CVV, or PIN with anyone.
  • Use Secure Websites: Look for ‘https’ in the URL and a padlock symbol when making online transactions.
  • Regularly Update Passwords: Use strong, unique passwords for online banking and shopping sites.
  • Be Wary of Phishing Attempts: Don’t click on links or download attachments from unknown emails.
  • Monitor Your Statements: Regularly check your credit card statements for any unauthorized transactions.
  • Enable Alerts: Set up transaction alerts with your bank to get notified of any activity on your card.

Divorce is an emotionally complex process, particularly when it involves infidelity. When one partner has been unfaithful, the path to separation often comes with unique challenges and considerations, both emotionally and logistically. Understanding these dynamics and planning accordingly, especially regarding moving home and utilizing storage, can make a significant difference in managing this transition.

Emotional Impact and Legal Implications

The discovery of a partner’s infidelity typically triggers a cascade of emotions, from betrayal and anger to grief and confusion. These feelings can heavily influence decision-making processes during the divorce. While the emotional impact is profound, it’s important to note that in many jurisdictions, adultery may not dramatically affect the legal outcomes of a divorce in terms of asset division or alimony. However, it can play a role in custody decisions if the infidelity has impacted the children.

The Decision to Move Home

Often, the decision about who stays in the marital home becomes a central issue. The cheated spouse may choose to leave for a fresh start or stay for a sense of continuity, especially if children are involved. Moving out can be a step towards emotional healing, signifying a physical and symbolic break from the past.

The Role of a Storage Unit in Transition

During the upheaval of divorce, especially in the context of infidelity, a storage unit can be a highly beneficial resource. Here’s how:

  1. Facilitating a Smooth Transition: For the spouse moving out, a storage unit provides a temporary haven for personal belongings. This is particularly useful if the new accommodation is smaller or not yet ready for a complete move-in.
  2. Reducing Tension: Having a storage unit allows for a gradual and less confrontational removal of belongings from the marital home. This can be crucial in situations where emotions are high, and interactions are potentially volatile.
  3. Safekeeping of Assets: Storage units offer a secure place to store valuable items, both personal and marital, until decisions about asset division are finalized. This is important in situations where trust has been compromised due to infidelity.
  4. Emotional Buffering: Utilizing a storage unit can provide emotional relief. It offers a way to physically declutter your living space, which can also help in mentally decluttering and processing the change in relationship status.
  5. Staging the Home for Sale: If the decision is to sell the marital home, using a storage unit to declutter the space can be beneficial. A less personalized, more neutral environment can be more appealing to potential buyers.
  6. Time for Decision Making: A storage unit buys time to make decisions about what to keep, sell, or discard, without the pressure of quick sorting in a shared space.

Moving Forward

The process of divorce from a cheating partner is undeniably challenging. It requires managing a spectrum of emotions while dealing with practical aspects like moving and storage. The key is to approach each step with thoughtfulness and care. It’s also important to seek support, whether through counseling, legal advice, or the help of friends and family.

Workplace investigations are like behind-the-scenes detectives in a business setting. They peek into the nooks and crannies of corporate conduct, maintaining the integrity of your work environment. This comprehensive guide on what happens in a workplace investigation is designed to demystify the process, highlighting the need, benefits, steps, and outcomes of such investigations.

What is a Workplace Investigation?

A workplace investigation is a meticulous process of examining allegations of misconduct within an organization. This could involve anything from harassment, discrimination, policy violations, to corporate fraud. The goal? To establish facts, determine the veracity of claims, uphold workplace fairness, and ensure compliance with legal and company standards.

Why Does Every Business Need to be Audited?

Just as a doctor’s check-up keeps our health in check, regular audits keep a business healthy. Audits assess a company’s financial wellbeing, operational effectiveness, compliance with regulations, and much more. They act as a reality check, uncovering issues that might be simmering beneath the surface, such as financial discrepancies or operational inefficiencies. Essentially, audits ensure transparency, instill confidence in stakeholders, and provide insights for strategic decision-making.

Benefits of Workplace Investigations

Workplace investigations, especially those concerning corporate fraud, can bring immense benefits to an organization. Let’s delve into a few.

Benefit 1: Upholding Legal and Ethical Standards

Investigations ensure that businesses adhere to legal and ethical standards, thereby avoiding costly lawsuits, penalties, or reputational damage. They help maintain a professional and respectful work environment where everyone abides by the rules.

Benefit 2: Identifying and Mitigating Corporate Fraud

Corporate fraud can lead to enormous financial losses and damage a company’s reputation. Corporate investigations can unearth fraudulent activities, enabling businesses to take appropriate action and mitigate damage.

Benefit 3: Encouraging a Healthy Workplace Culture

By addressing allegations swiftly and fairly, investigations send a strong message: Misconduct will not be tolerated. This fosters a culture of trust, accountability, and respect, encouraging employees to be more committed, motivated, and productive.

Steps to a Workplace Investigation

So, what happens during a workplace investigation? Let’s walk through the steps one by one.

Step 1: Receiving a Complaint

The investigation process kicks off when a complaint or allegation is lodged. The company must take every claim seriously, documenting all the details for future reference.

Step 2: Determining if an Investigation is Necessary

Not all complaints necessitate a full-fledged investigation. Depending on the severity, nature, and context of the complaint, a company might resolve the issue informally or decide to proceed with an investigation.

Step 3: Develop an Investigation Plan

A solid plan is the cornerstone of an effective investigation. This involves defining the scope of the investigation, identifying the parties involved, preparing a list of questions, and outlining the evidence needed.

Step 4: Gathering and Analyzing Evidence

Investigators then gather relevant data, which could include documents, emails, CCTV footage, or interviews with the involved parties or witnesses. The gathered evidence is analyzed to determine the facts and assess the credibility of the claims.

Step 5: Reaching a Conclusion

Based on the evidence and analysis, investigators conclude whether the allegation is substantiated, unsubstantiated, or indeterminate.

Step 6: Implementing Remedial Actions

Depending on the findings, appropriate remedial actions are taken. This could include disciplinary measures, policy changes, training programs, or even legal action in severe cases.

Step 7: Documenting and Communicating the findings

Every step of the investigation process should be thoroughly documented, providing a clear trail of evidence and decisions. After the investigation concludes, it’s essential to communicate the findings to the relevant parties while respecting privacy and confidentiality.

Outcomes of a Workplace Investigation

Workplace investigations can yield diverse outcomes based on their findings. If the allegations are substantiated, it may result in disciplinary actions against the offender, such as warnings, demotions, or even termination. Policy changes or training programs might be introduced to prevent future misconduct.

In cases where allegations are unsubstantiated, it’s crucial to maintain the complainant’s dignity and ensure they aren’t victimized for raising a concern. The investigation’s conclusion could also indicate the need for conflict resolution or mediation to restore harmony in the team or department.

If you need a workplace investigation, get in touch with us today.

Welcome to the intricate world of financial fraud—a realm where deception rules, and the innocent often pay the price. From the layperson to the business tycoon, no one is immune to its reach. Let’s uncover the ins and outs of financial fraud, who commits it, its various types, and most importantly, how to stop it.

What is Financial Fraud?

Financial fraud, like a masterful illusionist, is all about deception. It involves intentionally false representation or concealment of facts, leading to unauthorized benefits to the fraudster and financial losses for the unsuspecting victims. It’s a vast, murky world where the manipulation of financial information, identity theft, and investment scams are the orders of the day.

This act of deception might seem like a scene from a thriller movie, but the consequences are all too real—individuals lose their life savings, businesses go bankrupt, and the economy suffers.

Who Commits Financial Fraud?

So, who are the villains in this grand deception? In the realm of financial fraud, the perpetrators can range from high-ranking corporate executives to savvy internet hackers. Sometimes, they’re individuals working alone; other times, they’re part of sophisticated criminal networks.

Financial fraud is an equal opportunity crime—its perpetrators can come from any background, education level, or socioeconomic status. All they need is opportunity, motivation, and the disturbing belief that they can deceive others without being caught.

Different Types of Financial Fraud

The plot of financial fraud is riddled with twists and turns, and understanding these different narratives is key to protecting ourselves.

Type 1: Identity Theft

This is the story of stolen identities, where fraudsters impersonate individuals to gain unauthorized access to their financial accounts. With just a few pieces of personal information, fraudsters can drain bank accounts, rack up credit card charges, or even take out loans in the victim’s name.

Type 2: Securities Fraud

Also known as investment fraud, this narrative revolves around deceiving investors. It can involve manipulating stock prices, spreading false information, or running Ponzi schemes, all with the goal of convincing people to make investment decisions based on false premises.

Type 3: Corporate Fraud

In this plot, high-ranking executives manipulate a company’s financial data to present a rosier picture of the company’s financial health. This could involve overstating revenues, understating expenses, or hiding liabilities, all with the intention to inflate stock prices and deceive shareholders.

Type 4: Fraudulent Transfers

This narrative involves transferring funds or assets without authorization, often through complex networks to hide the trail. It’s like a financial game of hide and seek, where the funds disappear from one account only to reappear in another, leaving the victim out of pocket.

Stopping Financial Fraud

Now, the million-dollar question: how do we stop this pervasive and damaging crime? The answer lies in a combination of education, vigilance, and robust regulatory frameworks.

Step 1: Education

Knowledge is power, and the first step in preventing financial fraud is understanding what it is, how it happens, and the common warning signs. Businesses and individuals should educate themselves and their teams about different types of fraud and how to detect them.

Step 2: Vigilance

Constant vigilance is critical in preventing financial fraud. This means regularly reviewing financial statements, securing personal information, and using secure networks for financial transactions. It also involves being skeptical of “too good to be true” investment opportunities and unexpected requests for financial information.

Step 3: Robust Regulatory Frameworks

On a broader scale, strong regulatory

frameworks play a significant role in preventing financial fraud. Regulatory bodies need to enforce strict rules for financial reporting and transactions, conduct routine audits, and swiftly penalize fraudulent activities. These measures not only deter potential fraudsters but also help detect and stop ongoing fraud.

Step 4: Technological Tools

With the rise of digital finance, technology has become a double-edged sword. While it has opened new avenues for fraud, it also provides powerful tools to combat it. Businesses should leverage advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain to monitor transactions, detect anomalies, and secure financial data.

Step 5: Reporting Suspected Fraud

Last but not least, individuals and businesses should report any suspected fraudulent activity to the relevant authorities. Remember, silence is a fraudster’s best friend. By reporting suspicious activities, you not only protect yourself but also contribute to the broader fight against financial fraud.

Think of a corporate investigation as a financial detective story, with twists, turns, and a quest for the truth. The stakes are high, and the story isn’t just about uncovering facts—it’s about maintaining the integrity, reputation, and bottom line of a company. In this captivating saga, let’s unfold the objectives of a corporate investigation.

What is a Corporate Investigation?

To truly grasp the objectives of a corporate investigation, we first need to understand what it entails. A corporate investigation is a thorough inquiry conducted by a business to discover and evaluate any wrongdoing within or against the organization.

It’s like a full-body check-up, only instead of assessing physical health, the investigation delves into the business’s ethical and financial wellbeing. From fraud, embezzlement, corruption, to insider trading—no stone is left unturned in the quest to uncover, address, and prevent misconduct.

Why Should a Business Get Audited?

Now you might be wondering, why should a business volunteer for such scrutiny? The answer lies in the value of transparency, trust, and integrity in today’s corporate landscape. Just as an audit checks the accuracy of a company’s financial records, a corporate investigation ensures the company is operating within the bounds of law and ethics.

Getting a corporate investigation done is like taking out insurance for your reputation and financial wellbeing. It demonstrates the company’s commitment to operating transparently and ethically. It also builds trust with stakeholders—investors, employees, clients, and the public—who need to know they’re dealing with an organization that values honesty and fairness.

The Main Objectives of a Corporate Investigation

Now that we know what a corporate investigation is and why businesses should opt for it, let’s dive into the core—the objectives of a corporate investigation. These objectives guide the investigative process, serving as a compass that leads the way towards resolution and prevention of corporate malfeasance.

Objective 1: Identifying and Addressing Wrongdoing

The core objective of any corporate investigation, just like a detective’s central goal in a crime novel, is to identify any potential wrongdoing within or against the company. This wrongdoing is not limited and can span a wide spectrum of activities, including fraud, corruption, theft, regulatory violations, and even instances of harassment or discrimination.

Consider corporate investigations as the company’s forensic unit, tirelessly working to ensure the organization’s internal environment is free from nefarious activities. The investigation aims to uncover the facts, much like peeling back layers of an onion to reveal the core truth. Investigators sift through data, scrutinize transactions, and interview personnel to piece together an accurate, comprehensive picture of what transpired.

But identification is only the first step—the investigation doesn’t stop at just uncovering the facts. It further aims to determine the culprits involved in the wrongdoing. By identifying those responsible, the company can take appropriate action, whether it’s disciplinary measures, termination, or even legal proceedings, if warranted. This process not only deals with the perpetrators but also serves as a strong deterrent, sending a clear message to all employees about the company’s zero-tolerance policy towards such activities.

Lastly, a key goal of the corporate investigation is to evaluate the extent of the damage caused by the misconduct. This damage isn’t just monetary—though that can be substantial—but also includes harm to the company’s reputation, employee morale, and customer trust. By understanding the scope of the damage, the company can devise an effective response plan, which could range from reinforcing internal controls to launching a PR campaign, to managing the fallout and restoring its reputation.

In essence, the primary objective of a corporate investigation is three-fold: to identify wrongdoing, determine the culprits, and assess the damage. Each of these elements is crucial in addressing the issue at hand, safeguarding the company’s integrity, and preventing future misconduct. It’s about not just treating the symptoms, but curing the disease and boosting the company’s overall ethical health.

Objective 2: Preserving Evidence and Establishing Facts

Once a corporate investigation identifies wrongdoing, it transitions to a new critical stage: preserving evidence and establishing an incontrovertible chain of events. Think of this as the investigative equivalent of connecting the dots—it’s about creating a complete, unbroken, and undeniable timeline that lays out what exactly transpired.

Preserving evidence is like freezing a moment in time, capturing critical details before they are lost, overwritten, or intentionally destroyed. This involves carefully securing, documenting, and managing all relevant records, documents, digital data, and other forms of evidence. This could range from financial reports and email threads to video footage and personnel records—anything that can substantiate the identified misconduct.

Preservation is not just about maintaining these records—it’s also about safeguarding their integrity. Evidence needs to be stored and handled in a manner that maintains its authenticity and prevents tampering. This is crucial because the reliability and admissibility of evidence could be called into question if its integrity is compromised.

Next comes the task of establishing an incontrovertible chain of events. This requires meticulously piecing together the preserved evidence to create a chronological and coherent narrative of the wrongdoing. The aim is to build a storyline that clearly spells out who did what, when, where, and why. The chain of events shouldn’t merely tell the story—it should tell it convincingly and conclusively, leaving no room for reasonable doubt.

This process of preserving evidence and establishing a chain of events is crucial for any potential legal proceedings. It forms the backbone of the legal case, helping to prove guilt or innocence, or establish liability. It’s also essential for internal decision-making, allowing the company to determine who should be held accountable and what actions need to be taken.

In essence, this stage of the corporate investigation is where the facts solidify into evidence, and the evidence coalesces into a narrative. It’s about ensuring the truth is not only revealed but also irrefutable. And it’s this irrefutability that makes it a cornerstone in determining accountability and moving towards resolution.

Objective 3: Protecting the Company’s Interests

A corporate investigation also aims to protect the company’s interests. This includes safeguarding the company’s financial resources, protecting its intellectual property, and upholding its reputation. The investigation seeks to minimize the damage caused by the misconduct and ensure the company’s resources are not being misused or misappropriated.

Objective 4: Enhancing Compliance and Preventing Future Misconduct

An important objective of corporate investigations is to improve compliance with laws, regulations, and internal policies. The investigation will examine whether lapses in compliance contributed to the misconduct and recommend ways to enhance compliance mechanisms. The goal is not just to resolve the current issue but also to prevent future misconduct.

Ever considered the act of auditing your business as embarking on a treasure hunt? Perhaps not, but it’s time to see the process in a new light. The benefits of auditing your business are manifold—it’s like a goldmine of opportunities waiting to be discovered. Let’s navigate this journey together and uncover the hidden treasures of business auditing.

Why Do Businesses Need to be Audited?

When we ask, “Why do businesses need to be audited?” it’s comparable to questioning, “Why do we need regular check-ups?” In both cases, the answer boils down to maintaining optimal health—physical health in the case of individuals, and financial health for businesses.

Just as you wouldn’t ignore symptoms of potential health issues, it’s risky for businesses to turn a blind eye towards their financials. Audits play an integral role in keeping a business’s financial state in top shape. They function much like a stethoscope, assessing the beating heart of a company—its finances.

One of the primary purposes of an audit is to maintain financial transparency. Businesses deal with a myriad of financial transactions—revenues, expenditures, loans, investments, and more. With such a vast financial landscape, it’s easy for errors to slip through the cracks or for unethical practices to go unnoticed. Regular audits ensure every transaction is accounted for, every number adds up, and everything is as transparent as it should be. This transparency is vital, not just for internal management but also for investors, creditors, shareholders, and regulatory bodies who need accurate financial information to make decisions.

Audits also significantly enhance a business’s credibility. In a world where businesses often face scrutiny, having your financial statements verified by an independent auditor adds a layer of trust and confidence. An audited business sends out a strong signal—it says, “We’re open, we’re accountable, and we have nothing to hide.” This credibility can open doors to new investments, better credit terms, and stronger partnerships.

Beyond maintaining transparency and enhancing credibility, audits are a crucial tool for evaluating risk management strategies. Auditors don’t just look at what has happened—they look at what could happen. They assess the effectiveness of the company’s internal controls, identify areas of risk, and provide recommendations to mitigate these risks. By doing so, audits help businesses preempt potential financial problems and ensure sustainable growth.

Lastly, complying with regulatory requirements is a significant driver for audits. Businesses operate in a complex legal environment, with numerous laws and regulations governing financial reporting and disclosures. Regular audits ensure businesses are compliant with these laws, helping them avoid legal complications, financial penalties, and reputational damage.

Advantages of an External Audit

While internal audits are vital, there’s something to be said about the impartiality of external audits. Picture this—an unbiased observer stepping in, taking a 360-degree view of your financial landscape, and providing fresh insights. That’s the magic of an external audit.

Transparency and Trust

External audits foster transparency and trust. With an external auditor verifying the accuracy of financial statements, stakeholders can trust the information presented to them. This transparency can lead to better relationships with investors, lenders, and other stakeholders.

Regulatory Compliance

A significant benefit of an external audit is ensuring regulatory compliance. Auditors are well-versed in current laws and regulations. They ensure your business meets all legal obligations, avoiding penalties or sanctions that could arise from non-compliance.

Unbiased Insights

Since external auditors are independent, their findings provide unbiased insights into your business’s financial health. These unbiased insights can prove valuable in decision-making processes and strategic planning.

How Auditing Helps a Business

Auditing is not just about compliance—it’s about discovery, analysis, and improvement. It’s like detective work, delving into the financial mysteries of a business.

Identifying Fraud

Auditors are the detectives of the financial world. They scrutinize your accounts, transactions, and financial reports with a fine-tooth comb. Their keen eyes can spot discrepancies, inconsistencies, or anomalies that could signal fraudulent activities. By identifying fraud, auditors protect your business’s financial integrity. This is also known as a corporate investigation.

Enhancing Operational Efficiency

An audit is not just about the numbers—it’s about how those numbers come to be. Auditors examine operational processes and can suggest improvements, helping your business run more efficiently.

Improving Financial Management

By identifying areas of financial risk or inefficiency, audits help improve financial management. They provide insights into where costs can be cut, where revenues can be increased, and how financial performance can be enhanced.

Impact Alert: Impacts of an Audit on the Company

While the process may seem daunting, the impact of an audit on a company is overwhelmingly positive. It elevates the business’s financial credibility, improves internal systems, and provides valuable insights for growth.

Remember, an audit isn’t a punitive measure—it’s a catalyst for improvement. It’s a flashlight that shines light on the areas that need attention, helping you chart a path towards improved financial health.

The Last Word: Audit, The Unsung Hero

The benefits of auditing your business go beyond mere regulatory compliance. Audits can help you understand your business better, identify potential issues, improve operations, and make informed decisions. They are an invaluable tool for managing risks, fostering trust, and driving business growth.

In the world of crime, not all villains wear masks or lurk in dark alleys. Some wear pristine suits and work from plush offices. These are the culprits of white-collar crimes, and their stories might leave you more intrigued than any action movie. Let’s dive into this intriguing world, exploring the who, what, and why of white-collar crime.

What is White Collar crime?

White-collar crime refers to non-violent offenses typically committed by individuals or organizations in business professions. They are characterized by deceit, concealment, or violation of trust and are often driven by the motive of financial gain.

Despite the absence of physical violence, white-collar crimes have serious ramifications—economic losses, organizational downfall, damaged reputations, and psychological trauma, to name a few.

Who Commits White-Collar Crimes?

So, who are the usual suspects in white-collar crimes? You might imagine a gritty scene from a crime film with shifty-eyed characters lined up, but the reality couldn’t be more different. In the realm of white-collar crimes, the suspects often don the façade of respectability and trust. They are the ones clad in sharp suits, sitting in the high-rises, making decisions that can impact millions.

When we talk about white-collar criminals, we’re referring to high-ranking business executives—the ones at the helm of corporations. They have the power to manipulate company accounts, use insider information, or engage in fraudulent schemes for personal gain. They can take a thriving company and, with a few strokes of a pen, turn it into a sinking ship without the crew even realizing they’ve hit an iceberg.

Next in line are corporate managers. They might not be at the very top, but they have considerable control over operations, funds, and decisions. They could be siphoning off funds, accepting bribes, or providing kickbacks to keep their pockets lined and their wrongdoings undetected.

Public officials aren’t immune either. We’ve seen numerous cases of politicians and government officials engaging in corrupt practices, embezzlement, or bribery. Their positions of power and influence often allow them to cover their tracks or escape the grasp of justice—at least for a while.

Even professionals like lawyers, doctors, or accountants—individuals we entrust with our legal battles, health, and finances—can find themselves swept up in the white-collar crime whirlwind. They could be involved in activities like overbilling, tax evasion, or insurance fraud.

The reality is, white-collar crime is not limited by profession. Essentially, anyone occupying a role in the white-collar workforce—whether they’re a CEO, a city official, or a respected professional—has the potential to commit a white-collar crime. It’s a sobering thought, but one that underscores the importance of ethics, accountability, and transparency in every aspect of our professional lives.

White-Collar vs Blue-Collar

The distinction between white-collar and blue-collar crimes primarily lies in the nature of the crime and the socio-economic status of the perpetrators.

Blue-collar crimes generally involve direct, physical harm or threat (like robbery, assault, or burglary) and are typically committed by individuals from lower-income backgrounds.

On the other hand, white-collar crimes are usually non-violent, involve manipulation and deceit, and are perpetrated by those in higher social strata with access to significant resources.

Examples of White-Collar Crimes

To better understand white-collar crimes, let’s look at some real-world examples:

  1. Insider Trading: The Martha Stewart scandal is a classic case. The homemaking queen was convicted for insider trading, which involves trading a public company’s stock based on non-public, material information about the company.
  2. Ponzi Schemes: Named after conman Charles Ponzi, this involves the operator generating returns for older investors through revenue paid by new investors. Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, which defrauded investors of billions, is one of the most infamous cases.
  3. Corporate Fraud: Enron, anyone? Once a high-flying energy giant, Enron fell from grace when it was revealed they had been inflating their profits and hiding debts, leading to one of the largest bankruptcies in U.S. history.
  4. Embezzlement: The case of former Dixon City comptroller Rita Crundwell serves as an apt example. She embezzled $53 million from the city funds to finance her lavish lifestyle.

Impact of White-Collar Crime on Businesses

White-collar crime can inflict severe damage on businesses. Beyond immediate financial loss, it can lead to decreased employee morale, tarnished reputation, regulatory scrutiny, and loss of business opportunities.

Moreover, it can also significantly impact stakeholders associated with the business, including investors, employees, and customers, who may lose their investments, jobs, or suffer due to poor product or service quality.

Bbank fraud has emerged as a significant concern, causing substantial losses to individuals and financial institutions alike. But how are these fraudulent activities detected and investigated? Let’s explore the complex world of bank fraud investigations together.

What is Bank Fraud?

In the simplest terms, bank fraud is an illegal act of acquiring money, assets, or other property owned by a bank, or held by them, through deceit. This could include activities like identity theft, account hijacking, check fraud, card skimming, phishing, or complex cybercrimes.

Regardless of its form, bank fraud is a serious crime that carries heavy penalties. It’s the equivalent of a financial magic trick – the art of the con artist is to make the illicit transaction seem legitimate, at least long enough to pocket the money and disappear.

How Bank Fraud Investigations Unravel the Crime

Bank fraud investigations are a sophisticated process that involves unraveling the tricks employed by fraudsters, tracing back their actions, and gathering evidence to prosecute them. This isn’t a game of checkers; it’s chess, with multiple moves to consider and strategies to deploy.

Step 1: Initial Detection

Fraud detection systems are the first line of defence against bank fraud. These systems utilise AI and machine learning to identify suspicious transactions, triggering an alert for further examination.

Step 2: The Deep Dive

Once a fraud alert is raised, the bank’s internal investigators delve deeper into the case. They scrutinize transaction patterns, examine client profiles, and review any associated communication or documentation.

Step 3: Engaging Law Enforcement

If there’s substantial evidence to suggest fraudulent activity, the case is forwarded to law enforcement authorities. They, in turn, may engage private investigators or forensic accountants to assist with the investigation.

Step 4: The Legal Procedure

Once all the evidence is gathered, the case proceeds to court, where a legal battle ensues. A successful conviction depends on presenting compelling evidence that unequivocally proves the fraudulent activity.

The Role of Private Investigators in Bank Fraud Investigations

You might wonder, “How can a private investigator catch someone committing bank fraud?” The answer lies in their specialised skill set.

Private investigators are trained to observe, analyze, and interpret information that may not be apparent to the untrained eye. They use a range of methods to detect fraud, including background checks, surveillance, computer forensics, asset searches, and interviews.

They are like financial detectives, following a money trail, spotting inconsistencies, and piecing together the puzzle. As impartial parties, they bring objectivity to the case, ensuring the investigation isn’t swayed by internal influences.

Corporate investigations are vital in maintaining the integrity and reputation of businesses. However, how exactly is a corporate investigation conducted? Why is caution paramount during the process? Let’s delve into the intricacies of corporate investigations.

What is a Corporate Investigation?

A corporate investigation is an in-depth exploration into suspicious activities within or involving a business. These activities could range from internal issues like employee misconduct, harassment claims, embezzlement, to external threats like fraud, cybercrime, or trade secrets theft.

To ensure the continued success of a company, corporate investigations are not just crucial; they’re a necessity. Detecting and addressing malfeasance helps maintain a safe, legal, and productive work environment, safeguarding the company’s integrity and financial health.

Why you have to be careful when conducting a corporate investigation

One might ask, “Why be careful during a corporate investigation?” The answer lies in the repercussions of potential mistakes. Mishandled investigations can lead to serious consequences, including lawsuits, regulatory fines, reputational damage, and plummeting employee morale.

Being cautious means maintaining confidentiality, respecting privacy rights, and following proper procedures. Ensuring due process and fairness is vital to avoid violating employee rights or misinterpretation of data, which could lead to legal complications.

How Evidence is Collected

Collecting evidence in a corporate investigation is much like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle. Every piece of information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, contributes to the bigger picture.

Methods employed to gather evidence vary based on the nature of the investigation. For instance, financial irregularities might warrant a thorough examination of accounts and transactions, while harassment claims may require interviews and statements from staff.

Digital forensics is another powerful tool in the modern investigator’s arsenal. This includes analysing emails, browsing history, server logs, and other electronic data to unearth any suspicious activities.

Remember, the goal is to compile comprehensive, objective, and legally defensible evidence that can stand up in court if needed.

Benefits of Using Private Investigation Companies

You might wonder why companies often engage private investigation firms to conduct corporate investigations. There are several compelling reasons for this:

  1. Specialised Skills: Private investigators possess the skills and experience to conduct thorough, efficient, and discreet investigations. They’re trained to spot red flags, follow leads, and gather evidence that may be missed by an untrained eye.
  2. Objectivity: An external investigator brings an unbiased perspective, ensuring impartiality and eliminating internal politics from influencing the outcome.
  3. Legal Compliance: Professionals are adept at adhering to laws and regulations related to data privacy and evidence collection, minimising legal risks.
  4. Minimising Disruption: With a private investigator handling the investigation, business leaders can focus on managing and growing the company without being consumed by the investigative process.

White collar crime is an umbrella term for various non-violent criminal activities committed in a business or professional setting. 

These crimes often involve financial deceit, manipulation, or theft, causing significant damage to businesses, individuals, and economies. 

In this article, we’ll provide an engaging, easy-to-understand guide to white collar crime, touching upon its various forms and the importance of corporate fraud investigations in addressing these offences.

What is White Collar Crime?

The term “white collar crime” was coined by sociologist Edwin Sutherland in the 1930s to describe criminal activities perpetrated by professionals in business environments. 

These crimes are often complex, sophisticated, and difficult to detect, as they typically involve manipulation of financial information or abuse of power for personal gain.

White collar crime can take many forms, and we’ll explore some of the most common types below.

Falsification of Financial Information

One of the most well-known forms of white collar crime is the falsification of financial information. This can include activities such as:

Cooking the books: Manipulating financial records to give a false impression of a company’s financial health.

Fraudulent financial reporting: Misrepresenting a company’s financial performance to deceive investors, regulators, or other stakeholders.

Tax evasion: Illegally avoiding paying taxes by underreporting income, inflating deductions, or hiding money in offshore accounts.

A high-profile example of this type of crime is the Enron scandal, where the company’s executives manipulated financial records to hide massive debt and inflate the company’s value, ultimately leading to its collapse.

Self-Dealing

Self-dealing occurs when an individual in a position of authority or trust abuses their power for personal gain. This can include:

Insider trading: Buying or selling stocks based on non-public information, which provides an unfair advantage over other investors.

Kickbacks: Receiving or providing a bribe, often in exchange for favourable treatment in business dealings.

Conflicts of interest: Acting in one’s own interest rather than the best interest of the company or its stakeholders.

An example of self-dealing is the Martha Stewart insider trading case, where the lifestyle mogul was convicted for lying about her reasons for selling shares in a company after receiving non-public information.

Money Laundering

Money laundering is the process of concealing the origins of illegally obtained money by passing it through a complex sequence of transactions to make it appear legitimate. This white collar crime is often linked to other criminal activities, such as drug trafficking or organised crime.

The infamous Panama Papers leak exposed a vast network of offshore companies and individuals involved in money laundering and tax evasion, shining a light on the global scale of this type of white collar crime.

Securities and Commodities Fraud

Securities and commodities fraud involves manipulating the market or deceiving investors in stocks, bonds, commodities, or other financial instruments. Some common examples include:

Ponzi schemes: Fraudulent investment schemes where returns are paid to earlier investors using new investors’ funds, rather than profits from legitimate business activities.

Pump-and-dump schemes: Coordinated efforts to artificially inflate a stock’s price through false or misleading information, followed by selling the stock at the inflated price for profit.

The Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, which defrauded investors of billions of pounds, is a prime example of securities fraud.

Intellectual Property Theft

Intellectual property theft involves stealing ideas, inventions, or creative works without permission from the rightful owner. This can include:

Copyright infringement: Illegally copying, distributing, or using copyrighted material without permission.

Trade secret theft: Stealing confidential business information, such as formulas, processes, or techniques, for personal gain or to benefit a competitor.

Patent infringement: Using, selling, or manufacturing a patented invention without the patent holder’s permission.

A notable example of intellectual property theft is the case of Chinese company Huawei, which was accused of stealing trade secrets from US companies like T-Mobile, leading to significant legal battles and increased tensions between the two nations.

The Importance of Corporate Fraud Investigations

Given the complexity and sophistication of white collar crime, specialised corporate fraud investigations are often necessary to uncover and address these offences. 

Organisations like us at Covert Ltd offer expert services in this area, helping businesses and individuals protect themselves from financial harm and bring criminals to justice.

Corporate fraud investigators employ a range of techniques and tools to uncover white collar crime, including forensic accounting, digital forensics, and surveillance. 

They work closely with law enforcement agencies, regulators, and legal teams to gather evidence and build cases against the perpetrators.

How to Protect Yourself and Your Business from White Collar Crime

Prevention is always better than cure, so it’s essential to take proactive steps to protect yourself and your business from white collar crime. Here are some recommendations:

Implement robust internal controls: Establish strong financial and operational controls, including segregation of duties, regular audits, and a system of checks and balances to prevent and detect fraudulent activities.

Promote a culture of integrity: Encourage a workplace environment that values honesty, transparency, and accountability. Foster open communication and provide a safe space for employees to report suspicions of fraud or misconduct.

Conduct thorough background checks: Before hiring employees, especially those in positions of trust or authority, conduct comprehensive background checks to identify any red flags or potential risks.

Invest in employee training: Educate employees about the various forms of white collar crime, warning signs, and reporting procedures. Empower them to be part of the solution in combating these offences.

Engage external experts when needed: If you suspect white collar crime within your organisation, consider hiring a corporate fraud investigator to uncover the truth and guide you through the legal process.

Fraud and misconduct are significant threats to businesses and individuals alike. 

With the stakes so high, it’s crucial to understand who can detect corporate fraud or misconduct, and how they go about doing it. 

Buckle up and let’s get started!

Understanding the Types of Fraud and Misconduct

Before diving into who can detect fraud or misconduct, let’s first explore the various types of fraud that can occur. Some common examples include:

Embezzlement: This occurs when someone entrusted with funds or assets misappropriates them for personal gain.

Identity theft: Here, a fraudster steals someone’s personal information to access their financial accounts or commit other fraudulent acts.

Insurance fraud: This type of fraud involves providing false information to an insurance company to receive unwarranted payouts or coverage.

Corporate fraud: This broad category encompasses various illegal acts committed by a company or its employees to deceive stakeholders or manipulate financial data.

Now that we have a grasp of the different types of fraud, let’s explore who can detect them.

The Players in Fraud Detection

Internal Sources

Often, the first line of defence against fraud and misconduct comes from within an organisation. Employees, managers, and company owners can all play a role in detecting and preventing fraudulent activities. 

Internal auditors, for example, are responsible for examining financial records and processes to ensure compliance and identify any suspicious activities.

Whistleblowers, who are employees that report unethical or illegal conduct within an organisation, can also play a significant role in fraud detection. In some cases, whistleblowers may even receive financial rewards for their assistance in uncovering misconduct.

External Sources

When internal sources aren’t enough, businesses may turn to external professionals to help detect and investigate fraud. Some common external sources include:

Law enforcement agencies: Local, national, and international agencies may be involved in detecting and investigating fraud, depending on the nature and scope of the misconduct.

Regulatory bodies: Organisations such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in the UK play a crucial role in detecting and investigating financial fraud

Forensic accountants: These professionals are skilled at analysing complex financial records to uncover evidence of fraud or other financial misconduct.

Private investigators: Experts in corporate fraud investigations, private investigators are often hired to uncover fraud, gather evidence, and build a case for the prosecution or legal action.

The Benefits of Hiring a Private Investigator

Now that we’ve established who can detect fraud or misconduct, let’s delve into the advantages of hiring a private investigator for corporate fraud investigations. There are several reasons why you might consider engaging a private investigator to stop fraud:

Expertise: Private investigators have specialised skills and knowledge in detecting and investigating fraud. They’re equipped to handle complex cases and can often find evidence that might be overlooked by internal teams.

Discretion: A private investigator can work discreetly to protect your company’s reputation and prevent any unnecessary disruptions to your operations.

Impartiality: An external investigator can provide an unbiased perspective, which is essential when dealing with sensitive matters such as fraud or misconduct.

Legal compliance: Private investigators are well-versed in the laws and regulations surrounding fraud investigations, ensuring that any evidence gathered is admissible in court.

The Financial Impact of Fraud on Businesses

The financial consequences of fraud or misconduct can be substantial, with businesses potentially losing millions of pounds. 

According to a report by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), businesses lose, on average, 5% of their annual revenue to fraud. This statistic is a stark reminder of the importance of investing in fraud prevention and detection measures.

The cost of fraud is not only limited to direct financial losses but also includes indirect costs such as:

Reputational damage: When news of fraud or misconduct becomes public, the damage to a company’s reputation can be immense. It can lead to a loss of trust from customers, suppliers, and investors, which can be difficult to rebuild.

Legal and regulatory consequences: Companies found to be involved in fraudulent activities may face legal action, fines, or sanctions from regulatory bodies. These actions can result in long-lasting consequences for the business.

Operational disruptions: Investigating and rectifying fraudulent activities can be time-consuming and resource-intensive, potentially causing disruptions to the normal course of business.

How to Protect Your Business from Fraud and Misconduct

Given the significant impact of fraud on businesses, it’s crucial to implement measures to prevent and detect fraud as early as possible. Here are some steps you can take:

Implement strong internal controls: This includes segregation of duties, regular audits, and a robust system of checks and balances. These measures can help prevent fraudulent activities and detect any irregularities early.

Encourage a culture of ethics and integrity: Promote a workplace environment that values honesty and transparency. Encourage employees to report any suspicions of fraud or misconduct without fear of retaliation.

Conduct regular employee training: Ensure that your employees are knowledgeable about the types of fraud, warning signs, and reporting procedures. Training can help prevent fraudulent activities and empower employees to be part of the solution.

Hire external experts when necessary: In some cases, it may be prudent to engage external professionals, such as private investigators, to help detect fraud and protect your business from financial harm.

We have seen firsthand the damage that corporate fraud can inflict on a business, its reputation, and its bottom line.

Today we will be looking at the various aspects of a corporate fraud investigator’s role, the essential skills they should possess, the ways they can help a business, and the types of fraud they can uncover.

If you are considering hiring a corporate fraud investigator keep on reading.

The role of a corporate fraud investigator

Corporate fraud investigators specialise in detecting, preventing, and resolving fraudulent activities within a business. 

Their main duties involve identifying and investigating potential fraudulent activities, conducting thorough research and analysis to gather evidence, collaborating with other departments and professionals to build a strong case, and helping businesses implement preventative measures to minimise the risk of future fraud incidents.

To excel in their role, corporate fraud investigators should possess skills such as analytical thinking, attention to detail, communication, integrity, and adaptability. 

These skills enable them to scrutinise data, spot discrepancies, present findings, maintain ethical practices, and respond quickly to new information or changing circumstances.

How can corporate fraud investigators help your business?

A corporate fraud investigator can be a valuable asset to a business by protecting financial assets, safeguarding reputation, strengthening internal controls, and providing legal support.

By identifying and addressing fraud, investigators can help prevent significant financial losses and protect a company’s bottom line. 

A well-handled fraud investigation can minimise reputational damage and demonstrate to stakeholders that a business takes fraud seriously. 

Investigators can also provide insights into weaknesses in a company’s existing processes, leading to improvements in fraud prevention and detection. 

In cases of litigation or criminal prosecution, a corporate fraud investigator can provide vital evidence to support a company’s case.

What types of crimes can corporate fraud investigators catch?

Corporate fraud investigators are skilled in identifying a wide range of fraudulent activities, such as embezzlement, procurement fraud, insider trading, corporate espionage, payroll fraud, and accounting fraud. 

These activities can involve the misappropriation of company funds, deceptive practices in purchasing, illegal use of confidential information, theft of sensitive company information, manipulation of payroll systems, or the deliberate manipulation of financial statements to present a false picture of a company’s financial health.

What should you consider when hiring a corporate fraud investigation team?

Hiring a corporate fraud investigator can be a crucial decision to help protect your business from potential threats. So you will want to hire the right team to help your business.

But what exactly should you consider when hiring a corporate fraud investigation team?

Experience and Specialisation

When selecting a corporate fraud investigator, it’s essential to consider their experience and areas of specialisation. A seasoned investigator with a proven track record in dealing with corporate fraud cases will be better equipped to handle your specific concerns. 

They should have extensive knowledge of the relevant industries, as well as an understanding of the legal and regulatory landscape in which your business operates.

Credentials and Professional Memberships

To ensure you are hiring a competent and trustworthy investigator, verify their credentials and professional memberships. 

Reputable investigators should possess relevant qualifications, such as a degree in forensic accounting or criminal justice. Additionally, they should be members of recognised professional bodies.

Communication Skills

Effective communication is vital when working with a corporate fraud investigator, as they will need to liaise with various departments within your company and potentially with external parties. 

An investigator with strong communication skills can effectively present their findings, discuss sensitive issues, and keep you informed throughout the investigation process.

Confidentiality and Discretion

Corporate fraud investigations often involve sensitive information that could have significant repercussions if mishandled. As such, it is crucial to hire an investigator who values confidentiality and discretion. 

They should have a clear understanding of data protection laws and be committed to maintaining the privacy and security of your company’s information.

Adaptability and Resourcefulness

Fraud investigations can be unpredictable and may require a quick response to new information or changing circumstances.

A skilled investigator should be adaptable and resourceful, able to think on their feet and employ creative problem-solving techniques. This will ensure that they can effectively handle any unexpected challenges that may arise during the investigation.

Cost and Value

Finally, consider the cost of hiring a corporate fraud investigator and the value they can bring to your business. While it may be tempting to opt for the cheapest option, it is essential to weigh the potential cost savings against the quality of service and the investigator’s expertise. 

Keep in mind that hiring a highly skilled and experienced investigator may ultimately save your business from significant financial losses due to fraud.

If you would like to see how a corporate fraud investigator can help your business then get in touch with us today.

Corporate fraud is a growing concern for businesses worldwide, as it can lead to significant financial losses, reputational damage, and legal consequences. 

Private investigators play a crucial role in detecting and preventing fraudulent activities within organizations. 

In this blog post, we will explore how evidence is collected in corporate fraud investigations, focusing on the use of CCTV, mobile surveillance, and interviews.

CCTV Surveillance: A Watchful Eye

Closed-circuit television (CCTV) is an invaluable tool in corporate fraud investigations. It allows investigators to discreetly monitor employee activities within the workplace and gather visual evidence of wrongdoing. 

CCTV can be used to capture instances of theft, embezzlement, or other fraudulent activities, providing irrefutable evidence for legal proceedings or disciplinary action. 

Additionally, CCTV footage can be used to track employee movements, identify accomplices, and establish patterns of behaviour that might suggest fraudulent intent.

Mobile Surveillance: On the Move

Mobile surveillance is another critical aspect of evidence collection in corporate fraud investigations. It involves monitoring employees or suspects outside the workplace, such as during their commute or while conducting personal errands. 

Private investigators may use a combination of vehicle tracking, GPS devices, and discreetly placed cameras to gather information on a subject’s movements and associations. 

Mobile surveillance can help identify off-site meetings, secret rendezvous, or suspicious interactions that might be connected to fraudulent activities within the organization.

Interviews: Connecting the Dots

Interviews are an essential component of corporate fraud investigations, as they allow investigators to gather information directly from employees or other relevant parties. 

During an interview, investigators may ask open-ended questions, probe for inconsistencies, and use verbal and non-verbal cues to assess the credibility of the interviewee. Interviews can provide valuable insights into the motives, methods, and extent of the fraud, as well as help identify potential witnesses, accomplices, or victims.

When conducting interviews, private investigators must adhere to legal and ethical guidelines to ensure that the information gathered is admissible in court and respects the rights of the individuals involved. This may involve obtaining consent, protecting the privacy of the interviewee, and avoiding coercive or deceptive tactics.

Conclusion

In conclusion, evidence collection in corporate fraud investigations relies on a combination of CCTV, mobile surveillance, and interviews to piece together a comprehensive understanding of the fraudulent activities taking place within an organisation. 

By employing these techniques in a professional, ethical, and legally compliant manner, private investigators can help businesses uncover the truth and take appropriate action to address corporate fraud. 

In doing so, they protect the financial health, reputation, and long-term success of your business.

If you would like to see how we can help you, get in touch with us today.

Fraud can be a costly and damaging issue for businesses of all sizes. 

As private investigators with many years of experience specialising in corporate investigations, we have seen firsthand how unaddressed fraud can significantly impact a company’s bottom line, reputation, and employee morale. 

In this blog post, We will discuss how a private investigator can help businesses minimise fraud, catch fraudulent employees, and reveal some lesser-known aspects of our profession.

Minimising Fraud in the Corporate World

Hiring a private investigator is a strategic move for businesses looking to protect themselves against fraudulent activities. By conducting a thorough background check on potential employees, a private investigator can uncover any discrepancies in resumes or hidden criminal histories. 

This can prevent the hiring of employees with a history of fraudulent behaviour, thus reducing the risk of fraud in the workplace.

Furthermore, private investigators can assist businesses in creating a robust fraud prevention program. 

This includes identifying weak points in the company’s processes and procedures that may be susceptible to fraud. Private investigators are well-versed in the latest fraud trends and can provide valuable insights into potential threats and how to mitigate them.

Catching Fraudulent Employees

One of the primary roles of a private investigator in the corporate world is to identify and catch fraudulent employees. This can be accomplished through a variety of methods, such as surveillance, interviews and interrogations, forensic accounting, and undercover operations.

Discreetly monitoring employees suspected of engaging in fraudulent activities is an essential aspect of surveillance. Private investigators can employ both physical surveillance and electronic monitoring techniques, such as tracking emails or monitoring phone conversations. 

In some cases, conducting interviews with employees can help gather information about potential fraud. These interviews may reveal inconsistencies in employees’ stories, ultimately exposing fraudulent activities.

Another valuable method for detecting fraud is forensic accounting. Private investigators with expertise in this area can analyze financial records to identify irregularities or suspicious transactions, potentially uncovering hidden assets, unexplained income, and other signs of fraud.

Undercover operations can also be an effective tool, particularly in cases where the fraud is suspected to involve multiple employees or a complex scheme. 

By going undercover within the company, private investigators can observe employee behaviour and gather evidence of fraud more directly. In doing so, they can help protect businesses from the damaging effects of fraudulent activities.

The types of fraud that happen in business

In the business world, various types of fraud can occur, leading to significant financial and reputational costs. Among the most common types of business fraud are asset misappropriation, financial statement fraud, corruption and bribery, insider trading, intellectual property theft, and cyber fraud.

Asset misappropriation involves the theft or misuse of a company’s assets, such as cash, inventory, or equipment. Employees may embezzle funds, steal inventory, or engage in fraudulent expense reimbursement schemes. This can result in significant financial losses, decreased employee morale, and damage to a company’s reputation. 

Meanwhile, financial statement fraud occurs when a company’s financial records are manipulated to present a false picture of its financial health. Inflating revenues, concealing liabilities, or misrepresenting expenses can lead to severe consequences, including regulatory penalties, loss of investor confidence, and potential bankruptcy.

Corruption and bribery involve the abuse of power by an individual or group to gain an unfair advantage or influence business decisions. This can include kickbacks, bid rigging, or conflicts of interest. 

The costs of corruption and bribery can be significant, leading to legal penalties, damaged relationships with clients or partners, and loss of public trust. Insider trading, the illegal practice of trading securities based on non-public information about a company, can lead to an unfair advantage in the market, undermining investor confidence and resulting in regulatory sanctions.

Intellectual property theft involves the unauthorized use or disclosure of a company’s trade secrets, patents, copyrights, or trademarks, which can result in lost revenue, legal battles, and damage to the company’s competitive advantage. 

Lastly, cyber fraud encompasses a wide range of fraudulent activities carried out through digital means, such as hacking, phishing, and identity theft. Cybercriminals may target businesses to steal sensitive information or funds, leading to significant financial losses and reputational damage.

The costs associated with these types of fraud can be substantial, ranging from direct financial losses to long-term reputational harm. 

To mitigate these risks and safeguard their assets, businesses must implement robust internal controls and adopt a proactive approach to fraud detection and prevention.

provate investigator services in wolverhampton

Personal private investigator Wolverhampton

At Covert LTD we have many years of experience in helping people solve personal problems through private investigator services. This could be anything from catching a cheating partner to helping a family find a lost loved one.

Hiring a private investigator to carry out such personal services is a tough decision as ultimately they get to see secrets within your life that most people will never see. For this reason, hiring a discreet yet affordable private investigator service in Wolverhampton is very important.

The private investigation business in the UK is unregulated which means that anyone could potentially become a private investigator without experience. Not only is this dangerous but it means that you could waste your money with an investigator that has no idea what they are doing. 

At Covert LTD we have many years of experience in helping families and individuals with their problems while being discreet and affordable.

Private investigator for business

We also have experience in helping businesses with private investigation needs. This could be anything from helping a business with insurance fraud investigations to looking at employee absenteeism. As private investigators, we can also help law firms in Wolverhampton with finding missing people or process serving.

Other services

Private investigation services cover a wide range of terms that you may have heard of and some you may not have. Typically here are some of the services we provide for our clients:

How much do private investigators cost?

When hiring a private investigator it’s important to take into consideration the cost of hiring one. Too cheap and they may not have the right experience, too expensive and you may not be able to afford them if the job takes an unexpected turn.

Also, the costs of hiring a private detective can change depending on the job. Some jobs are fixed fees such as process serving while other jobs could require more personnel over a few weeks. If you would like to know the rough costs of hiring a private investigator before reaching out to us then you can read our blog post above.

Are private investigators illegal to use

Private investigators are legal to use in the UK. However, you must hire a detective service that abides by the rules of the country they operate in as they are not only acting on your behalf but they are also collecting evidence which sometimes gets used in court. If the evidence has been collected illegally then it won’t be able to be used.

Our founders at Covert are ex-police officers and understand the importance of collecting and delivering evidence in a way that can be used in court if need be.

How can we hire you?

If you want to hire a private investigator in Wolverhampton that gets the job done, is professional, reliable and affordable, talk to us today.  

A private investigator can be hired to solve a variety of problems. These problems are often too big for a client to solve on their own. But for many clients who have never worked with a private detective before, it can be a confusing process and most people don’t know when they should be hiring a detective.

What problems can a private investigator help you with?

Private investigators can help with everything from cheating partner investigations to bug sweeping your office or helping insurance companies with insurance fraud investigations. But the role of an investigator isn’t limited to those fields and there are many other situations where a private investigator can be called in.

When should you hire a private detective?

catching a cheating partner

Most people will have a gut feeling that something isn’t right. This can be a relationship going bad, a business deal that doesn’t feel just right or when you just want to check up on something such as performing an employee background check.

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to the best time to hiring a private investigator, but hiring too early could mean that there wasn’t a problem to begin with and hiring too late could mean that more damage has been done than what was needed.

When to hire a private investigator all depends on your risk tolerance, our advice would be to hire an investigator when you have a little bit of evidence that doesn’t add up. In the case of a cheating partner, this could be that your spouse has said something that doesn’t add up. In a business case, it could be that the numbers for accounting aren’t right.

You can also take on board that even if you hire a private investigator too early and there wasn’t a problem then the cost of hiring a private detective isn’t as expensive as losing out on income from business fraud or losing your time spending it with a cheater.

Do you need a Private Investigator?

how to become a private investigator

If you’re starting to research private investigators and content around the field then more than likely you have a problem that an investigator could fix. Picking the right investigator is important as you will need one that can solve the problem you are facing, but you will also need one that can do it on budget too.  

Cheap private investigators often don’t get their client’s results, while expensive investigators often provided additional services that aren’t needed.

If you would like to speak to a discreet private investigator that gets results talk to our investigators today. We will be happy to assist you with any queries that you may have.

When it comes to hiring a private investigator one of our most asked questions is: Are private investigators legal? Private Investigators are legal to hire in the UK.

Private Investigators aren’t police, although many private detectives do come from a police background, because of this private investigators have the same legal rights as any other person in the UK and they must abide by the laws of the country they are operating in.

Private investigators can provide a range of services such as covert surveillance, people tracing, process serving and more but if any of these services are carried out illegally then the evidence collected couldn’t be used. For this reason, it’s important that your hire a private investigator that acts legally on your behalf.

A private investigator must obtain evidence legally for it to be used in the right way.

Private Investigators – Not like you see on TV

When clients come to us, often it’s the first time they have spoken to a private detective agency and because of this, their only experience is seeing detectives on TV. Detectives like Sherlock Holmes, Columbo, Harry Bosch, Miss Marple and Poirot are all amazing characters in Books, films and TV series, but in real life, private detectives aren’t anything like them. 

A private detective can investigate like your favourite TV characters but they can’t hack people’s phones, break down doors, spy through windows and walls, hack computers or illegally record suspects.

With that said, private investigators can use a huge range of tools and call on years of experience to help their clients get the evidence they need legally.

Hiring a private investigator

private investigator qualifications

If you do want to hire a Private Investigator it’s important to know who you are dealing with. The cost of a private investigator is often worth the expense if the evidence collected was collected legally, if it wasn’t then not only has that private investigator broke the law but your evidence is also useless and can’t be used in a court of law.  

Because there’s a low barrier to entry to becoming a private investigator it’s quite easy to hire the wrong firm. When hiring a private eye you should make sure that the company you are hiring has a good reputation and can be trusted to do good work. You can do this by looking at third party reviews.

Illegal things Private Investigators can do

private investigators legality

Private Investigators technically speaking could carry out all sorts of illegal activity as they are skilled in covert surveillance. Private Detectives could easily bug a building or a room, hack into phones and laptops, follow someone on private property, look into data that they shouldn’t, trespass on private property and much more.

Private Investigators could illegally do all of the above, but as mentioned earlier on in the article this is illegal and the evidence collected this way wouldn’t be able to be used in a court of law. You also could be liable for any of the above laws being broken as the investigators are acting on your behalf.

Protecting yourself and your case

If you are hiring a private investigator for something that may go to court then you will want to hire a detective agency that follows the law while still getting results. At Covert LTD we have been doing this for over 15 years, our founders are ex-police too so we know how to follow the law and get the results you need.

If you would like to speak to a discreet private investigator, get in touch with us today.

Insurance fraud is becoming more popular thanks to larger payouts from the courts. Companies like ours help insurance companies with our insurance fraud investigation services to help crack down on this criminal activity.

Today we will be looking at some of the most common types of insurance fraud.  

1) Stolen cars

car insurance scams

A common form of insurance fraud involves stolen cars. Many insurance scams involve stolen cars one of which is to take out insurance on a new car, drive it around for a few years and then have it stolen. The insurance company then has to replace this old car with a new one.

These cars can also be sold to illegal chop shops or garages that will strip the car down for parts and sell them on. There are many other insurance scams involving cars and we won’t give them away as we don’t want criminals using them.

Insurance scams like these aren’t victimless crimes, as a result of these fraudulent claims, all of our insurance premiums increase because of them.

2) Staged accidents

Surveillance services Cardiff and London

Some criminals will stage accidents so they can claim from their insurance companies. These accidents could be anything from fraudsters breaking quickly so that a car will hit them. Staged accidents can also occur in public or private buildings where a person will claim to have slipped because of a wet floor or trip hazard.

3) Staged Fires

Homeowners can commit insurance fraud by setting fire to their homes while removing their most valuable items first and then claiming for them. Although this entire scenario sounds crazy, it’s more common than you may think.

Insurance fraud investigators however can easily tell if a fire was set deliberately and often they can tell you if those items were in the house at the time of the fire.

4) Commercial Fraud

Companies will purchase employer’s liability insurance and public liability insurance and then commit fraud by making up accidents that never occurred or by exaggerating ones that did. This insurance scam involves a lot of planning but can be very profitable for the claimant.

5) Theft fraud

If an item or object is insured then there is a chance that someone may try to commit fraud by claiming the item was stolen. Homeowners may stage burglaries or car owners may have a friend steal their car before getting an insurance payout.

Insurance fraud is very common and the insurance fraud examples above are some of the most common. Thankfully insurance fraud investigators like us are hired by insurance companies to cut down on this type of behaviour.

If you need help with an insurance fraud claim please get in touch with us.

Becoming a private investigator is both a challenging and rewarding job. Today we will be looking at how you can become a private investigator and by the end of our article, you should know if becoming a private detective is a good career choice for you.

What is a private investigator?

what does a private investigator do

Private Investigators are usually employed by police forces, law firms, private companies or individuals to help them with legal and personal problems.  

Private detectives can be hired for a wide range of problems including corporate investigationscheating partner investigations, missing persons, bug sweeps and so much more.

Private Investigators will work on behalf of their clients to uncover and record any evidence they find and they will then show it back to the client in an easy to understand way.

As a private investigator you may need to:

  • Meet with clients discreetly.
  • Research information.
  • Track someone.
  • Use social media and other databases to find a missing person.
  • Perform background checks.
  • Conduct surveillance.
  • Interview people.
  • Prepare reports.
  • Investigate crimes.
  • Study public records.

No two days are the same as a private detective and while it can be a difficult job it’s often very rewarding when you can provide someone with the truth that they need.

What qualifications do you need to become a private investigator?

private investigator qualifications

In the UK there are no formal qualifications needed to become a private detective. There are no governing bodies and no regulations that a person has to stick to, to become a PI. You don’t even need to sit an exam or have a license.

The barrier to becoming a private investigator from a legal sense is pretty low, therefor the private detective agency world is full of fly by night agencies. If you do want to become a private investigator you will have to tackle that problem when you try to land clients.

Generally, most private investigators will come from a police or military background. Although this isn’t a requirement it does help when becoming a private detective as you will have experience in carrying out investigations. If you come from a background of investigation it will help when you transition to becoming a private eye.

Why become a private investigator?

why become a private investigator

There are many benefits of becoming a private investigator so this all depends on what you want out of a career. A private investigator can be well paid if they are good at their jobs and can get clients. You may also go into private investigation if you want an exciting career. As a private investigator, you may one day be investigating a cheating spouse and the next day you could be performing surveillance or sweeping a corporate office for bugs.

Private investigations aren’t like the movies though and it isn’t all exciting, there may be times when you are sitting in a van for hours on a surveillance job or you could be scanning a warehouse for bugs and not find a thing. Just like with all jobs, being a private investigator will have its good and bad days.

Job satisfaction is also another good reason for becoming a private investigator. Often your clients will be anxious, nervous or in dire need of help and being able to help people in these situations is a great feeling. Especially when you can provide them with the evidence they have suspected for a long time.

Salary for a private investigator

If you work for another private detective agency then you may be put onto a salary but if you consider being self-employed then your wage will be determined by the jobs that you take. For example the cost of hiring a private investigator changes by the job.

If you want to earn more money maybe you could focus on one area of private investigating that pays the most amount of money while being quick to perform. You could also build out a team of private investigators which will allow you to take on more jobs.

How to get jobs as a private investigator

how to get a job as a private investigator

If you are starting and you don’t have any clients you will need to advertise your services. This can be done by creating your own website, setting up social media and posting content that potential clients would like to see.

You could also contact other private investigators to see if they have any jobs that they don’t want or need or if they have jobs they need help with. This will give you experience as well as a wage for you to keep going. By doing good work you will build up a network of other private investigators and clients and you will ramp up your work volume quickly.

Final Thoughts

If you want to become a private investigator having a background such as coming from the police or military is going to help. Especially if you do any type of legal document handling. However, with that said it isn’t a requirement as there are no regulations to becoming a private detective in the UK. If you are a critical thinker, have an analytical mind and can follow evidence then you can be a private investigator.

The thought of your partner cheating can make most people feel sick to their stomachs. Being cheating on and sometimes worrying that your partner is cheating on you can even make you ill. Our cheating partner investigations can help. 

Over the years we have helped many of our clients catch their cheating partners and we can help you too.

Investigating a cheating partner

For most, having the worry and the doubt in your mind that your partner is being unfaithful can leave you feeling anxious and upset. At Covert, our private investigators have many years of experience in surveilling and catching unfaithful partners and even though it’s not nice to confirm your suspicions at least you can move on with your life.

In some relationships catching a cheating partner can actually save it as weird as it may sound. This can be done by going to marriage counselling. Not all relationships can be saved and the majority aren’t but for some, being caught cheating can put them on the right path to fixing a relationship.

Can you hire someone to spy on your boyfriend/girlfriend?

Yes, you can. You can hire a private investigator to follow and watch your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife and document their whereabouts and who they meet up with.

Our cheating partner investigations involve our detectives monitoring your partner closely without them knowing we are there. From here we are able to document their location and their actions and then report them back to you.

This is the quickest way to catch a cheater as comparing where they said they were to where they actually were is a sign of something not being right. For example, if they are telling you they are in work but we have evidence they are in a hotel room at the same time then they could be cheating.

What to expect with a cheating partner investigation

Cheating partner investigations need to be discreet because your partner may change up their habits if they know you are on to them. With Covert, we have over 15 years of experience in catching cheating partners as well as surveilling criminals and scam artists. When you hire us you can be assured of discreet and professional service.

Our private investigators will follow, record and report all of our findings to you in a discreet manner so your partner will never know this has taken place. From here you can make a decision on how you want to proceed with the relationship going forward.

Should you hire someone to catch a cheater or do it yourself?

In our experience, cheaters get found out eventually but in some instances, this can take years. Do you really want to be with someone who has cheated on you for years thinking they are smarter than you and you will never find out? I wouldn’t want to be with someone like that.

I’d rather find out as soon as possible and I bet you would too. So if you do have your suspicions you can either try to catch a cheater yourself or hire someone like us to do it for you.

Catching a cheater is hard and while there are signs of cheating to you they may not be that clear. In our experience, cheaters are very skilled liars and they are hard to catch if you don’t have experience in doing so.

Hiring a private investigation company like ourselves gets around that problem and catching cheating partners is our speciality. We have heard all the lies and cheating excuses but the truth is you cant lie yourself out of hard evidence.

How much does it cost to catch a cheating partner?

Our private investigation costs vary between projects as each one is different. For example, if your partner was claiming to be working away in different cities or away on business trips then we would have to follow them where ever the investigation takes us. This would be more expensive, however, we will talk to you beforehand to make sure you wouldn’t be met with any expenses you aren’t expecting.

Our surveillance fees start at £40 an hour. If you would like a more accurate quote to catch a cheating partner please get in touch with us.

As private investigators in Manchester we are often hired to catch a cheating partner. The majority of the time if a partner suspects something is going on in our experience it is.

Once we have found that a partner is cheating then the relationship can go one of two ways. Firstly, the relationship breaks down and the partners initiate divorce proceedings, or the couple can go to counselling to try and save their marriage.

Cheating partners may have a wide range of reasons for cheating, so some relationships can be saved with counselling. When we carry out our private investigator services we do catch partners cheating but have noticed over the years that it doesn’t have to be the end of the relationship if couples can work together to overcome the choices that have been made.

Can your marriage be saved?

If neither of the couple in the relationship wants to stay in the relationship then the chance of saving the marriage is very low. If both persons in the relationship are still willing to work on the relationship and if the person who has cheated recognises their problems then the marriage could be saved.

Being cheated on or cheating on a partner and getting caught is always going to have devastating effects on a relationship, some of which can never be saved but in some circumstances, people can come back from being cheated on.  

As private detectives in Manchester our area of expertise is in catching cheaters so that you can then move on to the next area in your relationship journey, whether that is to start over again or to work on your problems that is up to you. For this reason above all we have included some of the best marriage counselling services in Manchester below:

Start Therapy Manchester

Start Therapy and Relationship Therapy are based in Manchester and offer relationship services to help with cheating as well as a wide range of other services which can keep a marriage strong.

You can find start Therapy at:

Chapel Point, Chapel Street, Manchester, M3 5EP

You can visit their website for more information on the services they provide:

Didsbury Counselling

Didsbury Counselling offers marriage counselling and couples therapy in Manchester. You can find Didsbury counselling at:

Didsbury Counselling and Therapy Centre

212a Burton Road

Manchester

M20 2LW

Phone: 0161 478 6482 

And you can find out more about their services at their website:

https://www.didsburycounsellingandtherapycentre.co.uk/couple-therapy.html

The Affinity Centre Manchester

Another good choice for couples and marriage counselling is the Affinity Centre Manchester. They offer all areas of marriage counselling and also offer Imago Relationship therapy which focuses on getting the couples to communicate with each other rather than the therapist.

If you do need a marriage counsellor in Machester, then the Affinity Centre is a good choice. You can find them at:

7A High Street

Cheadle

SK8 1AX

You can also find out more information on their website:

https://affinitycentre.co.uk/couples-counselling-in-manchester/

Final thoughts

Catching someone cheating through our private investigation service is never a good feeling. We do get satisfaction in knowing the client now knows the truth about their partner and we hope that they can work on their relationship to improve it going forward. If you have been cheated on or need marriage or relationship counselling in Manchester then the above choices are a great place to start.

A process server is someone that will deliver legal documents to another person who is involved in a court case. Legal documents need to be delivered for a wide range of reasons and law firms or individuals often can’t deliver these legal documents themselves so they end up hiring a process server.

A person must be notified in person that proceedings have been brought against them and this is done through the use of a process server.

What documents can a process server deliver?

A process server can be responsible for delivering a wide range of legal documents so hiring a professional firm that know what they are doing is going to be very important. If the documents aren’t handled and delivered in the right way it could have a huge impact on your case.

A process server may deliver:

  • Statutory demands.
  • Bankrupt petitions.
  • Summons.
  • Claim forms.
  • Court orders.
  • Witness summons.
  • Divorce petitions.

And much more.

Cost of a process server

The cost of a process server is going to change from agency to agency. Experience, past results, job requirements and other variables will come into play when hiring a process server.

For example, our process server service can cost between £90 and £150 depending on the requirements of the job at hand.  

How are notices delivered?

In our experience, process serving is a service that needs to be carried out quickly. Therefore a notice will be delivered in person at their home or their place of work if contact wasn’t able to be made at home.

In some instances, documents can be delivered through the letterbox of a home but in the majority of circumstances, a face to face exchange will need to happen.

How does a process server find someone?

A process server will use all the tools and experience they have to find a person, this could be anything from using private databases to using public records.

As private investigators, we know how to track down people quickly, so if you need a process server in Cardiff, Bristol, London or the rest of the UK we can help.

Can a process server be hidden from?

You may have seen it in the movies where a person goes out of their way to avoid a process server and possibly gets away with it. In real life, it doesn’t work like that and the only way to hide from a process server is not to get into the situation in the first place.

In extreme situations, a legal document may even be delivered via WhatsApp or social media. When all other avenues have been exhausted sometimes the solutions above are accepted in court. Making it very difficult to hide from a process server.

Substituted process serving

When all standard means of serving a legal document to someone has failed you then may use a substitute method of serving legal documents. Although rare, these methods can be used by an agency that knows what they are doing. These methods include:

  • Newspaper advertisements.
  • Social media serving.
  • International process serving.

Newspaper serving isn’t accepted all too often but it can be used to serve notice in the advertisement section of the newspaper. The process server will need to know the location of the person to run this type of process serving in the local paper.

Serving documents over social media is one of the least common forms of process serving but it can be done if there is proof of post over one of the social media networks. Not all judges will accept this method of process serving.

Should you deliver the documents yourself?

There are many reasons why you shouldn’t deliver legal documents yourself. Law firms and individuals may not have the resources to chase someone up and down the country to deliver documents.

You may also be too close to the case or could mishandle or deliver the documents in the wrong way which could have a huge effect on your case.

Hiring a process server

When you hire a process server you should hire an expert that has experience in delivering legal documents in a way that corresponds to the laws of the country you are in. You should also hire a process server that has experience and knowledge of finding people quickly while being affordable.

If you need legal documents delivered, talk to our staff today. We have process serving offices in Cardiff, Bristol and London while we serve the entire UK.

Finding people who don’t want to be found can be difficult, but when it comes to finding your birth parents sometimes they are equally as curious to find you too.  

In this article, we will look at how you can find your birth parents.

1) Adoption Registry

Registering on the adoption registry is a great way of finding your birth parents as you can put their information in as well as yours. If they were ever curious about finding you this can help them too.

The adoption registry website is free to register on and can point you in the right direction to finding your birth parents. The service is also free and you can set up an account in a few minutes.

The adoption registry website is a free option so don’t expect too much of it, but it’s worth a shot when you are starting your search.

2) Using social media to find your birth parents.

You can use social media in different ways to find your birth parents. Firstly, social media can be used as an investigative tool where you can look for people of certain ages, within a location.

You can also use the power of social media to share your image and message all over the world. You could post a picture, along with a message stating that you want to find your birth parents and information you have on them. Then you ask people to like and share your information to hope it can go viral.

If a post goes viral it could help you find the person you are looking for.

3) Use public records search

If you know some details of your birth parents such as where they were born, their age or where they have worked then you can search public records to see if they have moved, died, got remarried and so on.

Public records can give you a foundation for further investigative processes. Public records can include useful information which could be missed by an untrained eye so if you do need help with finding your birth parents hiring a private detective can help.

4) Use DNA registries

DNA Testing and registry companies such as 23 and me can help with finding your birth parents if they have signed up for the service too as it can show your DNA matches when the DNA analysis has been done.

The downside of using services like this is that they aren’t as commonly used and your birth parents may not have used the service so no matches will be found. The service can cost a few hundred pounds so if you have the budget to do so then it could be worth the risk.

5) Use a private investigator

People tracing is a difficult task even for the most experienced private investigators like us. So if you are having trouble tracking down your birth parents you may want to consider hiring a private investigator.

A private investigator can look at public records as well as private databases to track down a person for their clients. If you would like to talk to an expert please get in touch with us and we can provide you with some options to find your birth parents.

We also have offices in Cardiff, Bristol and London but we serve the entire UK with our people tracing services.

Every private investigator at some point will turn to a database to help with their investigations. In this article, we will look at some of the main databases private investigators use, along with their costs and their reliability.

Which Databases Do Private Investigators Use?

The most common database a private investigator will use is the tracers database. The tracers database is fairly accurate and doesn’t cost too much so that a small investigation firm can afford it. For larger firms, they have API access and a bunch of other cool features that make tracking down a person or an asset much easier.

The Tracer database in our experience is accurate around 75% of the time. When it’s not accurate it’s usually because the information is old and out of date.

With that said, no database is going to be 100% correct so hiring the right private investigator for your needs is going to help.

Other databases that are not as common but are still used in the private investigator industry are the TLO and IRB databases. Other databases such as Experian can also help.

Combining databases for best results

As mentioned above no database is going to be correct or have the information you need 100% of the time, so as a private investigator you may want to combine databases for the best results.

If one database is out of date or doesn’t have the information you require then a separate database may have some fresh data that can set you on the right path.

Public record databases

There are also public record databases out there that the public can use to find information. A private detective will have experience and will know what to search for when going through these records so even though they are public records they will find information that you may miss.

Public records such as births, deaths, marriages and divorces are a good source of information for when you want to find a person.

Using the internet

The internet while technically isn’t a database can be used like one and a good private investigator will know how to search it for the information they need. For example, if a detective was looking for a person then they could upload images of them on reverse image websites to see if the same image had been uploaded anywhere else on the internet.

A good detective can also use software to take out the metadata on a photo to see if it holes any location data which would indicate where and when the photo was taken.

The internet can also be used to find friends, partners or known associates of a person that you may be looking for.  

A good investigator doesn’t rely on databases 

It’s easy enough to run searches on a computed and come up empty and then leave it like that. But a good private detective will only use a database as a starting point of an investigation.

When you hire a private detective they will use all of the tools within their armoury to get the job done. For most detectives finding a person or an asset will come down to doing good detective work such as surveillance and knocking on doors.

Need a private detective?

Hiring a private detective can be difficult as there are so many out there and in an industry that’s not regulated it’s hard to know who to trust.

If you would like to discuss your problems with us, a member of our team can advise the best course of action for you. We also have offices in London, Cardiff and Bristol if you would like to talk to us face to face too.

Divorcing a partner can be one of the most difficult times in a person’s life. It doesn’t matter the sex of the person as both men and women will lose through a divorce and to someone going through a divorce for the first time they may have many questions.

  • How will a divorce affect me financially? Divorces can be costly from a financial point of view so this can be a genuine worry of someone looking to get divorced.
  • How will a divorce affect my children? Parents often worry about how their children will be affected by a divorce.
  • Where will I store my furniture when we sell the home? Moving from your home into a new one can take time.  Moving home, in general, can be a stressful time in someone’s life so adding divorce on top can be worrying. If you need to store your items, check your local storage companies to see if they have space.
  • What items can I take from the home? Knowing what items you can take from the home can also be confusing.
  • Who gets to keep the home during a divorce? Usually, your assets will be split 50/50 but not every situation is the same.
  • Will I be happy after a divorce? Being unhappy in a marriage is a good reason for divorce, but many people still worry they may be unhappier alone.
  • (See more divorce FAQ’s here)

As you can see for both sides there are uncertainties and getting a divorce is a huge step in a relationship.  

Given the uncertainty that comes with a divorce, it may shock you to see who initiates divorce the most often.

Who initiates divorce more often? 

who initiates divorce more often

Women initiate divorce the most often. The wife will initiate a divorce 70% of the time according to a study carried out by Stanford University. While in the UK the office of national statistics show that 62% of divorces were initiated by the wife.

Why Do Women Initiate Divorce More Than Men?

The study looked at 2000 adults between the ages of 19 and 94 and found that a lack of equality in a relationship was one of the deciding factors for getting a divorce.

Other contributing factors included:

  • Infidelity.
  • Emotional abuse.
  • Physical Abuse.
  • Lack of communication.

Professional women who are career-driven are also far more likely to file for a divorce as women are usually seen as the centre for emotional support for a family. If you add to this a hectic work life and a hectic family life you can see that pressure is put onto a woman and if the woman thinks their husband isn’t pulling their weight it can soon cause conflict at home.

Husbands aren’t aware there is a problem.

Women are far more likely to initiate a divorce because they are more emotionally aware whereas husbands often don’t know there is a problem in the first place.

Both parties here are to blame because of the lack of communication in a relationship. The lack of intimacy that this can cause can also cause people to cheat and as private investigators in London who get hired by spouses to catch cheating partners we see this all of the time.

Women want to be financially secure

One of the main reasons women initiate divorce more often than men is down to financial security. This doesn’t have to mean earnings either it could be that the husband is spending too much money on things the wife doesn’t agree on such as:

  • Alcohol.
  • Drugs
  • Gambling

The woman feels the husband isn’t giving her enough attention

One of the main excuses used for cheating is that a woman doesn’t feel as if their husband is giving them enough attention at home or isn’t providing them with enough intimacy.

This can be difficult for men as statistically, they are going to work longer hours and travel further away from the home to work too.

Conclusion

There is no one reason why men and women get divorced but from the studies carried out, you can see that women initiate divorces at a higher level than men.

Men and women cheat for many different reasons and as private investigators, we often get called to catch cheaters in the act. In this article, we aren’t here to judge, condemn or even promote cheating. This article is going to show the most common excuses for cheating that we have heard in our experience.

Common excuses cheaters use.

Here are the most common excuses for cheating we have heard in our many years of experience.

Excuses for cheating reason #1 – I just can’t help it.

People with higher sex drives than their partners will use the excuse that they simply just can’t help it as their sex drive is too high and if sex life at home has stopped then they feel this is justifiable to them.

People also argue that from an evolution point of view that men are “programmed” to sleep with as many women as possible to procreate so this is often factored into an argument.

This may have been the case when the cavemen and women were around, but in modern society, it doesn’t work and it’s just an excuse.

If you do feel yourself feeling that your sex drive is too high and your partner’s sex drive is too low then you should communicate this with them. Sex drive can be affected by:

  • Stress
  • Birth Control
  • Medicine
  • Chronic Conditions

None of these situations would be the fault of either person too, so communicating the feeling of not being wanted due to a lack of intimacy could improve your current situation. If you find it difficult to bring these issues up you could go to a marriage counsellor and work through your problems together.

By cheating, you are eventually going to get caught and you are going to break the heart of someone you love. If your situation is bad then tell your partner and end the relationship. Or you can help your partner improve their sex drive by reducing their stress, eating healthier, hiring a personal trainer to help you lose weight and have more energy and making sure you are both getting enough sleep.

A low sex drive doesn’t have to ruin a relationship, if both partners are willing to work on the relationship it can be saved.

Excuses for cheating reason #2 – They aren’t the same person I married.

People change over time, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. If you don’t grow together as a couple then a relationship can be in trouble.

When you first start dating, people only want to show the best side of them but over time peoples flaws can become apparent. If you haven’t cheated but you are on the edge of doing so, it’s once again advised to talk to your partner.

Some people choose to cheat because a person’s looks have faded, where others cheat because the same effort isn’t there before and maybe the romance has died.

Having a discussion where you have to tell someone you have lost attraction to them because of their looks fading is no doubt going to hurt them but then again so is cheating. If a partner has put on weight or doesn’t make an effort dressing nice anymore then you could work on that but if you choose to cheat that could be the death sentence for your relationship.

Excuses for cheating reason #3 – My partner doesn’t spend time with me anymore.

This is usually the excuse used by women when their partner is “working all the time.” However, it can be used when male partners go out binge drinking with their friends too. 

In the first instance, it can be a tough pill to swallow for the man in that relationship as they are often confused as to why their other half would cheat because they are working hard to provide for their family.  

If you feel your partner is working too much then talk to them about this as men are quite oblivious to this problem and often don’t know it exists.

In the second situation where your partner is binge drinking if a simple talk doesn’t stop them from binge drinking then it may be worth talking to an addiction specialist, we see many couples suffering from the effects of alcohol and drug addiction so seeking professional help is advisable.

As private investigators in London we have seen many couples suffer from addiction problems and if you are in the London Area here are a few addiction clinics you could go to:

Excuses for cheating reason #4 – They give me more attention.

This is an excuse used by both men and women and it often occurs with work-based cheating. If you aren’t getting attention at home and someone at work who you spend long hours with is starting to flirt with you and make you feel good then it can lead to an affair taking place.

Getting attention from someone new may give you that new relationship feeling and can make you feel excited again. However, it’s up to you as a couple to work on your relationship to put the fun into it and keep each other interested.

Excuses for cheating reason #5 – I was drunk.

Being drunk is one of the most common excuses for cheating and we hear it all the time. Being drunk in our opinion doesn’t cause people to cheat it just gives them an excuse for doing so.

Being drunk also doesn’t hold much weight in people who continually cheat while drunk as one time may be an accident but repeat offences aren’t.

Excuses for cheating reason #6 – You cheated before.

If someone in a relationship has cheated many couples can then use this as an excuse for cheating on the other person. If you do cheat and your partner forgives you there is a very real chance of this happening to you.

If you are in a relationship where you are seeking revenge on each other it doesn’t look good for your relationship. If you have cheated and the person has forgiven you they don’t then have a free pass to cheat on you. The opposite is also true, if someone has cheated on you and you forgive them you don’t then get a free pass to cheat.

Either forgive and move on or end the relationship. Revenge cheating is never going to work.

Excuses for cheating reason #7 – Everyone does it.

We’ve heard this excuse for cheating a lot over the years and it still baffles us to this day. Not everyone cheats, if the people around you do then you are dating the wrong people. 

Excuses for cheating reason #8 – It didn’t mean anything.

This is another common excuse we have heard from cheating partners and logically it doesn’t make sense. Maybe it didn’t mean anything and it was “just sex” as some have said to us but you have ruined a relationship with someone you have loved and possibly destroyed your family too, so using the excuse of it didn’t mean anything can be a kick in the face to the partner that has been cheated on.

Cheating husband excuses

Husbands who cheat often use a mixture of not getting enough attention, getting attention at work, their partners have lower sex drives, they were drunk or it didn’t mean anything.

Cheating husbands may also use the other excuses above but in our experience, those are the main reasons they give for cheating.

Cheating wife excuses

Cheating wives often make the excuses of they weren’t getting enough attention, their partner doesn’t spend enough time with them, their partner has changed and it just happened (often at work).

Wives who cheat may use other excuses too but these are the ones that we have found to be the most common.

Excuses to get out of the house to cheat

If you do suspect your wife or husband of cheating you may want to hire a private investigator to help catch them. We have offices in CardiffBristol and London but we do service the entire UK.

With that said you may be able to catch a cheater yourself as they will use some of the most common excuses to get out of the house to cheat which can be seen below.

Staying late at work to get out of the house to cheat.

One of the most common excuses to get out of the house to cheat is by staying late at work. Of course, many of us have to do that on occasion but if this is new to your relationship and your partner has no additional job responsibilities then this could be a red flag.

In our experience, men will use this excuse more than women.

Using business trips as an excuse to get out of the house to cheat.

A business trip is an easy way to get out of the house to cheat as often they are scheduled far away from the home and it’s very difficult for someone to check if a person is actually where they say they are.

Some smart cheaters may take their new lover on a vacation elsewhere and order a souvenir online from the place they were supposed to be at to give to their partners.

A private investigator can conduct surveillance and catch a cheating partner on a business trip so if you think this is happening to you feel free to get in touch with us.

Using the gym as an excuse to get out of the house to cheat.

The gym is also a common excuse used to get people out of the house to cheat. If your partner has suddenly started going to the gym it may be the case that they want to improve their health and fitness which should be encouraged but if after a few months no improvements are being made it could be the case that your partner is cheating.

Conclusion

Above we have covered the most common excuses for cheating along with some of the ways a cheating partner may get out of the house to cheat. We have also looked at excuses husbands and wives use when cheating and have suggested some ways of improving your relationship instead of cheating.

If you suspect your partner is cheating get in touch with one of our highly skilled private detectives and we can give you peace of mind either way.

As private Investigators in London, we often get hired by a spouse who suspects their other half of cheating. And while we are never happy to confirm this via our evidence at least the client now knows where they stand in their relationship.

Some clients will want a divorce while others will look for ways of saving their marriage. If you want to fight for your marriage and try to fix it today we will look at some of the best marriage counselling services in London that you can use to save your marriage.

Can you save your marriage?

Cheating can be the ultimate form of betrayal to some and there is no way back from it. If you feel like this then the best way is to end the marriage amicably and go on your separate ways. However, with that said, some of us realise that everyone can make mistakes and sometimes a marriage can be saved if both parties are open and honest.

If you have cheated or were cheated on it’s very important to get your reasons out in the open and discuss why it happened. A lack of communication is often a contributing factor to why people cheat in the first place so a good place to start is to be open and honest with each other.

Being open and honest isn’t always going to save your marriage but if both parties can see from each others point of view it could be a sign your marriage can be saved.

As a private detective agency in London, we are contacted by spouses suspecting infidelity all of the time and quite often the person who suspects the cheating is right. If you would like to see if your partner is cheating please get in touch and we can walk you through our process.  

If you already know that your partner has cheated then we recommend speaking to a marriage councillor either to save your relationship or so you can end your relationship on as good of terms as possible.

We aren’t experts on marriage counselling so we have provided a list of marriage councillors in London that can help you with your marriage.

Marriage Counsellors in London

Leone Center are a well-known relationship counselling company in London that provide a wide range of counselling services whether it be relationship counselling, divorce counselling or marriage counselling.  

The Leone Center also offer online counselling if you can’t make it to their physical location which I think is great as many of us can’t travel due to covid restrictions.  

The Leone Center was founded in 2009 and they have many relationship experts that can help you save your marriage.  

The Leone Center head office is located at:

The Leone Centre, Studio 19, Hurlingham Studios, Ranelagh Gardens Fulham, London, SW6 3PA

They also have office locations within London at Fulham, Chelsea, Battersea, Victoria, Belgravia, Wimbledon and Putney. 

You can visit their website below.

Leone Center Website

KlearMinds Counselling Services

Another great marriage counselling service in London is the KlearMinds service.

KlearMinds offer relationship therapy that can help with communication, intimacy issues, divorce issues and can help if a partner has had an affair too.  

Couple sessions are charged at £130 for a 50-minute session (accurate at time of writing.)

You can visit KlearMinds at multiple locations in London:

  • London City – Liverpool Street EC2
  • West London – Kensington, W8
  • Central London – W1W 6HE

You can find out more on their website:

https://www.klearminds.com/issues/couple-counselling/

Harley Therapy counselling services London

Another option for trying to save your marriage is the Harley Therapy company in London. They have many counsellors that can help restore your marriage to a better time in your life and have their own unique process of doing so.

They have offices on Harley Street and within the city of London and you can find their head office at:

 1-7 Harley Street, London W1G 9QD

You can find out more about Harley therapy on their website below:

https://www.harleytherapy.co.uk/marriage-counselling-london.htm

Conclusion

If you find a partner cheating, and think your relationship is worth saving then talking to a marriage counsellor is a good step as they can help you work out the next steps in your relationship.

If you suspect your partner is cheating, get in touch with us and one of our private investigators can talk you through our process of catching a cheating partner.

There are many reasons for hiring a private investigator and one of them is to find a person of interest. In this post, we will look at some of the methods used by private investigators to find people.

If you are looking for a parent, child, sibling or want to track someone down as the result of a DNA test our person tracking service may be of interest to you but if you want to keep on reading please do.

Private investigators find people through social media.

When a client hires us they usually don’t have too much information and can only give us a name or a location. For example, we offer private investigator services in London and if someone were to come to us with a name and an area of London in which the person is known to have lived at some point we can then look through social media to find that person.

Of course, finding a person isn’t as simple as turning on Facebook and typing in a person’s name, but social media can give us some clues on where to look. Social media can give us access to that person’s friends list, last known locations and even their images can give us an indication of their current location.

Private investigators also have specialist tools from which they can download an image from the internet and get location data from. If a photo was taken of the person of interest and it had location data showing it was taken in Bristol then our private investigators would have a good place to start.

Private investigators find people through specialist databases

When you hire a private investigator you are hiring a team of people who have many years of experience and know exactly where to look to find a missing person. A private investigator has access to private and public records that can give a private detective a place to start.

The public can access these databases on their own if they need to but knowing where to start is something that most people don’t know how to do and having the wrong search query could mean the difference between finding a person and never seeing them. If you are looking for a missing person, hiring a private investigator is going to help make your search more efficient.

Private investigators find people through court records

Court records can span many years and can provide a private investigator with many clues that can reveal a location of a person. The public can access court records but once again if you don’t have training in finding missing people then you may miss a vital clue that could otherwise reveal where they are located.

Private investigators can find people through vehicle registrations

finding a person through their car details

Private detectives can look through vehicle registration databases to find out what type of vehicle the person of interest has, this information is then vital when a private investigator company carries out surveillance.

Private investigators can find people through detective work

Private investigators use a combination of the above to find out where a person may be, a highly-skilled detective will look at all of the evidence above and will then combine it with knocking on doors, asking people questions and through good investigation skills will be able to narrow down the location of the person of interest.

What type of people do private investigators find?

Above you saw some of the ways how a private investigator finds people but you may be wondering why you would go through the effort of finding someone who doesn’t want to be found.

The short answer is sometimes these people don’t even know you are looking for them and sometimes they would like to find you too but don’t know where to start.

Some clients hire us to find ex-partners who they would like to reconnect with, others hire us to find old friends that they have drifted apart from and then others hire us to find their biological parents, sisters, brothers and other family members.

Businesses may want to find a person who owes them money too.

As you can see there are many reasons for wanting to find a person and above we have listed some of the ways how a private investigator may find a person.

If you are looking for someone and need help finding them get in touch with us and one of our private investigators can talk you through some of the options available to your situation.

Many of our clients are not sure what powers private investigators have, and that isn’t helped by movies that showcase us as the next James Bond. In this article we will take a look at what private investigators can and cannot do so you will know if we can help your current situation.

Why are private investigators hired?

In the movies private investigators are often shown breaking into homes, spying on the bad guys and catching them in the act and finally saving the day. In the real world, private investigators aren’t allowed to break into a person’s home or hack into their online accounts to find incriminating evidence.

Private investigators are hired for the purpose of collecting data in a lawful manner. A private investigator will have to abide by the laws of the country they operate in and any evidence collected will have to be collected in a lawful way. At Covert LTD we understand the importance of the evidence handling process as our founders are ex-police with many years of service.

Are private investigators like the police and can they arrest someone?

Private investigators cannot arrest someone and we don’t have specialist powers to do so. Private Investigators can perform a citizens arrest but the majority of the time a private investigator will hand over any incriminating evidence to the police to deal with.

Private investigators also can’t carry a badge as impersonating a police officer is a crime, however, private investigators may carry ID on them that will show their credentials.

Can private investigators hack social media accounts?

Once again private investigators need to operate within the means of the law and cannot hack into social media accounts, emails, mail or anything else where a person would expect a level of privacy.

Private investigators can however look at social media for clues that any wrongdoing is happening and can use a variety of methods of catching out people through social media.

Private investigators can also legally look at public records, court rulings and perform background checks.

Can a private investigator bug a car, room, hotel etc?

When it comes to bugging services the situations are all going to be different so there is not a yes or no answer to them all. For example, a private investigator can put a tracking device on a car with the permission of its owner. A real-world example of this may be if an employer suspects an employee of using a work-related vehicle for not work-related tasks.

A private investigator on the other hand wouldn’t be able to bug a personal car without permission. If the car was being shared by the person under investigation with a client then it would be possible to monitor a car. Usually, cases like this are seen with couples who suspect a partner of cheating.

Can a private investigator follow someone around?

Yes, a private investigator can follow another person around and gather evidence. Evidence will then be presented to the client so they can decide on the next steps in the process.

A private investigator can legally follow a person around providing they are not breaking any privacy laws. A private investigator for example can’t take photos of a person through the windows in their home or in their back garden either as you have a right to a certain level of privacy at home.

What can a private investigator do legally in the UK – Private investigator powers.

Private investigators have the same powers as individuals in the UK but knowing the law makes it easy for us to collect evidence in a legal way which can then be used in a court of law if need be.  

A private investigator doesn’t have to bug hotel rooms to see if a partner is cheating, and they don’t have to bug a boardroom or anywhere else in a business to see if fraud is happening. A good detective can gather evidence in a legal way which will provide our customers with peace of mind either way.

Do Private Investigators in The UK Need A License?

If a private investigator want’s to track an individual’s whereabouts in the UK then they need a license provided by the SIA or Security Industry Authority. Getting a license is a difficult process but doing so ensures that the private investigator understands the powers they have and can protect you as the customer from liabilities.

If you need help hiring a private investigator we have offices in CardiffBristol and London (we also work all around the UK) and you can see our private investigator fees here.

There are many reasons why a person would hire a private investigator, you may suspect your staff from stealing from you, faking an illness, using company property in a way in which it shouldn’t be and so much more.  

Some businesses may look to fix the above problems their selves but making that choice can have a big effect on your business. Getting these situations wrong can cost you thousands and could even open you up to legal problems.  

If your Bristol business is in need of a private investigator please get in touch as we can help, but if you want to know the benefits of hiring a private investigator keep on reading.

We have access to the tools you don’t.

As a business, you need to hire the right people to grow your business but most companies don’t have access to data that can help them when hiring. The hiring process is often flawed as you have to rely on past references which are persons who often favour the interviewee so it doesn’t paint a true picture of your potential hire.

A private investigation company in Bristol like ours can conduct background checks on potential employees and report these findings back to you. We can recover more data on the subject and which can help you make a more informed choice. This is very valuable as it cuts down on the number of hires your company needs to make and helps keep the fees down that you pay to recruitment agencies too.

We can handle sensitive information

Loose lips sink ships, and we believe that. If you are conducting an investigation on an employee yourself and other members of staff find out it’s not long until you have gossiping at your company which can destroy morale.

Hiring a private investigation company in Bristol can help with that as we can keep all of your information confidential and we will conduct our surveillance in a discreet manner so your staff will never know they are being investigated. A private investigation company like ours has the experience needed so no one will suspect a thing.

We can gather vital evidence

As someone who runs a company, we know how infuriating it can be if we suspect someone we employee of stealing or being fraudulent in any way. When you own a company it’s difficult to keep a clear head and often this leads to directors or managers calling out the person before vital evidence has been gathered. When this happens it’s difficult to collect this evidence as the person usually changes their behaviour.

Hiring a private investigator to gather evidence is a great way of catching someone out while being able to keep a clear head. It also protects you from making the wrong choice of accusing someone who hasn’t done anything.

We understand the importance of evidence retrieval and the legal process

Different situations will need to be handled in certain ways. Our founders are ex-police and understand the importance of evidence retrieval and the legal process.  

At your Bristol business, you may not have the knowledge of how this works and any evidence collected by your team or your staff could not be used in a court of law. If you are unsure of how you should proceed with your situation please contact our Bristol branch and we would love to speak with you to see if we can help.

We are cheaper than you think

Our private investigation fees differ from one case to another but we find we are more affordable than if you try to carry out an investigation yourself. By taking on all of the needs of the investigation yourself you then don’t have time to concentrate on the things that make your business successful. If you want to save time, money and improve your business please consider hiring a professional private investigator.

Bristol businesses can save money too by having us work in the shadows. This way your staff don’t suspect a thing and it won’t cause them to leave. Hiring costs of new staff can cost thousands and ask yourself who wants to work at a company in Bristol where the management accuses their staff of committing fraud without the proper evidence? I know I wouldn’t want to work in a place like that.

Conclusion

There are many benefits your Business in Bristol can have if you choose to hire a private investigation company. Some of the benefits above would be worth hiring one alone. If you need help with a problem in your business please get in touch with us either by phone, email or live chat on this website. Our private investigators have many years of experience and would love to help your business with the problems you are facing.

With all of the changes businesses are going through right now saving money is probably at the top of everyone’s agenda. Trying to keep afloat while the pandemic is closing down small businesses is a challenge for all of us.  

While some businesses may think of cutting staff, changing office space or outsourcing services many don’t think of hiring a private investigator. As a private investigation firm in Bristol, we can save you money and in this article, we will take a look at some of the ways in which you could save money by hiring us.

Employee Fraud

No one likes to accuse someone of stealing from them, especially in a business environment but the truth is it happens more that you would like to think about. Employee fraud is hard to prove and if you get it wrong you could end up with an unhappy workforce.

A private detective in our opinion is the best way of finding out if an employee is committing fraud against your business as it allows us to keep an eye on your staff without them suspecting a thing. Our surveillance services have helped many businesses with the same problems.

Vehicle fraud

If you are a business in Bristol and you allow your staff to take company vehicles home we could be saving you money. Vehicle fraud costs businesses thousands a year and is one of those situations that your staff may not realise they are committing fraud.

Some Bristol businesses will have a clear vehicle usage policy and some may have a relaxed policy, however, some businesses don’t have one and expect the staff to use common sense and only use the vehicle for work purposes.

So firstly, you should have a policy that clearly outlines what is expected from your staff when it comes to company car usage. When you have this policy you can then act on the employees who are not sticking to it.

Some staff could be using your vehicles outside of work purposes. It’s not uncommon for people who use vans to run odd jobs for others. This may be ok for you but for many, this drives up the mileage on your vehicles and also uses company fuel. If your company vehicles are leased this will increase the mileage on your vehicles and often lead you to pay fines on over-usage.

A private investigator in Bristol can install GPS devices on your vehicles and track them to make sure they aren’t being misused. A private investigator can also monitor your employees to make sure that no fuel is being stolen either. Fuel being stolen is a common problem that businesses face. If you suspect someone at your Bristol business being fraudulent when it comes to your fuel usage please get in touch with us.

Delivering sensitive documents.

If you are a law firm in Bristol or any other company that handles or receives sensitive documents we can help. We can deliver sensitive legal documents via our process serving service as we have operatives up and down the country who can retrieve these documents from you and serve them to the correct person.

Some companies trust their staff with this process but it does waste their time if they don’t have the correct experience. At Covert LTD we understand the importance of the legal process and can help deliver documents in a court-approved way.

Employees faking sick

Employees faking sick can have a huge impact on a business as not only do you have to pay them but you also have to pay someone to do their work too. In small businesses, this may not be possible and will cause your other staff to be overworked. This is a vicious cycle as one member of staff faking being sick could have a chain reaction on others in the office causing them to be overworked and stresses which can ruin their production and mental health.

Having healthy and happy staff is key to running a business and this shouldn’t be something your business should have to deal with. Unfortunately, some people will fake being sick and it can be costly to your business.

The biggest problem with employees faking sick is that it’s hard to prove. Some staff may well be sick and your suspicious could be false. If you accuse someone who is actually sick it will cause tension and morale will go down, eventually leading to a staff member leaving.

A private investigator can monitor a member of your staff and report back their findings. If for example your member of staff is off with back pains but then we find them dancing on tables on a night out it doesn’t look good for that member of staff who would be clearly faking sick.

Conclusion

If your business in Bristol is finding it tough and is looking for ways to save money during this pandemic or even after it, we would highly recommend hiring a private investigator as there are multiple ways in which we could help save your business money.

As private investigators in Bristol, we often get hired in situations where a partner believes another to be unfaithful. Some of the time this is true and can lead to separation. However, sometimes when a partner is found to be unfaithful this can save a marriage. This may sound crazy to you but once a problem is identified it can then be worked on.

Of course, not all marriages can be saved but in this article, we will give you some tips on how you can save your marriage and also some of the best Marriage counselling services in Bristol that we recommend.

Signs your marriage can be saved.

If both spouses want out of marriage then there isn’t much that can be done or there isn’t a point of doing so. In this instance, it would be much better to separate amicably and go their separate ways. However, if both spouses are willing to work on the marriage and the cheating partner is willing to admit their problems then the problem can be worked on.

Knowing there are problems and that you aren’t perfect is a good start. It’s good, to be honest about this too, look at the reasons why you cheated, or why you performed a certain action and communicate it with your partner. Lack of communication can have a knock-on effect. If your partner does something that changes your mood or vice versa it can be a vicious cycle.

If you are both open and honest about this it is a good sign your marriage can be worked on.

Being cheated on or cheating on your partner can have devastating effects on your relationship but it doesn’t have to. The person being cheated on or the person doing the cheating doesn’t have anything wrong with them and it’s often the sign of a problem in a relationship.

You need to find out what the problem is and then work on that.

As a private investigation firm in Bristol, we feel we have given you some tips on how to work on your relationship. But we would encourage you to seek out professionals in marriage counselling if you do want to save your marriage.

As a company that has offices in Bristol, we have a list of recommended marriage counselling services in Bristol below.

Recommended services

Here is a list of workshops and services in the Bristol area you can use to help with the problems in your marriage.

Imago Relationships

Imago relationships run a practical martial counselling workshop in Bristol and is run by Harille Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt. Couples around the country have used their services to help save their marriage.  

They offer relationship therapy and marriage counselling sessions year-round.

You can find out more on their website:

Bristol Counselling Practice

The Bristol counselling practice is also another good choice for couples looking to save their relationship. The Bristol counselling practice is run by Caroline Sutton and she is a registered BACP Counsellor and Psychotherapist.

You can find out more about Caroline and the services she offers on her website:

http://bristolcounsellingpractice.co.uk/caroline-sutton-psychotherapist-counsellor

Paul James Counselling

For couples with Marriages or relationships on the rocks, Paul James is an excellent counselling option.  

Paul uses a wide variety of strategies that can help you as a couple communicate more effectively and he also looks into past issues which are being brought up so you can move forward as a couple.

Paul is Relate trained and BACP qualified. You can find out more information about Paul on his website:

Conclusion

As a private investigation service, it’s never nice for us to see people being unfaithful when they hire us for our surveillance services but unfortunately, that’s part of our job. If we do catch your partner cheating at least you now know there can be ways of saving your marriage if you both want to.

Thank you for reading and if you need help with any private investigation needs please get in touch with us.

We often get asked, “How much does a private investigator cost?” In this article, we will cover the costs of hiring a private investigator and explain why in some circumstances costs will differ.

Hiring a private investigator can be a tough choice for some as it’s difficult to know how much the service is going to cost before hiring a detective agency.  Hiring a private detective isn’t like going out to the supermarket and buying a product off the shelf as all investigations are different and you also need to take into consideration the level of experience of the private detective.

The final cost of an investigation will be determined by the amount of time spent on the project,  The service that is being carried out, and the level of the experience of the private investigator.

In this price guide, we will give you the rough costs of hiring a private investigator and if you have any questions or would like to discuss your investigative needs more please contact us where we will be able to give you a more accurate quote.

private investigation fees

Services provided by a private investigator

A private investigator or private detective agency is a person or group of individuals that are hired to find out information often in a covert way.  At Covert Investigations we offer a wide range of private investigation services which include:

  • Covert Surveillance
  • Covert Camera Installation
  • TSCM Sweeps/ Bug Sweeping Services
  • GPS Tracking
  • Asset and Person Tracing and Recovery
  • Process Serving
  • Background Checks
  • Cyber Security
  • Computer and Device Forensics

As you can see from the list above all of these services will require varying amounts of time along and will incur different expenses on our behalf. 

A covert surveillance project for example could run for a week to catch a cheating spouse or it could run for months trying to catch an employee committing fraud.

How much does a private investigator cost?

cost of a private detective

The best way to get the most accurate quote would be to use the chat functionality on this website to explain your investigative needs, or to get in touch with us here.  However with that said we can give you a range of prices to let you know roughly how much our investigations would cost you.

Our private investigator fees on average range between £40 per hour and £85 per hour, and while that may seem expensive, unlike other private investigator agencies we get the job done in a proficient and professional manner.  We won’t drag the job out to run up fees and we know the importance of the investigative process when it comes to evidence collection so that the evidence required is up to standard and can be used in both criminal and civil court of law.

Fees for private detective agencies can vary from one agency to another and the quality of service can too.  Typically our clients don’t hire us for being the cheapest detective agency but hire us because we have a great track record of getting results.

At Covert Investigations we are full members of the Association of British Investigators. The Association of British Investigators is endorsed by The Law Society of England & Wales and the Service Provider Scheme of The Law Society of Scotland. 

If you are looking for private investigators in the UK that get results please contact us.  We are fully insured, work throughout the UK (Offices in Cardiff, Bristol & London), and don’t outsource our work to other less abled contractors as other firms do.

How do I pay for a private investigation?

Some of our services are fixed fee and will require payment before the job is booked in while others will work on a retainer basis.  You can talk to us about your needs and we will be able to give you a rough guideline of how many hours your job will cost and you can book hours with us to see the successful completion of an investigation.

Private investigation fees

Below is a rough guide to the fees that we charge here at Covert investigations.

Surveillance fees

Our fees for surveillance services start at £40 per hour but can change depending on the number of agents needed, specialist equipment needed, and the time of day where surveillance is needed.  Our rates include photo and video surveillance along with reports written by our experts.

Process serving costs

process serving costs in the uk

Our process serving service costs between £95 and £150  and includes travel, fuel and 3 attempts to deliver your legal documents.  We work throughout the UK and have offices in London, Bristol and Cardiff. If you do need a reliable process server we can help.

People tracing costs

On average our people tracing service costs between £75 and £250 looking at past cases.  The time spent trying to track a person will reflect the cost of this service but this will be discussed beforehand.

Asset Tracing costs

Our asset tracing costs can once again range based on the amount of time taken to find an asset.  On average you would expect to spend anywhere from £350 – £900 depending on the complexity of the case.  If you need a more accurate quote please contact us.

Background check fees

cost of doing a background check in the uk

Our background check services for businesses and individuals start at £175 and will give you peace of mind when it comes to hiring or checking out a person of interest. If you are carrying out a background check for business purposes this could save you thousands in the long run.

Vehicle tracking and GPS costs

gps tracking services

Vehicle tracking and GPS services start at £225 and further costs will depend on the duration of the investigation.

Bug sweeping costs

bug sweeping cost in the uk

Our bug sweeping service starts at £500 and prices can rise depending on the size of the sweep, rooms swept, and complexity of the situation.  Please get in touch to discuss your bug sweeping needs where we can give you a more accurate estimate.

Private investigation costs frequently asked questions.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to cost and hiring a private investigation service.

Can I pay a fixed fee?

On some of our investigation services, a fixed fee is possible.  Process serving is an example of this where a fixed fee is paid and we then attempt to deliver your legal documents up to three times.  A service such as this is perfect for a fixed fee as we know the number of hours involved, the distances that will need to be travelled and expenses that we will incur.

Other services such as covert surveillance on the other hand don’t lend well to a fixed fee as it is not known how many hours will be needed to gather the evidence you need.  To help you with this you can block book our hours so that costs are affordable.

What is a private investigator retainer?

private investigation retainer

A private investigator retainer is when you hire us for a set amount of hours, usually on a weekly or monthly basis and we work for those required hours on your case.  A retainer is a great way of handling more complex investigative cases while keeping the money spent on our services affordable to you.

Can you price match another investigator?

Our private investigator fees are competitive and are a result of the experience of our operatives.  Our fees are put in place so we have enough manpower, equipment and time to get you the best result possible.

Cheap private investigator – Should you hire one?

Hiring a cheap private investigator may be better than doing the work yourself but as the private investigator industry isn’t regulated anyone can say they are an investigator. Hiring a cheap investigator is a potential sign that the person offering the service isn’t confident in the ability to do the job. I understand that hiring a cheap private investigator may be something you are considering but I would urge you to consider how important the job at hand is for you.

How do I hire a private investigator?

The cost of hiring a private investigator is important, pay too much and you may not be able to afford a full service for sufficient evidence collection and pay too little and an agency could drag their feet prolonging the service while not collecting the evidence in a sufficient manner which won’t hold up in court.

Now you should have a rough idea of your question of “How much does a private investigator cost?” The next step would be to get in touch with us for a more accurate quote based on your unique circumstances.

Private investigators can be used in a variety of situations to find out information that would otherwise stay hidden. Hiring a private investigator can help put your mind at ease and they can help you incircumstances where you wouldn’t know where to start.

Private investigators can be used to trace people, catch out a cheating partner, gather evidence of fraud and can even help in criminal investigations. In this article, we will take a look at 5 reasons you may turn to a private investigator. If you want to see how much a private investigator costs view our latest article.

Tracking a person

You may want to track a person to make sure they are safe, or you could be tracking a partner to make sure they are being faithful. Businesses may also want to track their vechicles incase of theft or if they suspect their vechicles are being used outside of the companies fair usage policies.

Whatever the reason for wanting to track a person a private detective can help set it up for you without the other person knowing. These trackers can be set up for long term usage and updates can be provided in real-time through Apple and Google Maps.

GPS tracking is very useful in cases where you may suspect a cheating partner as it’s very easy to prove the person was not where they say they were at a given time. The trackers are very powerful and can usually pin point a persons location within a few feet.

Fraud Investigations

Private investigators can help individuals and businesses in cases where fraud may have occured. A private investigator can review documents, and conduct surveillance to see if any type of fraud is occuring such as auto insurance, healthcare fraud and homeowners fraud.

For businesses a CEO may look to retain a private investigation firm to prevent embezzlement or to conduct background checks on employees to stop the business from hiring someone who has been sued for fraud in the past.

Sweeping for bugs

Individuals and businesses are often targeted for espionage and private investigators can conduct thorough bug sweeps to keep your information private.

A competitor or unsavoury person may try to get access to your private information to either get a competitive advantage of your company or to use this information to blackmail you at a later date.

You may think that bugs are planted only in movies but it’s more common than you may realise. Quite often bugs are found in hotel rooms and boardrooms up and down the country. By hiring a private investigator to sweep for bugs you have a better chance of keeping your information private.

People tracing

Finding lost relatives can be a difficult process and without the right level of training, it’s almost impossible. Most people may turn to Facebook to search for distant relatives but after nothing shows up they don’t know where to turn.

Sometimes people don’t want to get in contact with these lost relatives but just want to know that they are safe and doing ok. A private investigator can help you in these circumstances and can help you track down family members or friends that you haven’t seen in years.

Process Serving

If you have a law firm and need documents delivered to a defendant usualy a private detective is used to serve these documents, this is known as a process server.

The main job of a process server is to let someone know they are in the process of a legal case. Tracking these people down can sometimes be difficult and can take up time, however with the right tools a private investigator can track and serve documents in a prompt and professional manner.

Process serving can differ company to company but it’s worth noting that you should hire a private investigation firm that has legal knowledge and understands the procedure chain. At Covert Investigations LTD we were founded by two ex police officers and all of our private investigators are members of The Association of British Investigators so we got you covered there.

Background Checks

As mentioned above in the section mentioning fraud cases, private investigators can help businesses and individuals conduct background checks.

Although most people leave a trail online these days that can be found through a Google search the information that can’t be found this way is often the information a person or company would want to uncover.

For businesses hiring the wrong person who may have criminal convictions, could have been involved in fraud or could have lied about their qualifications and work history this could have profound effects on the business, both from a reputation point of view and a monetary one.

For individuals who are hiring a person to look after a vulnerable person such as a child or a grand parent, background checks could give you troubling information about that person which could keep your family safe. On the other hand a background check may not show any flags and can give you a piece of mind that your family members are in capable hands.

Conclusion

Above are some of the common reasons in which you would hire a private investigator, but there are many other reasons which are not covered above. If your situation doesn’t involve any of the above please speak to us as we have been proviging investigations for many years and have been asked to carry out investigations that even surprised us.

You can contact us here or use the chat functionality for any questions you may have.

If you need to prove cohabitation it can be a difficult process to gather the evidence to prove to the court that cohabitation exists.

Firstly there is no legal timeframe to establish cohabitation and it is worked out on the evidence via a case-by-case basis and the judge will decide based upon the facts presented that cohabitation exists and a relationship is active. It should be noted that a longer timeframe will allow the court to be presented with more evidence to prove cohabitation.

When in court the judge will consider the following and therefore all the evidence needs to be effectively presented:

  • – The sexual relationship between the both parties
  • – Birth of a child in that relationship
  • – Whether they live in the same property or have separate accommodation
  • – The amount of things they do as a couple
  • – The extent of their financial arrangements and if they are linked in any way

All these facts needs to be presented from the evidence gathered and it comes down to how the judge perceives the evidence so it is important to build a solid case from the outset which is why using our services gives the judge the evidence they need to make the correct decision.

If you need help with gathering evidence our private detective services can help and if you want to see how much a private investigator costs view our latest article.

Building a solid case with effective evidence

We will work alongside you to gather the following:

  • – Records of vehicles visiting the premises you believe cohabitation exists
  • – Covert surveillance including image gathering
  • – Background checks on the parties involved
  • – An asset and financial check
  • – Lifestyle analysis
  • – Discrete interviews of neighbours
  • – Vehicle tracking

The more evidence that we can gather to provide your legal counsel with all the information they need to build your case, the more likely we are to be able to prove cohabitation to the judge.

If you would like to find out more and to arrange a meeting to discuss your case requirements please Contact Us or call 029 2091 3294.

Reduce Fuel Thefts

No matter how hard you try and keep the security of your business at its highest level there are always opportunities for some unsavoury staff member to take advantage. With fuel prices always on the rise we have had a number of commercial clients conceded about the growing prospect of theft of what is one of their most valuable and consumable assets.

There are measures you can take to mitigate the risk of theft and also find out who is perpetrating the theft and their are some considerations you should make:

What types of fuel do you store?

Whether this be petrol, diesel or red diesel they are all extremely valuable and should be safely secured. Obviously someone stealing red diesel will potentially give them a higher risk should the authorities stop and check their fuel tanks. This however will not stop someone from trying to evade your security measures and steal fuel if the opportunity is easy and unchecked.

How secure are the storage tanks?

Do you lock your fuel storage tanks? Do you think this is enough of a deterrent? Chances are the keys are easily accessible as to hide them away would hinder operations and there are other security measures you can take to secure your storage tanks.

Do your staff have legitimate access to the fuel?

Drivers of vehicles or staff who require fuel for machinery will all need access to the fuel storage tanks, however is this monitored? Do you have adequate systems in place to monitor the usage and who has regular access? Are they using the fuel for official use? There are processes you can and should put in place to monitor the usage and who has access so this is recorded for continual monitoring.

How secure is the area around the fuel tanks to prevent thefts occurring?

A monitored CCTV system is your simplest way to monitor who is accessing the fuel however is this correctly administered? By not reviewing the recordings or having secure access to the fuel storage tanks you are opening yourself up to misuse and theft.

Proactive detection to prevent theft

We recently had a client raise concerns about the theft of fuel at their commercial depot and they asked us to investigate. We performed a detailed analysis of the fuel pump data and that corroborated what was suspected and theft was occurring however it turned out that everyone had access to the fuel and therefore the investigation took a while to complete.

We attended the site and conducted a feasibility review of the area for the installation of Covert Cameras and found it was achievable to provide more detailed information. We installed a Covert Day/Night HD camera and subsequently reviewed the footage obtained, reconciling it against the fuel data report over a one month period and it revealed which member of staff had stolen fuel on numerous occasions in his private car and in jerry cans which were then transported off site.

In addition to Covert cameras we also placed other measures in place that can now be initiated by the client to prevent future thefts of fuel by staff. If you want to see how much a private investigator costs view our latest article.

We can help you deploy a cost effective security system to stop fuel theft

Why not speak to Covert Investigations and Surveillance Ltd for advice on fuel security, employee monitoring, private investigations, and many more preventive measures or even a Site Security Assessment to protect your assets.

If you would like to find out more and to arrange a meeting to discuss your case requirements please Contact Us or call 029 2091 3294.

How secure is your business?

The security of your office or work premises will always be a worry to you and although you have insurance that will cover many aspects what about theft or misuse of information? When you’re at work you can monitor the activity thats going on in the building however what about your cleaners? Do they come in after normal working hours when nobody else is in the building? Do you use contract cleaners, do you vet the individuals, probably not but you trust them with your intellectual property…is this something you should review? We think so and as a result here are a number of things you should consider:

What access do they have?

Obviously cleaners need to gain access to all areas of the building to ensure they perform their duties effectively. This means they could gain access to sensitive areas or documentation which if passed to a third party could be detrimental to your business.

Do you have a clean desk policy?

Office workers will inevitably leave paper on their desks or files open that they are working with. Are you sure your cleaners are not looking at this information? Are they taking copies away? If you don’t operate a clean desk policy you are opening yourself up to misuse of this information and it should be a policy you deploy within your business with immediate effect.

Do you lock cupboards or drawers?

Filing cabinets, cupboards and drawers are the obvious place to secure sensitive information and files. However it is very common practice to leave these unlocked as your staff will need access during the day. However at night, when your cleaners are performing their duties, are they locked?

Is sensitive commercial information left exposed?

Your account office is a prime place for someone to find out information about your business that is extremely sensitive and s security risk. If you haven’t secured this documentation and have left this out at the end of the day it is a perfect opportunity for a cleaner to read and digest. This information could easily be passed and expose your business to a huge commercial risk.

How safe is your intellectual property?

Pitching for tenders, your business and financial plans are all part of your intellectual property. In addition your business operations make you a unique enterprise and this in itself is your intellectual property and should be kept under lock and key and away from prying eyes.

How easily could they plant a listening device?

Your competitors would love to gain access to your business information and it is becoming more common for commercial fraud to take place with the use of listening devices. These are becoming smaller by the year and can be easily concealed in locations you may have thought were a security risk – this even be in the work kitchen where idle chit chat about work could be discussed and recorded. Routine bug sweeps ensure that this risk can be mitigated as much as possible.

Could they access your computers and phones?

Passwords have always been a security risk. With I.T. Departments correctly enforcing a change of password on a regular basis doesn’t stop people from writing these down in the front of diaries or other locations close to where they are needed. A cleaner has the time and opportunity to scan and look for passwords for both computers and phones in order to gain access to voicemail boxes where we are aware security risks can easily be exploited. Routine security scans by trained professionals ensures that these risks are kept to a minimum and using services such as our organisation will highlight security risks through our regular and detailed audits.

At Covert we have entered buildings on numerous occasions and not be challenged when doing Security Penetration reviews for clients. If we can get in, so can your competitors!

Let Covert Investigations help your business become more secure

Why not speak to Covert Investigations and Surveillance Ltd for advice on security, TSCM Bug Sweeps, employee screening, private investigations and many more preventive measures or even a Site Security Assessment to protect your assets. If you would like to see how much a private investigation costs click here.

If you would like to find out more and to arrange a meeting to discuss your case requirements please Contact Us or call 029 2091 3294.

One of the most common problems facing employers is absenteeism and fraudulent sickness absence and to prove this can be very hard. Not only does this cost your business time, your operational deadlines are missed and it will certainly also cost you financially.

When an employee takes time off work you have to reorganise your team and they do their best to take up the role and fulfil the working requirements. Your absent employee may well have genuine sickness however continued absenteeism will always be a trigger for you to start thinking about an investigation. A shocking statistic is that one-third of employee absenteeism is fraudulent and this is a clear breach of contract. Your internal human resources processes will certainly help you once you have the evidence to prove fraud however gaining that evidence is where Covert Investigations & Surveillance can help.

Our investigation process

We are extremely skilled in providing covert surveillance and investigations into staff members. Our work is carried out in such a way that we can confirm the validity of the employee absenteeism or give you discreet evidence that can be used by your HR processes to prove fraud without the employee being aware.

Not only does this give you the evidence you need it will also deter other employees from trying similar activities and therefore help your business’s operational aspects remain consistent.

Is monitoring staff legal?

The simple answer is yes. However you need to ensure that you follow the correct procedures in doing so. As an employer you are bound by the Data Protection Act and therefore all information about your employees needs to be protected. However as an employer you also have the right to protect your business and your interests. If a staff member is suspected of conducting fraudulent absenteeism this will clearly impact on your business and therefore you are taking affirmative action to reduce the harm that employee is having on your interests.

All you need to have is “reasonable suspicion” that your employee is conducting fraud against you. This will be the grounds for the private investigation and we will then conduct our discrete investigation and provide you will all the relevant information you need to take internal action against that employee. Check out our private investigation costs here.

What we shall provide

At the end of our investigation you will be provided with information about the employees activities whilst absent from work. Video surveillance will also be given that will corroborate our detailed and written report. This information will be provided in such a way that not only will your HR process be able to act against the employee internally, should this case go to court it can also be used in as our services are always provided in such a way that a judge will accept them as sound evidence.

Your next steps

Why not speak to Covert Investigations and Surveillance Ltd for assistance in proving employee absenteeism fraud?

If you would like to find out more and to arrange a meeting to discuss your case requirements please Contact Us or call 029 2091 3294.

Discreet Investigation services that get results.

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