Whether your case involves benefit, insurance or corporate frauds there are things that should be considered when you investigate fraud.
This post looks at the top 10 things that need to be taken into account to ensure a successful conclusion to a case when you investigate fraud.
- The Law. Investigators carrying out an investigation of any sort must be compliant with the intricacies of the different laws that can come in to play when compiling evidence for an investigation. The most obvious law is the Data Protection Act, although an investigator also needs to consider the Private Security Industry Act and will soon need to be registered under regulations that are thought to be coming in to force in 2015.
- Who will be in charge of the investigation? Sometimes it can be hard to leave the investigation in the hands of an outsider such as a professional private investigator, however if there are too many chiefs and not enough Indians to carry out the investigation and safeguard the uncovered evidence it can negatively affect the outcome of it.
- What suggests that a fraud has taken place? The investigator should consider the size and nature of the fraud initially. This would determine how they should proceed. A business owner may decide to handle a case of an employee making personal calls from their work mobile internally, however in the case of excess mileage they may need help from a professional investigator who would be up to date with the laws surrounding using GPS vehicle tracking systems to determine the extent of the problem.
- Evidence is of paramount importance. Whether you are looking at a disciplinary procedure in the workplace or a criminal prosecution the way evidence is collected needs to be carried out within certain guidelines to ensure its integrity, especially if the investigation could potentially lead to a criminal prosecution. When collecting evidence you also need to think about where the evidence came from, was it a disgruntled co worker? An ex partner with an axe to grind perhaps? Can you find either collaborating statements or physical evidence? If the evidence is a verbal report, will the source give evidence in a proceeding against the accused?
- Can you protect the evidence? If you are in the workplace and you are unsure who is perpetrating the fraud (for example in a large company there might be a lot of employees who have access to the customer management system), the chances are you would not be able to restrict access to all your employees at the same time, and if you restrict access in blocks of employees at a time you are effectively warning the fraudster that you are on to them.
When you hire Alpha 1 Legal Services to investigate fraud, you can be sure that it will be handled with minimum intrusion and utmost professionalism in order to provide the correct outcome to the investigation.