The idea of being lied to or deceived isn’t pleasant for anyone. But fraud adds a whole new dimension to what would otherwise be a basic deception: Someone engaging in fraudulent behavior is looking to win big in financial or personal gains. And chances are what they’re up to is criminal and wrongful—and could harm you on a variety of levels.
An experienced fraud investigator can help you decipher if you’ve been subject to a criminal act, through careful and comprehensive civil and criminal investigations.
Why hire a fraud investigator
If you suspect you’ve been impacted by fraud or fallen victim to a scam, are suffering from a loss of money, or are experiencing defamation of your name or character, credit issues, or increased premiums, hiring a pro to help you sort through impacts and solutions can be a great help—and a welcome stress reliever.
Some of the services a fraud investigator may provide include:
- Researching records and transactions
- Serving and executing search warrants
- Conducting surveillance
- Collecting evidence
- Interviewing witnesses
- Helping create court-admissible reports
All of this legwork can protect you from future issues, and assist you in building a legal case to get the compensation you deserve.
What’s involved in a fraud investigation
In preparation for your preliminary meeting with a fraud investigator, you’ll need to gather a few notes. Outline the events that transpired and gather any evidence you might have. When you meet with your investigator, you will want to share these bits of information. Your investigator will then try to discern what type of fraud may have transpired, and the best path forward.
In these early stages, your investigator will use the preliminary information you provided—as well as other evidence they can gather—to identify the type of fraud you may have experienced. Being able to label the type of fraud will help the progression of your investigation, by putting shape around how best to move forward with a proper assessment. This will also help figure out if your future fraud case should fall under a federal, state, or local agency’s jurisdiction.
Once this framework is in place, your investigator can build a solid plan of action:
- Creating a core investigative plan: In general, a fraud examination should begin with the expectation that the case will end in litigation. For this reason, having a clear objective is key; your investigator will use an investigative plan as a touchstone for building your case and moving forward. The basics of your plan will include a step-by-step overview of the crime, capturing events in chronological order. Additionally, more nuanced information regarding the logistics of the fraud will also be outlined.
- Interviews: Your investigator will build into this framework interviews with witnesses as well as you (the victim). This part of the process may include background checks on you and others involved in your case, to confirm the accuracy of your portrayal of events. Details are important and your investigator will spend a fair amount of time collecting what may seem like even the most minute items, to help support your case.
- Evidence: In addition to interviews, evidence will also be collected by your investigator. Everything from credit statements and banking information, to phone records, emails, and more will help your investigator build your case. But collecting evidence alone isn’t quite enough; your investigator will also work to analyze all evidence—to test accuracy and ensure everything collected is secure and trustworthy.
- Document management: Finding, tracking, and filing a paper trail is a huge part of any investigation. Additionally, sifting through audio and video files, collecting photos, and cataloging everything into one manageable system will be important as your progress forward to build your case. Managing all of this can be overwhelming, which is another reason hiring a pro is your best path forward.
- Finalization of an investigative report: Pulling all these pieces together and connecting the dots is one of the last steps in a fraud investigation. Your investigator will work to tie together your information into a final investigative report. This summary will stem from your initial recap of the incident and encompass all aspects discovered during your fraud investigation—including reporting, evidence, documents, and more.
A good fraud investigator will make a compelling and evidence-backed outline to help with your fraud investigation—and ultimately a fraud litigation case. And, an even better investigator will ensure that your formal fraud investigation—from beginning to end—is a positive experience for you. They’ll help you understand all steps of the investigative process, be there to answer questions and offer support, and help you finalize the process with a formal report that’s succinct, but comprehensive. Finally, your investigator should also make recommendations to help you either take the next step to litigation or find another solution appropriate for your personal situation.
Do you need fraud investigation help or support?
Contact us today or give us a call at (303) 306-4756 to learn more about how our fraud investigative services can help you. We look forward to working with you to find solutions that best match your specific needs.