It goes without saying that at NetWatch we regularly extol the virtues of OSINT and its potential to avoid the need for more intrusive investigations like surveillance. This is often the case as sometimes the evidence obtained from an online investigation will be so overwhelmingly powerful that nothing further will be needed. A prime example of this came just last week, when we investigated a case in which the subject had posted his medical results to Facebook – proving his insurance claim was a total fraud. In these circumstances there would simply be no need for any further investigation.
However, sometimes even we have to acknowledge that something a little more than OSINT is required. When this is the case, we use our trusted partners The Surveillance Group (TSG) to provide a range of enhanced investigation services, from manned surveillance to local area enquiries or even undercover operatives. There is more information on our relationship with The Surveillance Group here.
When surveillance is necessary, it isn’t simply a case of turning away from open-source intelligence – its important to leverage it where possible to ensure the surveillance gives you the result you need and there are a number of ways this can be done:
Prior to undertaking any form of surveillance, it would be foolish not to perform an OSINT investigation – especially as it may avoid the need for the observations altogether! When done right it will mean that you will be aware of any upcoming surveillance opportunities. If the subject is known to be travelling to work or an event, or even regularly attending sports groups or similar – the surveillance can be planned to coincide with these activities to ensure you get the best results possible.
More importantly a thorough pre-surveillance OSINT investigation will ensure that the surveillance team have up to date images of the subject and any co-habitants, an up-to-date address – and potentially be aware of any risk factors. If your surveillance investigation is about to commence without this information, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Temporary Intelligence Capture
If the subject of an investigation has a public social media account, such as Instagram, on which they post ‘stories’ that would typically disappear within 24 hours these can be leveraged in a number of ways to improve the surveillance outcome. If you aren’t familiar with Temporary Intelligence Capture from NetWatch and want to learn more READ THIS ARTICLE about the platform we built to securely capture temporary posts without leaving a footprint.