It’s rare that open-source intelligence can’t add something to your investigation, but in certain circumstances it may be that surveillance is a better option. When you work with NetWatch we will always advise you on this if we feel there is an alternative that is likely to yield better results.
In this ongoing blog series we look at occasions when surveillance might be the best option, here are the first three for you to consider:
Lack of online presence
Although rarer and rarer these days there are times when the subject you need to investigate simply isn’t active online. There can be any number of reasons for this which are worth considering, their employment might mean they do not want an online presence, they might simply not want to broadcast anything about themselves online, or there might be some other reason. Whatever the reason transpires to be, you’re going to have to take your investigation offline. This may be through surveillance, but our partners at The Surveillance Group also have alternatives to offer such as enquiries in the local area which can also be effective and are obviously less intrusive.
To build a more robust case
If you are investigating an extremely high value case, it may simply be beneficial to undertake surveillance to build a more powerful case or argument. This is especially so if you have come across several fraud indicators either within your OSINT investigation, on social media, through interviews or otherwise. It might be that whilst your investigations to date do not robustly answer the question you set out to ask or provide that ‘slam dunk’ evidence. This is where a well-timed and planned surveillance operation can really deliver.
Care Regime Fraud
This is a big issue and a problematic insurance fraud to investigate, with insurance claims for provision of care often running to tens or hundreds of thousands. Whilst it’s not totally out of the question, its unlikely that anyone would post online about how often they receive care at home and who delivers it. In cases like these a period of ‘unmanned surveillance’ can provide an effective solution. With cameras that sit in place in positions that are within the public domain, the footage acquired in 7 day blocks allows insurers and defendant solicitors to obtain a clear pattern of life. This is partly useful when statements are submitted that support a level of care contrary to what the footage shows. An increasing trend has been for family members to buy into such care claims by suggesting they have given up work or unable to look for work as a result of the level of care their partner requires. Clearly unmanned footage allows insurers to evidence whether this is the case and either flag that element of a claim as fraudulent or take proactive steps to mitigate the claim lifecycle by providing additional or alternative care.