What is a Fraud Investigation?
A fraud investigation determines whether a scam has taken place and gathers evidence to protect the victims involved.
Fraud is misrepresentation with the intent to deceive. For example, if a company makes a specific claim about a product and knows that the product won’t work as promised, they are guilty of fraud. Fraud is a very real and costly problem that causes loss of money as well as serious injury and sometimes even death.
What Happens During Fraud Investigations?
Fraud investigations begin with a meeting between the investigator and client. The person launching the investigation explains why they suspect deceit and hands over any evidence they have supporting their claims. A good fraud investigator will use this initial information to find more evidence and information. To do this, they may use surveillance,asset searches, background checks, employee investigations, business investigations, and other methods.
Common Types of Fraud
Insurance fraud involves individuals who make false claims to receive insurance money or insurance companies who refuse to honor legitimate claims.
Corporate fraud includes issues like theft of information, compromised customer information, and a damaged reputation.
Tax evasion, public corruption, health care fraud, telemarketing fraud, and terrorist financing all fall under Financial Fraud.
With identity theft, investigators will look for faulty loan or credit card applications, false withdrawals from bank accounts, dishonest use of calling cards, and using an alternate name to receive benefits.
Internet fraud occurs when criminals attempt to take advantage of victims via the internet. This includes theft of personal information or fraudulent transactions that result in the significant loss of money.
Corporate Slip and Fall
This type of fraud involves individuals who purposely organize a fall while inside a store in order to file a claim. They will go as far as to throw water on the floor in order to ensure a slip.
This kind of fraud occurs when passengers on buses, subways, or streetcars don’t remain seated or hold rails and fall when the vehicle stops. There are also cases in which individuals allow their feet to be run over or stand in the way of the mirror.
With ticket fraud, a person will purchase tickets for a sporting event or concert that aren’t legitimate. Often these tickets have already been used or don’t exist.
Mechanical Repair Fraud
Often a mechanic will call for fixes that are overpriced or not necessary.
Expense Claim Fraud
When employees pocket runover business expenses they are committing fraud. Often, individuals will claim to stay in hotels costing $200 a night when in reality, they stay in cheap motels and keep the remainder of the money.
Theft of Inventory
With theft of inventory, investigators will look into whether employees steal products or order more than the store needs. Sometimes employees will claim products are expired when they aren’t so they can take the items home.