Every business can benefit from the services of a private investigator. The image of a greasy-haired guy in a raincoat is a far cry from the practical uses of background information checks and risk management carried out by the team in an experienced private investigation bureau.
With hindsight, haven’t you regretted not knowing more about a partner, spouse, or even a client, before you entered into business with them? It is no exaggeration to say that investigative services should be considered for the everyday running of your business.
To safeguard your finances, you can never know too much about the background of the people you are dealing with. This includes all of your employees, not just those who have more opportunities to commit fraud, such as salespeople and accountants.
If you asked a private investigator to run a background check during the employment process, you may have weeded out any potential for illegal activity. It is just too easy nowadays – and too tempting – for employees to commit commercial espionage or to run their own businesses on your time and with your resources. Something like sickness fraud can cost an organization thousands over time. This would be an easy fraud for an investigator to uncover.
The term ‘due diligence’ speaks for itself: be diligent about your business and carry out the necessary risk assessment. Before buying a company, undertaking a new business venture, outsourcing of production or investing in a franchise system, it would be bad business sense not to get a private investigator to run a search to identify attachable assets, investigate the global financial situation, check capital and corporate connections and carry out credit screening. A criminal background check will discover whether your new partner is or has been involved in money laundering. Don’t let your own honesty and integrity blind you to potential fraud.
Private investigation costs less than you would imagine and will save your company hundreds, thousands, even millions. A professional investigative bureau with an international base can be more cost-effective than a smaller operation, seeing as they are able to be on-site without incurring long-distance travel expenses. The larger firms, with more and wider experience, will have up-to-date knowledge of the ever-changing business and insurance scams in different countries and will be more knowledgeable of the different legal systems. They can get access to information that banks or credit agencies wouldn’t be able to. Online background checks can be very quick and cost-effective.
If someone is claiming money from you, a private investigator can provide quick and effective identification and early warning of fraud (e.g. in cases of bankruptcy fraud), insurance fraud, and help in debt collection. If someone owes you money and has disappeared, for a reasonable fee you can engage a private investigator to trace him or her. Often, expensive legal proceedings can be avoided and payments settled out of court, once the con artist has been found and faced with the evidence against him.
Don’t ignore your suspicions: a private investigator can run an identity check to see if a person is who he says he is, verify whether documents are false, even whether goods are real or fake. Practical applications for these background checks are evident in everyday business and naturally, in personal relationships, for example before marrying a foreigner. Who wouldn’t want to have their mind at rest? The chances are that anyone lying about their identity will have criminal intentions.
About the Author
Hermann Kaminski is the owner of IWA Group, an international private investigation bureau with offices in the UK, Germany and Malta and global partners world-wide. The IWA Group was founded 15 years ago as an inquiry agency in Hamburg, northern Germany and then moved on to an international base in Malta. IWA Group is highly regarded as a competent and efficient partner for investigation services, for risk management activities and for all risk factors which threaten businesses. Mr Kaminski is a former board member of the Council of International Investigators.
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