Investigating on the Internet
Introduction and Important Considerations
Today, a wealth of information is easily accessible to the fraud examiner online. Many of us are aware of the major search methods and websites, but there are more advanced methods and websites that specialize in areas most of us have never heard of. However, before beginning an investigation, investigators should be aware of the legal issues that can affect or restrict investigations. This opening session looks at various investigative scenarios and discusses some legal issues that examiners face and strategies to address them.
Making Connections Using Technical Information
Every computer or device connected to the internet and every website have identifying information assigned to them that allows the internet to route traffic and function. Most of this information is easily accessible and can be used for several valuable purposes related to fraud investigation. This session covers this information, how to find it and what you might uncover along the way.
Beginning Internet Investigations
Start your investigation using the broadest and most accessible internet search tools, such as Google and Bing. This block will teach you how to take elemental searches to the next level and get a higher-quality results. Learn about proximity searches, customized alerts, search operators and other features most users never employ.
International Due Diligence
Fraud has become borderless, and it can originate from anywhere. An integral skill for a modern fraud examiner is the ability to effortlessly cross international borders while tracking down essential information. The internet can help with this in many ways. With specialized search sites, obtaining information about foreign organizations or individuals is not as problematic as it once was. In this session, you will see what information is available and how to access it for your needs.
Public Records and Commercial Databases
Today, everything is kept as an electronic record. Most of what a fraud examiner is looking for in public records can be accessed online—no more weary days in the depths of city hall or some courthouse. But how do you find what you are looking for? What can you expect to find? This block outlines what is available and where. The limitations of these records are also discussed.
Taking the Internet as a Resource to the Next Level
In this block, participants will explore a number of tools and resources that can significantly aid an investigation if the examiner knows where and how to look. Learn how to fully utilize images and maps, search online marketplaces, inspect a website's history and aggregate the information you use on a daily basis.
Investigating Social Media
Fraud examiners can uncover many aspects of a case with a good working knowledge of how these websites encourage the sharing of personal information. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and many more can be sources of investigative data to the fraud examiner who knows how to mime them for data.
Putting the Pieces Together
This session takes all the tools and resources, and concepts discussed in the seminar and illustrates how effective they can be when they all come together in a fraud investigation context. A case study demonstrates the application of strategies from the seminar to determine the credibility of a serious allegation. Then, steps of the fraud examination methodology are discussed in the context of these tools and resources.
Emerging Trends in Internet Investigations
As cryptocurrencies and the dark web become more significant facilitators of fraud and other crimes, fraud examiners need to understand how they work, how to access them and how to potentially leverage them in an investigation. This session covers cryptocurrencies, the dark web and the Internet of Things from the perspective of their relation to fraud and investigations.
Putting It to Good Use: Practical Exercises
In this session, you will begin to put what you have learned to work in a case study developed specifically for this course. You will begin to look into and analyze the activities of suspects by searching for hints and clues they have posted on the internet. If you have brought your laptop, then you can work alongside the instructor and take a hands-on approach to the practical problem.