Investigating on the Internet: Research Tools for Fraud Examiners




CPE Credit: 16
Course Level: Overview
Prerequisite: None

Are you using online resources in your internal and external investigations to your best advantage? Presented in non-technical terms, Investigating on the Internet: Research Tools for Fraud Examiners will teach you how to use the Internet to find and follow leads and make your fraud examinations more effective.

With a better understanding of the information available online, you can increase the efficiency and success of your fraud examinations. In this seminar, you will learn how to locate evidence online using search engines, commercial databases and social-networking sites. This seminar will also discuss methods for researching foreign corporate records and various techniques for optimizing online searches, including advanced search functions and alternative search engines with unique features that might improve search quality. 


Upcoming Courses 

Cleveland, OH | May 1-2, 2017


You Will Learn How To:  

Conduct fraud examinations using the Internet efficiently and legally

Create advanced searches on popular search engines

Search public record sources and commercial databases online 

Obtain information from foreign corporate records 

Mine social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn for data in your investigation 

Analyze the evidence you have found and close the investigation 

Who Should Attend:  

Experienced fraud examiners seeking to complement their practical experience with the knowledge of leading anti-fraud experts

Attorneys, legal professionals and law enforcement personnel

Controllers and corporate managers

Detectives and private investigators

Forensic and management accountants, accounts payable and financial analysts

Governance, risk management and compliance officers

Government employees

Internal and external auditors, CPAs and CAs 

Loss prevention and security professionals

Business professionals, educators and students interested in the anti-fraud field

Certified Fraud Examiners and other anti-fraud professionals 


Members: $695
Non-Members: $845 

CPE Credit


Field of Study
Information Technology 


Course Level



Advanced Preparation 



Delivery Method 


  Day One  
7:30-8:00 a.m.   Registration & Continental Breakfast   
8:00-9:20 a.m. 

Introduction to Internet Tools and Legal Issues 

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.

9:20-9:35 a.m.  Break 
9:35-10:55 a.m. 

Beginning an Internet Investigation 

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.

10:55-11:10 a.m.  Break  
11:10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 

Maximizing the Search, Minimizing the Time 

Investigations need to move along effectively and efficiently and conclude within a reasonable amount of time. New search tools specifically designed to retrieve particular information can now be brought to bear. For example, searching eBay, Craigslist and other websites requires a new level of Internet investigative acumen.

12:30-1:30 p.m.  Group Lunch  
1:30-2:50 p.m. 

Public Record Searches and Computer 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.

2:50-3:05 p.m.  Break  
3:05-4:25 p.m.  

Putting It to Good Use: Opening the Investigation 

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.



  Day Two 
7:30-8:00 a.m.   Continental Breakfast   
8:00-9:20 a.m. 

Researching Foreign Corporate Records 

Fraud has become borderless and it can originate anywhere. An integral skill for modern fraud examiners is the ability to effortlessly cross international borders while tracking down essential information. The Internet can help in many ways. With specialized search sites, obtaining information about foreign corporations 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.

9:20-9:35 a.m.  Break  
9:35-10:55 a.m. 

Taking the Internet as a Resource to the Next Level 

The Internet is no longer a collection of individual websites — it has evolved. Learn how Web 2.0 is changing online experiences with the rise of blogs, social networks, web applications and more. In this block, participants will explore Web 2.0 developments and learn just how much individuals are revealing about themselves online. This can significantly aid an investigation if the examiner knows where and how to look. Hear about real cases where these sites have provided significant leads.

10:55-11:10 a.m.  Break  
11:10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 

Investigating the Social-Network Environment 

What you do not know about social networks can hurt you (and possibly your friends and family). Fraud examiners can uncover many aspects of a case with a good working knowledge of how these websites encourage sharing of personal information. Websites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn and many more can be sources of investigative data to the fraud examiner who knows how to mine them for data.

12:30-1:30 p.m.  Lunch on Own
1:30-2:50 p.m. 

Top Tools for Internet Investigations 

This session takes all the websites you have seen and pulls out the key “first places to look.” These Internet investigation tools are the starting point for any and every fraud examination. If you want to make sure you cover the bases, these sites are the places you start.

2:50-3:05 p.m.  Break  
3:05-4:25 p.m.  

Wrapping It Up: Closing the Investigation 

You have all the tools you need to successfully analyze the evidence and make a determination on the case. What have our targets been doing? Is it illegal? Has a fraud occurred? How does the evidence you have uncovered inform your conclusions? Once again, participate in a hands-on investigation using your own laptop.

Event Cancellation Policy 

Our cancellation policy is intended to keep costs low for attendees. Due to financial obligations incurred by ACFE, Inc. you must cancel your registration prior to the start of the event. Cancellations received less than 14 calendar days prior to an event start date are subject to a $100 administrative fee. No refunds or credits will be given for cancellations received on or after the start date of the event. Those who do not cancel and do not attend are responsible for the full registration fee.


Satisfaction Guarantee 

ACFE seminars are unmatched in scope and effectiveness and backed by our unconditional satisfaction guarantee. If you attend an ACFE event and are not completely satisfied, please contact an ACFE Member Services Representative at or call (800) 245-3321 / +1 (512) 478-9000.


NASBA CPEThe Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Inc. is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:


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