13 Dec Private Investigator’s Guide to a Successful Asset Search Investigation
Our private investigators handle many asset search investigations. These investigations usually help individuals and companies verify financial statements, collect debt, and identify fraudulent activity. Yes, you can always choose to work with a cheap asset search company to find the financial details you need about a person but does this company actually get the job done? Most of the times, no.
And the same goes for free websites that claim they can provide accurate information about a person’s financial situation. The websites are simply accessing publicly available information. This means you’ll just get details about things that are publicly registered, such as real estates and vehicles. No bank account or credit information is publicly available. This information can be obtained only through means compliant with the GLB.
Double checking the info provided by an asset search company – why it’s important?
So, we had this case about a company that had one of its employees embezzling money from them. Their representative hired us to conduct an asset search investigation and check out the bank accounts of the respective employee. They contacted us only after paying $150 for a bank account search service provided by one of the asset search companies I was telling you about. It seems that the company came back with two positive hits. They claimed the employee had two bank accounts at two different prominent Canadian banks.
We decided to take on the case and did our own research. We performed a comprehensive search and weren’t surprised to find out that there weren’t actually any bank accounts opened in Canada. Our private investigator contacted those two banks and provided them with this person’s main identifiers, and the banks confirmed there was absolutely nothing in the system that would justify the two positive hits.
Why would an asset search company come back with positive hits when they actually have no relevant information about the asset search? Because they know that most of this information is never going to get subpoenaed or proved in court, so they aren’t actually risking anything. This is why is always important to check for the company’s references and referrals and look at their reviews before paying them to do the asset search. All legitimate companies will be ready to provide the information you need and answer all your questions.
Conducting a comprehensive asset search – always founded on the client’s truth
Now that we knew the asset search company had provided false information, we continued our investigation and conducted a comprehensive asset search. But, in order to be able to do that, we had to know everything the client knew about the person of interest. In such cases, we usually need information on banks where that person had or currently has accounts. Every detail is important! And no, you’re not doing the job for us if you’re providing such information. It’s not a hide-and-seek game or a magic show! You’re collaborating so we can get results fast and with a high degree of certainty. We corroborate the information provided by our clients with the information we have and get current balances of the accounts. Our private investigators check if things have changed or if bank accounts have been closed.
In this case, the client knew about a check of their employer but failed to provide us with the information at first. Only later he came and told us “Well, I know he’s got an account because I have a check that he gave us for payroll deposit.” By not telling us what he knew, he wasted money and time and lessened our ability to do an effective investigation.
Positive hits, negative hits, closed and open bank accounts – determining our scope of work
Now we had this valuable piece of information and things started to move fast. We checked that bank account and found out it was closed in August 2017. Moreover, that bank didn’t exist anymore.
Our private investigators have the necessary experience and resources to conduct a dedicated bank account search for closing house but this has to be a specific component of the investigation. Our scope of work needs to be determined because we have a different price point for closed bank accounts. So, it’s very important to know if you want us to look just for open, active accounts or you need to know about the open and closed accounts too!
Another thing we need our clients to know is that we don’t have a different price for asset search investigations that come back with no hits. Basically, the concept of no hits is that no accounts were found because something was probably missed and we performed an incomplete search. This is just not true! A rigorous effective investigation may determine there are no accounts to be found. But this also is an important result of a very thorough investigation. It’s important to know both if there are accounts and if there aren’t accounts to decide if the client wants to pursue the persons they are investigating.
All our investigations are rigorous and we always make sure we provide clients with valuable information so they can make informed decisions. The lack of a bank account is still a fact that can determine the next step the client takes. So, if you’re working with a company that has a different price for a no hits investigation, it’s best to keep searching. This might be the perfect excuse to not perform a good investigation or not conduct a rigorous search and still get paid.
What we found and why a no hits result matters for an asset search investigation
To return to our case, the result of the investigation was actually no hits. However, we managed to deliver a lot of valuable information with a high degree of accuracy. Our private investigators found out the person of interest had no accounts in Canada. We informed our client that this might mean he had moved his account in the US or somewhere else.
We also told our client that, since the guy was from Asia, he might have a bank account there with all their money. In this case, they needed to conduct an asset search investigation in each country where they think the respective person might have a bank account. You won’t find a person’s bank accounts in Great Britain if you’re doing a US search. You need to search into that specific country.
The client was satisfied with the result of the investigation. What it’s important to remember though is that clients should never withhold information from a private investigator. It will only delay the results of the investigation and cost them more.