How Private Investigators Interview to find “Bad Guys”

How many companies with security problems use their own internal resources to investigate employee theft, industrial espionage, etc. ?  I think the answer would probably be; “the majority”. 

HR Departments have traditionally been the ”go to” people within corporations to conduct interviews.  Proprietory security personnel have also been used for these tasks. My question is; “what specialized training or experience have these folks received that equips them for such roles? 

Having conducted interviews totalling in the thousands around the world, I can share with you that it takes many years and probably thousands of hours of interviewing to develop not only a certain comfort level, but the ability to be able to pick up on things like eye movement, breathing, body shifting, hesitation, etc. 

What experienced investigators know is that simply talking to a person and taking notes is not enough.  The interview process begins way before that.  A good investigator will conduct research and prepare questions before the interview ever begins.  They know that there are a number of important factors to consider, such as planning on where the interviewee will sit.  Have you previously considered this?

Some other questions to consider are; “do I know the right questions to ask?”, ”what are the signs of stress?”, “how can I make a person tell me what I need to know?”, “how do I follow-up?”.  Unfortunately, you won’t find all the answers you need in a blog or a book.  It takes time, training and putting that training into practice. 

Corporations should not feel like they have to “do it all”.  In-house security personnel may be quite capable of taking care of many of the day-t0-day security tasks that arise, but they probably should not be asked to conduct investigations involving employee theft, sexual harrassment, workman’s comp, fraud cases etc., where extensive interviewing is needed. 

Credentialed and experienced professionals can not only save a company millions of dollars in lost revenue and or litigation/law suits, but protect their reputation from being tarnished and damaged.  The question then becomes; “what value do you put on your reputation?”. 

Employee Fraud Spiralling Out of Control in the UK

You have read it before on TheBulletProofBlog – the tougher times get, the more likelihood that people will resort to criminal measures.


We reported it regarding the theft of copper from Churches, Hospitals, Schools – even from new homes still under construction. We brought to your attention the fact that thieves have become bolder, evidenced by the theft of manhole covers in public streets and drilling into fuel tanks on vehicles as petrol and diesel prices rise.

In “Personneltoday“, it is reported that employers have been put on “red alert” as the downturn in the economy is prompting employees to make ends meet by dishonest means. One figure that employers every where are bound to find shocking is the fact that employee fraud has cost UK companies more than 77 Million Pounds Sterling (approx. $150,000,000.00),just in the first half of this year alone.

The most disturbing aspect of this figure is the fact that it is up from 10 Million Pounds Sterling (approx. $18,000,000.00)in the same period last year. This represents more than an 8 fold increase in employee fraud in a 12 month period.

The report was conducted by the accountancy firm BDO Stoy Hayward. Mr. Simon Bevan, the head of fraud services there attributes the escalation in criminal activity amongst employees to; “spiralling personal debt as a result of mortgage,food and fuel price hike”. Sound familiar?

The population of the UK is one sixth that of the United States. It is frightening to imagine what the figures will look like from U.S. businesses at the end of this year and beyond. In 2002, employee fraud and abuse cost U.S. businesses $6 Billion Dollars (independently reported by the “Association of Certified Fraud Examiners” of which SEXTON is a member).

What would be the outcome to U.S, businesses if fraud costs escalated 8 fold to $48 Billion Dollars by year’s end? How many would go under? How much further damage would that inflict on the already struggling economy? The economic circumstances in the U.S. are certainly similar to those of the UK.

U.S. businesses beware. Be proactive and fight fraud and abuse before it is too late. Your very survival just may depend upon it.