Important info to keep your Facebook secure and when you can record a conversation are two of the topics in this month’s newsletter.
How a Polygraph can help an Investigation
There have been several attempts to bring polygraph testing to New Zealand even though in this country it is not accepted in the Courts as evidence for proceedings, despite many countries permitting the findings.The latest entrant to the market is Hendrik van Rooyen from W5H Global
Henrik has put together an interesting document that details the various uses of the polygraph, importantly pointing out that as much as it’s known as a “Lie Detector” one of it’s main outcomes is determining the truth and clearing innocent individuals.
You can read Hendrik’s article here.THE POLYGRAPH AS A VALUABLE AID TO AN INVESTIGATION
We are pleased to confirm the opening of Paragon’s South Island office based in the rebuild city of Christchurch.
Headed by Steve Williams, a shareholder who has been with us for over 10 years, we are looking forward to servicing our clients throughout the entire South Island region with a local operative who has an impressive team of contract agents to assist.
Our Christchurch office details are on our website below and our contact page.
Here is a link to our latest newsletter that has some interesting information on how technology has changed the PI’s landscape in regards to surveillance, recent developments in getting speedy criminal history checks and some current scams.
Immediately on sending this out we received a reply from a reader who provides websites for small businesses. Our reader thought they had secured a new client to build them a website, but then they got this – Please do not fall victim to this type of scam.
Thank for the response, i will give you my credit card details to make the payment for $2,750.00. for the web design. however i will need a little favor from you, as the content and the logo are with my consultant and i need to pay him up and he do not accept credit card payment, so i will need you to add an extra $3,500.00 to the money and i will pay it up, when the money is available in your account you will be helping me send it to my consultant so that he can send the logo and the content to complete my project. i will like you to send the invoice from the quote. I will need you to send the invoice of half payment for the web design, also i will love to compensate with $350 for your effort and i will be giving you my credit card to put through a total amount of $6,600.00. Presently am at the hospital for the surgery for my hearing disability, that’s why i won’t be able to go the bank. i hope you would be able to understand my present predicament and help me out.
Private Investigators have been required to be licensed in New Zealand since 1974. You would have thought that by now there would be a proper enforcement regime in place. Yet, it seems that some people will do anything to avoid meeting their obligations whilst touting for business and remarkably being instructed by leading insurance companies. The case in point can be read here.
Insurance is based on the premise of “the utmost good faith” which goes both ways. When you lodge a claim you might expect that the insurer would have a look at the bona fides of what you are claiming and that will often involve an investigation. What you don’t expect is that their appointed investigator in a country that has had licensing laws for 42 years will be breaking the law by being unlicensed. Further, you would expect in a fire claim that the investigator would have proven skills, experience gained over years either by way of qualifications and/or accepted work history. You would not expect the investigator to have attended a 1 week fire course, as mentioned in this next article – read here.
The investigator says that he was of the opinion he did not need to be licensed because he was a “specialist”, the sad fact is that if you cannot work out you are breaking the law, you need to think long and hard about your ability to investigate at all.
Why does this case stick in our craw, well Licensed investigators in New Zealand have to jump through hoops to operate for fear of prosecution and at considerable cost. We also are required by larger clients to hold indemnity insurance policies in the $millions. How then was this unlicensed investigator able to pick up work from insurers is a question that baffles even seasoned investigators. It seems they came unstuck but it is unbelievable to think that such a situation could occur in such a long time regulated profession.
Our understanding of the Privacy Act is that when you lodge a claim you agree pursuant to the Privacy Act to assist the insurer, but any offending by an agent of the insurer is, by default, offending by the insurer. It’s kind of like the Police getting a bad warrant; evidence obtained by acting on that warrant might not be admissible. We accept privacy matters relating to insurance law is in the civil jurisdiction and not criminal but insurers do refer insurance fraud to the Police so the same rules of conduct relating to investigating claims remain.
The point here is that if you are looking to engage an investigator, make sure you have evidence they are licensed. This case suggests you might go so far as sighting the licence which is a simple scan and email compliance. Any client instructing an unlicensed investigator is taking a big punt and the few dollars per hour less in charges might in turn result in a higher cost spent on lawyers.