Internet Fraud and Financial Cybercrime Investigation
Hudson Intelligence conducts investigations of cybercrime and internet fraud. We have successfully investigated online fraud schemes and their perpetrators in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America.
We also conduct investigations of internet-based security breaches, payment fraud, industrial espionage and related exploits.
Online Fraud Investigation
Our team of certified experts in fraud investigation and digital forensics are recognized as industry leaders in fighting online crime and have been featured in Wired, Huffington Post and Pursuit Magazine.
John Powers, president of Hudson Intelligence, began his career as a private investigator during the dot-com boom of the 1990s. In those early days of cybercrime, the world wide web was a fertile environment for spammers, squatters, counterfeits and frauds. Successful investigation in this evolving landscape required new techniques, new technology and a new kind of detective.
Today those investigative skills are more in demand than ever. Corporate intrusions, government breaches and consumer frauds result in multi-billion-dollar damages each year as state-sponsored hackers and organized criminal gangs compete for illicit profits. The biggest bank robbery in history occurred recently when thieves infiltrated the SWIFT online messaging system and siphoned $101 million – silently and undetected – from a foreign bank.
The investigative team at Hudson Intelligence has decades of experience in online fraud investigations. We monitor emerging trends in computer crime, and utilize state-of-the-art technology and innovative methods for investigation and analysis.
We help solve (and simplify) complex problems while advising on appropriate remedies and countermeasures. Our investigative reports and testimony support the best possible outcomes for our clients through civil litigation, insurance claims and criminal complaints.
Scope of a Fraud Investigation
Internet frauds commonly involve fictitious personas and stolen identities, controlled by individuals – or criminal organizations – in multiple countries. Even when fraud is suspected, it can be difficult for victims to separate fact from fiction.
The typical steps taken in online fraud investigation are:
- The investigation begins by reviewing the narrative of events and timeline of the scheme, to confirm whether there is material evidence of fraud, and to document the extent of financial losses.
- Then the investigation proceeds to determine the true identity and location of the responsible parties.
- Once the principals have been positively identified, due diligence is conducted to develop relevant information on their backgrounds, including investigation of criminal history, professional credentials, financial liabilities, and any pattern of involvement with past frauds.
- These findings are summarized in detail in a formal investigation report, supported by documentary evidence.
Upon completion of the investigation report, we can advise on potential next steps, which could include directly contacting the responsible parties to demand immediate rescission and return of client funds; notifying law enforcement and regulatory authorities; or filing civil litigation.
Case Study: Financial Recovery from Internet Fraud
Soon after meeting a Florida businessman in an online dating site, a woman from Wisconsin agreed to provide a series of business loans to fund his offshore oil-and-gas drilling venture. Her total outlay was nearly $250,000. Her funding decision wasn’t based solely on his charm and confidence. She’d also done her homework: visiting the website of the firm where he served as CEO, and reviewing other credentials he provided, including copies of contracts for drilling rights off the coast of South Africa. She was confident her investment would pay off.
They scheduled their first in-person meeting after months of communicating by phone, email and Skype. Yet the globetrotting businessman never showed up. Suspecting she was the victim of an online fraud, she prepared for litigation to recover her investment, and requested a comprehensive asset search.
Our investigators determined the businessman and his business did not exist. They were fake personas created by an organized crime gang in Nigeria using stolen identities and fabricated documents. We contacted the fraud departments of financial institutions involved in the fund transfers, and were able to secure a partial recovery of our client’s investment after the funds were frozen in an overseas account.
Coordination with Law Enforcement
Public prosecution and accountability for online crimes, unfortunately, is not automatic or guaranteed. The FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) receives nearly 300,000 complaints from consumers annually, while the victims affected by major corporate breaches – such as Yahoo! and Equifax – now number in the billions. FBI Cyber Division actively and aggressively investigates state-sponsored attacks on corporations, but only a small percentage of consumer complaints can be investigated at the federal level, where the budget and mission tend to prioritize other matters, such as terrorism, counter-espionage and government corruption. Local law enforcement agencies are similarly strained, often lacking the jurisdiction and resources to pursue online fraud schemes that extend across multiple countries and continents.
Hudson Intelligence coordinates with state, federal and foreign law enforcement agencies for investigation of online crimes. We provide guidance to victims to ensure their losses are appropriately prioritized. Complaints tend to be taken more seriously when backed by courtroom-quality evidence and professional reports, which summarize the relevant facts – including the people involved, their current location, and their potential criminal violations.
Consult an Investigator
We assist corporations, small businesses and law firms with the investigation of online crime. We also work on behalf of consumers who have sustained financial losses of at least $50,000. If you would like to discuss a potential investigation, please complete the form below or contact our offices at 800-580-8755.