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Effectiveness of 3 day surveillance

April 24, 2015 by  
Filed under Blog

When you order surveillance for a claimant who you suspect of insurance fraud, you need to know how we go about with our investigation. We focus on observing the suspect over a period of time, in a way that allows them to go over all the possibilities of their daily routine. This means observing them on both weekdays and weekends, and at all hours. During our observation, we look for evidence that contradicts their claims for insurance, such as walking or running despite a sprained foot, or lifting heavy objects despite a back injury.

Why shorter investigations don’t work

Because our clients want fast results at minimal cost, they often assume that the lesser the number of surveillance days ordered, the better. However, we always try to convince them that this is not the case. Suspects belong to a variety of backgrounds, with different occupations and daily hours of activity. Some may work on weekends rather than weekdays, some may be active at different times of the day, and some might not even do a lot of different things over a couple of days, all of which reduce the chances of us finding and documenting evidence. Furthermore, restrictions on investigation procedures, such as privacy laws and vigilant claimants or associates, may hamper a day’s efforts and cause delays.

Why 3 days?

We recommend that you give us at least 3 days to carry out our task. This allows us to observe the suspect over two weekdays and one weekend day. One the first day, we will make our initial observations, and make sure that the suspect is the one identified by the client. Typically, the least progress is made on this day, since we do not know through which hours the suspect will be active and in a place where they can be observed.

The second day builds upon the findings of the first – having identified the suspect’s active hours, we can focus our surveillance efforts during that stretch of time. However, we still need to observe the suspect on a weekend day. This is done on the third day, during which we will make important observations. We will see if the suspect is active on a weekend day (if they were inactive on weekdays, or vice versa), and we will be able to document whether the subject is active over all three days, and conclude that they have not been injured after any evidence was found.


A three day investigation is 30% to 50% more effective in producing results than shorter investigations. It is important to understand that one successful investigation may prove to be unfruitful in court – the fraudster could claim to be feeling unusually well on the day they decided to buy groceries with a broken wrist.

It is important to acquire multiple evidences of the fraud over a distributed period if the clients wish to make a strong case in court. The most effective surveillance operations take place multiple times, taking into account various reasons for the suspects to venture out of their homes, such as jobs or doctor’s appointments. It is during these trips that the suspect can slip up, and surveillance investigators can film the evidence they need.


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