Renovating? Here’s Why You Should Hire a Private Investigator to Check Out the Candidates

Renovating? Here’s Why You Should Hire a Private Investigator to Check Out the Candidates

Is a background check for construction workers really necessary? We all like to move through life with faith that the people we encounter are honest and decent Americans. However, we only need cross paths with one bad egg to get burned in a big way, and few professionals gain greater access to our personal or professional lives than those hired to undertake construction. 

In the case of renovations, fundamentally, we give strangers free access to our inner sanctums—we trust them to give accurate quotes and use up-front deposits in the way that they promise. While the majority of construction companies may conduct themselves with integrity, what you don’t know, you simply don’t know. When all is said and done, skimping on a background check for construction worker candidates might leave you with a nasty hole in your wall, and an even bigger one in your bank balance.

Aren’t References Enough?

Checking the references of a contractor bidding for your next renovation project is a great place to start, but it isn’t the be-all-and-end-all. Sadly, references can be faked and contact details manipulated. Of course, the more readily any vying candidate offers up their credentials the better, but there’s more to consider than references alone. Especially when we consider that as many as one in three American homeowners will fall prey to a renovation scam in their lifetime.

For anyone operating outside the construction industry, navigating the task of verifying the validity of references and confirming that contractors are appropriately licensed, bonded, and insured can be a daunting task. Even if you can draw this body of information together, unless the construction worker or company in question has hit the headlines in a catastrophic way, you’re unlikely to be able to check their operational safety record. You don’t want to place your renovations in the hands of someone with a trail of destruction in their wake. The only solution is to reach out to a corporate investigations firm who can vet your candidate for you, with a cost-effective and bespoke background check for construction.

Requesting a Background Check for Construction Workers

Whether you aim to recruit a freelance construction worker for a home renovation or a large construction company to give your corporate offices a major overhaul, a specialized background check for construction from Lauth Investigations International will give you total peace on mind. Don’t leave your contractor’s credentials up to chance. Instead, turn to a corporate investigator who can quickly and diligently check that their financial track record is gold standard; that they are as equipped, qualified, and capable as they say they are; and that the individuals in question don’t have any nasty skeletons in their closet.
When renovations go wrong, individuals and companies alike can find themselves victim to bodged work, theft, financial fraud, and worse. Getting scammed means becoming an unhappy statistic, but a background check for construction workers can ensure that the scammer is the one who loses out, rather than you. Discover more about our comprehensive background check service, or contact our team today for obligation-free guidance on how we can best meet your needs.

Rise in Insurance Investigations Will Create Need for Third Party Investigators

Rise in Insurance Investigations Will Create Need for Third Party Investigators

The principle function of an insurance investigation is to verify all facts within a claim that is believed to be false or inflated. In addition to diligent fact-finding and comprehensive cross-referencing, insurance investigations also require a fierce independence and objectivity in pursuit of the unvarnished truth. The investigator for the job must not only have diverse experience in insurance claims, but must also be a third-party with no stake in the outcome of the investigation. As insurance claims continue to be on the rise the demand for these third-party insurance investigators will only continue to grow.

The most recent study from Global Insurance Investigations Market by AMA Research has predicted an uptick in insurance investigations between now and 2027. The market study included millions of datapoints, proving to be a comprehensive tool for industry experts and professionals as they attempt to understand the market trends forming of late. However, the question becomes how will the industry will be able to handle the influx of complex insurance investigations without over-taxing their internal resources and operations?

Third-party insurance investigators are always a safe bet when investigating allegedly inflated or fraudulent cases. They have no allegiance to either the insurance company or the claimant, so their findings will stand up to a higher degree of scrutiny in court. If the findings are challenged in a civil court by the claimant, it will be harder to impeach the findings by claiming some sort of bias in the investigation. Third-party insurance investigators, like private investigators are also autonomous in their work, and can operate without the red tape of internal hierarchy or bureaucracy, meaning investigations can move more swiftly as evidence is gathered, processed, and cross-referenced. Their autonomy means they can go where the case takes them in an expedient manner—they can speak to witnesses and gather evidence that may have otherwise been lost while internal boxes were being checked. At the end, not only will there be comprehensive reports to review by the insurance provider, but there is also an independent witness who can speak to the findings first hand, if necessary.

If your firm is having difficulty fielding the influx of insurance fraud investigations, consider the services of Lauth Investigations International to supplement your investigation needs. We carry a glowing A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and regularly receive glowing testimonials on our accuracy and professionalism from grateful clients. If you want to learn more, you can call 317-951-1100 for a free quote on how we can help you with insurance investigations, or visit us online at www.lauthinvestigations.com.

Revealing The Realities Of White Collar Crime In Construction

Revealing The Realities Of White Collar Crime In Construction

If you think that white collar crime is something only committed by manicured suit-wearing types in office buildings, it’s time to think again. If you work in construction and you’re shaking your head in disbelief, then consider this your wakeup call. Construction embezzlement happens every day in America, and safeguarding your business against the sly intentions of fraudsters and scam artists could save it from a derailing crisis.

Joy Wilde was the trusted bookkeeper of a Californian construction company. Her boss, Greg Weimann, had no idea that Wilde had been fraudulently siphoning funds out of his business for years. By the time he realized what was going on, she’s embezzled the staggering sum of $877,000 from the company. Last year, Wilde was sentenced to 10 years in jail for her crimes. A satisfying justice, perhaps, but you can bet that recovering from such a devastating loss and the upheaval of a law suit, media coverage, may take the victim just as long.

The tough truth of this tale is that Joy Wilde serves as only one example of endemic corporate fraud—criminality that carries a global annual price tag expected to rise to $1.5 trillion by 2025. So, if white collar crime has nothing to do with the kind of collar on a neck that sits behind a desk, what exactly does the term mean? Simply put, white collar crime describes the actions of anyone in business who illegally takes money from their employer or anyone else they do business with. That means customers, clients, suppliers, or subcontractors can be the target, and crucially, so can you.

Safeguard Your Company Against Construction Embezzlement

Denoting an equally unfriendly term, embezzlement is when someone steals or misappropriates of funds placed in their trust or belonging to their employer. If you run a construction company, then you won’t have any difficulty envisioning the ample opportunity for embezzlement that this industry affords. Payment applications and invoices can be falsified, labor and material costs inflated, change orders manipulated, and the Schedule of Values used to conceal substituted savings and divert funds. When the dangers of bid fixing and collusion are added to this equation, construction companies find themselves in murky waters indeed.

This raises the obvious question: how can such companies protect themselves against the possible impacts of construction embezzlement and other forms of white collar crime? Well, safeguarding can be conducted in a number of different ways. Enlisting a corporate investigations firm to carry out comprehensive background checks and periodic corporate culture audits can help you identify foxes in the hen house before they strike, so to speak. It is our experience that there are usually red flags to be found long before an employee makes off with the spoils.
For companies who find themselves having already fallen foul of an embezzler, gathering evidence and acting quickly is the best way to kick-start damage control. Our seasoned and specialist corporate investigators here at Lauth Investigations International help a diversity of companies navigate these kinds of crises every day. We can advise on how to immediately launch an impactive investigation, what other self-protective steps you can take moving forwards, and the moves that you can make in order to reclaim lost assets, bring justice to the criminal in question, and reduce your risk of liability for the fallout of their actions. Whenever the warning bell chimes for white collar crime in construction, don’t hesitate to act. Contact Lauth Investigations International today for preventative and curative assistance.

The Importance of Healthy Corporate Culture on Worksites

The Importance of Healthy Corporate Culture on Worksites

Culture might be a buzzword within the corporate world these days, but is it really relevant in the construction industry? In truth, great company culture means much more than having beanbags in the office or going on quarterly team building excursions. Instead, it describes how employees feel about their role, their employers, and their co-workers—and the reality is that the culture of any company dictates how smoothly its operations will go. Just as a building needs a firm foundation, the team driving your construction company does too. It’s time for construction culture to become the new “it” term on the block, because when culture’s in your toolkit, the results will speak for themselves.Why You Should Care About Construction Culture

True talent is hard to come by in the construction industry. So much so that 80% of construction companies have a hard time filling specialist craft positions. If I tell you that 46% of job seekers consider the culture they’d enter an important factor, and 86% will actively avoid companies with a bad reputation, might that grab your attention? Going further, there’s so much more to construction culture than attracting and retaining the talent you need to push your company forwards. Establishing this conceptual grail means unlocking your team’s potential for collaboration, commitment, passion, and high-caliber work. If you’re still not convinced, perhaps the potential 202% increase in performance yielded by this kind of jump in engagement will whet your whistle.

So what makes an outstanding company culture—or more specifically, what would great construction culture look like? Well, there’s no clear cut and singular recipe for success, but common themes include the forging of diverse and inclusive teams that, commitment to worksite and employee safety, strong communication, clear values demonstrated by leadership, an environment that allows individuals to feel heard, and opportunity for employee progression. Hammering that last point home, research reveals that 94% of employees would stay in their current role longer if they saw opportunity for professional development.Forging Iron Clad Construction Culture

We’ve covered the reasons to prioritize culture in your construction company, but before we tackle how to tackle the task, what happens when construction culture is neglected? Time and time again, it is our experience that eroding company culture means a fast track to high turnover, employee theft, malingering, workplace discrimination, white collar crime, and worse. Fraud alone costs construction companies around the world an estimated $860 billion annually. So the chances are, if you don’t take the proactive step of calling in an investigator to course-correct company culture proactively, you’ll likely be calling them later to investigate crimes that are breaking down the business you worked so hard to build up.

So, you’ve got the picture—company culture is just as important an investment for your construction company as the latest machinery or cloud-based work order system. But where do you begin? Well, as is the case for so many things in life, it’s vital to understand where you’re starting from. The best way to get the lay of the land is with an industry-tailored culture audit from Lauth Investigations International
Our specialist investigators will perform a detailed analysis of your construction culture, assessing factors such as communication, shared values, company history, caliber of leadership, marketplace positioning, undetected misconduct, and more. From there, we will provide you with a clear and concise road map to get your culture back on track. If you’re ready for guidance on how to move your team onto firmer footing and realize the rewards that come with prioritizing culture in the construction industry, contact our team today.

Why You Need a Third-Party Investigator for Workers’ Compensation Investigations

Why You Need a Third-Party Investigator for Workers’ Compensation Investigations

Workers’ compensation offers invaluable protection to professionals across the USA, but when things get complicated, it can also become a double edged sword for everyone involved. On the one hand, the company that employs the claimant may find reason to believe that their claim is fraudulent in some way. On the other, the insurance company responsible for covering costs following such an incident may feel that the claim is shaky enough to reduce or dismiss the payout. In either case, things can get complicated fast. When these are the kinds of situations you’re navigating, the skills of a corporate investigator—ready to mount a thorough workers’ compensation investigation—will be essential. Their third-party impartial assessment is the only path to ensuring that justice is ultimately done.

Is That Workers’ Compensation Claim Fraudulent?

If you’re a business owner with a sizable claim on your desk and a sense of doubt hanging over you, it can be difficult to know where to turn. Perhaps you’ve got a niggling suspicion that your employee is malingering after extended healing time, or maybe you’re worried that the claim set to push up your premium is based on an injury that was exaggerated or even faked. While workers’ compensation fraud is definitely not the norm, it does happen. In fact, it is estimated that this kind of fraud costs American businesses a shocking $1 billion a year.

The laws that protect your team members’ rights to compensation should not be taken lightly—you can’t just go throwing unproven accusations around without expecting unpleasant legal repercussions. Setting your own HR department the task of looking into the matter might lead to spiraling accusations of bias, but you can hire an appropriately skilled corporate investigations firm to conduct a discreet but effective workers’ compensation investigation on your behalf. 

Yes, a licensed corporate investigator will be able to legally and diligently draw from a toolkit that includes evidence gathering, background checks, online and in-person surveillance, and interviewing witnesses in order to strategically draw the facts together. If all is as it should be, then you can sit back and relax with new-found peace of mind. However, if deception is occurring, you will be able to take action that is robustly backed up by infallible evidence.

When an Insurance Company Questions a Workers’ Compensation Claim

If a claim isn’t legitimate, it makes sense that the insurance company in question isn’t going to be keen to loosen the purse strings. Remember, they are out to make a profit, so there’s no point expecting them to operate purely on the basis of compassion. For a company stuck in the middle of such a quandary, however, this can be a real problem. The absence of the employee who made the claim can leave a big hole in your operational budget, and the process of ironing things out can become a headache that just won’t quit. 

These factors may be motivation enough to hire a third-party expert to carry out a workers’ compensation investigation of your own to back up the claim—particularly if the employee in question is a valued and essential asset. On the other hand, the claimant themselves may be keen to demonstrate the validity of their claim. Being accused of workers’ insurance claim is no walk in the park, and getting ahead of potential legal action brought against you can keep the situation from escalating. Whichever the case may be, the gathering of air-tight evidence by an impartial corporate investigator is the best way to eliminate question marks once and for all.
The task of undertaking a workers’ compensation investigation is a commonplace specialty for the highly experienced corporate investigators from Lauth Investigations International. We turn a deft and seasoned hand to illuminating the facts, leveraging access to the restricted databases used by law enforcement agencies and high-tech surveillance equipment to place truth under the spotlight. If you require assistance in navigating a workers’ compensation claim that has become complicated, we are ready to assist. Contact our team today to learn more.