Success Stories


Welfare Cheat Caught

An individual was falsely claiming welfare benefits while running a web-based business out of his home. What I learned through this course helped me track down his website and prove that it belonged to him.

Source: Investigator; BC Ministry of Human Resources; Prevention, Compliance, & Enforcement Branch; Abbotsford, B.C.



Notorious Fraudster Uncovered

I was taking this course at the time we were doing an investigation of an international fraudster. It made me realize how important checks on the Internet are to an investigator. Running my suspect's name was a turning point in the file ....

Source: RCMP Officer, "E" Division Commercial Crime Section, Vancouver, BC


Officer Finds Missing Website

In April 2001, the RCMP arrested a suspected Ku Klux Klan grand wizard and charged him with possession of explosives and illegal guns. His KKKanada website had crucial evidentiary value, but it had already been taken down. "Internet for Investigations" taught me that old versions of websites are sometimes stored on the Internet. I used Google to find a cached version of the KKKanada site. This became part of the evidence package put before the Crown Prosecutor.

Source: RCMP Officer, "E" Division NSIS, Vancouver, B.C.



Friends Reunited

"Two women, whom I'll call "Pearl" and "Ethel", had traveled together on several occasions over many years. Gradually, however, they had lost touch with one another. Anxious to find her old friend, Pearl called me one day to see if I could locate Ethel for her. Since the Salvation Army Family Tracing Service only re-unites family members, I decided to take this case personally. Using Ethel's old address, I looked up the names of her former neighbors with Infospace. From the list of neighbors, I chose six who appeared to be of the same ethnicity as the missing travelling companion. I wrote them all, explaining the situation. As it happened, one knew where their former neighbor had moved. After many years apart, Pearl and Ethel were reunited. In appreciation, Pearl made a generous donation to the Salvation Army."

Source: Les Blanchard, Director, Salvation Army Family Tracing Service


Investment Decision Aided

"As my "Profile" assignment for the course I decided to research a publicly-traded company that I thought would be a good investment. Searching commercial databases I found that several financial analysts had forecasted the share price to hit the $43-$45 range within 12 months so I bought the stock. Right now, it's worth $38 a share - up $7 since I bought it."

Source: Jacob Hung, Information Security Specialist, Telus Communications Inc.



Railway Track Stolen

"In mid 1998, eight hundred feet of railway track belonging to a bankrupt firm disappeared. Care and control of the property had passed through a number of hands, but no one was talking so I turned to the Internet. Using Altavista, I searched for the company's name. One of the hits I got was a request for bids made by the City of Vancouver. A contact name was provided so I followed up. As it turned out, when I contacted this individual he was able to provide me with lots of valuable information. Until then, no one would provide witness information because they were fearful of liability. Finding this individual was a major break in the case and I couldn't have done it without the Internet."

Source: a police officer with 15 years experience.



Missing Witness Found

"Through the Summer and Fall of 1997, a small securities dealer struggled to open its doors. The venture collapsed in January 1998 amid unpaid bills and allegations of unlicenced trading. No one knew where to find an individual who had played an important role, but left the company prior to its collapse. Directory Assistance was no help, but a search of the Internet found a resume for the person. This led to an e-mail address. A dialog began. Within four hours, a witness statement was obtained which proved crucial to the investigation."

Source: an investigator with a Canadian Securities Commission.



"Lost" People

"A client asked me if I could find a long lost college friend. Although the friend's last name was fairly common, I knew that he had been an Arctic explorer. Using a search engine called Google I found a web site / technical / academic paper that referenced a paper he wrote in 1972. From there, I checked library catalogues and found a later paper - 1997 - that he wrote and was part of the proceedings for a technical conference he helped sponsor. From there, I cruised the proceedings, which included the speakers' professional affiliations and work place. I checked his work place - no phone #, all under construction - but the professional organization had a list of members and email addresses. Bingo! I contacted him, verified he was the right guy, then passed the information back to my client. They are meeting next Fall to take a cruise up the Inside Passage. The whole project took an hour on the Net. Very, very fun."

Source: Syd Lapan, True North Research