As long as the government has been in existence, people have attempted to avoid repercussions for breaking the law, or find loopholes in why laws don’t apply. Historically, there have also been concerned citizens who have reported wrongdoings against the government and its institutions. With the advent of technology, these people known as whistleblowers, have an easier job today than ever before to submit evidence and prove their cases.
Since 1993, people have been communicating via email and instant messaging, and today, we rely on that mode more than ever as one of our most prominent forms of communicating. Through our email, we discuss everything from personal matters to professional agendas. The existence of an email trail can lead investigators to valuable evidence in the event that a whistleblower suspects fraudulent activity against a government institution. The whistleblower may even be the recipient of such covert emails, and can therefore turn them over to officials as proof of their suspicions.
Cell Phone Use
Because we use our smartphones to communicate with others via voice calls, voicemail and texting, mobile technology can be very useful in detecting questionable business practices. Perhaps even the apps that a person is using could be clues to the type of fraud he or she is committing against a government entity. For example, if a person is embezzling funds, there might be several banking or financial apps on his or her cell phone. An investigator may be able to discover a pattern for excessive transfer of funds or any other suspicious activity.
Like emails, texting, and phone calls, social networks like Facebook and Twitter can also provide investigators with valuable information and a trail that leads to the perpetrator. Even if the guilty parties are communicating in “secret code”, chances are, law officials can decipher the code and determine exactly what is transpiring and what the charges should be.
What Should You Do if You Suspect a Crime?
If you believe that someone you work with, or someone you know is committing crimes against a government entity, the best thing to do is keep careful records. If you are privy to emails, texting, or any other form of communication that could lead to an arrest of guilty parties, collect this evidence and contact an experienced whistleblower law firm to see if you have a case. A law firm that is experienced in dealing with this type of criminal activity can advise you on how to proceed, and you may even be financially compensated for your efforts if/when the case is resolved.
Technology makes it easier for all of us to communicate instantly with our friends, colleagues and family members. But, if we use this technology for fraudulent activity, chances are we will leave an “e-trail” and get caught. If you can help report this type of activity, you will be serving our country and helping us to save money in the long run, since a crime against the government can affect many innocent citizens.
Writer Melanie Fleury is the daughter of a retired military father and former security specialist for the Department of Defense. She learned from an early age that everything can be tracked and point back at you. Now, with advancing of technology, that is even more true. If you feel that your company is participating in fraudulent activity and you have proof, the attorneys of Goldberg Kohn, a whistleblower law firm, can help you determine what the next steps are.