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Workers’ compensation and the Private Investigator

May 31, 2012

A few days ago I stumbled on this website and read a message from an insurance claimant who had concerns regarding a possible private investigator.  Apparently the pi had called him and requested an interview…. and the claimant posted a message asking fellow forum members their opinion regarding the matter.  Was it truly a PI?  Would a PI announce themself as such?  Should he be concerned?

A couple of the responses I read implied a general lack of understanding of how private investigation works and what we do.  One of the things that we do, is interview people… in some cases including  the subject of the investigation.    Yours truly was previously employed by a company that did nothing BUT insurance and workmens compensation investigations.  I believe I could of been of great benefit to the members of the forum,  being willing to give an in-depth, no holds barred insights.  What to watch for, how to spot a private investigator, and how to deal with one if you are indeed being watched.  I hold no doubt that my input would of been tremendously valuable to someone.

In an act of pure stupidity I was banned the morning after my well intentioned  post…  No explanation given, no expression of concern or inquiry as to why I had joined.   Just banned.  Talk about short sighted….  A much more intelligent approach would of been to contact me and ask my intentions, not just pull a knee-jerk reaction. 

If you want to get on a forum where the general public speculates  how to spot a private investigator, head on over.   

 If a better understanding of what to actually look for watch for sounds more useful… stick around. 

 I wouldn’t of announced myself as a pi if conducting an investigation of  a forum member.   Uhh… no…  An alias would prove much more appropriate if that was the case.  


In any case, I’ve learned quite a bit regarding how things work, both from a business perspective as well as  conducting investigations. Generally speaking, I remain  unimpressed with how insurance companies pursue (or don’t) possible fraudulent workmens’ compensation claims.  When they do actually choose to check up on a claimant, they typically don’t do their homework.  Rarely  do they consider WHO actually works the case. 

 I’ve already discussed my feelings on the matter pretty thoroughly.  For whatever reason (large advertising budgets…  a gratuity here and there… etc) the insurance companies either contact large investigative firms which  pay their employees squat, or a firm that merely acts as a middleman.  The latter typically does what should of occurred from the get go,  and locates an investigator in the area of need.

Unfortunately it’s rare for the subcontacting agency to actually verify credentials and reputation.  Instead the Modus Operandi seems to be the pursuit of a warm body to place in front of the subjects residence (at a substandard wage).  The goal is reselling services, not necesssarily results. 

Many insurance companies (frustrated with a lack of results no doubt) have begun to wane from using pi’s altogether.  Instead of considering a flaw in their approach, it’s easier to blame the blame the industry. 

So for multiple reasons, I’ve decided to launch an experiment.  Consider this an invitation for candid dialogue.  Perhaps some of you stumbled on this blog through webcrawler searches… You may have questions I can help answer.    How do I spot a private investigator? How does surveillance work?  What do I do if I suspect being followed?

Whether this goes anywhere is up to you.


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  1. Aaron permalink

    You left a message on my voice mail, indicating that the forum moderator at had deleted your posts and banned you, that you believed that action to be unfair, and that you planned to complain about it on your blog. I am following up here.

    Following your first post to the forum, which included within the text of the post the name and URL of your website, the forum moderator cautioned:

    I’ll be removing that spam link, you can’t promote yourself or that firm in the open forum.
    If you wish to promote your firm, you can add a link to your signature, here are the rules:

    Your very next post again concluded with the same content that the moderator had warned you needed to be placed in your signature, not in your post itself, along with a second link to your site.

    I don’t personally moderate the forum – it’s a forum run for and by injured workers, and they self-govern their community. I can say this: Forum spamming is a chronic, time-consuming problem for forum moderators, and while people who are well-intentioned may be justifiably upset if they fail to read or understand the forum rules and are lumped in with “spammers”, the volume of spamming is so high that moderators cannot give the benefit of the doubt. Many forums wouldn’t even give the one warning, even if it might mean throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I “feel your pain”, but I can also see why the moderator thought one warning was enough.

    • Uhh…WRONG…

      All my posts on the forum in question were removed following the ban, so I can’t look back on the thread in question and confirm or deny that moderator posting regarding “promoting myself or the firm in the open forum.” The truth of the matter is that I wasn’t really promoting my firm. I certainly wasn’t selling services. There wasn’t any “come hire me!” implications in my posting, so I’m sorry… I don’t see the ‘spam’ implication, nor do I see the ‘self promoting’ aspect of my post. What I really was doing was clearing up a couple of erroneous assumptions on the part of your posters who, quite frankly didn’t really appear to know a whole lot regarding how private investigation works. In fact, a search of the forum later revealed Tony or another frequent poster referring to private investigators as ‘scumbags.’ I resent that sentiment, and could easy offer a rebuttal along the lines of : “If that individual holds that sentiment towards private investigators, they should witness some of what I’ve personally observed when dealing with the legal profession.”

      It’s quite likely you don’t appreciate that comment and could (quite accurately) accuse me of stereotyping. My response would be in kind regarding the sentiments that permeate the message base. There are very sleazy non professional private investigators out there, true… just as there are rather unscrupulous attorneys floating around as well. Again, my posting was to try and clarify what actually transpires out there in the word of private investigation. It was HIGHLY unlikely I was going to obtain any business out of my posting, and if anything all I may of obtained out of it would have been some positive sentiment towards my clarifications along with perhaps a few people coming to realize that not all private investigators are ‘scumbags.’ So now they remain blissfully ignorant of some possibly quite beneficial insights, and I remain more then a little irritated at Tony. As I recall, he was one of the posters that didn’t have a clue… uhh…yes private investigators sometimes announce themselves, and yes, sometimes they actually interview the injured party. It might be a prudent move for your moderator to become more aware of the facts prior to posting on a topic.

      For the record I do appreciate you taking the time to respond to my complaint, which speaks well of your personal character. I do however stand by my point. Believe me, if I’m promoting my company or soliciting business, it will be a lot less ambiguous then an attempt to post a clarification message on a thread of individuals who apparently have quite a bad taste in their mouths for those of my profession.


      James Pollock
      Bulldog Investigations

      • I am not interested in arguing with you, but nothing in my comment above is incorrect.

        I am not accusing you of intentionally spamming the forum.

  2. I’m impressed, I must say. Really seldom do I learn a weblog that is equally educational and entertaining, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the head.

    • Aww… now I feel all warm and fuzzy…. you cut that out. Seriously though, I appreciate your kind praise, I just wish my blog could make a stronger impact on such a broken system. So far, no one’s taken me up on my offer to discuss insurance based investigations. If I was a workers compensation claimant, I’d be seeking insights into how pi’s conduct surveillance.

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