While many of the best tips to investigators come from employees of the agency they oversee, external tips are valuable as well. This is especially true with fraud cases, where parties outside of the agency are often involved in the wrongdoing. Here are a couple of ways to increase the public’s engagement with your investigative office.
Make sure you are visible online
The quality of websites for IGs (and other investigative offices) varies substantially. Some sites are well maintained, with clear directions on where and how to submit online complaints. Others haven’t been updated in years, with some IGs even having both a recent site as well as an ‘older’ site which was published when the IG fell under a different agency.
To maximize your ability to receive tips, make it as easy as possible for the public to find your information. The tip may not be as important to the reporter as it is to your agency; they may spend only a minute or two of time searching for the right place to report a crime before deciding it’s not worth the hassle. As an example, if you’re a state-level IG office for the Department of Transportation, then when someone types “report roadwork fraud [your state]” into Google, you’ll want to make sure that your site is among the first to show up.
Make it easy to submit a complaint
Many, but not all, IG offices allow online complaint submission either through a form or a direct email. This is a valuable asset because, again, people may not feel that submitting a complaint is worth all of the time it might take to compose a letter and mail it in, or call a phone number and talk with someone directly.
While not allowing online submission will certainly reduce the level of “junk” submissions you receive, it will also reduce the number of legitimate complaints. If properly configured, processing online forms should take less time than phone-based hotlines, rather than more.
To learn how CMTS can help increase your investigative agency’s results, call us at 919-600-5102 or email us!