If you haven’t figured this out yet, your iPhone (and everyone else’s iPhone) knows exactly where you’ve been, how much time you’ve spent at that location, and how many times you’ve visited that location. Oh! Also, your iPhone knows the place you call home and where you work. Ever wonder how your phone magically knows it would take you approximately 23 minutes to get home when you swipe down the Notification Center? This feature is called “Frequent Locations,” and it takes a few clicks to get there so you might have never even looked for it because you most likely had no clue it was there. Bad for cheaters, don’t you think?
To access Frequent Locations:
Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services
Scroll past all of the apps listed to the very bottom…click on System Services.
Select Frequent Locations.
You’ll notice if the Frequent Locations setting is turned on by the the green setting seen below. If it’s green, then it’s been collecting location data.
(If you’d prefer it to be disabled, this would be where you turn it off.)
This is the scary part. The history of places you visit is dead-on accurate.
The first history page will start with the city and state.
Click into each city and it’ll bring you to each street name complete with map and how many visits were recorded within a certain time frame. Click on the street name to go even further and you’ll find the exact date and duration of time you spent at that specific location. Within the history, you’ll also find what the iPhone names your Home…and Work. It’s undeniably accurate. Take a look for yourself.
Upsides to this feature? You just found out how to track your teenager’s whereabouts.
Furthermore, we’ve had several calls and requests about the Frequent Locations feature and how to access it to look into suspicions of a cheating spouse.
Of course, the Frequent Locations tab can certainly be turned off…but it can’t be turned off if they don’t know it even exists.
Suspicious? Get Answers with ICU TODAY!
We typically include articles in ICU Investigations’ newsletter pertaining to insurance fraud cases in the Tri-State area. However, in this particular case out of Asheville, NC, we’re interested in the way that 26-year-old Byron Benson Fulghum, Jr. decided to document his alleged staged accident scheme…by posting dashcam video of some of the accidents to his YouTube page. Now, the victims are speaking out and they’re angry.
According to ABC News 13, Fulghum has gotten into multiple accidents over the last 2 ½ years, and “At the time of the accidents, many of the victims say they felt something wasn’t quite right, but had no idea that Fulghum may have been doing it on purpose.”
Victim Brenda Pounders was involved in an accident with Fulghum in October 2014. After learning of the charges against Fulghum, Brenda’s husband, Allen Pounders, told ABC News 13 that “He put her life in danger. We did the Christian thing and took responsibility, paid for the damages. But to know that it may have been on purpose, that makes me angry.”
The National Insurance Crime Bureau has gotten involved in the investigation of the case. Roger Morris, Chief Communications Officer with NICB, notes that it is not uncommon for those responsible for orchestrating staged accidents to change insurance companies often, which is exactly what Fulghum did, to try to avoid detection.
But it is very uncommon, and quite frankly idiotic, for someone to commit this type of insurance fraud, record it, and post it on social media.
Fulghum has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, injury to personal property, reckless driving, as well as 6 felony counts of insurance fraud.
The effect social media has on our daily existence is astonishing. In our experience in the claims and investigative industry, the content that a claimant posts on his or her social media profiles can be especially devastating (for them). We have also found that conducting Internet Profile Reports and capturing social media evidence yields the best results when conducted early on after the claim has been submitted.
Because one of the first things a claimant’s counsel will instruct them to do is to cut down on utilizing social media, change privacy settings to ensure profiles are as private as possible, deny any new requests from unknown individuals, or…delete your social media existence in its entirety (gasp)! Attorneys are well aware of the severity that social media evidence can have against claims and they will instruct their clients to limit usage as much as possible.
To avoid claimants deactivating their profiles, strengthening privacy settings to non-public, or deleting profiles altogether, it is best to take a proactive approach and capture social media evidence as soon as possible. This will increase the likelihood of identifying a claimant’s daily activities, uncovering any preexisting conditions/property damage, and possibly discovering the claimant’s account of an accident which may help contradict changes in their story later on.
Not only do we recommend capturing all of this evidence early, but we also suggest the importance of continuing to monitor the claimant’s social media profiles over time (even during litigation), as new evidence can always arise.
Furthermore, identifying a claimant’s closest relatives, friends, and associations on social media can further aid in the investigation. Spouses, children, close friends, neighbors, roommates, co-workers, etc. may post and/or share information related to the case, as well as information about the claimant and the claimant’s activity level. Just because the claimant deactivated his Facebook, doesn’t mean the rest of his family did!
According to Acting Attorney General, John J. Hoffman and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor, 58-year-old Deborah Campbell of Williamstown, NJ has been sentenced to five years in state prison for insurance fraud.
Campbell admitted to concealing a $100,000 gift that she had received prior to filing personal bankruptcy. She received the gift from the estate of a deceased former resident of Oceanview Center for Rehabilitation and Continuing Care in Cape May, NJ; the long-term care facility that Campbell was employed with.
In 2011, Campbell was working as the director of nursing for the long-term care facility. That September, she received notice from the administrator of the former resident’s estate that she would be receiving the $100,000 gift in two installments of $42,5000 (after taxes), as noted in his will.
Campbell received the two installments in November of 2011 and March of 2012. The check for the March installment was dated March 15, 2012, and exactly one day later, Campbell filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. She claimed to be in debt $96,000.
When filing for bankruptcy, Campbell failed to enclose the details of the gift and falsified her bankruptcy petition by leaving out key pieces of information. According to the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor, Campbell left out the following information:
- She had received the first disbursement of the gift and had knowledge she would be receiving the second.
- She had opened a bank account and had been using it for transactions involving the gift.
- She was a party to a contract to purchase an in-ground pool and had made a payment of $21,000 towards the pool.
- She transferred a car out of her name to that of her live-in girlfriend who used the proceeds from the sale of that car to purchase a vehicle valued at nearly $80,000.
The bankruptcy decree was finalized in August 2012, absolving Campbell of more than $75,000 in personal debt.
Now, not only will Campbell spend five years in state prison, her license from the Board of Nursing will be suspended for three years.
We have found that the best way to investigate any situation is to use a combination of old-school techniques and the wonderful world of the internet. And even though many situations require actual footwork like canvassing and interviews, nothing will reveal more about a subject’s life than what they post on social media. Take a look at the case studies featured below from the article “Sleuthing Social Sites” by Hal Humphreys of Pursuit Magazine.
The Criminal Choir Boy – Humphreys, lead investigator of [FIND] Investigations, was hired to investigate a man involved a high-stakes lawsuit. His family painted the picture of a choir boy (literally) and a good, straight-edged kid who had never used drugs…and the neighbors would probably have corroborated that story. Not to mention, investigators who knock on doors are sometimes seen as outsiders and suspicious.
However, the man’s social media accounts told a much different story. Humphreys spoke of his online presence, noting that “Photos and comments about the subject painted a complete different picture of his personality and habits. The mythological choir boy image didn’t stand up well against a photograph of the youth proudly puffing a blunt.”
Humphreys also identified potential witnesses, interests, activities, and other social media profiles depicting his illegal lifestyle choices.
Skip Tracing Via Twitter – Humphreys had been hired to locate a young woman who had left the scene of a motor vehicle accident. Attorneys and the sheriff’s office gave up trying to contact her after numerous unreturned phone calls and subpoena services at her last known address.
Databases identified that she had still been reporting her father’s address (even though the sheriff’s office didn’t find her there).
Humphreys took to the internet and found the 20-something-year-old’s social media accounts and developed that she took a liking to posting her whereabouts and travel plans on Twitter. She had traveled to Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, and Los Angeles. Luckily, her poor decision making and lack of judgment led her to post her actual physical address. The client served the subpoena at her address in California two days after.
Saving the Client on Travel Expenses – Here at ICU, we are huge supporters of saving our clients money whenever possible. And we’ve learned, just like Humphreys, that performing your due diligence before getting out in the field is imperative; because we all know, time is money!
Humphreys wrote, “One case promised to take us to exotic, sunny locales to perform clandestine shenanigans for fun and profit. Unfortunately, we were able to pull together enough information using databases, law enforcement sources, and a healthy dose of Facebook revelations to convince our client not to do business with this subject.”
Investigators have a multitude of valuable tools that cater to each individual situation. We just so happen to hold ourselves to the standard that every single investigation needs to be properly prepared according to its circumstances. New technology should not be replacing sending investigators out in the field, but it surely should supplement the efforts.
Part of a private investigator’s job is aiding legal teams in criminal defense cases, and in this case, we want to specifically point out how we can help your team with white collar criminal defense cases. White collar crime refers to financially motivated, nonviolent crime committed by business and government professionals. Take a look at the list below:
- Vetting Expert Witnesses – Private investigators can aid the defense in proving, or ultimately disproving, the credibility of an expert witness, which is key in a white collar crime case. Plenty of “expert witnesses” have been discredited after the discovery of their false professional and academic backgrounds.
- Vetting the Defendant – There is no better way to prepare than to get ahead of the game. Prosecutors do their research and due diligence on defendants, so why shouldn’t we? Private investigators thrive on gathering intelligence and facts. Who better to cover all angles and discover indiscretions of the defendant than a professional?
- Vetting Key Cooperators – Prosecutors often rely on the role of government cooperators and witnesses to sway their case. Questioning and discovering that these witnesses/cooperators are not as reliable as they claim to be opens up a world in which you are now able to question the character and credibility of said cooperator, which may sway the jury in your direction.
- Vetting the Jury – No one will really know how jurors will react to the situation in front of them. However, knowing the jurors’ views and backgrounds is a valuable asset to have. Determining critical details about each juror may help you make more informed decisions and help dismiss jurors if need be.
- Interviewing – Interviewing as many parties as possible, including all types of witnesses, is crucial to supporting your case. Private investigators are seasoned interviewers and can help you mold pertinent information into your case.
- Document Review – White collar criminal defense usually comes along with an overwhelming paper trail. Private investigators can sift through information and target specific key points to highlight in your case.
- Gathering Information/Facts – In an article written by Brian Willingham of Diligentia Group, he writes, “An attorney once told me that lawyers go to law school to learn about the law and that private investigators are trained to obtain facts. A private investigator can find difficult-to-find facts, witnesses or information to help support the defense while lawyers concentrate on the legal aspects of the case.”
- A Second Look & Different Perspective – A fresh set of eyes and a different point of view can be the most critical weapon in your legal arsenal. Attorneys and private investigators think much differently!