Year: 2022

Following the recent pandemic, in one way or another, it would be difficult to argue against the way
we live our lives, including the way we work, has changed forever. Has the new normal affected your
working environment and changed the balance of managing Employees?

Agile working, flexible working, remote working requires the implementation of technology outside of your company’s physical building which brings with it its own challenges of not only having to manage your staff remotely but adopting a new way of working. Trusting your Employees or Agents to be focused upon the role you are paying them to perform and to reach those KPI’s you have set is likely to be on the top of the list.

With inflation at a 30 year high, more families have the need to turn to food banks simply to survive,
even affecting those in fulltime positions, some Employees may be looking at alternative sources of
income or a side hustle to keep them afloat financially. As salaries stagnate and their monthly income
is unlikely to keep pace with current outgoings, can you blame them for looking for an easier
alternative to fill the finance gap?

We live in a culture of a ‘Gig Economy’ where more staff are working under flexible, temporary, or
freelance roles and may not be bound by employment contracts, but what about those Employers of
permanent staff with a contracted obligation? What do you do if you find staff ‘moonlighting’ or you
have been alerted to the possibility?

The term ‘moonlighting’ is sometimes used to describe extra work, a second job or a secret job, taken
on by an Employee in addition to their primary source of employment. This is another source of
income they haven’t disclosed to their current Employer because they may not want them to know
about it as it requires the employee to undertake micro tasks during the same working hours.
Other questions come into play:

Whose job is it to monitor moonlighting – CEO, Managers, HR?

What are the implications to your business and the rest of the staff for whom you have both legal and
moral responsibilities?
Technically, it is not against the law to have a second income. It is the responsibility of the Employer
to have the morally acceptable Employment contracts in place for their business and their staff. It is
however, the responsibility of the individual Employee to advise HMRC of any secondary income they
may receive.

What if that second income was achieved electronically by multi-tasking? Are moonlighting and social
media connected? Micro tasks are on the rise, the GIG economy also gives rise to ease and
accessibility of multitasking. The Facebook marketplace (now meta) is an all under one roof, chat,
update profiles, Amazon Turk, E-Bay, are all micro task sites, some of which may involve ‘selling’ or
something as minute as creating a graphic for a blog post.

Now is the perfect time to examine if you have updated policies in place, including working from
home, to ensure the bottom line and your business is not affected by moonlighting.
If you suspect one of your Employees, consider the option of a no obligation, initial consultation with
Fox Robinson Investigations to discuss how Open Source Intelligence Techniques (OSINT) can help

You can reach us by submitting a request on the contract form on our website or for those urgent
matters you can call us directly.

Statistics has shown there are 4.9 billions active internet users, this is over half of the world’s
population. Similarly, there are 4.62 billion active social media accounts. We could argue that at least
one third of these are fake accounts. Phishing, this is a type of social engineering attack often used to
steal another person’s data, including login credentials and credit card numbers. Social engineering is
a term used for a broad range of malicious activities done through a number of different human

A high percentage of internet users predominantly use one of the big three search engines, Google,
Bing and Yahoo. Outside of the United States, UK and Europe the number one search engine in
Russia is Yandex and Baidu in China.

Very few people actually realise that the surface web, (the top five search engines) only accounts for
4% of the data available on the internet today. Source: Visual Capitalist
Where is the remaining 96% of information stored and what does it consist of?
Good question, the answer to this is the Dark Web also known as the Deep Web. You may have
heard of terms such as search engine optimisation (SEO) and Website page ranking, in simplistic
terms, the remaining 96% of data on the web is not optimised for the major search engines’ crawler
bots, which essentially map and index the content on a web page. These .onion domains are not
registered with the internet’s domain name service (DNS) so to access them you need to use a
special type of browser called Tor.

Have you ever considered just how much information about you or your business is contained in
some of the other areas of the web?
For most people, even the mention of the Dark Web conjures up thoughts of a scary place for illegal
or illicit activities, drugs, guns and a place to purchase stolen credentials.
What does this mean for your personal or business information? Is any of your data available on the
Dark Web? How would you know? How do you begin to search and ascertain if your details have
been compromised by a data breach and subsequently found their way onto the Dark Web?
It is no secret search engines and websites collect our data, most times we even agree to it
happening. The burning question is, how do we establish if our personal, private information is
accessible unwittingly or without our agreement. This could have involved viewing something as
simple as free products or services.

Have you ever wondered why Facebook rebranded to Meta? Those in the know consider the obvious
answer is the hype of the Metaverse and the opportunities that brings. The elements of a new digital
age are converging at scale. The metaverse is the driving force bringing these elements together in a
unified, immersive experience however, if we look beyond the fun, games and opportunities, can we
ever be confident of a fundamental right to privacy and protection of our personal data? Will a whole
new decentralised world make a difference when there are so many data breaches in our current
digital environment, what lessons have been learned?

Would it surprise you to learn Meta (Facebook) allow accounts to be opened using a dark web site?
How would you proceed if you thought your personal or company data had been compromised? Who
may have unauthorised access to such data – email addresses, passwords, phone numbers just to
mention a few.

Consider the option of a no obligation, initial consultation with Fox Robinson Investigations to discuss
how Open Source Intelligence Techniques (OSINT) can help you discover what information is

accessible on the Dark Web and establish how we can help you not to only discover this and what
can be done to have it removed.

We provide numerous services covering different methodologies to establish what can be found on
individuals and businesses then we can discuss the best plan of action, and any necessary next

You can visit our website or call us directly if your requirements are urgent.

Employee Workplace Investigations

Investigating an Employee or ex-Employee inside or outside of a workplace can cause many
challenges for management. Who is responsible for conducting the investigation, the line manager,
HR or do you outsource the process to a trusted professional with the expertise to fulfil the need to
prove your suspicious, or obtain a conviction during any judicial process?

Workplace investigation can come in many different shapes and sizes for several different purposes
which may include but is not limited to, misconduct, harassment, moonlighting, bullying, discrimination
allegations, or even theft of corporate data or clientele.

Hiring a private investigator to conduct a workplace investigation can help ease any conflict of interest
and remove any emotional attachment to an individual during the investigative process.

Private workplace investigations using Open Source Intelligence Techniques – OSINT can be more
cost effective than surveillance alone. You don’t wish to alert your main suspect that you are on to
them. You need to proceed with caution, act normally, but gain the ‘evidence’ required on which to
base decisions to protect your business.

The circumstantial evidence may include an employee whom you believed to be a trusted member
of your staff, causing you frustration and sleepless nights, the feeling of a physical body blow. The
situation is taking too much headspace, further damaging your usual ability to make sound financial
business decisions which you would normally sail through daily, as part of managing your business.

Scenario 1:
The market in which your business operates has contracted and you need to reduce your head count
accordingly as the business can no longer sustain the number of roles. Unfortunately, a redundancy
process must be implemented.

Unbeknown to you, a senior member of staff sees an opportunity and works on mentoring/priming
those that will be leaving the business with access to highly sensitive information, whilst they
themselves remain in their senior position, allowing a foot in both camps. The mentoring likely
included how to set up a business in direct competition with minimal overheads. Customer lists,
contracts, pricing were all known to those involved, meaning they could hit the ground running at
their given start date.

You need a damage limitation strategy, one which includes concrete evidence showing the activities
of the current and ex employees. Fox Robinson Investigations can help with your workplace,
employee and ex employee investigations.

Financial Gain

Conflict of interest in the workplace often refers to the personal or financial interest of an employee
clashing with their professional duties towards the company they work for. The personal interest can
cause one party to question what the other party’s intentions are, leaving both parties at odds with
each other.

Consider the work of a surgeon, a solicitor or a defence lawyer; generally speaking, we do not see
surgeons operating on their family members, lawyers normally avoid defending their loved ones and
senior managers do not employ close relatives in positions where they would be considered as a
direct reporting line or have influence.

The reason for engaging such practices is about avoiding conflict of interest, divided loyalties or an
invested interest in the situation from which they may either benefit directly or could face
consequences arising from it.

A conflict of interest calls into question the ability to remain unbiased in both thoughts and ideas,
leading to incompatible goals.
If you have suspicions one of your employees or agents may be conducting work for a competitor, you need evidence to confirm or eliminate a conflict of interests, whilst currently all you have are unsubstantiated assumptions which may be taking time and headspace away from the smooth running of your business.

Not knowing which direction to take?
Call us: 0800 36 88 444
Pulled in Two Different Directions

What can constitute a conflict of interests in this type of scenario? How do you go about gaining evidence whilst ensuring your employees are either unaware, not made to feel uncomfortable, or you simply wish to keep an investigation separate/isolated/remote from the day to day running of the business?

Here are a few examples of a conflict of interests:

  • Using sensitive information about the company by which they are currently employed, for self interest and financial gain. Example; An employee who is working for one company while talking to a vendor about going to work for their company at a future date. Or, an executive chooses a vendor and enters into a business relationship with the company, yet they own shares in the vendor’s business which they have not disclosed.
  • Conducting work for a competitor or being paid by a competitor as a consultant or advisory capacity. An example could be something as simple using their work account on certain paid tools and programs to manage their own list of clients for their personal business.
  • Setting up a business in competition with the one in which they are currently employed, just waiting for the optimum exit timing. Work performance may be compromised and deteriorate due to potential ‘burn out’. Internal and external stakeholders’ relationships may suffer damage as a consequence.
  • Whilst in a senior decision making role, failing to disclose a personal or family relationship which may affect your business, either during their tenure or, once the employee has left the business. This could relate to feeding sensitive information for use with a competitor. Alternatively, the personal relationship choice of employee, perhaps for a new role or a new project may well be based upon merit however, it could cause hostility amongst co-workers and affect the balance of the team or the team spirit.
  • Accepting inappropriate gifts or engaging discussions with current or prospective contractors or suppliers for financial gain. Accepting gifts could appear totally innocent at the time but the employee may be held to ransom by the one offering the gift, at a future point in time.

What ever your suspicions consider a no obligation, initial consultation with Fox Robinson Investigations to discuss the option of Open Source Intelligence Techniques (OSINT) and how it can help.