During this first module, students will be introduced to the concept of Open Source Intelligence and why it is an increasingly powerful methodology for financial investigators.  Students will learn how to use search engines efficiently, how to build search algorithms that deliver relevant information rapidly, and how to use ‘enforced term operators’ to further refine search results.  Using real-life cases, students will also learn the methodology of structured search, and will also be introduced to the Deep Web.


During this second module, students will be introduced to the intelligence cycle and will understand the importance of the OSINT process in structured search.  The creation of a research plan and having a clear, concise manner in which to manage the content captured are key foundations to an effective investigation.  Students are introduced to techniques of source and identity verification, and a case study is used to teach planning and content management techniques.  As investigators, particularly financial investigators, need to increasingly search for information from foreign jurisdictions in languages they do not understand, embedded auto-translation tools make the process manageable, and relevant content easily accessible; these tools, briefly introduced in Module 1, will be explored in greater detail.  The 'robot exclusion protocol' is explained, and you will be shown how to use the Internet Archive within the structure of the module’s case study.


During this third module, the recent changes in North American and European legislation regarding financial crime will be set out, and the implications for corporates and senior executives will be explained. The module then focusses on three specific types of investigations that corporates and financial service companies will need to carry out. Students will be shown how to investigate corporate ownership structures to uncover the ultimate beneficial owners; they will learn how to investigate the family and associate structures of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs); and finally, how to conduct an enhanced due diligence investigation that meets with current corporate needs. As financial institutions are now required to monitor PEPs and higher risk clients on an ongoing basis, and can no-longer rely solely on third-party systems, we will introduce students to a couple of key commercial real-time monitoring platforms and will explain how to put together a real-time monitoring system. Finally, for financial institutions and asset managers, a key issue that often needs to be resolved is tracking an individual’s "sources of wealth"; we will guide students through this process.


This final module will introduce the student to the concept of "amber flags," explaining how to capture early warning signals of a potential risk, before that risk explodes and becomes a full "red flag." A key source of early warning tends to be the world’s investigative journalists. We will introduce students to the key sites that these journalists use and also show how to set up a real-time monitoring system, as well as to how to locate and verify expert sources. In this module, students will also be taught various advanced skills around investigation and security, including: email tracing, the use and management of RSS feeds, browser security, web server log files, proxy servers, and anonymous web searching. Further, we will set out a framework and checklist for financial investigators to use; provide lists of specialized databases and relevant online resources; introduce the more useful specialist groups that exist on LinkedIn; and finally, provide a guide to the more useful foreign language sites that investigators tend to need.