At what point in a case should a forensic investigation be initiated?

Once a case for fraud has been initiated, when should a forensic investigation be done?

As early as possible, for a couple reasons:

  • One is, once an investigation begins, there is opportunity for the perpetrator to destroy evidence. You want the investigation by the forensic team to start before that happens.
  • Also, in the case of computer imaging to reveal data, we have to face the unfortunate situation that data can be overridden.  So, something that has been deleted from a hard drive can be recovered as long as someone hasn’t overridden it with new files.  The quicker you begin the investigation, the easier it is to overcome this problem.

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