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It’s no secret that the impacts of COVID-19 have trickled into our homes, communities, and local economies, affecting our lives in so many ways over the past year. Private Investigators have been on the frontlines throughout the pandemic, working closely with businesses, individuals, and families who have been adversely impacted.
In this blog, we’re sharing Insider Insight from SQPI Director, Adrianne F. on the key COVID-19-induced themes that have emerged over this past year, and how Toronto’s leading Private Investigator Team can offer support as you navigate these obstacles.
Amid growing fears and plenty of uncertainty, the COVID-19 has been prime time for fraudulent activity which has skyrocketed during the pandemic.
Corporate fraud has been an increasingly prevalent issue during COVID-19. The transition to remote work environments has allowed employees freedom from controlling office environments, however many companies don’t have the same level of oversight over employee activity that they once did. Accordingly, businesses large and small are struggling to control the misuse of company time and resources on behalf of employees.
Notably, COVID-19 measures have also resulted in widespread job loss or reductions in work hours; employees who feel that their financial security is as risk are more motivated to engage in these troubling behaviours – putting your business at risk.
“While there have been notable spikes in unemployment over a wide range of industries, we’ve dealt with a lot of clients within construction and trades who are concerned with rampant theft of cash and property by their own employees. Given the concern, there is also an underlying level of sympathy; hours are being cut, people are struggling to make ends meet, and employers are often aware that the culprits are turning to theft out of sheer desperation.”
But COVID-19 fraud isn’t only happening within businesses. Canadians eager to get their COVID-19 vaccine have become perfect targets for COVID-19 scams. Fraudsters are calling and emailing vulnerable populations, giving them false hope of reserving an appointment for a vaccination. In exchange, hopeful Canadians provide their health card information, SIN number, and perhaps even a credit card. In other scenarios, those who are desperate for access to a vaccine, are lured in by fraudulent websites offering the vaccine – at a cost.
“Vaccine scams are everywhere and they’re praying upon elders and vulnerable populations who are desperate to get their shot! Scammers are calling these people offering a vaccine appointment, getting them to disclose their personal information which is then used fraudulently.”
COVID-19 In the Home
People are facing many challenges due to the pandemic. Between social isolation, anxiety, and economic uncertainty there are many factors negatively impacting relationships within the home. Here are just a couple of hardships people across the country are experiencing:
- Spiking Rates of Infidelity: Most notably, we’re seeing an uptick in those who are turning to infidelity to cope with the restlessness of isolation and loss of other outlets/coping mechanisms, using an affair to stay engaged, entertained, and Prolonged periods spent at home during lockdown orders may also exacerbate existing issues in the relationship; many are seeking affairs as a release from the tension between themselves and their partner.
- Mental Health Issues: Family members are hiring private investigation firms to help monitor loved ones who are suffering from the mental health impacts of COVID-19 and are engaging in harmful, destructive behaviours including drugs and alcohol, unexplained exorbitant spending. In fact, 35 per cent of Ontarians are feeling very high or high anxiety – this is up from 30 per cent in the summer. These feelings may be leading your family members to prolonged, unexplained absences where surveillance is used to not only monitor their whereabouts, but to ensure that they make it home safely.
- The same concerns are being seen in teens and pre-teens, many of whom are suffering adversely during COVID. Mental health support for young people is limited at this time, and while parents are going above and beyond to keep them safe, some worry that this is not enough.
“Our clients, parents to a 14-year-old son, came to us at a point of desperation, worried for the wellbeing of their child. Exasperated, lonely, and lost, the son was spiraling out of control, sneaking out of the house, MIA for days on end, doing drugs and vandalizing public property. Our surveillance operation was successful not only because we were able to identify and report the source of his drugs, but the Private Investigator on the case befriended the son and has over the course of the past 6 months, become his mentor. We’re proud of our compassionate, personalized approach to investigations, and our dedication to going above and beyond for our clients; it’s been an absolute necessity during these sensitive and unprecedented times.”
How Can Toronto’s Leading Private Investigators Help?
These are only a few of the many ways that our lives have shifted over the course of the year. As businesses and families pivot to deal with life within this new normal, we are proud to offer the unparalleled support and services you need to help you with this transition. Whether a proactive measure to keep your loved ones safe or your business secure or a reactive response to help pinpoint the source of what has gone awry, we offer the expertise you need, at a price you can afford.
As Toronto’s leading team of Corporate and Family Law Private Investigation Experts, Star Quality Private Investigations has been working closely with businesses and individuals throughout the pandemic, helping them find the answers and clarity they so desperately need during these unprecedented times. We offer high-quality and thorough Private Investigation services that are highly customized to your specific circumstances, budget, and timeline. Don’t suffer in silence; reach out to us today for a free consultation.
If you’re experiencing mental health issues during the pandemic, please check out this list of mental health resources available to Ontarians.