Digital Forensics Blogs


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What Fraud REALLY costs....

Why commercial crime kills businesses.

When a company suffers a loss from internal fraud that loss of course comes straight off of the bottom line profit.

Company A works on a 20% margin. Consequently a loss of say 1 million is effectively 5 Million in TURNOVER that's been lost. The indirect consequence is that the company could be overstaffing, underselling or even inflating their prices above market expectation to cover a loss that they don't realise is happening.

Undiscovered fraud within any company skews everything. From capacity calculations to margins and of course it stilts growth. Money that could be used on staff development and training, new sales material, marketing or any number of things just dissapears from the overall budget to service the needs of the self-serving fraudster.

Over the years I've encountered companies that upon discovering fraud and investigating it with tangible learning outcomes have gone on to have bumper years once the loop holes are closed. The reality only then sets in as to the indirect cost of the loss.

Let's not even try to factor in the loss of focus and productive business time that is channeled into fraud investigations as they go through the motions.

Fraud costs companies in more ways than they realise at face value. The key to risk reduction is on-going tightening and balancing of controls, self checking mechanisms and periodic training and review. This is where people turn to Certified Fraud Examiners for help and guidance. Their role is not limited to the investigation of commercial crime, it extends to understanding business processes and procedures required as best practices to close the gaps. A good fraud investigator stays up to date with the relevant company regulations of the country he works in and ensures that these are taken into account during an investigation.

At the end of the day, an investigative outcome is always required. This should however be balanced by pragmatic learning outcomes that help guide the client to secure themselves against recurrence of the incident.

Don't let your companies growth be stunted by Fraudsters!

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What is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)?

You may have noticed that some of our team have the letters CFE after their names. Others are noted as being members of the ACFE (Association of Certified Fraud Examiners).

Within the forensics division of the company, we need to ensure that our staff have the best-of-breed qualifications. Within the investigation of commercial crimes, the CFE stands out worldwide as the top certification.

Accepted around the world as the most sought after and respected qualification, Certifed Fraud Examiners are required to complete a thorough syllabus of training and examination in regards to the different investigative methodologies and elements of fraud and fraud prevention. A proven track record of financial crime investigation is required before delegates can attempt the examinations.

Armed with the appropriate investigative background, a CFE is able to investigate the most complex of financial frauds including Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes, internal frauds, skimming and syndicate activity. In South Africa, the CFE is well established as the premier credential for fraud investigation and well represented by the ACFE. Regular chapter meetings are held including on-going training and education to ensure that those carrying the CFE designation continue to develop their skills.

At TCG Digital Forensics, Craig holds a CFE while Thor and Natascha are Associate members. Chris is currently working towards his CFE studies. Our Digital Forensics division specialises in digital artifacts, however in order to understand the investigative process and value of the artifacts we regard it as crucial that our staff are all trained and certified in the complete process.

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What do you know about our OsInt Services?

Who uses OsInt?

OsInt is used by private and forensic investigators, attorneys, law enforcement, intelligence organisations, fraud investigators, human resources professionals, tracing agents and commercial enterprises. It is a key component of performing due diligence studies on persons and businesses.

What is SmInt?

Social Media Intelligence is the use of information stored within social media platforms to further the knowledge of a person, group or incident. Often this information is available unbeknownst to the user. While the information is not accessible at the click of a button it can be uncovered with queries and structured data calls.

Is OsInt software?

No, OsInt and SmInt are processes. These processes often use software for recording the process or information uncovered but they remain human processes. Analysis of data still vests with a human being and not an algorithm.

How technical is it?

There are different levels of OsInt ability, from a basic researcher to programmers and analysts. A good degree of computer literacy is essential as is an understanding of the internet and investigative methodology.

Can't someone just share their tools with me?

They could, but that would only provide a tool. Much like giving someone who can drive a 250 ton crane driver won't make them a crane operator. OsInt requires a structured investigative approach and an understanding of how the results and pivots meet. This requires hands-on training.

Is this training available online?

We don't provide online training. OsInt as a skill/ ability requires hands-on practice and lab environments in order to develop best practices. Each countries level of data availability differs substantially as do privacy laws between jurisdictions. As such, you need someone experienced to guide you.

Is this training expensive?

Comparatively, no. A level 1 OsInt/SmInt course will cost around R2000-2500 per delegate, per day. This is well priced in the commercial training sector as the skills required for teaching OsInt are scarce and in high demand.

Do you actively practice or only teach?

Our company is an active Digital Forensics practice and as such all trainers are experienced and use their skills daily in the furtherance of their job functions. We train from a perspective of experience coupled with theoretical knowledge.

What can you DO with OsInt?

Our practice is a Digital Forensics lab environment. As such we use OsInt for profiling suspects in civil and criminal matters, tracing people, locating digital evidence, analysing and verifying digital information, providing expert witness testimony in court and of course Due Diligence investigations.

Is group training available?

Yes, we do provide group training on request (minimum 5 people). Costs are dependent on the location, travel expenses, etc.

Is one-on-one training possible?

At this stage we do not provide one-on-one training but are always open to discussion.

Is OsInt legal?

Absolutely, it's key to learn the laws around data privacy and to ensure that you're working within them at all times.

Is this course SAQA Accredited?

At this point no, we are however in the process of accrediting our training material with SAQA and will advise once this is complete. As a 40 hour course curriculum with specific outcomes we do not anticipate too many glitches with achieving this.

Who are your course instructors?

Our course instructors are chosen based on their proven OsInt/SmInt experience as well as their ability to present and impart knowledge. The majority of our instructors have a policing background as well as commercial experience. Some of the instructor crew are chosen for presentation of specific modules in which they hold strong credentials and expertise.

Do you employ OsInt Analysts and Researchers?

Yes, we certainly do. Positions are advertised on this site as well as on our Facebook page as they become available.

Please note that our next OSINT seminar is being held on Tuesday the 9th of July in Midrand. During this session, you will learn about the available information and tools to use, to assist with your case, or to let you know what is possible. Please note that due to limited available space, bookings are essential! Cost is R650 excl VAT.

tcg digital forensics computer forensics fraud investigations south africa

What can be done about Identity Theft?

With millions of people affected by identity theft every year, this online crime is nothing new. But as the years go by we will see fraudsters going to extreme lengths in order to steal your private information.

One method that will be widespread is using captured online videos. But how will this work? Online criminals will post fake job vacancies and request a short video and/or a meeting over Skype. Regardless of how they will obtain the video, they will have a recording of you talking about yourself, this will aide them when they open an online bank account!

Why is this happening? As banks try to compete to get the attention of the younger generation they will focus more on how easy the banking application is to use instead of focusing on the long term benefits of signing up.

There are different levels of OsInt ability, from a basic researcher to programmers and analysts. A good degree of computer literacy is essential as is an understanding of the internet and investigative methodology.

What can we do?

Prevention is vital. Always be vigilant and keep in mind that your digital information is just as valuable as your physical documents and paperwork…

tcg digital forensics computer forensics fraud investigations south africa

4 important Tips to get the most out of your Security Camera System

Having a modern surveillance camera system can help you when it comes to solving break-ins, robberies and a range of different crimes, but how can you improve the odds even more?

With the help of an expert audio/video forensics investigator, you can boost those odds even further in your favor - contact the TCG Digital Forensics Division on 021 110 0422 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for digital forensics services including CCTV image enhancement.

To get the most out of your security camera system, your cameras should be placed where they can capture the best possible footage…

Place at eye level – A camera that is close to a ceiling will cover a wider area, but that isn’t the best angle when it comes to capturing footage of a suspects face.

Don’t aim towards lights – Lighting from a window or a lamp, etc. can create silhouettes, this in turn makes it difficult to recognize a possible suspect.

Avoid it being too far away – A camera that is placed too far away is not likely to capture a high quality image of a suspects face, making it hard to identify someone.

Use multiple cameras – The more angles you have covered by cameras, the better your odds are of capturing a suspects face or any other evidence.

We hope you never need video evidence to investigate, but the tips above will improve your chances in the even that you do!

At The Computer Guyz we offer a range of different services as well as products, we are currently offering a state-of-the-art Uniview 4 Camera CCTV System. Order yours today - Give us a call on 021 110 0422 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

tcg digital forensics computer forensics fraud investigations south africa

Your regular IT Guy just won't make the grade when it comes to a forensic investigation - and this is why...

We often have clients and potential clients advise us "We'll get our IT guy to look, he's excellent"

Now we're not questioning your IT guys skill or experience in computing in any way whatsoever and we're quite sure he's very capable. That being said, when matters take a legal turn and a forensic approach is needed one has to look at the requirements for the assessment itself.

Firstly, will your IT guy stand up in court? Will be stand under cross examination and be admitted as an expert in his field? Will his deeper understanding of operating systems and data analysis pass scrutiny?

Before you can even consider the legal aspects, you need to appreciate that in forensic terms whatever is done must be replicable in court, properly presented as an impartial finding and of course happen within a secure chain of custody - anything less could put the outcome at risk in a court of law.

Digital Forensics is a highly specialized field which requires training in investigative skills and criminal/ civil law. This is before even going down the road of the technical proficiency and qualifications required to trade in the industry. Beyond this, one requires a veritable arsenal of specialized tools and equipment - even the most basic of lab facilities can cost R500k to equip.

Even the most seasoned IT professionals will not have access to the specialized tool set required and a free Linux tool or two just isn't sufficient. Cybercrimes and Forensic Investigation require the use of tools that will be acceptable to a court and do not alter the data in any manner whatsoever during the process (write blocking), this is of course done with a detailed understanding of the legal processes required to offer up evidence in court.

When engaging a Digital Forensics specialist, you're not just getting a set of hands - you're hiring an investigative professional with specialist skills armed with the latest technologies to ensure that evidence is acquired in a sound manner and correctly presented to court.

When you need a Forensic Investigator, ensure that you're dealing with a suitably qualified professional who has the academic qualifications as well as the track record to appear in court to quantify the evidence acquired and advise you accordingly during the investigation.

We do all forms of digital forensics such as cyber forensics (penetration testing / hacking recovery / cyber investigations), cellular phone analysis, hard drive analysis, device acquisitions and due diligence investigations. Please contact the TCG Digital Forensics Division on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 021 110 0422

tcg digital forensics computer forensics fraud investigations south africa

CFE Services in South Africa

As the business world and the online continues to grow so does fraud. And with the growth of digitization comes more ways for fraudsters to find possible victims! There are a range of different and somewhat scary fraud trends that business owners as well as individuals should keep their eyes open for. Fortunately with the growth of fraud comes the growth of professional and reliable CFE Services in South Africa.

TCG Digital Forensics in South Africa offers a range of unique expertise in the CFE field. In order for your company to be aware of fraud and prevent it in the future without harming your organisation as well as your employees and clients, CFE (Certified Fraud Examiners) provide digital forensic services where they will assist in detecting, preventing and investigating the

We offer CFE services in South Africa that can protect and assist you as an individual as well as your business, overall our digital forensics services are there to strengthen your anti-fraud protection effort s.

NEVER let fraudsters try and damage your business, make sure to take the right steps and communicate with the right people involved in CFE in South Africa. Here are some fraud trends to keep an eye out for…

- Identity theft - Fake accounts - Machine le arning

Fraud continues to grow at a rapid rate, which is why you need to keep up with the trends! Contact TCG Digital Forensics for reliable, professional and effective CFE services in South A frica.

For more information about our digital forensic services in South Africa, please do not hesitate to contact TCG Digital Forensics directly on 021 110 0422 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

tcg digital forensics computer forensics fraud investigations south africa

Protecting yourself from Package Tracking Scams

In the past few years, large amounts of package tracking scams have popped up. The scam will include an email trying to convince you to click a link or give out your private information. Most of the time the email will advise you that there is a shipping problem and you need to take some steps to clear the package that you didn’t even know you were receiving.

Even though most of these scams are easy to spot because of their awful English spelling and grammar, some are so well done that they can be difficult to spot. Keep an eye out for these signs so you do not fall victim to a tracking scam…

- Odd URLs - Requests to input your private information - Requests to click a link - Email messages starting with “Dear Customer”, etc.

NEVER give out any information about yourself and never click on links in an email, no matter how real it may look!

The bottom line is if you are not expecting a package and someone invites you to click a link to track a shipment of a brand new iPhone you never ordered – delete the message and move on!

At TCG Digital Forensics, we do all forms of digital forensics services such as cyber forensics, hacking recovery, cellular phone analysis and digital track and tracing! Give us a call on 021 110 0422 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss your specific requirements.