For communities

Is all the income being declared, or do you suspect a community to be damaged by false declarations? We replace suspicions with evidence and support the public authority with the investigation of social welfare fraud, false declaration, or accounting fraud. In all kinds of investigations and observations communities can profit from our know-how and more than 20 years of experience in this sensitive area. Since 1995 we are successfully working hand in hand with public authorities, especially communal and cantonal welfare agencies. As a professional partner we provide the following services:

  • Surveillance or research regarding social welfare fraud
  • Operation as social inspector
  • Investigation of income and assets of recipients
  • Investigations in false declaration and accounting fraud
  • Clarification of residence and further background checks
  • Surveillance in cases of littering and vandalism (CCTV or observation by our detectives)

Operation as social detective

We support welfare agencies in cases of suspected fraud in verifying the statements made by the suspected recipients and in evaluating whether (supplementary) benefits are rightfully granted. In the service of public authorities or communities we investigate if benefits granted by the respective welfare agency are used as intended. We support communal and cantonal administrations in complying with their fiduciary obligation as well as duty of supervision, by for example clarifying the living and housing conditions of individual recipients. In our operations as a social detective we perform official visits at home and interviews for clarification of facts for social services and provide thorough documentation of the results. For our clients we clarify the circumstances of living, housing and work of a recipient, provide a solid basis for decision and reports for our clients. We work hand in hand with several welfare agencies.

Our thoughts on an abuse rate between two and five percent and abuse of social welfare in general:

Experts in the field of social welfare assume that between two and five percent of social welfare benefits are obtained by fraud. The latest numbers for the city of Zurich confirm, depending on the respective definition, an abuse rate of 2.4 and 5.5 percent (Source: Weniger Sozialhilfefälle trotz Krise, NZZ, 14.04.2010). Our daily cooperation with welfare agencies shows that professional case handling and an early and regular inspection of current cases helps avoiding abuse. Standardised interviewing techniques (elicitation) and an effective controlling are powerful tools to achieve the said goal. A study of the Bern University of Applied Sciences substantiates our subjective assessment based on practical experience, that

  • in 83% of the cases, where target agreements have not been kept by the client, sanctions where missing;
  • in 70% of the cases, supplementary benefits for alleged efforts to find work have been granted without equivalent proof;
  • in 25% of the cases, where fraudulently received benefits should have been reimbursed, there was no enforcement to do so.

Most welfare agencies have introduced professional controlling mechanisms, but with a small percentage of clients these control mechanisms are not effective. That's where an acute need for action arises, which you can reconstruct with the help of our case studies. In our opinion, abuse has to be avoided on several levels as soon as suspicion arises. A thorough quality management combines internal measures with professional support from external experts under consideration of legal boundaries. In this scenario Privatdetektei Ryffel AG understands itself as your partner for investigative services in the field of social welfare, since this field has shown to contain more risks and potential for abuse nowadays.