It was a hectic day here at when the door opened and a small framed middle aged man walked in. He was a rather nerdy fellow with small eyes and bushy eyebrows. In his hand was a small box; 5 inches by 8 inches and he carried it like it was filled with precious gems. He walked right into my office, sat down and said, “I’m here to help you!” which I found strange, because I believed I was here to help him. When I asked what he could do for me, he laid the box down on my desk, opened it up and lifted a smart phone out of it. We both looked at each other with surprise, me because it was just a phone and him, it was an item of complete concern. He held up his finger to his mouth to shush me, then he took the battery out of the back of the phone and laid the phone and the battery on my desk. He looked up at me and said, “I’m being followed! I’m being tracked and everywhere I go is known and whatever I say is heard. There is listening devices on this phone”.
He was a peculiar man, but concern showed on his face. He said, “Now we can talk freely, they know where I am.” He introduced himself as Malcom. My first question to him was why would someone want to know his every move and what he had to say? He replied he had just quit his job recently and someone there was keeping tabs on him. I learned that he was a controller in a very hi-profile company that conducted forensic technical tests. I was intrigued as he believed I would be and so I listened. His company was in the IT Business, they had access to many forensic software programs that he adamantly believed had been downloaded on his personal phone in the event he would go to a competitor. I reminded him he was the controller of the company and not a technician and why would they want to do such a thing. I learned he had developed many patens and had done so outside his employment and that he had offered to sell his patents to them, but they refused to pay him what he wanted and he didn’t want to just give them away.
He went on to tell me about many incidents that occurred during his employment, coincidences at first then it escalated to reoccurrences and he believed it was reverse corporate espionage, business espionage. I became intrigued with his story; with him too. He told me he was at dinner one evening and a man sat at a table in view with his. The man made several body movements that caught his attention and seemed a bit out of place. When I told him there were many suspicious characters in the world, he cut me short and told me I needed to believe him. He handed me his cell phone and instructed me to conduct a mobile phone forensic analysis upon it. He said he knew about phone taps, cell phone spying and cell phone eavesdropping, and he was positive he was a victim of it.
The phone was provided to our computer forensic specialist who is also a computer forensic expert witness for analysis. His findings revealed there was indeed some type of software that had been installed on his phone, but it is was not done remotely, therefore whomever installed the spyware had physical access to his phone. Malcom was concerned that since the spyware was manually installed by a non computer forensic specialist, it could be speculative that he downloaded it himself. Malcom took his case to his attorney and is currently in mitigation.
-Brenda McGinley, CEO, All in Investigations