What Do I Do when Someone Don't Want to Disclose Source of Information?
Sept. 12, 2021
What do you do when someone tells you they will not disclose the name of their source? Generally, the first thing I say is, "Why don't you want to disclose that information to me?" Sometimes the answer is because that person is afraid of retaliation for themselves or for that third party, that source, or sometimes they are concerned that that source will then face retaliation. And that's something as investigators that we need to always have our ears out for to report back to our clients. So if somebody tells you that they can't disclose the name of the person, a couple of things, ask them why, and then remind them that the point of the entire exercise is to get to the bottom of what is going on. And that knowing that information doesn't necessarily mean that person is in trouble or even that you're going to investigate them or that you're going to interview them. But a lot of times just kind of being neutral, "I handle this all the time. Why don't you want to tell me?" Just being calm about it and asking them and probing about why they don't want to disclose the source of information, often gets people to disclose it. But ultimately if the person is not going to relay that person's name or in this one instance, there's one particular thing they don't want to tell you where they got the data. You just record that, report that back to your client. A lot of times it's kind of a knock on that individual's credibility. Sometimes it's not, depending on the reasons and the circumstances, but ultimately you got to find out why they won't disclose their source.