“As needed, establish and conduct surveillance activity to develop both intelligence and evidence to further investigations,” a recruitment ad said, The Washington Times reports. “Utilize surveillance activities to identify subjects, their activities and their associates, corroborate source information and collect evidence.”
The CFPB said that investigators may earn between $98,000 to $149,000 per year and that the recruits could be required to set up and oversee contracts with private investigators.
“Investigative work conducted by our staff will be covered by [CFPB] policies to ensure all practices comply with applicable laws and regulations and protect individuals’ privacy rights,” Moira Vahey, a CFPB spokeswoman, said, according to The Washington Times. “The investigation activities described in the posting are intended to inform our enforcement office about what consumers may experience with different financial products or services. We anticipate that the type of information gathered generally will be information available to the general public. Investigation activities like these are typical among agencies charged with civil law enforcement.”
Several other government agencies, including the Department of Education and Department of Health and Human Services, have implemented or proposed similar plans. The Department of Education has sent undercover investigators posing as potential students to universities in order to obtain leads on suspected fraud and evaluate financial aid experiences.
The Department of Health and Human Services, however, scrapped its plan to dispatch investigators to doctors’ offices to determine Medicaid and Medicare patients’ access to primary care doctors after some Congress members said that it was similar to spying, The Washington Times reports.