Activity app - forcing notifications?

Owncloud 8.2 - Ubuntu
We are using an automated system to load files directly to users space. If we open their owncloud web interface and drag a file there a notification is sent perfectly. If we drag a file to their directory it appears fine when they open their account, but no notifications are ever sent. Is there a possible way to get the cron job to find new files and send notifications? can we use some OCC function? could you direct me to how I could code something to do this? Thank you.

You should not be accessing the data directories of users unless it is through ownCloud - else ownCloud does not know about the changes you make. You can force ownCloud to detect change using the occ command occ files:scan $userid --path=/path/to/the/folder/to/scan.

Please also consider upgrading to ownCloud 10 - 8.2, 9.0 and shortly 9.1 will be no longer supported

Thank you!
I just tried:
occ files:scan --path [user]/files
and it listed the file I dragged there, however it didn't trigger activity to send an email. Logging in to their accounts and dragging files there is much too cumbersome, we need a fairly simple way to get files automatically into their directories and send notifications out. Is there another way to set activity to trigger, or perhaps a better way to script moving files to them?
I greatly appreciate your time on this.