The investigation industry is one that dates to 1833 where a
French man by the name of Eugene Francois Vidocq founded the first private
investigating agency. He, along with all the other detectives in the agency,
were former convicts. He named the agency Le bureau des renseignements, The Office of Intelligence. The private agency worked on behalf of
citizens and was created to do the work officers were not well-equipped for,
according to Vidocq. Vidocq’s work reduced the crime rates in Paris by a
significant amount. However, it is believed that Vidocq and his ex-convict
investigators used tactics that would later imprison them, once again.
In 1850, the private investigation industry became known in
the United States. Allan Pinkerton, a former Chicago officer, retired and
opened his own private investigating agency. His agency, Pinkerton National
Detective Agency, became well-known and was recognized for its various
successes, including preventing the assassination of President-Elect, Abraham
Lincoln. Pinkerton was especially known for his integrity. He based his agency on
honor and working alongside law enforcement to have a greater force in solving crimes
and putting away criminals. Unlike Vidocq, he did not associate with criminals
or accept bribes. Pinkerton was also known for hiring the first female private
investigator, which was not a norm in the 1800s.
It was not until the 1920s when wealth began to grow in the
United States and hiring a private investigator became well-known for the
average American citizen. Private investigators were being hired for insurance
cases, marital disputes, surveillances, and white-collar crimes.
It seems not much has changed. As private investigators, we
still work the typical surveillances, divorces and insurance cases. However, it
is not the industry that is changing. It is the tactics and tools being used to
successfully conduct those cases that are advancing. The internet, technology,
and social media are all factors that have changed the investigative industry
We, as investigators, must stay up to date on the latest
technologies and gadgets that will aid us in solving a case. Sometimes we can
get so accustomed to the older methods that we were first taught, we may not
realize that nowadays there is a tool out there that may help us complete the
work in half the time. For example, writing a report is something that can take
up much of our time and it must be done thoroughly so no mistakes are made.
There is now a tool that you can dictate your report and it will transcribe it
for you. Just like this tool, there are plenty other forms of technologies that
can help you move forward successfully and efficiently in the industry.
Since the private investigating industry is one that is
constantly advancing, we have decided to host our very first conference, Modern Day Investigations. MDI is a three-day conference that will
bring investigators from all over the nation to teach them about new advances
in the industry and how to better themselves in their business to be more
efficient. This conference will give investigators the opportunity to integrate
the classic investigative concepts with the most modern-day methods.
We have brought together some of most well-known speakers in the industry. They will discuss modern-day safety, security, protection, and interviewing tactics for all investigations. Along with this, our sponsors will be showcasing the latest technology in the industry.
Join us this summer as we host MDI in Miami, Florida. It
will be a weekend full of learning and fun that will help build your knowledge
and grow your business. The conference will be June 27th – June 29th,
2019 at the InterContinental Hotel. Tickets are on sale now. Please visit the MDI tab on our website or call our
offices to learn more information and take part in our conference.
We hope to see you there!
Author: Claudia Barrios
Collins, Colleen. “National and International Private
Investigator Day: History of the Private Eye.” Guns, Gams & Gumshoes, 28
Dec. 2018, writingpis.wordpress.com/2018/07/24/national-and-international-private-investigator-day-history-of-the-private-eye/.
Tikkanen, Amy. “Allan Pinkerton.” Encyclopædia Britannica,
Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 21 Aug. 2018, www.britannica.com/biography/Allan-Pinkerton.
Walton, Geri. “The French Sherlock Holmes, Detective Eugène
François Vidocq.”Geri Walton, 10 May 2018,
The holiday season has arrived and we are only a few weeks away from 2019! It is the time of year many look forward to spending it with family and friends, buying gifts for their loved ones, and taking holiday vacations. It is also the time of year when thieves are lurking the malls and homes are being burglarized. It is important to remember while this may be the best time of year, it is also the time of opportunity for criminals. These are a few tips to keep in mind while you enjoy the holiday season.
The malls during the holiday season are chaotic from finding parking to the long checkout lines. With the abundant crowds of people it is easy to get distracted, however this is the time to be the most alert. It is very important to be aware of individuals around you. Lurking in the crowds can be an individual waiting for the right moment and opportunity to take someone else’s belongings. You need to be conscious of your purchased items and make sure not to leave any bags unattended. Also, it is important for women to keep their purses closed and close, making sure no one can reach in and take anything. When leaving the mall it is also crucial to be attentive as to who is around when you put your bags in your vehicle. It would be best if you find a friend or family member to go along with you while you check off your Christmas list.
Many who cannot find time to go to the mall or simply refuse to deal with the Christmas chaos, rely on online shopping. This means various packages are being delivered to homes daily. When you order items online make sure you note for the packages to be placed in a discrete spot, behind a plant or behind your porch furniture. Anywhere that it is not visible for anyone driving by.
Once you have completed your holiday shopping we are sure you cannot wait to wrap everything up and put it underneath the Christmas tree.Always keep in mind that burglars can be watching the neighborhood and waiting for the opportunity to commit their crime. Try to not put the gifts so close to a door or window that is visible to anyone from the street. This is a big red flag as many will know whose homes are filled with Christmas goodies. Make sure your doors are always locked, including any back doors or side gates. If you have an alarm system, remember to turn it on before you leave your home. It is also important to be attentive as to who is roaming in your neighborhood. If you see something suspicious, say something and report it.
Another tip to keep in mind is if you are traveling this holiday season make sure you do so safely and keep your home secure. Ask a trustworthy neighbor to keep an eye on your home while you are away. Put your home lights on a timer so the house seems it is being occupied. These are deterrents for anyone thinking about burglarizing your home. Also, be careful with what you are posting on social media during the holiday season. Although it is fun to post about where you will be vacationing, it also important to think about who is viewing your posts. If you post about being away from home for a week, then this leaves individuals knowing that your home will be vacant for a week.
Remember to enjoy yourselves this holiday season but keep your guard up and be aware of your surroundings.
For more information on how you can stay safe this holiday season, please contact our office.
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, a happy holiday season, and a wonderful 2019 from all of us at Specialized Investigations Consultants!
Author: Claudia Barrios
Unfortunately, active shooter encounters have become our reality. They can and have happened anywhere, schools, offices, bars and even festivals. Just this past week, innocent lives were taken at a California country bar as a result of a shooting. These unfortunate circumstances can happen at any point, anywhere and it is important to be prepared.
Many of these instances have happened to our most vulnerable members of society, children. School shootings have been of the worst shootings as they target such young people. Situations like Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Sandy Hook are only a few of the tragedies that have occurred due to an active shooter. It is sad that these occurrences happen however, they can be worse if individuals are not prepared to protect themselves or others around them. Teachers, parents and even students themselves need to be prepared and ready to react if they are ever in a situation like this.
But schools are not the only places that shootings can occur, it is important to always be prepared no matter where you are. Sadly, these occurrences can happen in your workplace, at dinner with your family, or while shopping at your local mall. It is important to have a plan with your family and educate your children as to what to do and where to go. Having a plan with your co-workers in the workplace is important as well.
We have provided the following safety tips to remember if you are ever in this situation.
When you walk into a place, whether it be a restaurant, movie theatre, or even a school always look for exit signs. Know where the nearest exits are and where you can escape should you ever encounter this situation. If there is an active shooter, try to escape. Go to the nearest exit and try to remove yourself from the situation. If you are unable to escape the situation, look for the best form of protection. Desks or tables are always a good form of protection. Also, counters and large cabinets can be used as well for protection. If you are in a mall, school or office, look for places where you can barricade yourself. Find the nearest restroom and lock yourself in. Once you have reached a safe spot, call 911. If the shooter is nearby try to be as quiet as possible. If you cannot call 911, send someone a text message that can call for you. The goal is to be as discrete as possible and stay out of the shooter’s view.
It is important to know what to do in these situations because you never know if it can happen to you. Make sure you and your loved ones are ready and informed on what to do if they ever encounter an active shooter.
Remember, run first and try to escape. If you don’t have time to run, hide. As a last resort, fight.
For more information please contact our office as we can provide you with more tips as well as training on what to do in the event of an active shooting.
Author: Claudia Barrios
Social media has become more than just a frenzy. Beginning with Myspace and Facebook to now Instagram and Twitter, our world is being overcome by these social networking sites. These web pages have turned into the new way to meet friends and even find dates. Apps like Tinder and Bumble have even made it easy to find people nearest to your location. These social media networks have been able to help people stay connected with one another and even build larger business networks. Although these sites can be fun and friendly, they can also have disadvantages. How do you know if the person you are speaking with is really who they say they are?
Social media websites and applications have made it effortless for individuals to lie and deceive others from behind their computer screens. Individuals can create profiles with fake names, fake pictures, falsify their profiles, and befriend others online. It is not difficult to build these pages to portray someone else. Individuals who do so are in search of money or a relationship as they hide behind another person’s identity. Interacting with the social media community can be dangerous, especially for those finding dates and romantic relationships online.
It has become so common for others to fabricate their identity on social media that MTV has even produced a television show called “Catfish” dedicated to finding individuals who are misleading those they talk to over the internet. The show has become extremely popular over the past six years it has been airing. In this series, the filmmakers help their subscribers from all over the country find who they are really talking to. By making a few phone calls and talking to the “catfish’s” friends, the filmmakers are able to find the truth of these online deceivers. But if you do not have time to apply to a TV show, we can help.
The services we provide can help our clients catch their “catfish”. In today’s society so many people communicate from behind their phone apps and computer screens, it is difficult to know if they are telling the truth and if they truly are who they claim to be. With our resources as an investigative company we can provide you with the answers you are looking for so you are certain about the person you are engaging with. It is important to know who you are speaking to not only for the purpose of knowing the truth, but also simply for your safety.
For our clients who want to find who the individual on the other side of their device is, we offer an extensive background investigation of the individual. Along with this, we can also provide a complete social media scan. Our investigators examine the individual’s social outlooks to make sure all sources coincide with one another. In doing so, we will be able to provide our clients with the peace of mind in knowing their social media acquaintances are telling them the truth.
Nevertheless, it is still important to remember a few tips if you are going to meet the person you have been interacting with online to ensure your safety. It is essential to meet in a public place, a local coffee shop or a restaurant where there are other people around. Take a friend and maybe make it a double date so you are more comfortable and secure. Make sure you are alert at all times and aware of your surroundings. It is important not to let your guard down. Also, do not give away too many personal details too soon, as in where you live or where you work.
If you are doubtful about the person you are communicating with online, here are a few red flags to look for that can help you determine if your social media friends are telling you the truth. If you have been talking to them for quite some time and they do not want to meet in person, this possibly means they are not the person in the photos. If they only text you or call you and never want to video chat can also be another red flag. FaceTime, Snapchat, and Skype are very popular and if they are reluctant to a video call, it is likely they are not telling you the truth. Another sign to look for is if the person gives you a sob story. Many times these individuals will lure you in with tragic events, which leads to our next red flag: asking for money. They are often looking for ways to scam you into feeling bad for them. This is one of the biggest signs of them not telling you the truth about themselves.
Although social media has become a huge part of our society and can truly be used as an amazing tool to meet people and build relationships, it can also hinder us. It is important for individuals to be certain of who they are connecting with online. You want to know that the information you are receiving is true and that you are not being lied to or deceived. Our company can help you determine whether the person you are interacting with is being honest, or if they are just another online “catfish”.
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Author: Claudia Barrios
It seems the topic of sexual harassment has been all over the media these days. From the hottest stars in Hollywood to the Justices of the Supreme Court, sexual harassment allegations have been an area of focus. As a result, employees appear to be making more accusations against their employer as far as sexual harassment in the workplace. The question is, how do we know who is telling the truth?
In the past sixty days, we have received more sexual harassment cases than in the past five years we have been established as a company. It is evident that the talk on the media has pushed many people to speak up. Now is this just a coincidence or have these victims found the confidence to come forward?
Attorneys have hired our company to conduct investigations involving sexual harassment allegations in their client’s workplace. As an unbiased party it is our job as private investigators to uncover the truth. In these investigations it is important to try and obtain as much information as possible in order to determine whether the allegations are valid or invalid. In order to conduct our job thoroughly we must speak to both, the accuser and the accused. We begin with interviewing the accuser. As investigators we pay close attention to details and the claims the individual is making. We then move on to interview the accused. We must question them about these allegations and try to find what they think of these statements being made about them.
In order to carry out a proper investigation, we must not only interview both parties but also all other employees in the workplace. Their feedback is key in our investigation. This is one of the most important aspects of conducting the investigation as it gives us more information as to who the accuser and accused are as individuals and their character. Additionally, we must determine the kind of relationship the two parties have in the workplace. As private investigators, we need to understand who these individuals are and how these allegations came about. We must ask if as colleagues they were friendly with each other or if their relationship was strictly professional. Interviewing all other individuals in the workplace also gives a better insight as to how the work environment is as a whole.
How can we determine whether the allegations have any truth to them? Once we have conducted interviews and have a better idea of who these individuals are, we must then question the motive. The motive is the intention behind the actions taken. Both individuals can have a motive that we must examine. Although, it is often believed the accuser is the victim in the situation we must still take into consideration that these allegations may be false.
There are many reasons why one would accuse someone of such behavior if the accusations are false. The individual can be money-motivated, power-driven, or simply seeking revenge. If one party is making these accusations about another party, they will surely receive some compensation out of it, if the allegations are found to be true. Another factor to take into consideration when determining if the accusations are true is the status of the accuser’s citizenship in the United States. Believe it or not, there are many cases in which we determine the accuser is trying to receive a longer stay in the United States as their immigration visas reach their expiration date. In claiming these allegations while on an expired visa, it is likely that the individual will receive an extension on their immigration permits. These are all elements we must consider and establish whether or not they pertain to our case.
Now on the other hand, if the allegations are true we must then try to determine the motive of the accused. They can be abusing their authority, wanting dominance, or may be going through personal problems. All of these can be factors as to why anyone would propose such behaviors onto someone else. Having authority over another individual is a very powerful thing. It makes the other party feel intimidated and this can be another reason as to why the situation occurred.
Now in determining why these actions were taken we need to look into further details of each individual. More than likely the interviews of the other employees is what is going to help in the deciding factor of which individual is telling the truth. Most of these individuals will be expressing similar statements. If an employee from the company states that the accuser was not a reliable person and constantly had ulterior motives, then the claims they are making probably do not have any truth to them. However, if we determine that the employees do not trust the accused then it is possible that the accusations being made against them are factual.
As private investigators we have to establish a story with facts that will all lead to the truth. It is our job to determine the validity of the claims each party is making. More often than not, we have a clear picture as to what happened in the situation with the information we gathered and the statements that we took from each party involved. All these different steps lead us in the right direction so we can ultimately uncover who is telling the truth.
Author: Claudia Barrios