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