Important Reminder: USE CAUTION when it comes to using a GPS unit to track a vehicle.
A GPS unit is commonly used to receive communication from a tracking device for various purposes. In Michigan, however, it is illegal to install a tracking device on another individual’s vehicle pursuant to MCL 750.539l.
A LICENSED private investigator may use a GPS receiver so long as the investigator is attempting to secure evidence to be used before a court, board, officer, or investigating committee.
This would mean that, under certain circumstances, you could hire a private investigator to track your spouse or another third-party vehicle through a GPS receiver.
With todays technology it is possible for a competent Professional Investigation Agency to offer international assistance to most any client. An experienced Professional Investigation Agency will have a vast network of investigators. To date BGI has conducted investigations in 7 different foreign countries and all across the USA.
If you have a problem in or are looking for someone in a foreign local, do not hesitate to call. While we can never promise you a particular outcome, we certainly have the skills and connections necessary to get the job done.
While many initially think of fingerprints to prove or disprove the author of a document, the answer may be in the handwriting itself.
BGI has successfully used forensic handwriting analysis to resolve cases.
It is important to remember that in order to prove or disprove the author or signer you will need a number of comparable samples. If it is a signature you will need ten or more signature from the same time period. While these can be plus minus a year, they cannot be much older or more recent.
If you want to determine who authored a document or you need to prove of disprove a signature, BGI can help.
See the attached FBI article to learn more about forensic handwriting analysis and call BGI to learn more about how it may be of help to you.
While many believe background checks are most effectively used to screen entry level employees, I respectfully disagree. I believe the most important and cost effective screenings are at the executive or key personnel level. Do not let past accomplishments nor business prowess cause you to overlook the need for due diligence when filing executive level positions.
While any instance of employee theft can have a large impact nothing will rock the core of your organization like a large scale key personnel embezzlement.
“Four of every five victim organizations had fewer than 100 employees; just under half had fewer than 25 employees.”
“More than 40% of thefts were committed by an employee in the finance/accounting function.”
“Average loss = $807,443”
“Those with the most access to and control over the money take the most. The positions with the highest frequency of embezzlement are made up of employees with the access to money or more tenured managers who oversee the financial controls.”
“The type of fraud embezzlers can commit varies by industry. What doesn’t change, however, is the need for access to funds. In the majority of cases we studied, managers were more likely than employees to steal.”
While some may be first time offenders, many had a background that indicated a level of risk. Remember to be proactive and do not let this happen simply because you failed to check.
Call BGI to learn more about Executive Level/Key Personnel Background Checks.
Do you conduct background checks on your potential tenants?
BGI is often called upon to locate former renters who failed to pay rent and were evicted. Once a judgement is entered, in an attempt to recover unpaid rent, the client request BGI locate the defendant and serve them with civil process. We start with a background check to locate their current address. In most instances we quickly find a long history of prior evictions. If the client had ran a pre-rental background check this could have been avoided.
The time, effort and cost from unpaid rent, legal fees and investigation costs could decrease dramatically by simply spending a small amount upfront on competent and comprehensive tenant screening
When it comes to spying on social media sites, getting a screenshot of a Facebook post just doesn’t cut it. In many cases, you will need to establish relevance before you investigate a site, and you’ll need more than just a person’s posts—you’ll need the underlying metadata.
As I have said many times, do not rely on screenshots as evidence in court. While it may get you some initial traction, if challenged, it will not hold up.
If you locate evidence of wrongdoing on social media contact the digital forensic experts at BGI Associates. We will help you by properly authenticating and preserving the evidence for later presentation. Whether you are an employer, plaintiff in a civil proceeding or a spouse you must properly collect and preserve any relevant evidence.
If you proceed without taking such steps and your evidence is thrown out, not only will you lose, you may be subject to sanctions and fines.
Unfortunately, even in our industry it is not uncommon for an individual to represent themselves as a licensed investigator, when in fact they are not licensed to provide Professional Investigation Services. In Michigan it is a Felony to provide unlicensed investigative services.
Do your homework and use common sense when acquiring investigation services. If it does feel right it most likely is not. Be cautious of clandestine meetings in parking lots, cash only payments or checks written to individuals and not a business.
Do your homework. Ask questions. Do they have a formalized office space or website? Do they have standardized forms? Do they work from investigative retainers? Do they provide payment receipts?
You can also check them out at the link below. Remember to always make sure the License is in their name.
Whether employment or partnership based, it is important to exercise due diligence prior to solidifying any formal business relationship.
In today’s tech world and considering our increasingly transient workforce, it is essential to remember you can never underestimate the intentions of a prospective employee. It is not overly presumptive nor should it be offensive to exercise caution in such circumstances.
“To whom much is entrusted, much should be required.” – unknown
It is also important to note there is a distinct difference between an “on-line” background check and an actual background investigation. When something so important as your brand and reputation are on the line, it is important you invest in someone you can trust.
Hiring an agency to conduct your background checks should start by building a professional relationship with your investigator. If you are simply directed to a registration page in order to obtain a user name and password, you may have contacted the wrong agency.
In most if not all industries developing a personal relationship with your service provider is considered desirable and instills greater confidence in the consumer. Being on a “first name basis” with your builder, mechanic, baker or chef remains a desirable way to conduct business. The background business should be no different.
There is a reason you have to arrive early and often wait in line. They are good at what they do and you can trust them.
When retaining professional services it is very important to ensure the business or individual you are hiring is licensed to provide such services. Exercising due diligence in any business relationship is of utmost importance. Even when retaining investigative or other legal services, the provider may not be appropriately licensed or insured.
Here are some simple suggestions for conducting further research.
Online research: Does the individual/business have a formalized business name, website, social media pages, a blog or YouTube page? (Be wary of stock photos)
michigan.gov: Conduct a business entity or professional license check. If an individual provides a professional license number, but they are not specifically named on the professional license, proceed with caution.
Formalized office space: While not mandatory, it is very reassuring when a provider has a professional office space. This is an excellent indicator of the stability and professionalism of any service provider. Make sure you initially meet your provider at his/her office. The condition and location of their office will go a long way towards ensuring you will receive work performed to your level of expectations.
While these are just a few of the many methods you can use to protect yourself from being defrauded, simple common sense can go a long way. Always be weary of a “braggart” and a price that is too good to be true, usually is.
If ever in doubt or you need help conducting your due diligence check, give BGI a call. We would be glad to help.