Monday, March 20, 2006

Investigative Therapy

There are a myriad of reasons that people or firms hire private investigators. Sometimes they're looking for an old boyfriend, or a deadbeat dad, a debtor, a witness, or an heir. The reasons for these searches are all obvious.

Or, they could be contemplating a divorce and want to gather evidence to support them in divorce court, especially if alimony or child custody is involved.

And companies want to hire the best people, and also reduce their liability, so they have a background investigation performed on prospective hirees.

Then, some people order investigations as a sort of therapy. They either want to know something out of curiosity, or need reassurance. A person might think that their home or office is bugged. After a while it can nag them so much that they hire Sherlock Investigations to perform an electronic sweep just to be sure that they have absolute electronic privacy. I call this "investigative therapy." It can take many forms.

Investigative therapy can involve a lot of different kinds of cases, but the bottom line is that some people just need the reassurance that certain things are so. It's good to know, and that's what private investigators try to do, to discover the facts of a situation and relate them to the client.

So, if you need an investigation performed for simple theraputic reasons, give us a call. We're here to help you.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Disappear Completely

Sherlock Investigations got a good mention in New York magazine on February 27th. The cover story in New York was "Change Your Life." Chock full of good tips on how to start anew, one, Number 12, in which I was quoted, was called "Disappear Completely."

Among the tips for disappearing, was live on cash alone. Of course, this is hard to do. You either have to have a stash hidden somewhere, or get paid under the table. And about the only jobs like that are waiting on tables and picking apples.

One thing I told the writer, but didn't make the article, was that to disappear completely one has to break off all contact with friends and relatives. This is where most deadbeats and fugitives gone wrong. It's really difficult to break off all associations from the past. There's always someone that most people want to keep in touch with. (When looking for fugitives, we check their mother's house on Thanksgiving.)

The people who keep in touch with old associates are the people whose phone will be tapped by the FBI. One call to that old friend and they're done.

Some people have a legitimate reason to disappear (thus the Witness Protection Program), but most do not. And unless one takes very extreme measures, anyone can be found.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Autosurf Scams

According to todays Wall Street Journal, most paid autosurf Web sites are Ponzi schemes. In fact, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a warning about them, and has shut down one site.

While some autosurf sites are legitimate, most are not, and it's very difficult to know who is legitimate and who is not. These Web sites promise to pay subscribers to view advertising for 12 days that appears on the member's computers through automatic surfing, or "autosurf."

Members have to pay a membership fee up front to participate. The more they pay in, the more they get back. These scams work like the traditional Ponzi scheme. Dividends are actually paid from the money that other new members invest, not the fees the advertisers pay. So, people who get into these schemes at the beginning will make some money, but eventually, the whole thing collapses, and most people end up losing their entire investment.

The SEC froze the funds of last week, saying, according to the Journal, that the Web site had defrauded more than 300,000 people of more than $50 million.

These scams are perpetuated by greed. People like to make a fast buck, and will take great risks to do it.