Facebook Now a Leading Tool to Fight Industry Fraud

Facebook Now a Leading Tool to Fight Industry Fraud

For many private investigators, Facebook is their new BFF. It allows them to conduct investigations from the comfort of their office. Think of the employee out on sick leave who posts pictures of themselves skiing. Don’t think it could happen? Think again.

Many people seem to have become addicted to putting posts online. That fifteen minutes of fame could wind up costing them much more than they ever realized.

Move over criminals and make way for; "America’s dumbest cop"

Washington D.C. police officer, Reggie Jones, a six year veteran was arrested and charged with felony murder for his part in an armed robbery in South East D.C..

D.C. Police Chief, Cathy Lanier, pulled no punches during the press release when she said that Jones had “desecrated the very office he had sworn to uphold”. Apparently Jones had teamed up with a criminal gang headed by convicted murderer, Arvel Alston, who was himself on parole for a murder he had committed during an armed robbery 17 years earlier.

Alston had brought his son into the “family business”, not that he would have known much about him since the young guy was born six months after Alston was jailed on the murder charge. Jones, who was said to be having financial difficulties, was on duty and in plain clothes but driving a marked cruiser with flashing lights.

Jones’ supervisor was to later say that he didn’t see Jones that night, but figured he was busy doing paperwork. Jones was assigned to a special narcotics unit. It later transpired that Jones took out a marked police cruiser as he was to act as “look-out” for the others and to scare off any rival drug dealers.

It would seem that Jones’ financial decisions were not the only bad choices he made. Along with “desecrating his office”, he also joined up with the gang “who couldn’t shoot straight”. During the armed robbery of the suspected drug dealer, Alston’s son pulled his gun and accidently shot his own father, who died on the scene.

One wonders if Reggie Jones is an exception to the rule, or has corruption seeped back into the Metro D.C. Police Department as it had in the late 80′s and early 90′s. Back then, in an effort to appease Congress, the police department lowered their hiring standards and recruited drug dealers, rapists and murderers. Many of these were brought on as Police cadets and graduated as Police Officers.

Perhaps an overhaul of the Department is now appropriate. It would definitely appear that proper supervision is not taking place. If it was, somebody would have wondered why a plain clothes undercover cop was signing out a marked cruiser. Big white cars with “POLICE” written all over it and red and blue lights that continually flash are not ideal undercover cars.

Maybe there is a lack of supervisors…maybe there have been cut backs or they are understaffed due to retirements, but the fundamentals still need to be followed. This type of behavior may be perfectly “normal” in Mexico, but it should be stamped out before policing in the Nation’s Capital becomes the laughing stock that it was in the nineties.

Confusion on Captiol Hill

I would agree with Glen Thrush of Politico.com, when he states that a series of false reports led to the closing down of the Capitol Hill area of Washington D.C. yesterday.

It would appear as if a passenger on the bus had observed an undercover or off-duty Police Officer’s service weapon and then reported “a man with a gun”. Whether or not that initial reporter blew it out of proportion, is unknown at this stage.

Apparently though, someone called in that the man had an M16 rifle. Of course that had Law Enforcement worried and hence the reason for the tactical response.

That is quite understandable – until they knew what they were dealing with, they did not take any chances. Had it been a crazed gunman with an M16 rifle, they would have been prepared.

It’s just a shame that the same sense of seriousness did not prevail in Amsterdam when a suspected terrorist was allowed to board a plane bound for Detroit AFTER purchasing a ticket for cash and NOT having any luggage.

Fortunately, there were brave passengers on board willing to repsond to the threat, but the bottom line is that they should not have had to take it upon themselves. Surely, anyone who is already suspected of terrorism should receive a full body scan and if there are still any doubts they should be strip searched. Full body cavity search? Sure, why not.

It seems that Scotland Yard are now working with U.S. authorities to learn more about the suspected bomber; Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, since he was a student at University College London.

The phrase; “Those who cannot learn from the past, are doomed to repeat it”, springs to mind.

Virginia Man Convicted of Selling Counterfeit Software on E-Bay.

Criminals come in all shapes and sizes. They don’t always sneak around in the shadows wearing balaclavas or stocking masks. Sometime they are found sitting in front of their computer as their Mercedes, BMWs and Hummers sit in their driveway.

Just ask Falls Church man;Gregory William Fair. Mr. Fair recently received a 41 month jail sentence and had the afore mentioned vehicles seized along with $144,000 in cash from his home.

The highlighted story in the PC World article by Grant Gross is another example of how criminals use sites like E-Bay to off-load their illegal merchandise. Criminals like Fair either expect to get way with it or are willing to gamble that the authorities will not catch up with them.

Wrong answer Mr. Fair. I do hope that you took good care of that Hummer, though. I will be checking out the seized auction notices in the Washington Post as we just might be interested in adding a cheap H2 to our company vehicles.

Saudi Prince is Almost Killed Trying to Rehabilitate Al-Qaeda Suicide Bomber

This is an amazing story by Frank Gardner, a BBC security correspondent.

Recent events in Saudi Arabia shows that Al Qaeda are more than ever seeking to “up the ante” and push the envelope.

Just when the airline industry thought they had covered every feasible avenue of concealment – along comes the bad guys with a way to digest a bomb, making themselves quite literally, A WALKING TIME BOMB.

Another thing that this attempted assasination in Jeddah of Prince Mohammed bin Nayef teaches us, is that Al Qaeda are not focusing solely on Western Capitalists. To those out there working with Middle Eastern clients and Principals – be extremely vigilant.

Just because someone appears to come from the Middle East, does not mean they are not planning to inflict serious injuries on your Principal. Apart from how it may effect your livelihood and your very life, how damaging would it be for a Saudi Royal family member to be attacked…not even killed, but attacked while visitng the U.S.?

That is why our Institute teaches the importance of Predictive Profiling as opposed to Racial Profiling. This will have more relevance now than ever before with the prevalence of Middle Eastern clients visiting the U.S. and other destinations and needing a security team ready to react to any and all threats.

Security professionals need to immerse themselves in all of the latest trends and incidents – electronic equipment, political, cultural, religious, etc. To be in the top few percent, you need to be aware of everything that can help and hurt your client/principal.

For those of us in the security profession – congratulations, you have a “job for life”. Continue to train and develop as a specialist as you are in a unique position – you are in a field that is literally recession-proof.

The bad guys will always continue to be bad and the world will always need good guys to protect those in society who are in need of protection. As Col. Dave Grossman is famous for saying; “There will always be wolves looking to prey on the innocent lambs. Our job is to be the “sheep dog”.

We are there to keep vigilant watch. Never let your guard down as there may be a “wolf” standing by to take advantage.

Are the Taliban Insurgents Winning the War in Afghanistan?

The US and NATO Commander, General McChrystal seems to think so. At least, they will win if he does not receive more troops. In this Washington Post article written by Bod Woodward on 9/21/09, The General lays out reasons for his thought provoking claim.

It is difficult to believe that this is the same Taliban who back in 2001 and 2002 were described as being poorly equipped and poorly trained – who appeared to have no chance whatsoever against the Coalition Forces.

Did the Coalition Forces make the mistake of dimissing the Taliban as a ragged, rabbel-rousing mob, incapable of inflicting serious damage on the more sophisticated Western Armies?

We should use history as our teacher (“those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”)and bear in mind that the Afghan fighting men have a long history of overcoming the odds and defeating the might of much bigger forces. One has only to look at how they kicked England’s arse on more than one occassion and the fact that they could not be defeated by the Soviets.

Washington does not appear to be overly concerned by General McChrystal’s warnings. It is not like the General is beating around the bush when he says; “without more forces within the next year, the eight year conflict will likely result in failure”. Even a double-talking Washington suit should be able to pick up on that statement. Private Investigators call that; “a clue”.

The General also criticizes Afhganistan’s very corrupt Government. He claims that the citizenry have little reason to support their Government. This coupled with the view that US/NATO resolve is uncertain, makes them unwilling to allign with us against the insurgents.

Far from viewing the Taliban as a bunch of rabble-rousers, General McChrystal refers to them as being a “muscular and sophisticated enemy”. He paints a very scary picture of petty offenders and ordinary criminals being housed with insurgents in jails across Afghanistan and subsequently being recruited by those detained insurgents.

The General warns that the Afghan prison system has become a “sanctuary and base to conduct lethal operations”. He goes on to state; “the enemy now operate with relative impunity in the prisons”. With all of the effort to eradicate insurgency ove the past 8 years, the General claims that “there are more insurgents per square foot in corrections facilities than anywhere else in Afghanistan”.

Seems like we should be focusing on the penal system more closely and building maximum security prisons where the hardcore extremists can posion each others’ minds instead of infecting those who may be merely “passing through”.

Seems like we should also be “bailing out” General McChrystal and giving him the means to defeat the enemy. Or do we just want to withdraw with our tail between our legs like the English and Russians did before us?

Israel Warns of New Attacks in India

The BBC reports on the likelihood of new attacks on Americans and Israelis visiting India.

In a way, it’s pretty much of a safe bet story. We all witnessed the carnage in Mumbai last November when the extremists targeted foreigners.

Apparently, the same group as before are believed to be organizing the new spate of attacks across India. Israeli authorities are describing the intel as “a concrete, very serious threat”.

SEXTON is planning on visiting Mumbai in the coming months to better understand and further investigate the attacks which left more than 170 dead. Eye witnesses will be interviewed and the new security measures that have been put into place since then will be assessed.

Plaxico Burress Goes to Jail

In USA Today’s “The Huddle”, Sean Leahy writes about Plaxico Burress pleading guilty and receiving a 2 year jail term today.

Readers may recall that Burress shot himself accidentally in a Manhattan night club earlier this year.

I was talking to Washington Redskin, Chris Horton, about the Burress case today at the Quarterback Club. Ric “Doc” Walker was jokingly singling out some of the Redskins who may need Executive Protection as they had previously played for other NFL teams.

As I was explaining to Chris, your personal safety and safeguarding your livelihood and future is a serious matter. Plaxico sure won’t be living the high life sitting in a jail cell or being given a jail job making $0.47 an hour in the laundry room.

The saddest part about the unfortunate incident is that it could have easily been avoided altogether. If an NFL or NBA or NHL star feels that their life is being threatened to the point where carrying a firearm is necessary – then hire a professional security firm who will provide a Licensed Personal Protection Agent.

Not only are they licensed to carry a firearm – they are TRAINED. They will not shoot themselves or the client in the feet like Plaxico. If they have to fire their weapon (extremely rare for this to ever happen), then they will be the ones making the report and answering the questions.

Think Liability. Someone who carries a gun illegally is breaking the law and if caught, will be treated as a criminal. Plaxico’s attorney complained that his client was treated more harshly because he was a celebrity.

Guess what? That’s all the more reason to hire a professional Protector. Make sure that everything is above board and being a celebrity will not be a problem.

These guys need to invest in their personal security. What more important investment is out there?

Baltimore City Police – Love Facilitators

That male stripper who came to the party dressed as a cop….may be a real cop – a Baltimore City Cop!

The Baltimore Sun story about the Baltimore City Police Helicoptor Unit has left the Police Department with egg on their face. Many are asking why city funds were wasted on Delegate Cordin’s marriage proposal.

The delegate would not be the first politician to squander public money, but is this the kind of person who should be entrusted with looking out for the voter’s interests?

Ordinary people hire fake Police to amuse their friends at birthday paries and the likes. It seems though that politicians are anything but ordinary.

Afterall, what better way to impress a woman than to show her that you have a city’s Police Department at your beck and call and ready to do your bidding?

Fines for Reading while Driving

It sounds so ridiculous, it is a wonder that a new law had to be enacted to combat it. What are we talking about? The answer is; “texting” while driving”.

The new law aimed at stopping people from texting while driving came into effect in Virginia on the 1st of July. The goal is to have it outlawed in all Metro area jurisdictions.

Washington Staff writers Anita Kumar and Lisa Rein list the fines associated with breaches of the new law. A first offense carries a $20.00 fine and all subsequent fines are $50.00. In neighboring Maryland the fine is $500.00.

As a security consultant, it disturbs me that people would be willing to risk their life and the lives of others by reading and writing messages while driving. As a realist, I fear that if they are so careless, a twenty or fifty dollar fine will not prove to be a very effective deterrent.

A $500.00 fine on the other hand, like what Maryland imposes, should be a much better attention grabber. For those who want to complain about having freedoms or rights taken away from you – save your breath.

Yes I agree, you do have the right to behave like an idiot if you so wish. You do not have the right however to endanger my life and the lives of my loved ones because you think it is alright to read and drive. I was thinking of comparing it to reading a magazine while driving.

It is far worse, however. While a magazine article can be interesting, it is hardly likely to divert your attention like an immediate message from someone you know. Neither would there be a need to answer back a magazine.

By all means, text ’til the cows come home. Just don’t do it behind the wheel of a moving car.