Most affairs now begin online – 20% from Facebook

Did you know that around 70% of all affairs these days begin online, or that 20% begin on Facebook?

Which isn’t really all that surprising, seeing as how this is the electronic age.  It does change how spouses and significant others address the problem though.  Before virtually everyone had access to a computer, people met others at work, after work, at a gym – usually relatively close to home, unless they met someone on a business trip.

These days however, people can search for a clandestine meeting in the comfort of their own home.  There are sites that make it easy to find a stranger, or even a former girlfirend or boyfriend who may have moved away from the area years before.   

One thing that has not changed all that much are the signs to look for that someone is having an affair.  In this article written by Jayne Keedle for the Albany Times Union; 

http://www.dailycomet.com/article/20110415/WIRE/110419611/1008?Title=Signs-your-partner-may-be-cheating

we see that people involved in affairs will often have changes in personality, dress, habits, etc.  There are also “electronic signs” to look for; a secret cell phone, going outside to take calls/read text messages, or staying up late at night on the computer (which is kept locked/coded).

One thing to be very aware of is that the other person very often has a “reasonable expectation of privacy”, which means that you may be breaking the law by “hacking into’ their computer to read e-mails.  Federal laws may apply and stiff penalties such as large fines and jail sentences may be imposed, so be very careful not to break the law.

If you suspect that something may be taking place, it is advisable to hire a professional investigator – one who knows and obeys the law.  An experienced investigator will review your case and advise you how to gather evidence from surveillance, social media, etc.

How Private Investigators Interview to find “Bad Guys”

How many companies with security problems use their own internal resources to investigate employee theft, industrial espionage, etc. ?  I think the answer would probably be; “the majority”. 

HR Departments have traditionally been the ”go to” people within corporations to conduct interviews.  Proprietory security personnel have also been used for these tasks. My question is; “what specialized training or experience have these folks received that equips them for such roles? 

Having conducted interviews totalling in the thousands around the world, I can share with you that it takes many years and probably thousands of hours of interviewing to develop not only a certain comfort level, but the ability to be able to pick up on things like eye movement, breathing, body shifting, hesitation, etc. 

What experienced investigators know is that simply talking to a person and taking notes is not enough.  The interview process begins way before that.  A good investigator will conduct research and prepare questions before the interview ever begins.  They know that there are a number of important factors to consider, such as planning on where the interviewee will sit.  Have you previously considered this?

Some other questions to consider are; “do I know the right questions to ask?”, ”what are the signs of stress?”, “how can I make a person tell me what I need to know?”, “how do I follow-up?”.  Unfortunately, you won’t find all the answers you need in a blog or a book.  It takes time, training and putting that training into practice. 

Corporations should not feel like they have to “do it all”.  In-house security personnel may be quite capable of taking care of many of the day-t0-day security tasks that arise, but they probably should not be asked to conduct investigations involving employee theft, sexual harrassment, workman’s comp, fraud cases etc., where extensive interviewing is needed. 

Credentialed and experienced professionals can not only save a company millions of dollars in lost revenue and or litigation/law suits, but protect their reputation from being tarnished and damaged.  The question then becomes; “what value do you put on your reputation?”. 

New online sign-up for P.I., Executive Protection and Firearms Training

Sexton Executive Security is pleased to announce that applicants for any of our training programs; Defensive Tactics, Firearms, Private Investigator or Executive Protection/Personal Protection Specialist, can now apply directly online.

Our newly restructured website will allow applicants to register and pay for training courses, 24 hours a day, from anywhere in the world.  In addition, we will soon have training manuals, e-books, unique SEXTON items (t-shirts, shooting caps, mag lights, etc) for sale via the new “shopping cart” feature of the site.

There will also be a section where employment opportunities, discounted training courses, overseas events, etc., will be posted.  Only SEXTON graduates will have access to this area, which is an added benefit of going through our highly acclaimed training academy.

If you wish to find out if you qualify for one of our training programs and to receive the rewards that membership in our exclusive graduate club offers, e-mail us at; training@sextonsecurity.com and mention code; TR11.

Do You Fake Being Sick?


A local Washington D.C. radio show ran a story before Christmas on employees who call in sick, but who are not actually sick.

Is that you? The chances are 50/50 that it might be. It seems that more than 50% of employees call in sick when there is nothing wrong with them.

Before you laugh this off or decide to nurse a New Year’s hangover at home and not go into work, you should realize that employers are wise to fake sicknesses. So much so, that they are hiring private investigators to watch dishonest employees.

This should not come as a surprise. False reporting of this nature costs businesses hundereds of millions of dollars in lost productivity. In these troubled economic times, the last thing a business owner needs are employees who are dishonest and a drain on the company.

This is something to seriously consider the next time you decide not to bother going into work. You’ll not only feel better that you did the right thing, but you won’t have to worry that the guy in the London Fog trench coat had you in his radar.

Be careful not to look cheap like the Washington Nationals

I’m sure that many of you have heard these “business buzz words” before; “giving added value or added benefit” to your clients. Many writers in the security field have written about the need to give extra service as a way to stand out from the crowd.

I think it’s an outstanding idea. We incorporate it in the way we deal with clients and potential clients. I knew a private investigation business owner in the D.C. area who used to charge clients a hefty consultation fee when they would call up to ask about hiring this person.

We give free consulations. I feel that it is very important to educate the client about what a private investigator or E.P. Agent can and will do for them. Even if they eventually hire someone cheaper, I have given them pointers about what can and just as important, what can’t be done.

These days it is especially important to “under promise and over deliver”. Just about everyone is feeling the effects of this tough economy. Consumers are shopping around more and making longer decisions before parting with their hard-earned cash.

That is why I was so surprised with the way the Washington Nationals treat their customers/fans. A couple of days ago I booked some tickets online to take my five year old son to his first Baseball game at Nationals’ Stadium this afternoon.

I’m well aware of taxes and costs that are levied on hotel rooms, airline tickets, concert tickets etc. It’s common practice and the likes of the airline industry keeps finding ways to charge us to the point of turning it an art form.

Back to the Nationals tickets. Sure I had to pay a booking fee and entertainment or sports tax, but the last surcharge before pressing the send button on my credit card really took the biscuit.

I had three choices of how I wanted the tickets delivered. Firstly, I could have the online tickets sent to my e-mail, secondly I could have the tickets texted to my phone and thirdly I could have them left at the “will call” box office.

I opted for the third option. Option one and two all had a cost associated with them. It was a small cost; $1.50, but why should I have to pay anything at all to have an automatic responder send an e-mail or send a text? Was it not enough buying four tickets and spending more money at the concession stands before leaving the stadium?

If you want to impress a client or impress your employer – don’t penny pinch. Don’t “cut things too close”. If you are assigned to be at a location at 5pm, don’t plan on getting there at 4:59pm. If you do, you’ll most probably wind up arriving at 5:05pm, or later. There’s an old saying that goes; “Early is on time, on time is late and late is being fired”.

If you are late (which you should never be in the first place of course), don’t try to send in a time sheet the next week stating that you were early. You probably won’t get away with it, but even if you did, would an extra 10 or 15 minutes pay be worth tarnishing your ethical and moral fibre?

I ask, because I have seen and see it happen. Trust me when I say that it makes me look at someone in a whole different light when I see them try to claim time that they did not work.

On the other side of the coin, when I see an employee show up at an assignment 20 or 30 minutes early, or my favorite – go out and advance a location eventhough they were not asked to do that, I look at them in a WHOLE different light.

That is the personification of added value. That is someone who gets it and will go far.

Trusted employees caught stealing from employers

The attached article from the Wall Street Journal on employee theft in the workplace is a good reminder that often those who are least suspected of theft are using that to their advantage.

This in itself is nothing new, although some of you who are operating your own security companies may very well come across clients who do not yet realize that this does occur across the board.

Unfortunately, the smaller companies experience the greatest losses. Ironically, they are the least well equipped to take a loss and continue in business – depending on the size of the loss/losses.

Keep in mind that a rise in employee theft could very well be a by-product of this poor economy. The attached article quotes a victim as saying she did not bother doing a background check. That should always be step number 1. A con artist can dress up in a suit and say the right things to get hired. Unfortunately that method often works.

Clients should be careful about how they handle a suspected in-house thief. Tolerating it and hoping that they stop, is not a solution. It might sound silly, but there are employers out there who suspect an employee and have heard rumors for years, but they prefer not to believe it.

The article speaks of the Police conducting an undercover investigation over a $1200 theft. In my experience, it is rare for the Police to get involved in a theft of this amount. Most often, the employer will have to hire a Private Investigation firm and have an undercover investigator conduct the investigation.

Once the evidence has been obtained, it will be up to the employer/business owner if they wish to pursue the matter by reporting the results to the Police or if they use the evidence to get rid of the culprit. As long as a professional investigation has been conducted by a legally registered firm and P.I., the Police can proceed with a prosecution.

Either way, a message has been sent out to the other employees that internal theft will not be tolerated.

Putting Your Best Foot Forward

I have spoken in the past about the art of resume writing and submittal. Here is an example of what to “never do”…..

I received a resume from a person who was looking to join our company as…..something. Bodyguard….Private Investigator…Corporate Consultant…I don’t know.

His resume was not accompanied by a cover letter. Usually, I do not have the time to respond to such a request, but I was headed over to Ireland and wanted to clear out my current e-mail before I left. Also, he stated that if we hired him, we would soon realize that he was our best asset. I was intrigued.

I called our “future best asset” and asked about his training. It was minimal at best. I then asked where he was currently working. He was unemployed. I asked what registrations he possessed. He informed me that whatever he did have, had expired.
He was what you might call – a “legend in his own mind”.

In real estate they say; “location, location, location”. In security we say; “training, training, training”. Professionals do not allow licenses and registrations to lapse and expire. They also never claim to be something they are not.

That other person’s name is now prominently displayed on our; “never-call-in-a-million-years” list…and we won’t.

Do you have what it takes to be a Private Investigator?

Time is running out for those considering a career as a Private Investigator.
We have had more than 100 people looking to be trained as Private Investigators by Sexton Executive Security.

Those who have been accepted into the program come from throughout Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C., New York and overseas. Like us, they realize that the field of security offers a level of job security that is next to impossible to find in today’s worsening economic times.

The worse times become, the more theft, embezzlement, employment fraud, workman’s compensation cases will surface. That in turn means more work and more money for trained P.I.s.

I am glad to report that women are finally seeing the great opportunity for them as private investigators. We (and many other companies) have need for Nothern Virginia investigators, Maryland investigators, D.C. investigators and even International investigators.

Unfortunately, if you are thinking of signing up for our last P.I. training course (certified by DCJS)of the year, you will have to settle for having your name placed on the “stand-by” list as the industrious applicants have taken all of the seats already.

It’s a case of “the early bird catches the worm”, or more realistically; “the early to regisiter receives first class training and receives the coveted “SEXTON” stamp of approval!

Ask not What We Can Do for You – Ask What YOU Can Do for You

Sexton Executive Security are preparing for their summer ’09 Private Investigation training class.

The one thing we have noticed,a common denominator of sorts, is the fact that a large number of would-be applicants for the training class are asking about a “guarantee” of future employment.

I have answered in excess of 125 e-mails and a few dozen phone calls this past 10 days – just as a first step and a high proportion of those writing and calling all want to know how soon they can be working after finishing the class.

I wish there was a way I could address everyone thinking about a career in security and reach them all at the same time. My answer would be; “There are no guarantees”. Is that strange?

I don’t think so. How many of you who went through 4 or 6 years of college and spent tens upon tens of thousands of dollars on college fees actually received a guarantee of a job upon graduation? Did the college arrange to have hiring companies standing by to sweep you off your yet unemployed feet?

The Security Profession makes for wonderful careers, but it’s like the rest of life -it is what you make of it. I have many colleagues who charge clients hundreds of dollars per hour for their service. Yes PER HOUR. It took them many years to build up to that level, but it is very attainable.

My motto is; “if you want it bad enough, you can make it happen”, but be prepared to put in a lot of sweat equity. You will not get there sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring.

Attention – Lawyers and Private Investigators!

Lawyers are always in need of process servers to serve civil papers. More often than not, they use the services of a Private Investigator or process service company.

If the P.I. or process server is credible and ethical, there should not be a problem. If on the other hand, the server “claims” to have served the paper, charges the Law Firm for services rendered but does not actually effect the necessary service, it could be the makings of a significant lawsuit. This is what happened in Massachusetts.

The plaintiff in that casewas awarded $3,000,000.00 when the State Court ruled that the Bermuda businessman, Donald P.Lines, had not been served by the company hired to effect the service, Boston based “Stokes & Levin”. It later transpired that the company had used pre-fabricated stamps of the signature of a process server who no longer worked for the company. It did not enhance the image of the Securities and Exchange Commission either as the SEC were the ones who hired “Stokes & Levin”.

I have heard stories of one elderly P.I. in Virginia who gets confused when he serves civil papers and sometimes puts the same time on two different papers even when they are served 20 miles or more apart. Yet, he continues to get requests for service from lawyers that he has known a while. I hope this story serves as a reminder to him and those who hire him that you stand to lose a lot if you don’t get it right – both in reputation and finacial terms. There’s no shame in hanging up the gun belt when the sun starts to set on your career. It’s always better to go out a winner than a defendant.