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?”. 

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.