Know how to spot a worthless certificate (and "training school")

Some say that there are three types of people in the world and they can all be equated to animals; Wolves, Sheepdogs and Sheep.

The Sheep are the everyday honest-to-goodness citizens, who go about their business with little knowledge or awareness of the seamier side of life. Then there are the sheepdogs – the protectors – that is where we fit in. Those of us who have dedicated or wish to dedicate our lives to the protection of others.

Which leaves the Wolves. Wolves are the rapists, child molestors, drug dealers, murderers and of course; conmen/conwomen. In the same manner as a wolf will sneak up on a flock of sheep and single out the young or infirm, a conman will present an opportunity where he/she is most likley to snare an unsuspecting victim.

Today, I’d like to discuss one particular example of how frauds can separate you from your hard-earned money. It involves “training”, or more accurately; “the lack of training’.

Over the years, I have been contacted by students who have sent off money to people they did not know in the hopes that they would either find them a job in Executive Protection or place them in a “great E.P. school”. Just recently, a young guy asked my advice about such a school.

I became concerned after spending little more than five minutes on their website. There were spelling and gramatical errors on several pages. Folks, if you discover spelling mistakes on a website, that should be your first clue that there may be a problem. I have conducted pirated merchandise investigations in the past and misspelled words were always a dead give away that the item was a fake.

Another concern was the fact that they were selling cookbooks on another page. There is nothing wrong with an E.P. training school selling books on Executive Protection on their website, but when they include cookbooks, that tells me that they are looking to take in money by any means possible.

Taking a look at their list of Agents, I soon realized that none had mentioned attending a well recognized school and they all had attended the in-house “training program”. A little bit of digging showed me that the “training program” consisted of a DVD only. Phrases such as; “Learned how to protect my client”, or “available to work overseas” were all cut and pasted and part of everyone’s Bio.

Lastly, a quick Google search of the school’s name produced a number of complaints filed by unhappy students who claimed that they sent off their money, but never received anything in return. The moral of the story; Do your Due Dilgence. Ask trusted professionals for their advice, ask to contact past graduates, find out what State, National or International Associations to which the school belongs.

Don’t be convinced because they tell you how to “learn to be a Bodyguard from the comfort of your living room”, or because they send you a nice certificate with your name on it (maybe not even spelled correctly). You CAN’T learn to be an E.P. Agent at home.

If you want to be a Sheepdog, you’d better start learning how to spot the wolves. Afterall, sheep’s lives are depending on you.

Do you know how identity theft happens most of the time?

Many people probably think that identity theft occurs most often as a result of hackers gaining unauthorized access to our computers. However, this is not the case.

I attended a Web 2.0 round table discussion yesterday (called “The New New Internet”). I was quite surprised to hear Mike Bradshaw, a self-described Google Department Head, tell us that the # 1 security concern was not hacking but having your laptop stolen. When you think about it, it really does make sense.

When you think about how many laptops get taken on business trips, into cafes and restaurants and anywhere else that users can get a WIFI signal, it’s no wonder that so many are stolen. Not to mention the fact that the average laptop costs in excess of $1000.00 and is easy to pick up and carry away.

Mr. Bradshaw’s statement reminded me that I had read some time ago about latop thefts reported by Government employees and taken from Government offices and vehicles. The news often covers stories about laptops being misplaced and stolen and having thousands of personnel files being compromised as a result.

Signing-in on my laptop is done through Biometrics. My password is my finger print which is captured when I swipe my finger across the log-in portal. It’s probably only a matter of time before they can have some kind of built-in biometric sensor that would know the difference between a thief and the real owner. If I had my way, I think I would like to have it give off a nice little electrical shock when someone tried to steal it.

However, the icing on the cake would be then if the machine could exclaim in a very loud voice to the thief: “I tasered you, bro”.