Monthly Archives: December 2015

Bug Sweeps Can Protect Your Confidential Information

Did you see the recent stories about the National Football League (NFL) conducting a bug sweep in the New York Jets’ locker room before their Week 7 game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium? It was the talk of all the sports media outlets for several days, given DeflateGate and other instances in which the Patriots have been accused of potential cheating.

Funny thing though the Jets said they didn’t make the request for the listening device sweep. But Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk says the electronic bug detection sweep did occur. Eventually, NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy responded by saying that the NFL has conducted regular, random sweeps of locker rooms for listening devices for years. However, the league does not provide [...]

What Causes 33% of All Business Bankruptcies?

It isn’t uncommon for the phone to start ringing at International Investigators at the beginning of calendar quarters - you know, January, April, July and October. We don’t always know who will be on the other end of the line – small business owners, financial officers, or sometimes an attorney. But we know why they are calling – it will be about missing money, theft by employees or employee embezzlement. That’s because quarterly reports are reviewed and something is found that isn’t quite right.

Sometimes there is just a suspicion and in those cases, we provide financial forensic experts to thoroughly examine the financial records and processes. No one wants to think there is an employee stealing from the company.

In other situations, there is obvious [...]

Covert Surveillance with Four-legged Furry Spies

Would you consider a cat or dog roaming around your business or home as a possible security threat? What about if the animal was your own pet? At International Investigators, we doubt you’d even consider it. But you may start to wonder about it after reading this blog post.

According to an article in The Hacker News, a security researcher with a large security consultancy firm thought it would be fun to conduct an experiment in “weaponizing” his grandmother’s pet cat to map vulnerable WiFi networks in his neighborhood. He built a custom collar for Coco made from a Wi-Fi card, GPS module, Spark Core chip, battery and leopard-print fabric. He then set Coco loose. During the cat’s three-hour jaunt through the neighborhood, the security [...]

Don’t Get Scammed into Puny Background Investigations

Whew! Just do a Google search for Background Investigation and see the more than 33,400,000 results pop up! You would think that there would not be any chance of a person being hoodwinked with the number of “services” out there to reveal the con artists and scammers. But you would be wrong.

Why is that?

Well, it is pretty simple. There are basically two reasons for the growing likelihood of a person – of any age, gender or race – getting conned:

People are optimistic and naïve. They don’t want to believe there is ever really a need for background check services, especially in a personal situation. They may understand why a business would conduct an employment background check and even a criminal background check, but have [...]

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    I Didn’t Sign That! Handwriting Analysis May be the Answer

I Didn’t Sign That! Handwriting Analysis May be the Answer

Forged signatures are not limited to the bottom of checks. Forged signatures on documents can have a much greater impact on the lives of people.

In a recent medical liability case, a device manufacturer is under scrutiny because an official of the company said she did not sign the application and documents submitted to the FDA. She said she knew the device was not ready to be released for public use.

A handwriting analysis by a forensic examiner can shed some light on the denial.

The way a handwriting analysis expert conducts a handwriting analysis is through a comparison of minute similarities and differences in signatures (or written text).

In the case of suspected forged signatures, the subject is asked to submit signature exemplars. These are not simply [...]

Insurance Fraud Investigations Reveal Blatant Untruths

When it comes to insurance fraud, the bad guys can be quite brazen. Take, for instance, a North Carolina couple who were arrested for insurance fraud and obtaining property by false pretense.

It is alleged that Mister filed a claim after an automobile accident with information about lost wages due to the accident. The couple is accused of inflating the amount of wages that were lost and, on top of that, the company he worked for did not even exist.

They went to a great deal of trouble to document wages and the company in order to file the claim.

Here at International Investigators we are never surprised or taken aback by the extremes that some people will go to in insurance fraud cases. We have uncovered [...]

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    Is the Purchase of a Smartwatch Setting You up for Digital Forensics Services?

Is the Purchase of a Smartwatch Setting You up for Digital Forensics Services?

Who do you know with one of the smart, sleek, new smartwatches? Ohhh. So Cool! And so vulnerable to hacking. More so than a smartphone or a tablet.

Why?

A recent article in the Christian Post explains. According to a recent study by Dr. Frank Breitinger, associate director of the University of New Haven Cyber Forensics Research and Education Group in Connecticut, there is a “lack of encryption and an unsecure authentication system” in all the smartwatches they tested.

In the study they tried to infiltrate the devices to get a variety of information such as emails, calendars, messages, health, fitness and financial data. In all cases, if the information was on the device, they were able to get it!

Computer forensics experts like those at International Investigators [...]

Play Poker Online? Losing? There Might be a Reason!

Do you wile away your time playing poker online? How are you doing? Losing a lot? There might be a reason beyond your poor poker-playing skills.

It’s been uncovered that several hundred online poker player’s accounts have been infected with malware called Odlanor. The bad guys are able to take screen shots of player’s hands and then join the game. Unbeknownst to the victim, the bad guy uses the illicit information to cheat their way to win(s) during the game.

Victims unwittingly install malware embedded in poker-related programs and even as installers. The innocent poker player never even knows what has happened – except they are losing. Sadly, that in itself may not be unusual. Until they quit playing, they will continue to be cheated and [...]

A New Twist on Missing Heir Investigation

When International Investigators is asked to assist in finding missing heirs, there are a variety of outcomes that repeat. In one case, the outcome has yet to repeat itself.

The trust agent called the office and explained that John* had died and there were no known heirs named. However, the trust agent believed, from conversations he had had with John over the last several years that there might, indeed, be an heir – or more than one – somewhere. He wanted us to see if we could find evidence that the unmarried man had fathered any children.

International Investigators is rated as one of the top firms for finding missing persons but this was the first time we were asked to find a person that may [...]

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    It’s the Little Details That Come from Computer Forensics Experience That Breaks Cases Wide Open

It’s the Little Details That Come from Computer Forensics Experience That Breaks Cases Wide Open

As a full-service investigative firm, International Investigators is the source for a certified computer examiner in the Indianapolis area.

Our experience is part of the reason attorneys turn to us. In fact, it is our knowledge and experience that can really make the difference in some cases.

For instance, we were tasked with completing a computer forensic examination on a work computer used by a person accused of providing confidential information to a competitor. The accused knew his computer would be submitted to us during a general information meeting.

Our impression, because, as investigators, we are highly observant during an investigation, was that the subject was confident, almost smug, that nothing would be found on the device. It was a red flag to us.

The computer forensic specialist [...]