digital forensics

Can I Help You?

It was a hectic day here at International Investigators when the door opened and a small framed middle aged man walked in. He was a rather nerdy fellow with small eyes and bushy eyebrows. In his hand was a small box; 5 inches by 8 inches and he carried it like it was filled with precious gems. He walked right into my office, sat down and said, “I’m here to help you!” which I found strange, because I believed I was here to help him. When I asked what he could do for me, he laid the box down on my desk, opened it up and lifted a smart phone out of it. We both looked at each other with surprise, me because it [...]

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    You think it’s just a bump in the road, when in fact, it’s a full fledge road block

You think it’s just a bump in the road, when in fact, it’s a full fledge road block

Mary would drive home every night from work with a heavy heart and so many thoughts running through her mind. Every night she wondered what time her husband would arrive home, would he be waiting for her or her waiting for him. It was a dreadful game she played with herself.

For the last year and a half of her fifteen year marriage, Mary kept the thought of that little bump in the road to herself hoping it wouldn’t get any bigger, but that wouldn’t be the case for her. Mary felt she was dealing with an unfaithful husband and didn’t want to believe he could be a cheating spouse. An attorney friend recommended Mary to meet with International Investigators to determine if in fact [...]

Don’t be a Victim to New Scam Techniques

As much as we knew it was a possibility, we were still a little surprised here at International Investigators to hear that scammers were pretending to be private investigators in a payday loan debt scheme.

The incident cited at credit.com says that a caller saying he was a private investigator pressured the victim into going to the local courthouse to settle her debt.

There are so many things wrong about this:

Private investigators are NOT debt collectors. Our business is to uncover facts, evidence and the truth, not to contact people and collect on debts. No one from International Investigators will ever call to push you to settle a debt. It won’t happen.
Unless there is a court case and hearing, no one can just “go to the [...]

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    If You Are In Business, You Are a Potential Target for Corporate Espionage

If You Are In Business, You Are a Potential Target for Corporate Espionage

What do you do in your leisure time? Watch football or motor racing? That’s all fun, right?

Don’t kid yourself. Major sports are major businesses and that means big money is at stake. And when big money is on the line, there are also people who will do anything to “win.”

For example, consider the recent “Deflate-gate” centered on footballs and Tom Brady. Now there is the Mercedes F-1 team suing a departing engineer for alleged data theft as he goes to join the competing Ferrari team.

Corporate espionage and employee theft is limitless. It is not limited by content, size of business or geography. It is limited only by the aspirations of the person or persons engaging in it.

Stealing confidential client lists – Clients are the [...]

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    Cell Phone Forensics Can Be Your Best Friend When You are Accused of a Crime

Cell Phone Forensics Can Be Your Best Friend When You are Accused of a Crime

Working with attorneys to help them build cases for their clients is an everyday experience for International Investigators. We deal in the truth and there are two reasons attorneys look to us:

They are trying to gather facts that prove their client’s innocence or create doubt as to guilt
They are trying to gather information to understand the client’s situation better and be ready to defend with facts

One case that illustrates why attorneys use investigators so often included a cell phone investigation. The attorney’s client, Ralph*, was accused of robbing a convenience store. This wasn’t a case of cell phone hack detection or cell phone spying, it was the facts that the cell phone device could supply that was needed.

Most people are aware that cell phone [...]

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    It May Start as a Joke, but Spyware on the Computer is Never Funny

It May Start as a Joke, but Spyware on the Computer is Never Funny

Proving innocence and proving guilt are opposite sides of the same investigative coin. Here at International Investigators, we are concerned with facts, evidence and truth. That’s the investigative business. That being said, good investigators are also experienced professionals - and, I dare say, experts – in human behavior. It is that understanding of how people react and what they are likely to do that gives us leads that others might not recognize.

International Investigators detectives are also steadfast in their objectivity, which is another sign of a professional. Objectivity promotes clarity and the ability to see past the heat of the moment.

Derek came to us in a highly emotional state. The young man was trying to build a career in accounting and there had been [...]

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    Investigation Protects Employees and Prevents a Major Bad Decision in a Small Business

Investigation Protects Employees and Prevents a Major Bad Decision in a Small Business

One thing we know here at International Investigators, is that when getting to the truth is a matter of importance, you have to call in professionals – and the sooner the better.

Dina’s attorney wasted no time in referring the solopreneur to a professional investigator. In the initial meeting she explained the situation:

She had been a solopreneur in her accounting firm for almost five years. Her firm was growing and she started to entertain the idea of adding a partner. When Brett walked through the door looking for a job, it was like he was tailor-made to fit right in with the firm and clientele she had targeted. He was smart, technically proficient, and charming. She hired him on the spot during his first interview.

After [...]

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 [...]

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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 [...]