Private Investigations

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    When a Child Custody Battle Turns into a Missing Person Search

When a Child Custody Battle Turns into a Missing Person Search

As investigators with years of experience, everyone at International Investigators knows how emotionally-charged many situations can be, especially those involving family – like death, estates and divorce.When we pick up a call from a divorce attorney and we get the news that something bad has happened, we approach it from an objective viewpoint, which the parties involved aren’t usually able to do.

This is especially true when the line between a divorce investigation blurs into a missing person search. Child custody is often a battleground and when one spouse, or side of the family, removes the child from the area and hides elsewhere, finding people who have any knowledge is a priority.

Years of experience, along with the extensive digital data available to us as professional [...]

Are Cell Phone Forensics at Risk?

The majority of states have adopted laws against texting while driving, but I just read an editorial saying that few of the laws are being enforced. Now legislators and the public want insurance companies to know who is using a cell phone while operating a vehicle and let that drive rates. Some are even calling for cell phone surveillance and cell phone tracking.

With all the cell phone forensics we do here at International Investigations, we know the technology is there to accomplish this. However it would not be a mobile spy like we are used to uncovering in our mobile phone forensic analysis process. No, it would be a cell phone deactivation device installed in the vehicle. And according to the survey, the public [...]

Taking Them to Court? Search for Assets First

An attorney for a lady calling herself a reluctant landlord was on the other end of the phone call to International Investigators. The attorney explained that she was one of the many people who ended up renting out a property she could not sell. That also meant she was not an experienced landlord.

She had run a credit check and checked references from prior landlords and the applicant’s job when the tenant first applied. Everything checked out. She didn’t think anything about hidden money or hidden bank accounts – she had no reason.

But after six months, the tenant lost her job and in the eighth month, quit paying rent. She learned quickly about the eviction process in her county and about what damage and mess [...]

HR Due Diligence Checklist Routine for Hiring

Not only do logos get updated to keep up with the times, so do those little sayings that come out of the mouths of parents beginning when their children are at a very young age. They apply to work as well as life and are a call for everyone to conduct some level of due diligence.

For instance, consider “Watch out for a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” No longer is ours an agrarian society so the adage updated to “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”  Now, we have “stranger danger” and a general suspicion that means “trust must be earned.”

Now items are routinely ticked off the HR due diligence checklist as applicants are considered. Now, the interviewing process can include a background check. What [...]

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    Computer Forensics Consultant First Line of Defense Against Spear Phishing

Computer Forensics Consultant First Line of Defense Against Spear Phishing

Chances are if you hear a conversation these days about spear fishing, it is not about someone’s exciting experiences on an exotic vacation. You are probably hearing about SPEAR PHISHING and the need for a computer forensics investigator. It may sound the same, but you or your organization are the targets instead of a game fish.

Spear phishing is an attack targeted very specifically to one simple point of contact – an inconspicuous email crafted to entice the receiver to click a link that opens malware or connects to a site that can compromise the recipient’s network – including intranet business network contacts.

Computer forensics firms are seeing more and more evidence of the spear phishing technique as the bad guys are honing their infiltration skills [...]

Security Starts with TSCM

International Investigators got a call from a CEO who was concerned about an upcoming board meeting. The board would be discussing some very confidential matters including the terms of the sale of the company. If news of the sale was leaked, it could damage not only the negotiations, but the financial health of the company and the employees. He wanted to be certain that the conference room was completely secure.

He asked that we complete Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM), or as it is often called, a bug sweep. He felt relatively confident that there were no eavesdropping devices or other surveillance equipment in the room, but he had to be absolutely certain.

Usually listening devices are not evident to the casual observer. That’s why counter surveillance [...]

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    Sometimes It’s Not Spyware Found During a Computer Forensic Examination

Sometimes It’s Not Spyware Found During a Computer Forensic Examination

A very frustrated woman brought the family computer to International Investigators because she was convinced spyware had been installed on it. Our computer forensic investigator began the spyware detector process. In this instance, the analyst started with the open ports and he did indeed find something, but it wasn’t spyware.

He found a Trojan, which is an application that can open a port like a remote desktop – and it does it without your permission. Malware like Trojans can crash the computer or send you advertisements. It’s not necessarily spying on you – but it does make your online life miserable. This Trojan was causing the problems she was having and once removed, she was good to go.

On occasion we discover that people do things [...]

2 Secrets to Criminal Defense Using Cell Phone Forensics

Teachers are always encouraging school children to look for patterns – that’s because patterns are so revealing. And it’s not only true in math and science; it’s true in investigations, too.
No. 1 Secret – Patterns Tell a Story in Mobile Phone Analysis
With years of experience in the field, the investigators at International Investigators know how to cast a wide net and look at a case and situation as a whole. During a mobile phone forensic analysis, we look at records before an event or crime occurred and then after the event. Changes in patterns – habits – can be quite revealing.

Not only do the changes throw up flags, the background prior to the event or crime helps with the cell phone investigation. People who [...]

Cell Phone Forensics Might be the Best Defense

Cell phone forensics at International Investigators is more than mobile phone forensic analysis. It can include mobile phone spyware detection or cell phone hack detection and sim card forensics, but it includes many other aspects when it comes to defense in a criminal case. For instance, to provide admissible evidence to support a defendant, we employ a variety of tactics which may include:

Cell mapping using cell tower location and cell tower triangulation (to finite longitude and latitude locations)
Cell phone tracking
Ping expert analysis when evidence includes the pinging of a cell phone and testimony as a ping witness

Even when restricted or blocked calls are uncovered during a mobile phone forensics investigation, we can peel back blocked calls. Of course, to subpoena records for a blocked [...]

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    Suspect Embezzlement? Hire a Personal Asset Search Investigator

Suspect Embezzlement? Hire a Personal Asset Search Investigator

We have talked a lot here in the International Investigators’ blog about being asked to find hidden assets in divorce situations, but we don’t want you to think that is the only time money is hidden away from the sight of others.

Today I want to talk about another instance when we are called in to complete an asset investigation. An attorney representing a business calls when there is suspicion that an employee is embezzling money from their employer.

When suspicion is aroused in the company, one of the first calls the company management makes is to their attorney asking for advice on how to handle the situation. When we begin such an investigation we might not be finding unknown accounts or even hidden bank accounts [...]