Monday 30 July 2018

“Allways look a gift horse in the mouth”

Who never fantasized about the perfect job? That in which in addition to doing what we like, we receive a good financial compensation for it. All of us have dreamed about that at some point in our lives, and whoever says no, lies.

As children, dreams were a little different, from princesses to superheroes, the important thing was to have imagination. But, over the years, our expectations change a little and what is starting to attract us more is undoubtedly a good amount of money at the end of the month, resulting from the daily effort we have spent on our jobs.

However, unfortunately the picture is not very satisfactory nowadays, due to the lack of existing employment, and many times it is because we trust and accept the minimum of what they offer us. The more desperate our present is the more nostalgic we will have of our past and the more mistakes we will make in the search for employment, only to get out of this kind of suffocating situation.
The easiest and fastest way to find employment is through web pages, designed to offer jobs. 

However, it is necessary to be careful, because, with the increase in the number of candidates exploring online opportunities, the tendency to false job offers has increased accordingly in order to exploit the applicants to obtain their personal and even bank data.

To prevent this type of scam it is important to pay attention to some aspects:

    • "Red signals" - from spelling/grammar errors to email addresses that do not contain the domain of the company, extremely flexible hours, immediate incorporation into the company, unpaid trial period, all those details are indications that the offer It may not be real.
    • Request for bank information - many scammers take advantage of the opportunity to request bank deposits from candidates, but a real company never requires money to work with them.
    • "Easy money" scheme - if the compensation is well above the average, the ads do not specify the details or the demands and the job seems too good to be true, then it probably is not a true offer.
    • The indication of the telephone number of the company - generally the type of offer where there is a telephone contact tends to be fraudulent because it is the company that will contact you after receiving your data by email.
    • Offer too attractive abroad - it is always important to carry out intensive research to verify both the offer and the existence of the company because if there is no reference to the company or the information is very limited then the offer is probably false.

It is not mandatory to suspect all the offers that arise in the search for employment, but you have to keep your eyes open when we are planning our future, not making life easier for those who want to cheat us. It is worth bearing in mind that there are many unscrupulous people who only want to benefit from the suffering of others who are desperately looking for work.

Sindia Alves and A. Oliver
Anthropologist and Private Investigator
of Oliver Detectives

Wednesday 25 July 2018

When strangers on the other side of the world know everything about you

Currently, the use of smartphones is growing, mainly the use of the various and endless online applications that are associated with our precious devices. A few years ago a mobile phone only served to call and send messages. Nowadays we are all familiar with social networks and we use them constantly, be it Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp ... and we could continue. At the same time allowing us to maintain contact with people from all over the world also allow us to share photos and videos of our daily activities.

With geolocation present in smartphones, it is possible to instantly associate with our photos and videos the place where they originated. However, this voluntary exposure of the location can often bring serious consequences because it makes it possible for virtually anyone to know where we live, where we are, our routine and whether or not we are at home. And this type of information can be easily used for malicious purposes, such as assaults, which are already constant in the homes of celebrities, as happened to Shakira and Piké, among others.

In addition to this type of voluntary localization, there is also the involuntary almost always associated with the innumerable applications that we are installing daily on our smartphones. More than 200,000 applications are using location, including meteorology, browsers, camera or games (with their advertising) for example. All of them have access to our physical positioning, or rather, all the companies that develop them use our need to acquire this app, charging it with the consent of access to our location and private data (for advertising purposes based on our habits daily and in the locations we visit), because when we need to install an application we do not even think twice before allowing such approval.

As such, we must be fully aware of the things we can or can not share in social networks and in what circumstances we do it, as well as when we install any type of application on our mobile phones. Even because with simple forms of prevention it is possible to avoid misusing our privacy.

Sindia Alves
Oliver Detective Anthropologist

Wednesday 18 July 2018

¡ Summer comes through the door and you forced out through the window !

In the summer, people tend to be more relaxed because for the majority it is synonymous with holidays or at least their arrival. This season of the year makes people more relaxed, leading some people to be more susceptible to deception. The emergence of new technologies contributed on a large scale to make life easier for scammers as they often pay for things online without ever checking them personally. 

There are 4 most common scams during the holiday period: 

  1. Burglar alarms;
  2. Non-existent tourist packages of illegal agencies or operators; 
  3. Gifts on social networks (cruises or stays of a week with incredible promotions);
  4. Rent of properties for holidays (rent of apartments on the beachfront). 

Renting a house often seems a more interesting hypothesis than staying in hotels, but also becomes attractive to scammers, who often end up asking for an advance payment for an imaginary property. These, use well-known pages like "" or "" to carry out their scams. They can appropriate photographs of a flat, noting the address and pretending to be the owner without the real owner perceiving what is happening to them. In this context, the scammer tends to ask for money in advance since in reality there is no residence to rent. In a different but no less important way, they also advertise images of dream apartments, perfectly furnished and with the peculiarity of being located on the beachfront, at extremely cheap prices. In these cases, in addition to the prices well below the average that can give us a warning signal, the location and the state of the apartment can be fictitious.

Fortunately, there are always ways to avoid this type of fraud, being a little more attentive in the suspicious details present in the ads in question. In general, before paying, it is important to check that the apartment is actually for rent and that it is located at the address provided. You only have to look at other known websites (because it is rarely exclusive deals), try to contact the owner and check the prices, and then use simple maps or GPS programs to confirm the location.

In order for a person to protect himself or herself from this type of crime, it is essential to keep four key points in mind:

  1. Use an ad website with a good reputation and popularity (FlipKey, HomeAway, and VRBO, in case of Airbnb it is important that people have the Verified ID badge). Properties that do not have comments better avoid them.
  2. Make sure the ad is real. For that, you can search online the property and the terms "short-term rents" and "tenant rights".
  3. Search and locate, using, for example, Google Earth to ensure that the property is the same as the photographs in the advertisement. It is also important to obtain the rental agreement in writing.
  4. Payment must be made by credit card or PayPal, and never by transfer. But it is best to always call the landlord before sending the money.

Despite all the care of the world nobody is free to go through such a situation, where the imagination of the scammer exceeds the capacity of the victims to understand what is happening to them. However, the more informed the people are, the more difficult the work will be for those who make their living by deceiving others without the least bit of modesty.

Sindia Alves and A. Oliver
Anthropologist and Private Investigator
of Oliver Detectives

Wednesday 4 July 2018

The deception and imagination have no limits

Many are the people who think they are spending unnecessary money with insurance and many others are those who consider that since they pay they can also get some extra benefit, albeit illicitly. If people are based on this way of thinking, Fraud and Insurance Scams inevitably arise. This type of crime consists of swindling through conscious actions or omissions in order to reach an economic benefit of the insurance entities, and that undoubtedly does not belong to them. 

Although many times they are not discovered, many of these scammers make mistakes or mistakenly execute the plan they had in mind and end up being caught by private detectives, tasked with proving these fraudulent acts and providing evidence to insurance companies. Probably what many do not know is that from the legal point of view, according to the criminal code for the crime of fraud, the planned punishment ranges from six months to three years in prison. 

And in reality, jail sentences for cases where fraud is evident to insurers have increased in a considered manner. Many of these absurd plans seem like real movie movies. From the simulations of running over to the most mediatic cases like operations of unreal hemorrhoids. Here the only purpose is to cheat without moral and irrational limits. 

When hemorrhoids are really rhinoplasty... 

An insurer hired us to find out several suspected cases of hemorrhoid surgeries where reimbursement of medical expenses was requested. All these cases were identical, they came from the same medical center and were always from the same surgeon. The profiles of the patients were similar: young women with a similar socioeconomic situation and with problems of hemorrhoids in need of surgery. Everything indicated that it was a fraud. 

The work of our private research agency proved that the doctor in question in addition to not performing hemorrhoids, but aesthetic surgeries, more specifically rhinoplasty, also delivered the documentation of these surgical procedures to insurers as if a general surgery was given that aesthetics were not covered by insurance. 

Here the work of our team of researchers to dismantle a relevant scam was undoubtedly essential. 

Sindia Alves and A. Oliver
Anthropologist and Private Investigator
of Oliver Detectives

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