Monday 24 December 2018

The real-life Grinch

The Grinch, an envious creature who planned to prevent the arrival of Christmas, stealing all Christmas ornaments and gifts, not only went from book to film but also to real life. However, we all know that happy endings do not always happen as seen in movies and if the Grinch ultimately returns everything he stole, unfortunately in reality, thieves who behave like him do not do the same.

December arrives, the time of year to share as a family with the hope of a better next year, the time of happiness and the favorite of many, who can quickly stop being so. This is because during these dates the robberies increase as there are a greater number of houses that are empty in the Christmas season. It is the perfect season for criminals.

Fortunately, people already tend to know it, and as such they worry about leaving their homes at the mercy of the thieves who take advantage to perform their activity, which is why many people often decide to go to private detective services. These professionals act both when it comes to investigating a theft and obtaining the appropriate tests and also in the prevention of them, which is undoubtedly the most important point.

However, there are always those who prefer to take chances, and when that happens it becomes difficult at times to caught thieves because they use increasingly sophisticated techniques. It is at this point that people turn to detectives to try to solve their problems because they can provide the necessary evidence.

Nevertheless the best thing is always to prevent. For that it is important to install intelligent security systems where thieves are detected without their knowledge. These systems can be hidden cameras, intrusion detectors or for those who want really effective protection, a home automation control system. The last one includes, as an example, the detection of possible intruders, the closing of blinds, the simulation of presence and access to IP cameras, among others. All this can easily be installed by private detectives to guarantee more security while the house is empty.

As it is possible to observe the work of a detective can be essential when planning to leave home for a season without any bad surprises as a Christmas gift, when it comes to returning home.

Sindia Alves and A. Oliver
Anthropologist and Detective
of Oliver Detectives

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Money and good faith the all life's enemies

December 22 is a special day for many Spaniards, as it is the day of the Christmas lottery, better known as "El Gordo". But why is it such a special day? Is that this year "El Gordo" is valued at 4 million Euros per ticket or series and 400,000 Euros per tenth. No doubt too much money to bring out bad faith among people who decide to share luck.

The first Christmas lottery was in 1811 and even today keeps making shine the eyes of many people throughout Spain. Actually the winner of the first prize could live about 13 years without working. Too good to be true, right? That in fact happens but we would have to live 100 000 years to guarantee that we will get the first prize once in a lifetime.

However, if the December 22 reveals as your lucky day and you get the surprise that you are the winner of the Christmas raffle, you should keep in mind two things:
  • On the one hand, keep calm and do not discuss it with anyone;
  • And on the other, keep the bill with you, since it is a bearer document and can be charged by anyone who has it in his possession.

If you are one of the lucky ones but the tenth does not belong only to you, then there are important points to consider. Even when there is a principle of good faith between the participants, the truth is that when there is money involved, everything can change. In reality, there are examples of winners whose decision was to escape with the prize, without dividing it with the rest. If that happens to you it is essential that you know that you can ask for the help of a private detective, in order to locate the person with the winning ticket that has fled.

Nevertheless there are always many ways to justify that the tenth belongs to several people. One solution is to sign the tenths on the back, photograph them and distribute the photos among the participants to accredit the shared game. Or then, you can sign a document where you have to include the name, ID and amount of each of the players. It is equally important the presence of witnesses who can legitimize that these tenths are played between several people.

Another essential aspect is to accredit before the Tax Administration that the money of the tenth has been distributed among various holders, in order to avoid being considered as a donation. If this happens, the winners are obliged to pay the prize doubly. Therefore, to avoid being subject to the tax that regulates donations, the prize should never be collected by a single person and then distributed.

Unfortunately there are always participants who refuse to distribute the prize with whom they share a tenth, forgetting that they are committing a crime of misappropriation, punishable by a fine when the amount is less than 400 Euros and imprisonment if exceed the amount referred above. Here, once again the work of a private detective can be crucial to prove the misappropriation of a certain participant.

For these reasons, whenever there is money involved you have to be as suspicious as possible and avoid be fooled by anyone.

Sindia Alves and A. Oliver
Anthropologist and Detective
of Oliver Detectives

Wednesday 12 December 2018

The Sherlock Holmes of nowadays

Private detectives are increasingly known due to the iconic models of books and films. If we talk about Inspector Gadget or Sherlock Holmes, everybody knows we are talking about private detectives. But the reality is a little different from that which everyone knows. Detectives nowadays do not wear trench coats or magnifying glasses, but they remain discreet and are always nearby to help you investigate what you need. These researchers work for individuals, companies and also for law firms. And the truth is that there are many legal professionals who are still unclear in what way a detective can be useful.

Lawyers may need a private detective in matters related to the work sphere such as in cases of fake sick leave; in the criminal field; in expertise or other issues related to insurance; for locating people; on family law cases like contentious divorces or alimony, among others. As you can see the detectives can be very useful for lawyers in all types of investigations, providing evidence reliable to present to the courts. They can be documentary, testimony or expert evidences, since the reports issued by the detectives constitute probative material in judicial proceedings, since the exercise of the profession of private detective, in Spain, is recognized by the law 4/14 of April of Security Private.

The lawyer during a judicial process or other kind of course of action has to prove the facts that are object of discussion, and often it is when the private investigator enters, because it comes to corroborate the information that a lawyer has, but for which he doesn’t has proves. So, the detective's tasks will serve for the legal professional helps his clients in the most diverse domains.

Actually the work of a lawyer is complemented by the detective and vice versa, resulting enormously beneficial for both.

Sindia Alves and A. Oliver
Anthropologist and Detective
of Oliver Detectives
Tuesday 11 December 2018

The hypnotic ads that adorn the showcases of the stores in time of sales

When the sales start, it is common to see disturbing avalanches of people accessing the stores to get the products at a lower price than the items normally have. However, with the beginning of the sales, scams and frauds also arrive. The truth is that we all know that they fraud us in the period of sales, but at least before they did it with more class and dissimulation. Now almost everyone is questioning the veracity of the discounts although many consumers seem unable to resist the wonderful ads that adorn the showcases.

Sincerely nobody gives anything without the ambition of something in return and if the merchants resort to the rebates it is because they earn money with that. However, consumers have already begun to report the scams found in the discount season. The most common scams evidenced are the misleading labeling and the price increase to show a higher discount. On one hand there are companies that, in the days before the start of the sales period, increase the price of many merchandise and then can announce a fraudulent reduction, often to make consumers believe that a discount is more powerful since there is a bigger difference of price between the "before" and "after", the common swelling of the discounts. Others prefer to manipulate the labels simulating discounts on products that still cost the same as before the sales season. Many customers take off the labels with the discounted price and see that it is the same as before.

Another fraud related with the sales refers to the manufacture of the products. The discounts usually seem generous, but frequently the items are produced by way to be sold at a discount price. Many chains manufacture products to market them exclusively during the discount period, and if their price is not reduced, you may be sure that the quality is.

Since these companies almost constantly go unpunished despite the efforts of customers to deal with them when these situations happen, the services of private detectives are always of great importance because they are professionals specialized in scams and can help to avoid or solve this type of frauds.

But as the best is always to prevent, we leave you some essential tips to take advantage of the discounts without frights:
  • Review the articles very well;
  • Check prices;
  • Request information about the purchase conditions;
  • Save all tickets and invoices.

Sindia Alves and A. Oliver
Anthropologist and Detective
of Oliver Detectives

Wednesday 5 December 2018

Private investigation and forensic sciences together in the search of the truth

The Forensic Sciences are of extreme importance for the private investigation since they allow the obtainment of irrefutable proofs, which would not be possible to reach another way. As such, in Oliver Detectives depending on the casuistry we use the appropriate technical-scientific procedure, especially in cases where it is necessary:

1. Checking the authenticity of documents;
2. Determine the authorship of signatures, texts, and graffiti;
3. Elaborate a graphological study of personality;
4. Analyzing and extract a profile through digital writing;
5. Study bank documents as a means of payment (checks, credit cards);

6. The authentication of audio and video recordings;
7. The authentication of photographs and possible photographic manipulations;
8. Create virtual scenarios;
9. Detect manipulations in electronic circuits (mobile phones, game consoles);
10. Find out unauthorized access to computers, cyber fraud, fraudulent use of programs, industrial and technological cyber espionage, sabotage.

Namely, it is about obtaining legal evidence from the scientific point of view with the aim of attributing responsibilities, resorting to expert and criminalistics techniques allied to technological advances.

For example, and using the graphological technique, our detective work is very useful in the Human Resources departments of companies in the phases of personnel selection. This is because this technique is being implemented more and more in entities as a complement to other traditional selection systems, such as the CV and job interviews. The advantage of this technique is undoubtedly the speed in the initial selection of cover letters, especially when there are many candidates because the results are obtained almost immediately. It is possible to obtain the maximum information of the candidate, such as predispositions, dubious or unfair behavior, intellectual potential, level of ambition, performance, maturity, personality, and sociability; as well as the aptitudes for the work in question.

Since the private investigation is a profession recognized by law in Spain, we, private detectives, are often called to testify before the courts, since our reports constitute evidence in judicial proceedings. In some of these investigations, we need to resort to forensic techniques to obtain the evidence. One of those cases refers to the determination of the authorship of signatures, in the investigation of their falsity, where the client affirms that it is false and intends, therefore, to demonstrate that said signature does not belong to him.

Increasingly the work developed by private detectives is directly related to forensic investigations and, as such, it is of extreme relevance that if the researcher himself has no training in this specific area he should resort to specialized professionals to obtain the necessary information in order to complete his report in an objective and impartial way to guarantee the maximum credibility.

The subject was exhibited as a poster at the 17th National Congress of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences held between November 22 and 24, 2018 in Coimbra, Portugal.

Sindia Alves and A. Oliver
Anthropologist and Detective
of Oliver Detectives
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