Is She Fakin’ It?
This past week I spent a few days at the National Association of Legal Investigators (NALI) Annual Conference in Denver Colorado. It’s such a pleasure to see investigators that I’ve worked with for over 30 years, meet new professionals and listen to entertaining speakers. Topics included the latest investigative techniques in internet research; preserving, analyzing and organizing that data; use of excessive force; and how to get the interview and the investigation of premises liability.
NALI, like other professional investigative associations, are facing a membership crises due to the overall age of the memberships. The legal community MUST emphasize to younger investigators the need for education and networking with more experienced PIs.
Prior to attending, I spent some time hand crafting some jewelry that was donated for our annual scholarship auction. Our generous members funded scholarships for the next couple of years!
Let’s all encourage licensed private investigators to become professionals through on-going education. Gumshoes NO MORE !!!!
How Do I know if a Company is Legitimate?
Not all companies are authentic and it’s worth your while to double check to see if they are legitimate before you deal with them. This is also true when we are verifying an applicant’s employment on their resume.
If you are contemplating buying from a company that you haven’t heard of, find out as much as you can about that company. Scammers do exist and you don’t want to be the next person to be duped if you can help it.
You must be diligent and have a healthy suspicion whenever you commit to purchase or “supply” a company with your personal details. This goes for online merchants or brick and mortar shops.
Take a look at these 5 details you should read before your encounter with a “shop” you are not familiar with:
- Check for concrete details
Be certain that the store actually exists. Does it have a concrete building somewhere? Check their website for a phone number (landline preferably) and call that number taking note of who answers. If you are put through to a call center or if no one picks up the phone, this would be a red flag.
Look for a physical address on the company’s website and be sure it’s an address you can actually write to. It’s even better if it’s a registered office.
2. See what others say
Put the company’s name into a search engine i.e. Google, and see what results you get. See if past customers have had bad experiences with the companies. If so, take these negative warnings seriously. Just as well if there all GOOD results for the company, that would encourage you to believe that they are legitimate.
While forums online are not Gospel they are useful indicators when you are trying to figure out whether a company is legitimate or not.
3. Check the Financial Regulatory Agencies
If you are looking at a company that is part of the financial sector and deals in financial services or products, there’s one simple way to check out their credentials with state and federal government regulatory and enforcement agencies. Check the financial regulatory agencies.
4. Check out their website
Obviously if you are dealing with an online company their website will be your first port of call. When dealing with an offline company seeking out their website is a good way to find out more about them.
Be sure to look for specifics on the company on their website that may give you better insight on the company. If the English is poor throughout the website and they purport to be trading as a UK or a US Company, they may not be legitimate.
Before considering giving up payment details, it’s important that you check for ‘https://’ at the start of the url and that there is a padlock or key symbol displaying in your browser. It’s a good idea to pay with a credit card but pay close attention to your next statement for any discrepancies. You will better track the transaction. This way, if the company turns out to be a fake, they can’t empty our bank account.
5. Go with your gut
Finally, one of the best pieces of advice is to go with your gut feeling about a company.
If you have any suspicions walk away and take your business elsewhere – it’s better to be safe than sorry.