Matt Reitz, Author at CusterAgency

Tips on Keeping Your Smartphone Secure

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Although a smartphone is a great convenience, if it ends up in the wrong hands, it could become a convenient tool to be used against you. That is why the private investigators in Boise have put together this list of tips to help you keep you data and information secure. Follow these guidelines to protect yourself from hackers.

1 – Don’t Share Your Cell Number

This may seem harmless but you really should be careful who knows your cell number. It is something you should guard in much the same manner you do your social insurance number. The data and information stored on your smartphone equates to providing someone with access to your home, your activities and your life.

2 – Be Careful With Text Messages

Not all text messages are dangerous but you do need to be aware of the fact that not all sources are legitimate. The private investigators in Boise say that if you receive one from a number you do not recognize, do not open it or click on links contained in the message. The ones to pay particular attention to are ones announcing you have been selected as a winner of a prize.

3 – Update It Frequently

One way to build a wall between your cell phone information and a hacker is if you keep the operating system current. You will receive a notice telling you that an update is available and if you download this, you are actually protecting yourself because operating system updates usually include improved software protection.

4 – Use A Passcode

The private investigators in Boise point to having a passcode on your phone as a great first line of defense. Essentially this prevents anyone from picking up your device and using it at random. If you set a passcode, the device can’t be used until the correct passcode is entered to ‘unlock’ the device.

5 – Use The Tracker Option

Your smartphone will contain a ‘tracker’ program that you can activate. What this does is allows you to remotely find your phone with GPS technology should it go missing. Also, you can activate an option that will allow you to erase all data on the phone remotely so if someone does take your device, you can locate it and destroy information before it can be used.

The Private Investigators in Boise Are On Your Side

If you take these steps to protect yourself and the private information you have stored on your smartphone, you are controlling your risk. By doing this, you greatly reduce the chance of giving a hacker an open book to you and your life. For more information contact the private investigators in Boise at Custer Agency today.

Certified Fraud Examiners: Who They Are and What They Do

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A person professionally training in detecting, investigating and resolving fraud cases is a Certified Fraud Examiner or CFE. A private investigator in Boise with a CFE certification would have received it from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners which is the largest anti-fraud organization in the world. The ACFE provides training and education on the topic. CFE’s typically come from backgrounds related to criminology, law, accounting or auditing.

Not just anyone can become a CFE, either. You must first have a bachelor’s degree and several years of professional experience and pass a CFE exam. All CFE’s are expected to follow a code of ethics as laid out by the ACFE and must be able to prove they are of high moral character with appropriate references.

The Work Of A CFE

The complicated intricacies of corporate fraud require a lot of different skills and they vary differently from investigations related to other kinds of crimes such as theft or murder. You could say that a Certified Fraud Examiner can take a ledger or box of papers, accounting data and electronic spreadsheets and discover something wrong that may slip by the average person.

It is this attention to detail and thoroughness that sets a CFE apart from other crime investigators. The responsibility of a CFE is huge and often they are the people responsible in uncovering some of the largest corporate scandals. However, with this kind of expertise a CFE brings a lot to the table of any size fraud investigation.

Can A PI Be A CFE?

While it is possible, not all detectives are Certified Fraud Examiners. However, it is not uncommon for a private investigator in Boise to work with a CFE on fraud cases. The roles of each may differ from case to case but a CFE would likely examine the evidence gathered by the PI rather than the other way around.

That being said, insurance fraud is a common field of investigation that a detective will be hired to gather evidence on. This would entail long days of surveillance, photographic and video evidence gathering and witness interviews. For more complex, multi-layered corporate fraud investigations a CFE would be a likely choice.

Do You Need A Private Investigator In Boise?

Custer Agency handles all kinds of fraud investigations and works with Certified Fraud Examiners when the occasion arises. If you need a private investigator in Boise for fraud investigation, contact Custer Agency today.

What Does An Accident Investigator Do?

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Investigations at accident scenes have one goal to reach: determining what caused the accident. A private investigator in Boise will tell you that this is a specialized field of investigative work. The results from an accident scene investigation are used in insurance claims, court cases and to assist with preventing similar accidents from occurring.

Accident investigation techniques require methodic and scientifically rigorous practices as the conclusions that result from them often become court evidence. Investigators who focus on accident scene work can come from many different fields of expertise and include engineers, health and safety supervisors and forensic scientists.

The Process Used In Accident Scene Investigation

There are four main techniques used in accident investigations. They include causal analysis where principles of causation are used to put together the series of events leading to the accident and expert analysis. This is where a private investigator in Boise would use their own expertise and knowledge to piece together the events prior to the accident.

The third technique is known as organizational analysis which follows the train of thought that with everything working in good order, there would be no accident. Experiments are then conducted to see how an element would be altered from the perfect state and play a role in the accident.

The final technique, advanced accident analysis, resulted from digital photography. With it an investigator can construct a 3D model of the accident scene and with computer programs, can ‘run’ various scenarios into the process of determining cause.

The Steps Accident Scene Investigation Follows

1 – Fact Gathering

This is the first step and involves collecting data through speaking to witnesses, taking notes of observations and taking photos of the scene. Samples may also be collected for further analysis. Once all of this information is together, the investigator will examine it, perform scientific calculations, tests and more to draw conclusions.

2 – Countermeasures

Depending on the nature of the accident, the report submitted by a private investigator in Boise may include recommendations related to safety issues. The accident report may end up a key factor used in changing vehicle design or other engineering tasks related to transportation.

Custer Agency Can Help

If you are in need of a profession private investigator in Boise with accident scene investigation experience, look no further. The detectives at Custer Agency can provide the expert analysis required to determine causes of accidents and other injury claims involving vehicles. Call them today for details.

Can You Hear Me Now? All About Audio Surveillance Equipment

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Audio surveillance equipment is an important part of a detective’s tool kit. A private investigator in Boise can rely on various listening tools and recording devices ranging from a tape or digital recorder to high-tech items such as directional microphones and amplified ear muffs. Here is a look at some of these tools of the trade:

1 – Phone Recording Device

This is old technology that continues to be a standard used by private investigators to this day. Essentially it is a recorder that can be connected into a phone line to record both sides of the conversations that take place on the specific phone line. It may be illegal for you to eavesdrop on someone’s conversation but law enforcement agencies can do this with a warrant.

2 – Directional Microphone

For a long-time private investigator in Boise this is another classic tool that still gets used today. It looks like a small mini satellite dish that is connected to a set of headphones. By pointing the receiving dish in different directions it picks up distant sounds in that specific direction.

3 – Smartphone Recorder

What sounds like a logical update from the older telephone recording devices is actually more than that. A smartphone recorder is smaller and can be carried anywhere. Plus, in order for it to be effective, it has to be plugged directly into the smartphone to capture both sides of a conversation – unless it is on speakerphone function.

4 – Amplified Ear Muffs

This can be considered one of the most innovative additions to audio surveillance in quite some time. They do two things at once – they shield your ears and reduce background noise while amplifying distant sounds. These are highly directional and you can mute some sounds while dialing in a frequency to hear others.

5 – Auto Start Recorder

Sound triggers the recording mechanism so this tool is easy on batteries and recording space because it just captures the sounds you are trying to record. A private investigator in Boise would find a great deal of use out of one of these as it sits quietly in a standby mode until a sensor picks up a sound and starts the recording process.

Custer Agency Is Here To Help

Do you need a detective to conduct some kind of audio surveillance work? To hire a private investigator in Boise turn to Custer Agency for professional detectives. We are armed with the tools that get the job done. Call us today to find out more.

What Are Computer Forensic Services?

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In today’s world most of our communication is through computer technology. Ask a private investigator in Boise and they will tell you that thanks to digital platforms, they have more access to information than ever before. Social media, email and text programs provide a whole host of data that can be mined when needed. Here is a look at some of the different types of computer forensic services available:

1 – Recovery of Data

This is the main service that falls under computer forensics. There are several data recovery techniques that a private investigator in Boise can employ. It allows for the recovery of deleted files, social media posts, emails and texts. Plus, temporary files, search histories along with access and usage information can all be recovered.

2 – Recovery of Smartphone Data

The data recovery techniques used on a smartphone can reveal much more information than on a laptop or desktop computer. Computer forensics on a smartphone can recover call logs, deleted photographs and contact lists as examples. However, where smartphones are best for this kind of investigative work is with the GPS and location data it records and stores. It can help a detective to determine where a phone user was at a particular location and time.

3 – Security of Digital Data

One of the benefits of computer forensic services is digital security solutions. A private investigator in Boise can provide tests and perform functions on your data to ensure it is safe and can reveal weaknesses in your existing protection. Should there be any way in which a hacker can attack your system, solutions will be available to remedy this through these tests.

Custer Agency Can Help

The one thing to remember about using your computer or smartphone is that you are always leaving behind a trail. With the assistance of a private investigator in Boise you can learn how to protect your digital data from being captured and used without your permission. For more information, contact Custer Agency today.

Why Your Nanny Needs A Background Check

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If you ask a private investigator in Boise they will tell you that you should do a background check on a nanny before hiring. That’s because you are hiring someone to look after your child and that responsibility requires a certain type of person. Words like responsible, experienced and nurturing all comes to mind. Unfortunately, also do the horror stories of nannies in the news that have neglected and even abused the children in their care. Here are reasons why you need to have a background check done before hiring your child’s nanny:

1 – Identity Confirmation

Although it may sound obvious, the person you are hiring must be who they claim to be. You may need a private investigator in Boise to assist with verifying such basic facts as date of birth, Social Security number and other personal data about the person.

2 – Record Check

A criminal past is not too hard to hide or leave off of resumes when looking for a new job. A background check can reveal much about someone’s past including any and all criminal activity. This is important information to tell you something about the person you are considering taking care of your children.

3 – Verification of Licensing

Legitimate nannies have completed proper educational courses and have licensing that allows them to work in this field of child care. It is important to have verification of experience, training and licensing as a nanny without this proof can be a harmful addition to your home and family.

4 – Check of References

Just like you would for hiring anyone to work for you, it is important to conduct a reference check. References can say a lot about professionalism, work ethic and attitude which will all be important factors in the hiring process. A private investigator in Boise can assist with gathering this information.

Custer Agency Conducts Nanny Background Checks

When you are looking to hire a nanny and need the professional assistance of a private investigator in Boise, turn to Custer Agency. We have the tools to find out what you need to know in order to make an informed decision before hiring a nanny for your child or children.

4 Reasons It May Be Difficult To Find A Private Investigator

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Here are some tips on how to find a private investigator in Boise. It is important to be able to locate a professional detective who can assist you with the proper tools for the task. The private investigator does exactly as the name implies, they investigate and gather information as part of a private contract with an individual, group or commercial entity. However, you need to have the right detective working for you.

1 – Investigative Field of Expertise

Just like ordering pizza in a burger joint, you want to hire a private investigator in Boise who has experience in dealing with the field of investigative work you require. There are many different specialties detective work can focus on covering such fields as locating missing persons, fraud investigations, infidelity, different kinds of surveillance and criminal investigations. You will want a detective with experience in the type of work you are hiring them for.

2 – Licensing/Contracts

Professional private investigators must be licensed and they must supply you with a legal contract before hiring is complete. When you are seeking the assistance of an investigator, you can narrow it down if any on your list do not have proper licensing or work with legal contracts. Fees and all details related to the investigative work you require should be spelled out and easily understood in order to protect you and the PI from misunderstandings.

3 – Code of Ethics

Here’s where you will need to pay a great deal of attention. When hiring a private investigator in Boise, you will want someone who is honest, ethical and honorable. This requires you to do some research on the company you are looking to hire and you can do this with online reviews. The best match is a detective who shares your values and understands the importance of integrity while working on sensitive matters.

4 – Track Record

The last important step to hiring a private detective in Boise is their success rate. You will want to hire one that can produce solid evidence that stands up in court. A professional investigating firm will keep you up-to-date throughout the investigation and provide you will a complete file of their findings at the end of the investigative stage. Without proper and thorough documentation, you may wish to choose someone else to handle your case.

Call Custer Agency Today

The process of choosing a private investigator in Boise may sound like a massive task to tackle before launching your investigation. In fact, it means you are doing some detective work on your own. Contact the detectives at Custer Agency first and your search for a professional will end quickly.

8 Ways To Beef Up Your Home’s Internet Security

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Your home internet system can be a gold mine for a hacker seeking information from you. The private investigators in Boise know how much personal information can be hidden on the average laptop, desktop or tablet. To help you better protect your person data, here are some tips:

There are essentially two places you can tighten up security in your home internet system. The ‘front door’ to access your network is the router. The second place is the actual devices that contain your information. Let’s break both down and look at how you can take control of each so you don’t become a victim of identity theft.

1 – Router – Change The Default Admin Password

Default admin passwords are easily found on the internet. In order to stop instant access to your router, go to its configuration page and look for where the default password it listed. Often it is as easy as ‘admin’ or something similar. The private investigators in Boise say that by changing it to something else, you will be the only person able to change the settings that can be accessed from the same page.

2 – Router – Disable Remote Management

The nifty thing about remote management is that if you are not at home and need to access your computer, you can. It also means skillful hackers can as well. If your router has this feature, disable it. If you have to call support to do this, do it.

3 – Router – Change SSID

The SSID identifies your network. If you were looking for a local network on your device, the name that shows up on screen is the SSID. Default SSIDs include such things as ‘dlink’ or ‘linksys’ but by changing yours you can more or less hide your network in a neighborhood of networks.

4 – Router – Enable Network Encryption

When you enable encryption to your network (normally identified as WEP, WAP or WAP2) you change your network to a password only accessible system. Be sure to choose a password that includes digits, upper and lower case letters and if possible, punctuation marks to make guessing even more difficult.

5 – Router – Filter MAC Addresses

The MAC address is a unique ID for a specific device, like a fingerprint. You can configure your router to only allow access to the MAC addresses of the devices used in your home by family. This eliminates outside devices from joining. You will need to configure to add new devices when your family acquires one.

6 – Devices – Protect Against Viruses

Antivirus protection is essential even on smartphones and other handheld devices. Download the latest antivirus program and be sure to keep it current. The private investigators in Boise say updating regularly provides some extra protection.

7 – Devices – File Sharing

The private investigators in Boise say that file sharing within your network makes for some easy work being passed between family members. However, it also allows for fast retrieval of personal data by someone who has gained access to your network. If you do not require file sharing, you can disable this at the source.

8 – Devices – Shut It Off

When you are not using your computers or router for an extended period of time, during a vacation away from home as an example, power down everything. This should include computers, phones and routers. This removes any possibility of a hacker entering your system when you are not at home.

Trust The Private Investigators In Boise

The internet has changed the way we communicate and shop. It also has opened up a whole new channel for thieves to capture personal information. To protect your privacy, use these tips provided by the private investigators in Boise at Custer Agency. For more information on internet security, call them today.

 

Common Con Jobs

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If you have ever been tempted by the lure of making money quickly, chances are you have had exposure to a con job. The private investigators in Boise have spent a great deal of time investigating several different schemes that fall under the category of fraud investigation services. To be safe from getting caught up in a fraudulent offer, there are a number of signs to watch out for. They include, but are not limited to the following:

1 – You’re A Lucky Winner

The way this con operates is that a letter, email or phone call is received indicating you have just won the lottery. The hook here is that in order to claim the prize, you must first provide personal details either online or on the phone. The lottery is often ‘staged’ to be in a foreign country or in the name of a non-existent charity. Once you provide the requested information you do not receive the cash prize as you’ve given away personal data that can be used in identity theft.

2 – Going Through The Roof

This particular con comes from an offer of extremely cheap home improvement services that can be roof repairs or any other renovation project. The scammers will request an upfront partial payment or suggest you file an insurance claim. After the payment is received a poorly executed repair ensues and then they disappear. This leaves you with addition work required on your home to repair the scammers repair and your insurance provider puts you on a black list.

3 – Rich Nigerian Prince Needs Help

Here is a very common con that has touched the lives of many people you already know. A member of royalty or of significant stature in a foreign country makes contact with you. It was a common fax machine scam before email, but now it’s as common there. The ‘Prince’ needs to transfer a huge amount of money into your bank account just to ‘hold’ for a period of time. All they need to know in order to do this is your banking information. The private investigators in Boise don’t have to tell you what can happen to you if you fall for this one, do they?

Don’t Get Scammed, Call The Private Investigators in Boise

Custer Agency has seen all kinds of games designed to separate you from your hard earned cash. Don’t get sucked into a con job. Watch for the signs as most of them follow similar patterns. For fraud investigation services, give the private investigators in Boise a call at Custer Agency today.

Tips To Catching A Cheating Spouse

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Betrayal tends to have a larger impact when the source of it is your spouse or significant other. The private investigators in Boise can help you gather the right evidence in the case of an infidelity lawsuit. But before you start to jump to conclusions, you really need to do some of your own homework. Here are a few tips on how to catch a cheating spouse.

1 – Stay Within The Law

Even if you have strong suspicions that something is happening behind your back, you still have to respect the privacy of the people you suspect. In fact, if you violate this and things go sideways for you, you could end up in court as a result. Any tips you’ve seen on TV or in the internet ranging from hacking phones and bugging vehicles is just illegal and can end up costing you a lot more than your marriage.

2 – Monitor Their Phone

While still staying within the law, you can learn things by checking for any changes in phone activity without violating their privacy. Such clues include your spouse leaving the room to take some phone calls; your spouse taking their phone with them everywhere even sleeping with it and; a PIN that you once knew that has been changed. If the phone has caller ID and you can still access it, do a quick scroll and see if there are numbers you don’t recognize. You can do a search of the sources of those phone numbers later.

3 – Computer History

Provided your spouse has not learned how to delete the browser history from a family computer, which you have legal access to, you can always look at the records of the pages and websites they have visited. Dating sites, social media pages and other uncommon sites visited could yield a clue or two. If they frequently erase the browser history, this could also mean something is going on.

4 – Record Activities

The private investigators in Boise agree that if you document your spouse’s activities such as visits to the ATM, trips and unexpected absences from home or work, you may be able to identify a pattern.

Call the Private Investigators in Boise

Custer Agency has experience in researching the activities of a cheating spouse. This is why you should conduct some of your own investigating before you contact the private investigators in Boise. Sometimes the unexplained activities that appear to point to cheating may be something completely different such as a personal family problem or even an addiction. This is why you must be certain before you seek legal advice. For more tips call Custer Agency today.