Is Your Spouse Hiding Money? How Hiring a Private Investigator Can Verify Hidden Income

Financial problems are one of the leading reasons for fights between people in long-term relationships. The statistics are about the same for those who are married. It isn’t uncommon for someone to suspect that a spouse or partner is making more money than what they share. This can lead to problems with trust as well as suspecting that a partner is not contributing fairly to the needs of the family.

Knowledge Is Power

In our work as private investigators, we frequently receive requests from individuals needing help with proving their partner’s income more so when it concerns supporting children financially. Most of these clients are surprised at how private investigators can discover hidden wealth as well as trace how it was earned and where it is kept. They’re even more surprised when told that we usually use the information they shared to uncover their partner’s or spouse’s hidden finances.

Knowledge is surely power. Knowing your significant other’s financial habits as well as other tidbits help with uncovering the truth. For instance, how a person gets paid, how he/she choose to pay for purchases, and what he/she usually spends on are details that are known to most partners but will take some time for a private eye to find out. Information such as these can help piece together a person’s income, even when they think they’re being secretive enough.

Private Investigators Examine Financial Habits

Most people are accustomed to a certain lifestyle, needs, and wants. If a person used to frequent certain vacation spots and go to specific pricey establishments, a private eye can look into that and estimate money spent as well as determine if someone is truly financially struggling or just pretending to be in dire straits.

Private Investigators Note Income Habits

Those without a fixed income may not be reporting all their business’ revenue or money made via freelancing. If this is noted, a private investigator can look into this and perhaps get the help of employers and customers to verify income. You’ll be surprised at how helpful some people can be when tax evasion is a possible issue.

Private Eyes Also Record Other Habits

Wouldn’t it be a red flag if a spouse who claims to be unable to afford a $200 monthly bill for child support is a frequent casino patron and seen driving sports cars? Small details count, especially with the help of a private investigator who can gather and present evidence in a way that is admissible in court.

What to Expect When Hiring a Private Investigator to Verify Hidden Income

In our private investigation practice, we usually gather information from clients, conduct our own research, and place the person of interest under surveillance. Below are further details.

  • We ask you for information so that we can perform a more focused investigation and avoid wasting time. This saves a lot of effort and minimizes the possibility of looking in the wrong direction.
  • We conduct our own research to verify facts. This may include employment verification, searches for financial assets, and performing background checks.
  • We place the person of interest under surveillance to verify some details such as current employment status, changes in financial habits, where your significant other spends money and when, as well as how much is being spent.

The above are just the most basic of what we can do for you. If you need help verifying your significant other’s income, contact us so we can discuss with you the steps we can take for your specific situation. Aside from hidden wealth, we can also investigate possible cheating and infidelity.

 

Top 10 Fraud Statistics That Can’t Be Ignored

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We’ve long been saying that occupational fraud is one of the most ruthless universal problems that businesses are facing these days. This is because it is pervasive, does not discriminate, and does not recognize borders. More so, occupational fraud usually goes on unnoticed for an average of around 18 months, leaving fraudsters more than enough time to cause real financial damage.

Fraud usually occurs in the shadows, and operates in a disguised manner. Fraud also affects corporations and organizations big and small but sadly, big businesses often fall into false thinking and believe that they are safe and prepared against fraud although they really are not.

There’s a saying that in Knowledge, There is Power; and that can’t be more true than in understanding fraud. Fighting potential threats means having access and understanding of the most up-to-date statistical data to help with fraud detection. The important fraud statistics you should know about are listed below:

What’s Lost

Do you know that 22% of fraud cases worldwide equals a loss of at least a million dollars? The median global loss is at $145,000 per case which could explain why and how organizations report losing around 5% of their revenue to fraud. This is certainly not a small number, because this means global loss to fraud is at $3.7 trillion USD (yes, that’s trillion!).

3 Most Common Types of Fraud

Arranged from most common are: asset misappropriations, financial statement fraud, and corruption; however financial statement fraud causes the greatest financial impact.

Whistleblower Detection Rate

40% of all fraud cases were detected because of a tip and organizations with a fraud hotline report losing 41% less than those who do no not and are able to detect fraud 50% quicker.

Most Affected Industries

Manufacturing, government, public administration, financial services, and banking industries report the greatest number of fraud cases.

Most Affected Organization Departments

77% of fraud that happens within corporations occurs in operations, accounting, customer service, executive/upper management, sales, finance, and purchasing departments.

Effect on Smaller Organizations

Proportionally speaking, the losses are much greater at smaller organizations than larger corporations.

Anti-Fraud Controls Do Work

Anti-fraud technology does shorten the fraud duration and reduce the percentage loss. Organizations that utilize anti-fraud controls report less damage and loss overall.

Higher Authority Means Greater Losses

Perpetrators of fraud who hold a position of power cause greater loss. The median loss for fraud committed by owners and executives is at $500,000. Scheming managers cause a median loss of $130,000, while fraudster employees cause a median loss of $75,000.

Teams Cause More Probability of Fraud and More Losses

Fraud that is committed by a network of employees or a department of dishonest employees is more damaging than fraud committed by a single person. The median loss for a 2-person fraud is $200,000, while it is $355,000 for a 3-person fraud, and more than $500,000 for a 4-person (or more) fraud.

Fraud Recovery is a Challenge

Recovering stolen funds takes lots of effort and up to years of time. Oftentimes, corporations are not able to fully recover losses due to fraud. Only 14% were able to report a full recovery while 58% report that they were not able to recover a single dollar.

Fraud is very real and should be taken seriously. You’ve seen the statistics. Do you really want to be a part of it? Give us a call if you need help investigating a case of fraud in your organization or if you want to institute measures to prevent it. Contact our trusty team of Toronto private investigators for a thorough evaluation of your  fraud risk and fraud prevention plan. Do it today!

Magic Lady Rashida Samji Apologizes for $110 Million Ponzi Scheme

ponzi-scheme-toronto

Facing between 4 to 8 in years in jail, the woman behind the largest Ponzi scheme in B.C history apologized. Rashida Samji shares that this isn’t where she wanted to be and that there is no right way to do wrong.

More than 200 investors were cheated out of their savings in a $110 million fraud that was masterminded by the Magic Woman Rashida Samji. She seems to have fully understood the depth of her deceit and said in a statement that she is haunted night and day by the thought that there is no right way to do wrong. Her statement was delivered in front of a judge as she croaked out the words in a voice that was shaking with emotion.

Samji further added that she is truly sorry for the loss, pain, and grief endured by the investors and that the clocks cannot be turned back. The people wants a prison term of 7 to 8 years but defence is aiming for just 4 to 5.

The Magic Woman

Rashida Samji is known to love fashion and jewelry, being a prominent figure in the South Asian community of Vancouver. As of this writing, she was found guilty of 14 counts of fraud of the 284 named companies and investors who invested money in her Ponzi scheme. 14 separated counts of theft were named by the judge at the outset of the proceedings for sentencing.

The investors shared that they were providing money thinking that it would serve as a collateral for a winery’s expansion plans into South America and South Africa. The investors were lead to believe that Samji will keep the cash in her trust account and they trusted her, being a notary public. Her scheme was uncovered in January 2012.

Samji tried to commit suicide after the discovery of her Ponzi scheme and freezing of accounts. It’s just that she has been resuscitated after she overdosed on sleeping pills. Her lawyer, Richard Peck, explained her crimes as the product of the stress of being diagnosed with breast cancer, having depression, and being in debt. Her argues that there must be a reason why an ordinary citizen such as his client will get involved in a Ponzi scheme. Peck painted a picture of Samji’s life from her humble beginnings in Uganda, her family’s forced exile to Canada, to being a divorced single mother in Vancouver.

At the time when Samji started her Ponzi scheme, she had recently undergone mastectomy and has had 13 procedures to reconstruct her breast after the cancer nodules were removed. Doctors have recently detected another nodule in Samji’s lung.

The Victims

With all that Samji has been going through, Crown counsel Kevin Mark has turned to reading the impact statements by Samji’s victims. Some people who have known Samji personally and considered her as a lifelong friend. One said that her self-esteem has gone and she felt as though she’s a failure. Another said she felt cheated. Others chimed in that they felt humiliated after being so gullible. Majority of the victims mentioned stress, developing a chronic illness and feeling depressed as a result of falling victim to Samji’s scheme.

This case is certainly a play of human emotions, intentions, and circumstances. Circumstances that could have been avoided with due diligence or could have been uncovered sooner if it was investigated earlier.

Do you have something bothering you regarding an investment opportunity that you’re unsure of? Perhaps we can help with our Toronto private investigation services. It is truly better to be safe than sorry. Contact us for an obligation-free initial consultation.

12 WSIB Red Flags to Watch Out For

WSIB-fraud

Not all claims made to the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board are legitimate, some have a marked presence of questionable signs that employers must watch out for. Fraudulent claims are often ripe with questionable signs that can be easily distinguished. This is not to say that seeing a few questionable signs is a fool-proof indication of fraud, but an alert of the possibility of fraud won’t hurt anyone.

The following are a dozen top red flags for fraudulent WSIB claims:

Questionable Witnesses

When witnesses are often only close friends of the claimant and there are no security cameras in the workplace, things may not as they seem and may need further investigation.

Questionable Details

Raise your eyebrows if the witnesses and the victim are offering conflicting statements or if the statements seem too rehearsed and too identical.

Questionable Memory

Perpetrators of false claims often do not plan out all details of the accident and when asked about an unplanned detail, they would feign not being able to remember what occurred. This also happens when inconsistencies are pointed out, with the claimant often blaming shock as a reason for their varying statements.

Questionable Employee

If the employee is very new to the job, has very poor work attendance, has a history of very short jobs, or has a history of discipline issues, then there is a real possibility that the claim may be fraudulent.

Questionable Timing

Accidents that happen right after or before a vacation can be an employee’s attempt to prolong a vacation or forcibly get their way. If the injury happens just prior to a company layoff, possible termination, disciplinary action and demotion, or a strike, then the injury can be a ploy by the employee to keep his/her job.

Questionable Actions

Injured people would logically want to get better soon, but those who are faking their injury/injuries are likely to avoid recommended medical attention. The fraudster will attempt to delay treatment, refuse to seek treatment, not show up for medical appointments, miss therapy sessions, or would wait a few days after the injury has transpired before reporting it. All of these are questionable actions because they defy logic.

Questionable Claimant Whereabouts

Fraudulent claimants often give another address so they can hide their fake injuries in case someone decides to check up on them. It is either that or they are never home or simply not available when needed to be spoken to via phone because guess what, they are actually on vacation!

Questionable Lifestyle

The claimant’s lifestyle is grossly incompatible with his/her income. They appear to be making top-level pay on social media although they only hold a starting or low position with no other source of income.

Questionable Appearance

The claimant looks very healthy, recently tanned, and appears to be very well. These types of claimants often have subjective complaints so it would be very difficult to prove they are indeed injured except via surveillance and monitoring for a few days.

Questionable WSIB Knowledge

If the claimant appears to be too familiar with claims-handling or WSIB rules, then this might be because of previous claims. This type of claimant may be expecting that he/she will be investigated and placed under surveillance too so a professional team may be best to handle this case.

Questionable Service Provider

If claimants from the same employer are using the same clinic, chiropractor, doctor, therapist, or lawyer, then this could be a sign that something is amiss.

Questionable Injuries

If the injuries are very inconsistent with what happened or if the complaints are subjective (like phantom pain, emotional trauma) and the claimant appears too healthy and well, then it might be time to place the claimant under surveillance, more so if the complainant has more than one claim at present time.

Need help to investigate a false WSIB claim? Fake WSIB claims cost everyone money and must be investigated before a claim pushes through. Hire the best private investigators in Toronto to help you uncover the truth behind a WSIB claim. Contact us so we can help you with surveillance and consult with you regarding the actions you should take.

9 Ways to Deter Identity Theft Online

identity-theft

Being a victim of identity theft is an experience that you won’t wish even for your least favourite person. Unscrupulous individuals will try to impersonate you and open accounts using your data to cause havoc in your financial and personal life – all in the comfort of their own homes! All they need to have are your personal information and they would be free to do whatever they want; that’s why you need to keep your personal information safe. Below are some tips on how you can prevent identity theft online.

Keep an Eye Out for Phishing Websites

Phishing websites often look like legitimate ones but the truth is that they’re designed to get your username, password, and other important information such as your address, name, and social insurance number to be used for nefarious purposes.

If a website asks you for some information such as your driver’s license number, bank account number, health insurance information (and ID), credit card number, home address, home phone number, and social insurance number without a valid reason then it might be best to call the website’s number to ask why.

Shop on Reputable Sites Only

If you love online shopping, then make sure that the website you are using is a trusted one and uses encryption protocol for processing payments.

Install an Anti-Malware And/Or Anti-Virus Program

Keyloggers and backdoors can get access to your system after being installed a number of ways but this can be thwarted when you have an anti-malware and anti-virus program on your computer.

Use Unique Passwords for Each Website You Use

Emails are quite easy to hack and if you are using the same password on your email at other websites, then criminals can easily access your other accounts. If you’re finding it troublesome to remember different passwords at a time, then using tools such as Keepass or Lastpass should do the trick.

Monitor Your Credit Profile

If your credit card is being used to make fraudulent purchases, the sooner that you catch it the better. Your credit profile will help you be alerted for something like this before it is too late.

Secure Your Wireless Network

A non-secure or non-encrypted wireless connection leaves you vulnerable to attackers who can then steal any information that passes your wireless connection. That includes passwords, websites you visit, usernames, etc. adding a passkey or password to your wireless connection can help minimize your identity theft risk.

Use OpenDNS

OpenDNS not only speeds up your internet connection, it also filters for websites that has been reported or marked as dangerous.

Download Software Only from Reputable Sources

Running software from unknown sources can mean installing malware to your computer. Even screensavers, games, and crackz can be harboring nasty stuff like Trojans so not just relying on your anti-virus program is key to keeping your identity safe.

Don’t Share Too Much Details on Social Media

If you post details such as your favourite flower, your middle name, your pet’s name, your birthdate, and preferred places to hang out in via social media, then you’re basically making it very easy for you to be targeted by criminals who are out to steal your identity. Check your privacy settings and make sure that you are not sharing more than what is needed publicly.

Want more tips to prevent cyber-attacks and using better passwords? Then contact Toronto’s leading private investigators! We’ll help you manage your fraud risks and more!