by admin_lauth | Feb 20, 2018 | Corporate Investigations, Private Investigations News, Tips & Facts
By: Kym Pasqualini, Feature Crime Writer for Lauth Investigations
The days of red and blue handkerchiefs, baggy pants, graffiti, rap-music, and drive-by shootings are no longer such a popular sub-culture. Believe it or not, the new kind of gangsters hold college degrees, work and hold jobs in offices, warehouses, even government positions and police departments. They are a more sophisticated criminal and have infiltrated corporate America.
No more baggy pants. Today, you are more apt to find a gang member wearing black patent leather shoes.
If you think this is not a possibility in your own company, think again. No industry or company is exempt. A University of Chicago study found gangs have increasingly adopted a clean-cut appearance while replicating techniques used by organized crime.
Described as “very sophisticated and well organized” by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), they estimate there are 33,000 violent street gangs with 1.4 million members nationwide. You can safely double that number if you count affiliates and wannabes. The number has risen steeply, up from 1996 where an estimated 400,000 gang members were accounted for in the University of Chicago study.If you think this is not a possibility in your own company, think again. No industry or company is exempt. A University of Chicago study found gangs have increasingly adopted a clean-cut appearance while replicating techniques used by organized crime.
Well-known companies, Chicago Police Department, the United States Post Office, major pharmaceutical companies, and even the Social Security Administration have found gang members within their ranks carrying out complex illegal operations netting millions annually.
According to the FBI 2015, National Gang Report (NGR), gangs have gained employment in the U.S. Military, law enforcement, corrections, and even judiciary.
From the Streets to a Global Crime Empire
Typically, gangs are known for drug trafficking, robbery, gun trafficking, intimidation rackets, prostitution, human trafficking, fraud and other crimes you may think would not infiltrate a common company. Now, they are. However gangs are concentrating their efforts on white-collar crime due to weaker sentencing guidelines and ease of making money.
The term “gang activity” involves identity theft, credit card fraud, prescription drug fraud, trafficking stolen goods, money laundering, mortgage fraud, Social Security Administration fraud, tax fraud, counterfeiting, and securities marketing manipulation. Where there is access, there will be individuals willing to participate in capitalizing and even selling their access to those interested in exploiting the system.
In New Jersey, the 111 Neighborhood Crips used a machine to make gift cards they distributed to grocery stores, pharmacies and other stores. Grand larceny accounts for 40% of all crime in the United States during 2014.
In 2015, the Outlaw Gangsta Crips in NYC made approximately $500,000 in a paycheck fraud scheme by obtaining a legitimate paycheck from an employee and using the information to create and cash counterfeit checks.
From 2004 through 2009, fraud investigations alone increased 33%, bringing losses associated with those schemes into the billions of dollars.
According to Fox Business, Gangs such as the Bloods, Crips and La Nuestra Familia are undertaking white-collar crime. They are recruiting members that possess the necessary skill-sets, according to the FBI.
When you think gangster, images of Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro, maybe even Snoop Dog, may come to mind, not the impeccably dressed executive working in a high finance position. Or, the nicely dressed woman at the bank who knows how much you deposit weekly or the amount of your company’s payroll.
In a Workforce Magazine article, “Have Gangs Invaded Your Workplace,” during 1995, California, Silicon Valley firms alone were hit with more than 50 armed robberies of microchips and electronic components with the average heist netting the robbers $400,000. “There’s a growing level of sophistication and opportunism,” says Keith Lowry, a detective in the High-Tech Crime Unit of the San Jose Police Department.
Gang members are becoming harder to weed out in the hiring process, much of the time because we commonly think of “gang members” as looking like street thugs, and these old stereotypes are costing companies billions annually.
Weeding out white-collar gang members has become increasingly difficult.
Any company can become a target or an opportunity to engage in illegal activities, like dealing drugs, theft of property or personal information, extortion. Gangs have learned they can make a lot more money by being well-dressed, educated, and articulate.
For instance, electronics firms are easy targets. A microchip or computer processor weighing less than an ounce can score several hundred dollars on the street. The sentence for being charged with a stolen microchip much less than selling an ounce of drugs.
Some gangs plant members within a company in specific department such as infiltrating dispatching, shipping or the financial departments. They can also pose as temporary workers or work for outside vendors to gain access to numerous companies.
In addition, the growing trend toward outsourcing can often lead to less control over merchandise, files, and information.
According to a Fox Business article “From the Streets to Cyberspace: U.S. Gangs Turn to White Collar Crime,” the FBI says, “Gangs are more adaptable, organized, sophisticated, and opportunistic, exploiting new and advanced technology as a means to recruit, communicate discreetly, target their rivals and perpetuate their criminal activity.”
Facebook has become the preferred method for gang members to communicate according to the FBI. “The proliferation of social networking websites has made gang activity more prevalent and lethal – moving gangs from the streets to cyberspace,” says the FBI.
Arming Your Human Resources Department
Much of the solution lies in ensuring Human Resources procedures are effective. Of course, background checks and screening procedures are vital but is there more to be done to detect a potential criminal trying to infiltrate your workforce? The first thing to keep in mind – you get what you pay for and being lax can cost you.
Local criminal checks are almost worthless; however, a full criminal screening can pay off. In addition, many applicants may have earned their GED in prison, with some digging, their history can be discovered.
Many companies cut corners and haphazardly follow procedures when screening applicants not realizing dealing with the aftermath can result in costing more when you compare it to properly vetting applicants the first time around.
Additionally, letting your applicants know you will be conducting a thorough background, previous employment, driving records, verifying degrees, criminal record check, and reference checks can also discourage many applicants from pursuing the position in the first place, which ultimately saves your company time and costs associated with the screening process.
What is important to consider is applying an effective screening procedure to contractors, consultants and temporary employees depending upon how much access they may be granted, as well as, the time they will be spending at your company.
Trusting a “temp agency” is conducting the appropriate background checks is a potential liability for your company.
Educating your employees on how to spot gang activity and how to handle it is crucial. Some companies have found having training sessions and employee meetings add to their success combatting gangs in the workplace.
Experts agree loyalty to gangs overrides loyalty to an employer. Even though they may try hard to blend in they may still slip occasionally and there are some recommendations or even subtle things to monitor.
- Does your employee reside in a known gang area?
- Is your employee responsible? Too much time on the phone or arrive late?
- Does your employee go by a nickname and have nicknames for friends?
- Do the clothes, colors or insignias stay consistent?
- Does your employee have visitors at work, friend or family?
- Have you noticed any graffiti in or around your workplace?
- Does your employee use verbal, hand or walking mannerisms that could be associated with gang activity?
- Is your employee on parole or probation?
Being a girlfriend of a gang member or being a current or former gang member is not against the law, but it could be a sign of other activity that could be detected if your HR department is cognizant of the many issues that face companies if infiltrated.
Using Private Investigators to Combat Gang Intrusion in the Workplace
Private investigators are a commonly used tool in the arsenal to combat “gang intrusion” along with malingering, theft or fraud in the workplace.
Along with surveillance and providing evidence, they can also evaluate your HR department’s policy and procedures through undercover placement or working along with the HR department to tighten up the reigns to reduce incidents of crime.
Many times, it is recommended to have a private investigator apply for employment without informing anyone in your company to best determine where weaknesses exist in the hiring process. Were all the references called? What questions were asked? Were the proper background checks completed?
It may be necessary to start at the beginning of the hiring process. In addition, private investigators can be placed in certain departments where there have been discrepancies identified to collect evidence admissible in a Court of law. It is an extra layer of protection when investigating activities at your company without violating privacy laws.
When a company suspects criminal activity, it is advantageous to hire a professional who will work with police if the legitimate criminal activity is, in fact, detected. Abuse of sick leave or malingering costs companies billions of dollars a year. This is enough to warrant the hiring of a private detective to legally document the behavior.
From filming a guy talking about starting his new business and hinting at using the employer’s database, to a meat manufacturing plant taking a cut of the supplier’s delivery, to the employee watching porn on the company computers, a private investigator can take the care needed to conduct an internal investigation legally, ultimately protecting your company and saving you a lot of money.
by admin_lauth | Jan 5, 2018 | Private Investigations News
From the desk of Kristen Justis, Director of Marketing and Customer Relations
DANGERS OF ONLINE DATING FOR ALL GENERATIONS
PART FOUR – THE YOUNG SOLDIER
In previous postings in this series, I have discussed a widower, a divorcé, and a professional who were victims of online dating scams. One would like to believe scammers would have some conscience and stay away for our active duty military or even our veterans. This is not the case. Scammers are not particular when choosing their victims. Lauth Investigations International, Inc. recently handled a fraud investigation for a young military soldier who had been in a long term, live in relationship with a scammer he met online. Many believe these scams occur quickly; however, these individuals are committed and they get themselves in deep in order to complete the scam in its entirety.
Below is a description of a Lauth Investigation’s fraud case which shows military are a prime target for these scammers as they are gone from home often for months at a time. They are not able to be in tune with what is happening at home while they are deployed.
The Young Soldier
Jack is a twenty-two year old Army soldier. He met Gina on line while he was stationed in Kentucky. Gina and Jack began dating and their relationship grew over a period of two years. They are in love and decide to move in together. Jack proposes, they move into an apartment and they are ready to start their life.
In the meantime, Jack has completely isolated himself from his family and friends. His mother, Tara, hadn’t heard from him for over a year. Gina has been added to Jack’s bank account and she has taken control on his finances. In a long term, engaged, relationship, one party taking over the finances is not typically a red flag.
In the summer of 2017, Jack learns he is being deployed to Afghanistan. He attends training in Texas prior to his deployment. While in Texas, Tara broke up with Jack but told him she would watch over his finances and apartment while he was in Texas and through his deployment. Heartbroken and hoping they would get back together once he returned to Kentucky, he agreed to allow her to maintain her control over his finances. Jack even began paying her a monthly rate since she was handling his finances.
After a few weeks of being deployed, Jack finds out, through a neighbor in Kentucky, Tara has moved in another man to Jack’s apartment where he was paying the rent. Once Jack found out, he called Tara and told her he was getting rid of the apartment as he didn’t need it anymore. He advised his parents were coming down to move his items from the apartment.
Jack proceeded to draw up a Power of Attorney for his parents to take over his finances. In the time it took him to get the Power of Attorney, Tara had drained his bank account, shut off his debit card and moved all items from the apartment. By the time his parents arrived at the apartment with a moving truck, the only possessions remaining were some of Jack’s clothes. Tara became a ghost.
Jack’s parents immediately hired Lauth Investigations to attempt to locate Tara in hopes of finding some justice for their son. The experienced private investigators began to uncover the full scope of the fraud which had taken place. The scam on Jack was found to be a well thought out plan.
The private investigators found Tara’s boyfriend who moved into Jack’s apartment was, in fact, her husband. They have pulled this scam on numerous individuals. They meet military personnel online, develop relationships with them (men and women), take over the finances, skim money from the accounts, and disappear with all the money once their true intent surfaces.
Unfortunately for the individuals like Jack, they willingly add the scammers to their bank accounts, thereby making the money common property between the two individuals on the joint account. There is no criminal recourse for this action. The victims may pursue civil action against these thieves; however, the victims generally do not have the money to take this next action.
Lauth Investigations assisted in locating this thieving couple and provided Jack with information to file civil suit against them. Jack reported both individuals to the online dating site they utilized. Hopefully, they will learn their lesson and stop preying on our military.
Private Investigators provide answers for victims and handles cases the police are unable to investigate. Utilizing a private investigation firm is key to uncovering the truth, arming victims with ammunition to proceed as necessary, and hopefully stopping criminals from harming other individuals in the future.
by admin_lauth | Jan 2, 2018 | Private Investigations News
From the desk of Kristen Justis, Director of Marketing and Client Relations
DANGERS OF ONLINE DATING FOR ALL GENERATIONSPART THREE – THE PROFESSIONAL
In previous postings in this series, I have discussed a widower and a divorcé who were victims of online dating scams. Many believe online dating scams only occur when victims do not meet the perpetrator in person and when the perpetrator lives out of the country. This is far from the truth. Lauth Investigations International, Inc. has handled several cases of scam and fraud in relation to online dating sites. Many of these relationships have been in person, long term, and heading towards marriage. The scammers are committed to their end goal and they stay the course of the scam for months, even years.
The following Lauth Investigations fraud case focuses on a professional woman in her mid-thirties. We hear of the cases often where the victims are older, retired, or just plain lonely. Lauth Investigations has found young, successful professionals are just as prone to falling victim to these scams.
The Professional Woman
Julia works for a Fortune 500 company in downtown Indianapolis. She owns her home, drives a nice car and has a hefty 401k. Julia has a multitude of friends she spends her time with including traveling often. One of her friends announces she is now engaged. Julia is in her mid-thirties and eventually wants to be married with children someday. The engagement announces gets her thinking how she would like to meet someone. In that moment, she decides to join an online dating website. Managing an online profile would be an easier way to meet someone instead of leaving it to chance, especially with her busy lifestyle.
Julia begins receiving a lot of interest from various men. She meets a few of them for coffee; however, there was no chemistry. Finally, she begins receiving email communication from Scott, a professional man within downtown Indianapolis who travels often. They communicate for a few weeks and they really get to know each other. After feeling extremely connected, they decide to meet.
Scott and Julia meet for dinner. It was an immediate connection. Julia enjoyed everything about Scott and the relationship begins. Although Scott is out of town quite often for his job, they spend all their free time together. Julia finds herself waiting at home for Scott instead of spending her time with her friends. Months pass by and the relationship begins to get extremely serious. Julia is in love.
The love Julia feels for Scott grows to the point she is ready to be married. She only focuses on him and their time together, until the holidays roll around. Julia understands Scott’s job is a lot of traveling; however, he is out of town over Thanksgiving, then he must go out of town for Christmas and finally New Years Eve. Julia begins to question what kind of job makes you travel and miss Christmas with your loved ones.
The questions start to rush inside Julia. She realizes Scott never has her over to his house, he only stays at her house. He takes a lot of calls while he is with her and he always walks out of the room for these calls. He has canceled a lot of dates with her at the last minute for “work”. Julia thinks back over the year with Scott and she realizes, he has never invited her to work event, she hasn’t met his family, and he has slowly alienated her from her friends and her family.
Julia reached out to Lauth Investigations International, Inc. for a simple background check on Scott. She began to fear he may be married. Even in the initial phone call to Lauth Investigations, Julia was questioning her decision to hire a private investigator as she felt guilty for not trusting Scott. Finally, she realized it is better to be knowledgeable instead of continuing blindly further into deepening this relationship.
The beginning of the investigation, Lauth Investigation’s private investigators found Scott was not married; however, he did not work where he claimed. It was found Scott was unemployed. Further investigating into his background, investigators discovered a long list of criminal activity including Identity Theft, Fraud, Tax Evasion, and Forgery. Julia was advised of our findings and she requested to know more. Surveillance and interviews of his past relations begin.
Rather quickly, investigators discovered Scott was a professional scam artist. He dates and marries women eventually taking their money and/or identity. He had opened credit cards under these victim’s names, he married some of these victims and when he divorces them, he is entitled to a portion of their retirement and checking accounts. Scott was a career criminal.
Had Julia not decided to hire Lauth Investigations International, Inc. to investigate Scott’s background, she would have been just another victim in his long line of scams. Julia was lucky as the scam hadn’t reached the money exchange or theft phase. Julia confronted Scott and she has never heard from him again.
Hiring a private investigator when beginning to date someone new seems deceptive and costly; however, it is better to go in with your eyes wide open. Be proactive and spend some money up front before the scammers take your money and your pride on the back end. Julia has since hired Lauth Investigations to complete background checks on two potentially new boyfriends over the past couple of years. She saw how close she was to becoming a victim and refuses to be in that situation ever again.
Be Proactive Not Reactive
by admin_lauth | Jan 2, 2018 | Private Investigations News
Spies, Espionage, and Intellectual Property Theft
Government and military entities are not the only ones spying and conducting espionage investigations to protect our national security. More and more corporations and even small businesses are now hiring expert private investigators to conduct espionage investigations and counter-surveillance to protect “trade secrets” and other classified information.
Cases of economic espionage, industrial espionage, corporate spying and corporate espionage are commonly conducted for commercial purposes but can also include personal information that can later be used to blackmail, discredit and control enemies and competitors.
Espionage or “Insider theft” can cause significant personal and financial harm and described as an individual obtaining secret information without the explicit permission of the owner. For example, a corporation or company spying on another company’s activities, collecting data and information for gain or cause damage, most commonly through the doorway of employment.
Espionage involves clandestine activities. Though methods and motives of spying have changed over time, the desire to uncover competitor’s secrets has not. There is a war going on, and spying the primary weapon.
Federal Effort to Combat Economic Espionage
According to a 2015, CNN Politics Report “FBI Sees Chinese involvement amid a sharp rise in economic espionage,” the FBI announced the bureau has seen a 53% increase in economic espionage and intellectual property theft cases leading to the loss of billions of dollars.
The FBI concludes “insider threats” or employees familiar with the inner workings of a company who obtain sensitive industry secrets in exchange for large amounts of cash are becoming more common and pose a significant threat to companies worldwide.
To combat this ever-increasing menace to American businesses, the FBI produced a video “ ” to raise awareness.
Private investigator Thomas Lauth, CEO of Lauth Investigations International, says, “Global trade of fake goods is damaging U.S. markets, along with theft by U.S. retail workers.”
Pirated and imports of counterfeit goods are worth nearly half trillion dollars annually with much of the proceeds going to organized crime, according to the OECD and the EU’s Intellectual Property Office.
“Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Mapping the Economic Impact,” reports fake products like footwear, handbags, even strawberries, are commonly presented to the U.S market. While there is significant financial damage occurring, products like pharmaceuticals, toys that are harmful to children, baby formula, and failing auto parts are endangering lives.
According to former Attorney General Loretta Lynch in a 2015 Department of Justice press release, “The digital age has revolutionized how we share information, store data, make purchases and develop products, requiring law enforcement to strengthen our defenses against cyber crime – one of my top priorities as Attorney General, “said Lynch. “Companies like Sony and Target – have demonstrated the seriousness of the threat all business face and have underscored the potential for sophisticated adversaries to inflict real and lasting harm.”
While the Attorney General’s Office, FBI, Homeland Security and law enforcement are allocating more resources to combating intellectual property theft from dangerous outside adversaries, companies throughout the world are encouraged to take the necessary steps to protect their own intellectual property from outside and insider threats.
Insider Theft of Intellectual Property
Experts maintain upwards to 70% of a corporation’s value is found in Intellectual Property (IP). Insider threats come from the inside because the “thieves” are given access to their day-to-day employment.
The value of an organization’s secrets, product plans, customer data, and price lists cannot be underestimated. It becomes necessary to find a balance between productivity and protocol that allows a watchful eye to protect sensitive data and detect insider threat activity. Operational staff should be prepared with information to help them better understand how insiders can damage their agency, and in the various methods used by insiders. They are the front line to help battle IP theft crimes.
Insider thieves commit crimes for varying reasons, to include gaining a competitive business edge, to start a competing business, or personal financial gain.
It is not uncommon for thieves to use networks to send internal server data outside of an organization. The most common method of stealing data is the use of external media such as a writable CD or USB mass storage device. Using corporate email accounts to send information off-site to personal emails and competitors is also common and requires monitoring to prevent such abuse.
It is necessary for organizations to identify risks and develop standards of best practices and policies that address the many ways IP can be exploited. These should include but are not limited to IT Security, removable media policy, controls and inventory, physical security, logs, and indexing tools to identify patterns in behavior. It is especially important to implement heightened security measures during reorganization, acquisition, downsizing, mergers or other organizational events.
Non-Compete Agreements Protects the bottom-line
Employee departures resulting in the scheming of trade secrets and clients has increased significantly in recent years. Many employees leave their employment to begin a similar start-up or pursue freelance work. As a result, it has become common for former employees to approach old clients, steal data, marketing materials and even share negative information to damage their former employer’s credibility.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, with the help of investigators, over the past decade, there has been an increase in the number of departing employees being successfully sued by former employers for breaching Non-compete Agreements (CNC).
Considered one of the most effective ways to prevent the theft of a company’s secrets, having a Non-compete in place and requiring every employee to sign it, can prevent damages that could otherwise last years.
Private investigation firms are playing a significant role in the effort to safeguard information, the detection of costly breaches and providing an evidentuary solution presenting facts when litigation is necessary.
Lauth Investigations International is working to prevent intellectual property breaches, global piracy, counterfeiting and insider threats with data mining experts and field investigators who focus on safeguarding IP and detecting violations utilizing sources that are not commonplace to HR and Operations Supervisors. “It is vital to be able to detect violations to prevent violators from reaping profits and expanding their worldwide market, where damage can extend for years,” says Lauth.
Brand Protection areas include:
Music and Apps
Tools and Hardware
Cosmetics and other Products
Logos and Authentic Branding
Content and SEO Detection and Protection
Plagiarism, Marketing Materials and Website Protection
“Our investigators conduct trademark infringement for brands, large and small, trekking through some of the most complicated cases and vast markets such as Hollywood celebrities, apparel, and electronic clients,” says Lauth. “Our team provides intellectual property and litigation support for small business and corporations working with corporate executives, HR, and those in Operations Supervision to provide research and investigations, crisis intervention, employee screening, vendor and supplier screening, electronic discovery, surveillance, loss analysis, and expert testimony if needed.
Working to protecting your brand
“Our private investigation firm will not only work with key staff and operations supervisors to identify current and potential breaches, we work with companies that operate throughout the world to implement the right policies and safety protocol to help protect their IP into the future,” says Lauth.
Lauth Investigations offers free consultations and guidance to help protect your brand. Following are a few tips to help you better protect your IP.
- Protect web content and marketing materials by utilizing a DMCA account and protection badge.
- Think globally. Obtain trademark protection for worldwide protection.
- Set up a Google Alert to police your brand.
- Obtain IP Protection for Copyrights, Trademarks, and Patents.
- Register trademarks with the US Patent Office.
- Develop a Policies and Procedure Handbook and have each employee review and sign.
- Utilize Marketing Analytics software such as TrackMaven and Travel IQ for online tracking.
- Monitor unregistered infringements.
- Create various divisions for a more controlled environment.
- Create a distinctive mark.
- Develop and implement a Non-Compete Agreement.
For more information about how you can protect your IP, please visit www.lauthinveststg.wpengine.com or call 317.644.2788.
Kym Pasqualini, Lauth Investigations Feature Writer
by admin_lauth | Dec 22, 2017 | Personal Investigations
DANGERS OF ONLINE DATING FOR ALL GENERATIONS
PART TWO – THE DIVORCЀ
As discussed in my previous posting, The Widower, Lauth Investigations International, Inc. has handled several cases of scam and fraud in relation to online dating sites. The elaborate lengths these scammers go to get what they want is overwhelming. Lauth Investigations has uncovered several different scams as they have related to our clients. The scariest part of these scams is the commitment and dedication these criminals put into their deception.
The following Lauth Investigations fraud case focuses on a fifty-five year old, successful divorced gentlemen. It is widely believed women are the main targets and victims of online scams; however, Lauth Investigations has found men are just as affected falling victim to these criminals.
The Fifty-Five Year Old Divorcé
A year after Bill and his wife of 30 years divorced, Bill was looking to get out into the dating world again. He is an accountant for a large firm so he works most of the time, he hasn’t been on a date in over 30 years, and he doesn’t know where to go to meet anyone. A friend suggests online dating. One night, Bill decides to set up his profile on a dating site just to see what happens. Bill’s nightmare begins.
Within a few weeks of being on the dating site, Bill connects with a beautiful younger woman from Russia, we’ll call her Ava. Ironically, even though they are from completely different cultures, Bill and Ava have a lot in common. Although Ava struggles with English, she communicates enough via phone, texting and emails to make a strong enough connection with Bill. He ends up falling in love with her without meeting her.
Once Ava knows Bill is hooked, she starts pulling at his heart strings. She tells him how hard it is to live in Russia because jobs do not pay more than a few hundred dollars a month. On top of her low salary, she must take care of her ill mother because her father was killed in a car accident. Now, Bill feels the pull to play the hero. All a part of the ploy. He wants to swoop in and help Ava to show her how much he loves her.
Ava never had to ask for any money. She plays the role perfectly and Bill starts offering money. When Ava pretends to be embarrassed about taking Bill’s money, he insists she let him help her out. Ava “reluctantly” provides Bill her information so he may Western Union her money. The money starts flowing in the direction of Russia.
After months of Bill sending money to “help” Ava, she claims her mother died. Being the good boyfriend, Bill sends money for the funeral. He offers to bring Ava to the States to live with him and get married. Ava is excited to start a new life with him; however, a new snag occurs when she tries to her obtain her visa. The only way it will be resolved is money, which Bill sends, excited to finally meet Ava in person. He is ready to start their new life. The final payment is sent for Ava to purchase her plane ticket. Once sent, Bill never hears from Ava again.
Lauth Investigations International, Inc. is hired when Bill worries Ava was harmed trying to leave the country. He has not yet realized he is a victim of a scam. After much investigation, Lauth proved to Bill that Ava was not the woman’s real identity. The information she provided him led to no one. Research into finding the individual(s) who picked up the Western Union payments revealed nothing. These scammers utilize this payment method because the payments cannot trace who picked them up and they can be picked up anywhere in the world.
After Bill gave away $75,000 and his heart, he now is picking up the pieces and moving on to better things. He was a victim of an elite fraud. He lost a lot of money and his dignity. Bill is not the only one in this position. This fraud is consistently pulling men and women in making the scammers extremely wealthy. Do not let yourself or a loved one be fooled into this fraud. Always err on the side of caution and spend a little money up front to have a potential partner researched by a private investigator. Being too careful never hurt anyone!