Archive for the ‘Protective Services and Investigations’ Category

Death Threats

August 21st, 2015 Comments off

I’m always amazed at what some people share on their social media profiles, although I’m becoming less and less surprised. I just read on CBCNews that LA gangs are using the trending hashtag ‘#100days100nights’ to threaten each other over social media. Apparently it’s a contest between two rival gangs; who can kill 100 people first, and of course innocents are being caught in the crossfire.

Maybe it’s a hoax that someone hidden behind their social media profile started, but regardless, several others have latched on to it.  Simply scroll through the hashtag results and look at the language being used, the images posted, and what people are sharing with the online world. Viewer discretion advised.

If people aren’t afraid to post death threats, imagine what other things are being posted.

Completely unrelated to the LA gang issue, I checked some random tweeter feeds to see what I could find, here are some examples:

  • “Can’t wait to put in my two weeks notice”
  • “I can’t go back to work. Didn’t stop drinking until 6 in the morning. Slept for 4 hours drank a few now back at it tonight!!”
  • “Boss asked me how I was feeling. Oh yeah, forgot I called in sick when I was really at the beach lol”
  • “Who adds food to their order at the pay window!? Spit in food”


He Took My Belt

July 20th, 2015 Comments off


Several months ago, after watching an episode of Dragon’s Den, I contacted the owners of StashBelt to see if there were any opportunities for our two companies to work together. After a couple emails and phone conversations, we agreed that there definitely were.

At our first face-to-face meeting, Jonah Brotman, one of StashBelt’s co-founders was kind enough to bring me a gift; a Stashbelt.

After jointly agreeing to continue our talks on a partnership, I decided to wear the belt and get a feel for it. I stashed some money and a USB stick in the hidden compartments. No one suspected anything; it was like wearing a regular belt, and it was comfortable. I was sold, but decided not to wear the StashBelt until a formal agreement had been reached between the companies. Meh, a bit of superstition to not jinx anything, I suppose.

Fast-forward a few months; AFIMAC and StashBelt confirmed their partnership.

During the week that the contracts were being signed, I spoke to my colleague, Tom Brady, Director of Finance, about his vacation plans. He was originally heading to Greece, but had to make some travel modifications due to the political unrest. Tom and I discussed the protests, potential contingency plans, and how he was keeping up with what was happening in each region he was planning to go to. Since he was leaving the next day and wouldn’t have time to order one for himself, I suggested that he take my StashBelt, and I would later purchase my own.

Tom was very appreciative. He uploaded copies of both his and his wife’s passports, added embassy information for each country he was visiting in Europe onto the USB, and planned to add some money in the zippered secret compartment.

Tom didn’t have any emergencies and had an enjoyable and safe trip, but he said that he had the peace of mind that if he found himself in a tight spot, he had backup.




June 30th, 2015 Comments off

Just Launched!

Do you have internal theft problems, bullying or workplace violence threats, staff using drugs or any other issue that an investigation would help resolve for you? A Social Media Investigation is a cost effective way of uncovering information that will help you determine your next steps before you take them.

Check out anyone’s Social Media Footprint here:

Would you like to learn more about Social Media Investigations? Please reach out to our Investigations Team at 1-800-313-9170 or contact any of our AFIMAC reps.


“The information collected validated our suspicions and allowed us to act quickly to end the claim and get the employee back to work.” 
Director of Human Resources
Distribution Centre
500 employees

Do PIs Eat Pistachios?

June 29th, 2015 Comments off

You suspect an employee is claiming a workplace injury to stay home and collect benefits, so what do you do? Send an agent out to conduct surveillance, sit outside the subject’s home for hours on end and wait for them to go out jogging? No!

Research first.

I have an image engrained in my mind that private investigators eat pistachios. When I think of a PI, I picture them sitting in their car with their cameras and audio equipment, munching on pistachios and leaving a pile of shells on the road outside their car window. I’m not sure where I get this from, but I’m guessing TV and movies.

With this in mind, I created this ad.


After getting some feedback, it seems that not many quite understand my portrayal of PIs and pistachios. After I had the ad drafted, I asked a few people if they ‘got it’. I asked my wife who went to school for law enforcement and worked in the PI and security industry for years; she had no clue what pistachios had to do with investigations. I asked some people outside of the security industry, and they too, had no clue.

It was great information because if I hadn’t done the research, the ad would have failed. So I made a decision not to continue with it.

Now let’s get back to the employee you think maybe committing benefit claims fraud. Before you send out a costly investigator, conduct a social media search first and get an online analysis. This can help you in three ways:


1.       There are images posted on Facebook and Twitter with your employee out rock climbing, hiking, and playing volleyball

a.       Seems you were right, so now that you have this information, you can conduct a full 30-day social media surveillance for further evidence

b.      And/or you could now send out an investigator to get photos and video at one of the locations where your employee likes to rock climb


2.       There are no online posts of the employee doing anything that contradicts their injury, and they are in fact complaining about being stuck inside on the couch

a.       You could conduct a 30-day social media to be sure, but you probably don’t need to send an investigator out


3.       The employee doesn’t seem to have a social media footprint

a.       You could then move to an online analysis outside of social media to try and uncover details.


If you conduct research up front, it will save you money in the long run. Don’t go on hunches anymore; uncover the story available to you online.

Do you think PIs eat pistachio nuts while on surveillance? Please leave a comment below and let me know!



Twenty Five Years and He Let Me Fall

May 14th, 2015 Comments off


I was with a friend over the past weekend that I have known for twenty-five years, and reminded him of when he helped me out on a video shoot I did for AFIMAC a few years ago. I also reminded him of how he let me fall, literally.

We were shooting the educational active shooter video for AFIMAC, and I had staff, friends and family all helping out. We were short one person in a scene, so I stood in to take the part. My role was to run to the front doors of the building, act like I was shot, and fall down…without looking. We’ve all seen those team building activities where one person folds their arms on their chest, and falls backwards into the trusting arms of everyone stood behind them. Well, my scene required a similar trust factor. When I fell, my friend’s job was to quickly push a mattress under me to cushion my fall. Without the mattress, I would fall on a hard tiled floor.

We had to capture the scene from several different angles, which included another actor, so we had to do several takes. After we finished the fifth take, I got into position for the sixth. I turned and began to fall, but had a weird gut feeling, craned my neck to check the floor and noticed the mattress wasn’t there. With barely a millisecond to spare, I managed to get a hand down to break my fall onto the tiles.

You can check the scene out that I’m referring to at 1:50

One of the things that I like about my friend is his sense of humour. But that quality let me down on this occasion. Behind the scenes for any type of video shoot, there is a lot going on from cameras, lighting, people off camera, microphones, etc. My friend was preoccupied with some of the other people that were playing roles in other scenes, joking about, and adopted a sense of passiveness from the repetitiveness of my previous five takes for that scene.

He allowed himself to become distracted and forgot about me for a moment.

Someone may look at a service like an ‘airport transfer’ that AFIMAC provides its clients, and think it’s just that – a trained driver picks a client up at the airport and drops them off at their hotel safely. Seems easy enough, but it isn’t. No different than my example of depending on my friend to break my fall, AFIMAC transfers have a lot more going on behind the scenes as well.

Routes are selected and planned in advance, taking into account the time of day, whether there are any major events going on, and alternate routes are always preselected. Points of interest are also identified in advance, in case the driver must make an emergency stop, for example, if the client has any medical conditions and needs a hospital. The operations team tracks the AFIMAC driver and client via software, and notifies the driver of any changes in the planned routes.

I’m always impressed with the operational level of services my colleagues provide behind the scenes. It can prove to be invaluable.

I’d trust any of them to catch my fall.


AFIMAC Media Feature

May 14th, 2015 Comments off

Recently, AFIMAC spent some time with Sandra Peeples of Univision talking about domestic and international kidnapping threats. The feature is in Spanish with English subtitles, and has some great information, visuals and re-enactments. Check it out here.


In Our Own Backyard

April 20th, 2015 Comments off


My colleague, Ron Hartman with ASAP Secured, mentioned to me as I headed to a meeting that he saw signs erected by our local police department warning against cargo crime. Ironically, the meeting I was going into was with ISB Canada, related to their MEE (Making Eligibility Easy) service within the trucking industry.

The MEE platform assists companies with recruiting and qualifying their drivers; so its prevention at the first stage.

If you do what the police signs say and report cargo crime, you’re already too late. Contingencies need to be put in place to prevent the cargo crime, so as a business, you need to become less of a target.

At your sites:

On the road:

AFIMAC also offers a highly sophisticated approach to securing cargo in transit, from audits, escorts, GPS tracking, to intelligence briefs.

Get ahead of the criminals.


Family Vacation Plus 400 College Spring Breakers Equals…

March 20th, 2015 Comments off

After not having any plans to get away this season, my wife and I decided to take a last minute trip to a hot destination and escape one of the coldest winters on record. Why not?

We knew it was going to overlap university and college spring break a bit, but that didn’t matter. While on holiday, I admittedly check emails and respond to any requirements, so I was happy that the resort had Wi-Fi in the rooms. Well, the first two days it did.

On the second night after returning from dinner, we were relaxing in our room and I thought I’d do a quick email check – I had no service. Then I checked my iPad – I had no Internet. It worked previously, so I went to bed thinking it would be back up in the morning. Nothing changed the next morning. When we made our way towards the pool and beach, it became very clear what had happened. Everywhere I turned there were student spring breakers on their phones, tweeting, posting to Instagram and texting. The Wi-Fi pipeline was flooded.

I was immediately reminded of what AFIMAC cautioned clients about leading up to the World Cup in Brazil, but that was because millions of people were going to be descending upon the country. This resort was hosting only 400 students!

Luckily there were contingencies in place. I had multiple devices, could sit closer to the hotspots, use the telephone, and there was a business centre. Luckily, there wasn’t anything urgent enough for me to need to do that, and my colleagues covered for me once I was finally able to get a hold of them to let them know.

I was prepared to dodge sick partiers, endure long line-ups at the pool bar, and scrounge to find beach chairs, but I did not anticipate a Wi-Fi melt down.

Regardless, I felt twenty years younger! What a great trip.


You’ve Got a Green Light, But I’d Still Look Both Ways

February 12th, 2015 Comments off

You’re waiting at a red light and it turns green. You can drive straight through, right? If everyone followed protocol, then absolutely, but unfortunately not everyone acts rationally. For the motorcyclist in the linked video below, he found out the hard way that one can’t assume. Didn’t all of our parents tell us what happens when you assume?

It definitely was not the motorcyclist’s fault, and luckily he only received minor injuries, but could it have been prevented? The first comment on the video states just that, and hundreds of people agreed by ‘liking’ it, but there are also hundreds of replies debating the issue.


Let’s look at this in comparison to building a contingency plan for a large-scale event your company is hosting.

• Marketing/event planning perspective
-the speaker you had scheduled cancels on the morning of the event – you of course would have one or two back-up speakers available on site

• Security perspective
- activists try to crash the event – you of course are aware of any groups or organizations that would attempt this, and have conducted social media monitoring in advance of the event, and planned security for crowd control

• Speaker’s perspective
- a heckler or long-winded audience member is interrupting your presentation – you would have canned responses to move the presentation along

There is no legal obligation to look both ways before you advance on a green, but should you?

Plan for the unexpected.


How to Use Executive Protection Services Overseas

January 31st, 2015 Comments off

Security Magazine Article

By Claire Meyer

How to Use Executive Protection Services Overseas

For the 2014 Winter Olympics, a 50-person contingent from the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA), including several members of the board of directors, spent 14 days attending various events and competitions in Sochi, Russia. For Tiger Shaw, two-time Olympian and now President and CEO of the USSA, this meant the need to call in some expert help.

Read more …

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