Learning to Keep Secrets & the Basics of Investigation Reports

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Learning to Keep Secrets & the Basics of Investigation Reports

Learning to keep Secrets

Learning to keep secrets to ourselves is one of the primary traits of private detective. Loose tongued private detectives have long tamed the tongue because at the end of the day, letting loose sensitive and classified information can greatly jeopardise a case and also put one’s own self in harm’s way. We private eyes pride ourselves on discretion – in fact we charge people for our ability to keep a secret! When a client pays us, he / she assumes that the information that is divulged will never be revealed. The Secrets that we keep undercover affects the lives of many people.

Communication Skills

Good communication skills are vital for every private investigator. It beats me that these days, uneducated and unprofessional people are getting into this professional all over India. If you cannot even write and compose a single line in English without any grammatical and spelling errors, how will you compose professional reports for a case?! The truth of the matter is that like all skills, writing skills can be improved over time. There are courses in business communication and writing that are taught by local institutes and training centres. Reading and continuously writing for a blog or a personal dairy everyday can also enhance one’s writing skills provided one has the inclination.  Of course those with an aversion to writing can always hire an employee with good writing skills to write their reports. Very few professionals pay importance to their communication material and the way it is presented to clients or the world at large. If you reports to your clients reek of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors how can you expect them to consider you professional and what impression will clients have of the quality of your services, if you website contains sloppy information presented in a juvenile manner?! We as a professional private detective agency take ourselves seriously enough to ensure that our communication to our clients and to the world is professional and error-free because we take ourselves and our services seriously.

Basics of Investigation Reports

An investigative report must answer  six basic questions: Who, What, Where, When, Why and How. As a private investigator we must present reports beginning with who we investigated, what we found, where when and how we found what we found and why this information is vital to our case. If a private investigator cannot surmise his information into these different compartments, their investigative efforts are not of any use to a client. Throwing up a report in haste and closing a case quickly before moving on to the next is not our style. Information is our bread and butter and we pride ourselves on being able to deliver that information in a clear and precise manner. We value our clients and we value our services and our reports reflect our commitment and dedication to our job.

Author Bio

Amit Sen is the founding partner of Alliance One – who are among the best private detective agencies in Mumbai specializing in providing thorough Pre Matrimonial Background Verification Services among other private and corporate investigation services. Amit is also a trained pilot and an aviator and likes to remain grounded on the days when he is not flying high.

Article edited and co-written by Atin Dasgupta who is the co-founder and marketing head of Alliance One. Read more about Atin here.



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Private Detectives are Human Beings Not Supermen

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Private Detectives are Human Beings Not Supermen

Erring on the Side of Safety

One of the most important qualities that we private detectives possess is the ability to make quick split second decisions on the job based on whatever information that we currently possess coupled with our gut instincts. This is a crucial aspect of our job and cannot be taken lightly because a wrong decision can cause irreparable harm and physical injuries or accidents. For example on surveillance missions, our field operatives routinely lose sight of our targets when for e.g. they climb onto packed suburban train compartments or encounter a red light while the target has moved ahead in his own car. In situations like these, no field agent is supposed to break rules and endanger one’s own life such as climbing on the roof of a local train or breaking a red light. ‘Erring on the side of safety’ is always drilled on to our young, zealous and over enthusiastic young agents because tomorrow is another day and there will be plenty of more opportunities to follow our targets. Breaking a red light may not mean that the chase is over because one could always catch up with the target at the next traffic signal but getting caught by a traffic cop for violating traffic rules means that the chase is over for the day!

Thinking on your feet is not as easy as it sounds. Most people especially those who are younger and new to the profession are always over enthusiastic and do not remain aware of their immediate environment. The experienced private investigators know how to think ahead and will stay calm and composed calculating strategies along the way with minimum risk exposure. The best decisions may be taken in split second timings but only when the decisions are taken with a person who is experienced and knowledgeable.

Our No. 1 Quality – Discretion

Private Detective Mumbai AndheriWhen dealing with private detectives and private investigators and when going through their websites you will often hear the words ‘discreet’ and ‘discretion’. Discretion is defined as – the quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offence or revealing confidential information. The practicing private investigator during the course of his work comes across people and situations whereby things are not at all what they appear like. There is a ample of bull*** and horse**** that is thrown about by not only our targets but even some of our clients who do not reveal everything to us when they assign us a case thereby complicating a case. It is our job to recognize bull*** when it is thrown at us and effectively cut through the crap to get to the truth without hurting sentiments!

Though some of our clients definitely hide back facts regarding a case, many a times of course it is not the client’s fault if some facts appear misleading or incorrect. Most often our clients provide us information that is at best a hope or a guess that cannot be factually verified. Which is why us Private Detectives always start from an area of intelligent skepticism and do not normally assume that every fact narrated to us is the absolute truth and it is our job as private detectives to verify all facts.

Our Job is Not So Glamorous

A lot of clients attempt to pay us a lot of money for doing things that are illegal or not in good taste. It is our discretion that tells us whether to accept or reject a case. Now here’s another insight into our world. As one of Mumbai’s top private detective agency, we get a lot of loonies trying to get in touch with us persistently with no real cause, unbalanced men and women trying to inveigle us into spending time with them, teenage guys and girls contacting us to become a part of our team, weirdos coming to our offices with weird requests, emotionally needy women whose husbands are cheating on them trying to get too close to our detectives – we get them all! Blame the mass media – television serials, films, fiction novels, the internet for creating this superhero image of the private detective. It is our job not to maintain a distance from the public as well as our clients and move on. Because at the end of the day, we private detectives are just human beings like any other soul out there with a family to feed and with real professional, personal, health and financial problems of our own to deal with! Its a job at the end of the day and we do it with excellence, pride and respect but sometimes we wish there were someone to take care of our problems as well!

Author Bio

Amit Sen is the founding partner of Alliance One – who are among the best private detectives in Mumbai specializing in providing thorough Background Verification Services among other private and corporate investigation services. Amit is also a trained pilot and an aviator and likes to remain grounded on the days when he is not flying high.

Article edited and co-written by Atin Dasgupta who is the co-founder and marketing head of Alliance One. Read more about Atin here.



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Top 5 Private Detective Spy Apps For Your Smartphone

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Top 5 Private Detective Spy Apps For Your Smartphone

Private Detectives and Private Investigators are known for their ability and their skills to gain insider information that the public does not have access to. Their years of experience and knowledge combine to give them the expertise and the contacts to give them access to confidential information. But you dear reader can use your humble smartphone and wear your private detective hat with the help of apps created for the app marketplace. Heck some of us private eyes can’t live without some of these apps and you can get a peek-a-boo into our profession by downloading some of these apps below and who knows you could be looking at a private investigator’s license a few years from now! The apps listed below are available in the app marketplace and can be searched by their names given below:

Sneaky Cam

I own one of the best detective agencies in Mumbai, India and as any private detective worth his or her salt will tell you, one of the main tasks that we private detectives excel at is surveillance. Surveillance involves long hours spent in waiting for someone inside a vehicle or outside and then clicking photographs or videos which can then be used as relevant evidence for our clients for their various cases. Most of the earlier generation ‘sneaky cams’ were in the form of pens, key chains etc. and one can very well gauge the quality of photos or videos taken from such devices. Quality is not an issue anymore if one is using a smartphone but problems can arise when the act of taking a picture which involves pointing and clicking can arouse suspicion from those around you and alert the subject. Sneaky cam does a good job of hiding your intentions by showing you a screen interface instead of the scene to be shot once the app is activated. It disables all sounds when clicking and even shows you faint transparent previews. Pictures are saved to a special folder from where it can be accessed for emailed. Definitely a must have for the private detective.

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Spy Message

Spy Message is a godsend app for those who want to send secret messages to each other – especially good for cheating couples! I have seen too many marriages breakup due to carelessness. Man goes to event without telling wife and all hell breaks loose! Man carrying on an extra marital affair comes home drunk one night and forgets to delete his mistresses’ message. Wife checks the phone when he is taking a shower – Marriage over! This one app can help all polygamous men and women all over the world live happily ever after! The best feature of this app is that messages can be timed to self-destruct after the receiver checks the message. If you have multiple boyfriends and girlfriends, then the ‘customized friends list’ option helps you to add special people from your friends list to the app and send secret self destructive messages only to them. All in all, this one’s a must-download for business folks, unfaithful lovers and well just about any person who does not want to be quoted for the record later in life!

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Motion Spy Video Recorder

Another must-download app for the amateur or the professional private detective. This app records HD video and uses advanced motion detection technology. I have advised many a suspicious husband to use this app to catch their wives red handed. The way it works is very simple – Just start the app and position the phone and keep it in your room or office cabin, bedroom or wherever. To others it looks like the phone is lying idle with a blank screen. Once the phone detects motion in your room eg. wife comes inside the room with her lover, teenage daughter smoking pot with her boyfriend etc, the app starts recording video clips! Not only that, you can also choose to receive emails of notifications with pictures and video clips attached. Of course, you need to have two smartphones for this purpose so that your spouse does not become suspicious about your phone lying at home while you are at work. The one installed with the app could be your second phone that is meant to be used when you are at home used purposely for spying and to keep a tab on your family. Because as the saying goes, ‘You can be never be too careful’.

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Children Tracker

As the name suggests, this one’s a must-download app for all paranoid parents. All you have to do is install the app on your child’s phone and then use the ‘hide’ function so that your child does not know that the app has been installed. Once installed you can track the location and movement of your children 24 / 7. All call logs and text messages will be emailed to you and so will all recently viewed web pages. You are also updated about all recently visited Wi-Fi hot-spots, new apps that they are installing and other activities. Lots of other user friendly features helps you keep you connected to your child’s daily activities. Oh, need I mention the app can also be used to track spouses and paramours!

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Ear Spy

I love this app. It’s really useful – and I can vouch for that. The app amplifies and boosts sound frequencies so that inaudible voices become clear. There’s even a graphic equalizer to boost or lower frequencies to adjust the sound source and make it clearer. So for example you are waiting to be interviewed outside your future boss’s cabin along with other candidates. But you can hear the muffled conversations of the candidate currently being interviewed. Simply activate this app and then connect your earphones and act as if you are listening to some music so that it seems to others that you are trying to quell the pre-interview jitters when in fact you are now listening to the interview going on inside and you will probably be best equipped for the interview because you are now mentally preparing yourself for the questions that are probably going to be thrown at you – for example what do our company’s initials stand for? Just Google it quickly and walk in and bag that much vaunted job because you are smart and you know how to reap the full benefits that your smartphone offers you!
So you see, you don’t really need to be a professional private detective to gain confidential information – just use your smartphone! Remember knowledge is power but use your powers wisely because in comic book parlance – With great power comes great responsibility!

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Author Bio

Amit Sen is the founding partner of Alliance One – who are among the best private detectives in Mumbai specializing in providing thorough Background Verification Services among other private and corporate investigation services. Amit is also a trained pilot and an aviator and likes to remain grounded on the days when he is not flying high.

Article edited and co-written by Atin Dasgupta who is the co-founder and marketing head of Alliance One. Read more about Atin here.



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Why Good Private Detectives Possess Superior Listening Skills

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Why Good Private Detectives Possess Superior Listening Skills

Today, I am going to talk a little bit about the ability of private detectives to effectively listen. Effective listening and I mean not hearing snippets of what the other person is saying and then barging in and breaking the flow of the other person with ideas that one has formed while pretending that they are listening. One of the most effective tools in the private detective’s arsenal is a notepad. Like a psychologist or counselor, we private eyes like to keep a notepad (replaced by an Ipad in modern times!) in front of us where we write down pertinent points of a case that the client is narrating and also to remind us of questions that we would like our client to answer.

Keeping mum and listening quietly to what is being said without forming any opinions or ideas is crucial if one has to grasp the intricacies of a client’s matter accurately so that means no plotting in our mind the next question to ask, no pointing out of errors and most importantly no interruptions. Very often I will ask the subject to repeat what he / she has said – as many times as it is important for me to completely understand the problem with all the minor details.

Advanced Interview Interrogation Skills

navi mumbai private detectivesOne of the many training tools for listening that I actively encourage at my organisation is to make the interns sit for one of our meetings with clients and while the client is still there, they are supposed to repeat and enumerate all the facts of the case that were mentioned by the client without any mistake. The advantage of this is that the client is still around to correct parts of what our understanding is while he / she is still around.

My active listening skills have been honed to perfection over years of practice and awareness of this aspect of our profession. You dear reader can also improve your own listening skills which will make you a better professional in any walk of life. To begin with, be aware that the other person is talking and that you are now going to listen. Start with friends and immediate family. Be prepared to be surprised because what you hear will astonish you because you will be hearing things that you were missing out on earlier but others will be more astonished than you at the fact that they are getting your undivided attention because at the end of the day, people love to be paid attention to and makes them feel important. So remember that being a better listener will not only boost your career but also improve your relationships with people around you.

Interrogating Victims

Good listening skills also makes us consummate professionals. A lot of our clients who come to us are usually victims of people or circumstances and in such cases, active listening makes the victim come out with all the details of his / her situation and also assures him / her that we have been thoroughly apprised about the facts surrounding the case however disturbing or strange it may seem.  One great addition our arsenal has been smartphones and the many apps that lets one record high quality samples of a conversation which has effectively spelled the demise of those analogue and digital Dictaphones – they were never around when you needed them. Everyone’s got a smartphone these days and even if a recording app is not downloaded on the phone, one can within minutes download one from the Play store or the IOS app store. Many a times, recording a crucial piece of conversation helps us because one may have missed out on noting down certain parts of a client’s speech but playing back the recording helps us retain the information quickly enough. The client is always informed before we record because many people have problems with it in which case we just resort to the good old notepad! Let me again reiterate here that good listening skills are not something that private investigators are born with but actively cultivated and developed over the years.

Author Bio

Amit Sen, a commercial pilot by training, has over 15 years experience in the space of corporate investigations, handling Copyright & Trademark infringement cases, Pre – employment verification Industrial Espionage investigations, Asset & Net – Worth assessment assignments and vendor / supplier verification cases, among others. Co-founder of Alliance One Detectives – which is the best private detective agency in Mumbai. Apart from specializing in home security, Amit has also successfully completed assignments in a wide range of sectors, including the machine tools industry, pharmaceutical industry, hospitality sector, specialized equipment (Oil & natural gas sector, aviation industry etc.), telecom industry & the IT & ITes sectors. These cases have all involved both offline and online investigations.

Article edited and co-written by Atin Dasgupta who is the co-founder and marketing head of Alliance One. Read more about Atin here.



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Tips for Improving Short Term Memory for Private Investigators

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Tips for Improving Short Term Memory for Private Investigators

Tips For Budding Private DetectivesBudding private detectives and Private investigators wishing to enter the field of private investigation would do well to improve two aspects that will greatly improve their two crucial skills mentioned in my earlier post – the powers of observation and the powers of concentration. In this article I will elucidate on how to best improve these two crucial powers and I do not think that only budding private detectives can gain from what I have to say but even others who have nothing to do with our field but can gain from improving their observation and concentration skills which will in fact help them in their day to day activities as well.

Recalling Objects Within a Picture

One of the best ways to improve your concentration is through the ‘Recall’ method – a game that is often played by adults and children for ‘time pass’. Put a DVD on and hold the remote in your hand. Pause the picture on an interesting scene and then look away and try and recall and write down as many detailed objects in the scene as you can possibly remember. People who have not yet honed their observation skills will be hard pressed to remember and note down exactly all the objects even after several attempts. But this is quite alright because if you practice this exercise diligently, you will vastly improve over time.

Improving your Short Term Memory

Human beings are blessed with two kinds of memories – short term and long term memory. Short term memory as the term suggests is indeed short term and these memories fade quickly from your Private Detectives Investigation Blogbrain. But like all skills, short term memory retention can be improved with time and practice. If you are on a surveillance mission, start taking notes and shoot pictures. This will instill the habit of observing your surroundings at all times. Over time you can effectively transfer short term memories to long term memories. Here are some more drills for improving short term memories for aspiring private detectives.

Memorization

Memorize things. Lyrics of songs, poems, short stories, Religious scriptures. Besides improving your memory retention skills, it will also make you appear smart, intelligent and entertaining! Grouping items together also helps to remember correctly. For example, long phone numbers can be easily remembered if you can insert spaces between numbers. For example breaking down my number 981 958 0458 into three groups will make it easier for you to remember than just trying to remember one long string of numbers.

Keep Your Brain Active

It is a known fact that the brain is a muscle and like all other muscles atrophies or becomes weak with disuse. So keep learning new technical skills such as for example softwares such as Photoshop or video editing softwares such as Adobe’s Premiere Pro whenever you have the time. Learning to use new softwares makes you go through complicated sequences of actions repeatedly and makes you adept in mastering complicated sequences and creating a pattern. Besides added skills such as Photoshop or video editing skills can also come in handy in the future when you may need to deconstruct photographic and video graphic evidences of a case and you are not solely dependent on your DTP guy for the same!

Setting Information to Songs or Pictures

Take a popular song and put that information that you want to remember as lyrics for that particular song. As uncanny as it sounds, this is an excellent way to remember large pockets of information without putting them down to paper. Of course, you must be able to remember the tune correctly or else after a while, neither will you be able to remember the song nor the information! Linking the familiar with the unfamiliar also includes matching information with pictures.

Author Bio

Amit Sen, a commercial pilot by training, has over 15 years experience in the space of corporate investigations, handling Copyright & Trademark infringement cases, Pre – employment verification Industrial Espionage investigations, Asset & Net – Worth assessment assignments and vendor / supplier verification cases, among others. Co-founder of Alliance One Detectives – which is the best private detective agency in Mumbai. Apart from specializing in home security, Amit has also successfully completed assignments in a wide range of sectors, including the machine tools industry, pharmaceutical industry, hospitality sector, specialized equipment (Oil & natural gas sector, aviation industry etc.), telecom industry & the IT & ITes sectors. These cases have all involved both offline and online investigations.



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Private Investigators are Not Born but Made

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Private Investigators are Not Born but Made

A post from my favourite marketer Seth Godin got me thinking today about writing a blog post. Seth Godin is one of my favourite Internet Bloggers and I am subscribed to Seth Godin’s blog with one post regularly dropping into my inbox everyday. Hi latest post titled ‘The First Lie’ reads – The first lie is that you are going to need a helluva lot more talent than you were born with. Though the rest of the lies are equally truthful and thought provoking, this point made by Seth is important when seen especially in light of our private investigation profession. Most private detectives and investigators portrayed by the mass media especially television soaps, films and popular fiction portrays Private detectives as naturally talented and born with perfect skills much like Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra recent quote – “I was born perfect!”. The ‘either you have it or you dont’ trait is grossly off the mark! Private Investigation skills like any other skill in life can be learned and improved upon.

In a past post which you can read here – I had mentioned why the power of observation is the most coveted skills that private eyes are trained with from the very beginning. Add to that the power of concentration. Concentration is a voluntary act and can be enforced by anyone who wants to concentrate. Newbies entering the world of private investigation are usually told to work only on these two skills to begin with.

Focussing is Not so Easy

Best Detectives India

Most people who are not private detectives have millions of thoughts racing through their minds day in and day out and will not ordinarily observe details around them. But private detectives are trained to be highly observant of their surroundings. Surveillance on some of our pre marital or extra marital affair cases involve long hours of our operatives out on the field glued to a location either waiting for a chance for our subject to enter or exit a building. One has to wait for hours at a time to shoot that picture or take a video within the window of a few seconds when our subject finally appears into view. Losing that opportunity can set us back by days or even months and can mean the difference between our client paying us or firing us! The power of focus and concentration in such situations is a dealbreaker.

Government Agencies Have an Upper Hand

The Government has access to unlimited resources including key trained personnel, equipment and money which makes their jobs much easier and stress free. Besides they are the Government. It is easier for them to break rules to arrest an important suspect! Surveillance on critical cases always involves the ‘eyeball’ never leaving the focus on the target. The eyeball will always be passed from one investigator to another but the eyeball always remains constantly focussed on the suspect.

Government agencies can afford to do this but smaller private investigative agencies having fewer resources, keeping the ‘eyeball’ thing going can be strenuous and hard work – but these assignments go a long way in training the rookie private detective on the basic skills required to survive and flourish in the trade.

Background Information Goes a Long Way

Consider a movie unfolding on a screen in front of you. A movie is nothing but a series of individual shots or scenes pasted together and when seen in linear fashion, the mind creates logic and reasoning from the series and creates meaning. Imagine watching a single scene of a film in isolation or watching a film from the middle. Without prior knowledge of the scenes that have come before that particular scene, your mind has no fixed idea or meaning behind that scene and does not know what to make of the other scenes that follow. In the end a clearer picture of the story will not form in your mind. Best Private Detectives MumbaiSimilarly on a case, unless there is prior information and knowledge, no significant outcome will be derived from the evidence or facts in front of us. What could be seen as a simple graffiti on the wall painted by hooligans could be a message from drug lords and criminals to other gang members. Similarly, a woman in a burkha entering a hotel could be passed off as just a traditional Muslim woman when in reality, she could be a terrorist in disguise! Knowledge and intelligence information helps private investigators to make sense of what they are focussing on and allows us to process the observations and make meaning and deductions out of them. The amount of knowledge gained is directly proportional to the amount of time that a rookie private investigator spends on concentrating and observing. 

 

It is often considered in our profession that ‘Concentration is Intelligence’ and private detectives and investigators entering our profession would be well advised to carve this in stone and also to start developing their powers of concentration if they want to reach the zeniths of the business! Good luck!

Author Bio

Amit Sen, a commercial pilot by training, has over 15 years experience in the space of corporate investigations, handling Copyright & Trademark infringement cases, Pre – employment verification Industrial Espionage investigations, Asset & Net – Worth assessment assignments and vendor / supplier verification cases, among others. Co-founder of Alliance One Detectives – which is the best private detective agency in Mumbai. Apart from specializing in home security, Amit has also successfully completed assignments in a wide range of sectors, including the machine tools industry, pharmaceutical industry, hospitality sector, specialized equipment (Oil & natural gas sector, aviation industry etc.), telecom industry & the IT & ITes sectors. These cases have all involved both offline and online investigations.



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