Preparing Domestic Cases in Costa Rica

Preparing Domestic Cases In Costa Rica

How do you go about preparing domestic cases in Costa Rica? What are some considerations when planning a domestic or infidelity case in Costa Rica? Most of the cases we see are done on impulse. Usually, there is little if any planning that has been given to the case. This makes it more difficult for the investigator to do his job and will cost you more money. Understanding that the events leading up to the decision to hire a private investigator are troubling enough, it is easy to understand the lack of preparation. This article will give an insight into things that can be done to enhance and improve the chances of a successful infidelity investigation.

 

Advance Preparation

Most clients are aware of a planned trip well before the time it will start. If there are suspicions that your loved one is being unfaithful, now is the time to get your “ducks” in a row. Preparing domestic cases in Costa Rica, we have found the following to be useful. First, consider the resources available to fund the investigation. Many clients inquire about services and have given little or no thought on the cost of conducting a surveillance on their loved one. All targets of a surveillance never perform on cue. It is a matter of being in the right place at the right time to capture the indiscretion.

Part of the cost in Costa Rica is the location at which the surveillance will take place. Almost all of the resorts and hotels in Costa Rica have security and limited access by non guests. That means that the surveillance is limited to the times that the target is outside the hotel or resort. Experience has demonstrated that being in the hotel or resort as a guest increases the opportunities to watch and record the targets activities. Knowing ahead of time the location allows the Costa Rica Private Investigator time to make reservations and arrive at the same time the target. This can be costly as there are two seasons in Costa Rica, and the green season, which goes from November to April is usually priced twice as much as the rest of the year.

Surveillance is never like it is portrayed on television. Some television productions take a six week surveillance and condense it to one hour. Surveillance, simply does not work that way. The more ahead of time planning and preparation will assist in getting the results you want.

Intelligence

Itineraries, reservations, flights and travelling companions are all good intelligence that your Costa Rica Private Investigator can use. The more information you have about the trip and things that they will be doing will all prove to be invaluable.

Searching Web for a Private Investigator Costa Rica? Caution!

Caution When Searching Web for a Private Investigator in Costa Rica

Info LogoSearching the web for a private investigator Costa Rica? Caution! See sites that say they are the “premier” private investigation agency in Costa Rica? Others that say, “we are the only American-owned, full-time agency located in Costa Rica? (Actually, one such claim is completely false as the principal was deported and now resides in a neighboring country, and, is forbidden to re-enter Costa Rica.) Or declaring that “our private investigator possess decades of experience in Federal Law Enforcement, Military Special Forces, Investigations, and Personal Protection?” Perhaps other sites that say “Investigations & Intelligence services in Costa Rica 30+ YEARS OF PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR EXPERIENCE”. All claims without substance. One such company is a referral source out of Los Angeles that does not identify the private investigators. 

CAUTION!

Searching Private Investigator Costa Rica

About us iconFirst of all I am an American and my full time job is being a Private Investigator Costa Rica, dedicated to private investigations in Costa Rica. Secondly, I can verify my credentials. Others can’t or won’t. Searching for a reliable, trustworthy and affordable private investigator is a challenge. First, most clients looking for these types of services have very little information upon which to make a decision. Secondly, clients usually don’t have any idea of what to ask or look for when searching for a private investigator. Thirdly, most clients are unsure what it takes to have a successful investigation and feel guilty inquiring about such services.

A Private Investigator that is Reliable and Trustworthy is Challenging

Handshake iconJust because someone touts his phenomenal exploits and experience, there is no clearing house to prove or disprove such outlandish claims. For example; “decades of Federal experience”, “expert witness in Federal Court”, ‘ U.S. Trained forensic expert”, all such claims are ambiguous and without foundation. Most of the former law enforcement men and women that are private investigators know that being a Federal Agent does not in any way prepare you for the real world of private investigations. First, Federal Agents have at their disposal unlimited resources and budgets. It’s nothing for the government to assign 50 or 60 agents to one case. Each branch of the Federal Law enforcement has very specialized areas of investigations and the agents assigned to those areas are not permitted to work outside their assigned division.

Thus, if an agent is assigned to forensics such as computers, blood types or fingerprints, what training and knowledge does he have to conduct a surveillance with limited resources and budget? Secondly, being an expert witness is at the sole discretion of the Court. If someone is deemed an expert witness on ballistics, what does this mean if the case being investigated is child custody?

It has been my pleasure to work with numerous Federal agents. They are professional and absolutely the best at the specialty they investigate. However, it has been my experience that they make less than average private investigators. Most Federal agents that retire find work in the corporate sector, which like the government has an abundance of resources and financial allocations to carry out their missions. Most private investigations involve individuals with limited resource and budgets.

Scam Alert Facebook

Scam Alert Facebook Pandora Jewellery

Recently, some of my clients have suffered a scam perpetrated via Facebook of a very well done site, http://www.pandorashopus.com/. If you come across this on your Facebook you will see that it has a countdown clock giving customers one day to order the very popular Pandora Jewelry.

Jewelry

As you enter the website you will see the jewelry priced very cheap. In most cases less than $10.00. Which goes back to previous posts I have made about deals that are too good to be true. The fact is, if something looks, smells or taste to be too good to be true, then count on it, IT IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.

Pandora Jewelry whose telephone number is  410-309-0200 confirmed with our office that the offer that appears on Facebook is not an authorized dealer for Pandora Jewelry. They advised that this was a scam and anyone who made a purchase via the internet should contact their financial institution immediately and stop payment.

In our case, shortly after the purchase was made by our client they received an email from from PayPal that said “You paid Reitmans,Shenzhen,CN, $27.99 USD.” This corresponded with the confirmation of the order placed to the www.pandorashopus.com website.

My recommendation for anyone who may have placed an order with this site is to contact your financial institution and give them all the information that you have received through your email.

During this time of year, especially with all of the event sales such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you as a consumer need to be wary of any and all offerings on the internet. This is the time of year that scammers hit. Looking at this website, you will find it appearing very authenticate and something you would assume Pandora would publish. But when you see a silver bracelet that normally sells for 137.99, offered for 16.99, something is wrong.

Hope your holiday shopping will go smoothly and hopefully this will help you avoid this scam.

 

Costa Rica Surveillance Services

Costa Rica Surveillance Services

camera-3Finding Costa Rica Surveillance Services can be a challenge. Many who advertise or blog on the web are not here and contract these services out to less than competent or professional investigators. By combining the practices, skills and experience of law enforcement and commercial surveillance, Cody L Gear and Associates has forged an entirely new form of surveillance services. Our methods and technologies mean that there are few scenarios or locations in which we cannot achieve footage. Our operatives are renowned for their ability to get closer, to take longer, better footage and to do so in a manner that is virtually undetectable, thus providing the highest level of discretion and confidentiality.

If you want success be proactive

Our surveillance services include the use of encrypted original footage, ensuring compliance with the civil rules of procedure for evidence gathering and storage procedures. Being fully compliant with the new hybrid civil / criminal evidence format, allows our evidence originally gained for civil litigation, to be used by the Police or DWP in criminal cases without the need for further investigation. Although the majority is primarily civil, by following such procedures we insure that the evidence we obtain can be used in court. The extent and quality of our surveillance footage are slowly changing the way personal injury fraud is prosecuted and it is no coincidence that two of the most important recent cases in relation to personal injury fraud both relied totally upon our evidence. We are one of a few firms to offer a complete and reliable capture of proof that you need and that will be admissible in court. We use the latest state of the art equipment and techniques to accomplish our mission. Such equipment includes night vision and stealth cameras. We are also using remote video cameras that allow us to conduct surveillances for extended periods of time.

Surveillance Takes Time and Patience

Targets of surveillance Never perform on cue! It is a matter of perseverance and being in the right place at the right time to capture the indiscretion. If you suspect your significant other is being unfaithful and you have advance notice of the travel plans to Costa Rica, call us and allow us to assist you with a strategy to accomplish your objectives.

Mistakes Expats Make in Costa Rica

Here’s a list of Mistakes Expats Make in Costa Rica

law-firm-page-for-webThe law is can be preventive medicine, but if not used correctly, it is a devastating curative medicine.  So, please let me try and help you avoid mistakes made by those who came to Costa Rica before you, and try and keep you out ‘hot water.’

1. Do not do anything you would not do in your own home town: A lot of foreigners seem to believe they can outsmart the system when they come to a less developed country. Or, it just may be the kind way most Costa Ricans behave with ‘gringos’, which turn them into wishful thinkers.

Always bear in mind that the legal system in Costa Rica is Napoleonic, not Common Law, so things are handled very differently than in the US or Canada. Because of that, the best place to begin your investment plan is in an attorney’s office.

It is best not to try the Do it yourself’ method! Some people, in trying to save some dollars in legal fees, avoid the work of finding a good attorney to guide them through their problems. Do not do that! Do your homework. Find an attorney, you feel comfortable with and stay with him for as long as he does a good work.

2. Do not rush into the decision of hiring an attorney. If you are thinking of investing in Costa Rica, like it or not, hiring a local attorney is a must for you. It does not matter if you are just buying a car, a home or planning to set up a million dollar business. You will need an attorney. You may not like the idea of paying legal fees, who does? But accept it and live with it. The idea is to have your lawyer working for you as ‘preventive medicine’, as a kind of insurance against what ‘might happen.’

Consider the legal fees as your insurance premium, because that’s really what it is. Today, you will pay a fraction of what it will probably cost to try and fix that problem later on if you do not have an honest attorney to guide you.

3. Do not think of buying Costa Rica real estate and only follow the real estate broker’s advice! In Costa Rica, real estate brokers are not licensed in the same way they are in the United States . Some of them are real professionals, but a lot of them are just ‘enthusiastic’ sales people.

Either buying or selling real estate, you will probably have a need for a broker’s services, but even if your Costa Rica real estate agent is first class, have your attorney on board and have him supervise the process.

Real Estate Fraud 24. Do not blindly trust your own countrymen! Just because they have been here more time than you have. I have seen that US citizens being conned by US people and, Canadians by Canadians and so forth. Be careful! There are a whole lot of strange people in this country, some of them fleeing from the FBI, Interpol, ex-wives and even from mental institutions.

5. Gentlemen! Please remember that you do not, I repeat, do NOT need to marry the first beautiful ‘Tica’ (Costa Rican woman) that you meet!

6. “Old Mac Donald had a farm“: And he lost it, because never took care of it. This is a common story in Costa Rica. Again, please remember that our legal system is different.

7. South of the Border…  Not everybody here wears a big Mexican ‘sombrero’ and has a big bushy moustache and not all the ladies are named “Juanita Bonita’. South of the Río Grande,  you will find: México, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panamá, Colombia, Perú, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Brazil. All of them are different countries, with a different history, different people, and different laws.

8. “Easy comes easy goes.” I will not even waste your time on this matter. If it sounds too good to be true, then yes! It probably is too good to be true. Nobody on this earth can give you 45% per annum in a legitimate investment.

9. There is ‘risk’ even with legitimate well known and established private banks. Right now I am trying to help a client who deposited a large amount of money in CDs, in one local bank.

10. If you really want to live in Costa Rica then, please live IN Costa Rica! It was the year 335 B.C. Alexander the Great faced one of his greatest battles. When his army reached the Phoenician coasts, he realized their enemies outnumbered them by 3 to 1.

Do you know how he managed to win the battle? Quite simple! He ordered his ships to be burnt… While the ships where on fire and sinking on the ocean, he spoke to his army and told them the only way to go back home was on their enemy’s ships. It was that or else.

If you really want to become a resident in Costa Rica, you may have to burn your ships.

Costa Rica Scam Alert: Tips Avoiding Scams

Traveling to Costa Rica? Beware! Costa Rica Scam Alert:

Costa Rica Scam Alert:

Scam 3Tips Avoiding Scams In Costa Rica we here at Cody L Gear and Associates know you work hard for your money. That is why we want to provide you with a Costa Rica Scam Alert offering some tips that may help you avoid being scammed in Costa Rica or at home.
It has come to our attention that various Internet solicitations have appeared with increased frequency on such posting boards as Craigslist and other social networking sites encouraging consumers to deposit escrow funds to secure an interest in property located in Costa Rica via payment through Western Union payable to what appears to be a legitimate, reputable real estate company with name recognition. (Such as Remax, Century21, etc.…)

We have contacted the real estate companies and none of them are in any way associated with this type of solicitation. In fact, we have learned that this is another scam being perpetrated on unwary consumers and is currently being investigated by law enforcement.

Additionally, we have been made aware of an Advance Fee Scam involving the unauthorized use of a brand name such as the ones mentioned above, using a website and email address utilizing the name of the nationally known real estate company to hold Advanced fee scam the property. In an effort to instill confidence in this transaction, the scammer fraudulently claims to have listed the property with the multi listing service, using a local Real Estate office in Costa Rica and arranges for a fraudulent email notification posing as a real estate agent in Costa Rica (and uses the real estate company’s logos) to be sent to the victim. The scammer disappears once the deposit is received, leaving the prospective buyer defrauded. For your information there is no regulatory oversight of the Real Estate industry in Costa Rica and there are no licensing requirements. Because of these facts, there is no such thing as a multiple listing service in Costa Rica

Here are some tips to help you avoid such scams:

KNOW THE PERSON YOU ARE SENDING MONEY TO – if you receive an email from a real estate agent with payment instructions, call the requesting office using the phone number located on the solicitation. Then call us (321-218-9209 or visit http://www.codygear.com )  to verify if this is a legitimate real estate company operating here in Costa Rica

CRAIGSLIST IS NOT INVOLVED IN ANY TRANSACTION, and does not handle payments, guarantee transactions or provide escrow services.

USE CAUTION WHEN GIVING OUT FINANCIAL AND OTHER PERSONAL INFORMATION VIA EMAIL (bank account number, credit card number, social security number, etc.)

AVOID DEALS INVOLVING SHIPPING SERVICES and know that ONLY A SCAMMER WILL “GUARANTEE” YOUR TRANSACTION.

These types of scams often claim that an MTCN or confirmation code is needed before withdrawing your money – this is FALSE, once you’ve wired money, it is GONE.

PROPERTY LISTING MAY BE LOCAL, but landlord/owner is “travelling” or “relocating” and needs you to wire money to them abroad.

Most scams involve one or more of the following:

Inquiry from someone far away, often in another country;
Western Union, Money Gram, cashier’s check, money order, shipping, escrow service, or a “guarantee.”
Inability or refusal to meet face-to-face before consummating transaction.

Who should you notify about fraud or scam attempts?
Cody L Gear and Associates (321-218-9209 or visit http://www.codygear.com)
• FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)
• FTC online complaint form (http://www.ftc.gov)
• Canadian Phone Busters hotline: 888-495-8501
• Internet Fraud Complaint Center (http://www.ic3.gov)
• Non-emergency number for your local police department.
• The government agency in your country responsible for dealing with fraud

Information-Costa Rica Private Investigator Needs

What Information a Costa Rica Investigator Needs

information logo 1In order for a Costa Rica private investigator to find a missing person you will need to provide them with as much information as possible. It would be helpful if you could provide the private investigator with name, date of birth, Costa Rica Cedula number, age, last address known or anything else that you might consider helpful. However, if all you can provide is a name, a professional Costa Rica private investigator can still find the person you are looking for, even if they have remarried. Just keep in mind that the less information you have, the longer it might take for the private investigator to find the person you are looking for. It is also much harder for the private investigator to find someone if they are running from the law. Although, no matter what the circumstances the private investigator should exhaust all resources in order to find who they are looking for. Some tips; if your target lives in Costa Rica, they will have two last names. (i.e. Gonzalez- Bedoa)  This is very important as this will reduce the amount of time to locate them and/or get information on their whereabouts. If it is an American you seek the passport will also save time and money.

 

How do they find the person I am looking for?

Time logo 1A reliable, trustworthy Costa Rica professional private investigator has a number of different resources that the “ordinary person” does not have.. Private investigators have access to the most modern technology and databases that will help provide the information they are looking for. Some of these databases can only be used by private investigators, so the “ordinary person” would never have access to this information. They also have easier access to the large amounts of public records and information that is out there. Plus, last but not least, the skills they have acquired over the years as a private investigator gives them a great advantage over someone who doesn’t have the professional experience.

How long will it take?

Cheater photo 3How long it takes really depends on the person the private investigator is trying to find. A private investigator’s vast resources and professional experience can sometimes allow them to find someone in 24 hours or less! However, this greatly depends on how willing the person is to be found. If the private investigator is looking for an old friend, long lost love or a family member it should be a lot easier than looking for someone who is running from the law. It also depends on how much information you are able to give the private investigator.

Why should I hire a private investigator?

For an affordable and  reasonable amount a professional Costa Rica private investigator can find the person you are looking for. They have the skills, resources and time to get the job done in a timely fashion. In fact a private investigator can often find someone you have been looking for, for years in a matter of hours or days. Why spend countless days or even years trying to find someone when you can make a quick phone call and have a professional, Costa Rica private investigator devoted to the job? It just makes sense to use a private investigator that is in Costa Rica..

 

Surveillance in Costa Rica

How Does Surveillance in Costa Rica Work?

The most important stage of the surveillance in Costa Rica is getting to know the “subject” or as it is in many instances the suspected cheater. Information that would be necessary such as knowing what the cheating husband, cheating boyfriend, cheating wife, cheating girlfriend likes, dislikes, habits, type of food preferred, favorite restaurants frequented, employment information, hobbies, vehicles driven, possible person he/she might be cheating with, and a description of all parties. Provide information on everything if you suspect your spouse/partner of cheating as, the more you provide upfront, the better the chance for success. Leaving out a detail or two can have a dramatic effect on outcome of the surveillance.

Costa Rica Private InvestigatorOnce obtained and reviewed “a feel” for the subject and knowing his/her habits, the fieldwork, or surveillance, begins. While some private investigators hold themselves out to be surveillance experts, you know your spouse/partner better than they do and, the more information that you can provide them, the better chance for success in the field.

As the surveillance progresses, most clients want regular reports or communication regarding what we are finding in the field. Communication with clients on a continuing basis is an indispensable part of a professional surveillance strategy. While some prefer not to receive a report until the conclusion of the infidelity investigation and surveillance, it is generally recommended to have regular communications to discuss service and to implement changes when necessary. Most professional private investigators will determine the best method of communicating and frequency based on the circumstances of the surveillance.

Surveillance in Costa Rica

Ceating HusbandWith most private investigators it is common knowledge that the cheater is, generally, aware that someone may be watching or following him/her. Usually, this makes people become more aware of their surroundings while cheating. At times both the subject and the person who he/she is cheating with are both cheating, making it even more difficult to follow them without being seen. Circumstances like these can make it more practical to use a second investigator. While this will increase the cost, using two investigators on surveillance diminishes the chance of being burnt during the surveillance or losing the subject in traffic. Most successful surveillance operations involve a two or more person team. This especially true in Costa Rica.

There are times when infidelity, or cheating, is just not taking place even though you have seen signs to the contrary. There are also times when the cheating is far too infrequent with no established patterns, or so well hidden, that catching the cheater is not possible using normal investigative techniques.

Confidentiality and Discretion

All surveillance investigations should be completely confidential and private. Your identity, along with all information that we obtain on your behalf, should be maintained in the strictest of confidence. Information that obtained as a result of the surveillance should only be provided to you or your attorney.

Cheater photo 3If you have a surveillance that needs to be conducted in Costa Rica, be sure you vet the Investigator you contact. There are only a few here and caution should be exercised, particularly with people that want you to send money via Western Union. Caution should also be exercised with people who have only been here for the past year or so. Some boast of their background, but few can back it up. Be especially cautious of people who hold themselves out as consultants. The ones I know are retirees and have no real practical experience in private investigation. Just because they worked for the government doesn’t make them a good or reliable private investigator.

Hiring a Costa Rica Private Investigator

Hiring a Costa Rica private investigator

Costa Rica Private InvestigatorHiring a Costa Rica private investigator requires a thorough vetting before engaging for services. Recently, I have had several people who have written me about their bad experiences with investigations that were conducted by investigators not living in Costa Rica. I have written several blog posts as well as Facebook post advising potential clients to avoid investigators that do not live here. If retention of out of country investigator is your only option, beware, that’s what you get may cause you more heartache, grief and expense and more than likely you will not have the answers you seek.

Things to Check out before you do

information logo 1Here are a few questionable and unethical tactics employed by some investigators that have been reported to me. Scenario one; an inquiry is made into the requirements and costs of an investigation. After the initial communication, the investigator contacts you and says he has started the investigation and you owe money, although you never agreed to start the investigation. When you call this to the investigators’ attention he becomes combative and begins hurling insults and veiled threats.  Scenario two; after agreeing to have the investigator conduct an investigation, he contacts you and says that he has the information for you but you need to send more money. He says that the investigation took longer than expected and you must pay the money or he will not release the information to you. Scenario three; you learn that the investigator has contacted the target of your inquiry and has attempted to extort money from them.

The first scenario outlined is straight forward. A professional investigator will not start an investigation without receiving a retainer. He will also give you options on how to deposit the retainer via a bank or credit card company. He will not immediately demand that you send money via Western Union to a third party that you have never heard of before. If you have fallen victim to this scam, you don’t have to put up with it. If you have not sent any money, tell him to go pound sand. There is absolutely nothing he can do to you. If he threatens you simply hang up the phone. If he emails you keep, and archive the emails for future reference if the need arises. Consider yourself lucky that you escaped this unprofessional and unethical person and seek out a professional.

Money LaunderingThe second scenario is also straight forward. No professional investigator is going to conduct an investigation beyond the original agreement without first obtaining authorization from the client. Furthermore, all information developed to that point in time is your property not the investigators. Professional and ethical investigators know when an investigation is going to require more and will always contact the client before proceeding. After all, it is your money and your life could be irrevocably changed forever depending on the outcome. This type of situation is nothing more than an attempt to shake down the client for money. If he can’t demonstrate through convincing reason the need to proceed, then you should demand that he cease all further inquiries into the matter.

Perhaps the most disturbing and disgusting tactic is the playing both ends against each other.  In this case the investigator knows the target of the investigation and the circumstances surrounding the inquiry. Once they get the money from you they approach the target and tell them they have information that is vital. Information that could change the rest of their life and that for a fee they will give them the information. Imagine trusting a stranger with delicate and sensitive information and having that trust betrayed by such an unprofessional and unethical investigator.

In all of these scenarios the one common denominator is, they were all done by the same sleazy, slimy person that takes advantage of people’s desperation in getting answers to questions that will affect their lives forever. What’s more, it repeats itself from the same source with the same outcomes. These are just three instances I know factually, as I was retained after the fact to clean up the mess that was created by such unprofessional and unethical tactics.

 

Murder in Costa Rica

Family of Five murdered in Costa Rica

Ceating HusbandThis a follow up on a murder in Costa Rica. It is a story, that frankly, has all too often been repeated here. Not necessarily ending with murder, but the consequences of making poor choices can lead to disastrous results. Although, we receive cases involving infidelity between Americans and Costa Ricans, there is a pattern of conduct that merits discussions. Understanding that everyone deserves someone special in their lives does equate to risking everything on a poor decision.

Destination and Temptation

Costa Rica is a world renowned destination for its climate, natural beauty and its women. The women here are generally attractive, polite and friendly. For the most part American men who come here are in search of a meaningful and lasting relationship. Most have passed the place in life where they are competitive in the dating market in the United States. Most have endured a broken heart either from a divorce or a death. Many are in their fifties or sixties and their choices in the States are limited to similarly situated women, who also have suffered the loneliness associated with such losses. Both bring “baggage” from their previous situation, ranging from abuse to financial trouble.

Murder in Costa Rica: Its a Job, not Love

Money LaunderingBecause of the opportunity to go somewhere and engage in a relationship with a woman that is in her twenties or thirties, who for all outward appearances is a victim of circumstance, is a temptation hard to resist. Most ignore the red flags. It should be obvious that a young attractive woman who is in the sex business is not looking for love. She is looking for financial security. In other words, it is her job. Your wellbeing, physically, emotionally and financially are at risk when you enter a relationship with such a woman.

In the case mentioned at the beginning, the news account of the Tico Times, details the background that ultimately led to this tragedy. Like many of the cases we handled, many of them begin with the American meeting a woman in one of the local watering holes that promote and allow this type of business to thrive. It is not uncommon for women to start visiting these places at as young as eighteen. By the time they are twenty four, they have had an unimaginable amount of sexual contact with countless men of whom they know or care little about.