Conducting Surveillance in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Private InvestigatorConducting surveillance in Costa Rica presents challenges not faced by private investigators in the United States. When a client calls and wants a surveillance here in Costa Rica I try to give them reasonable expectations on the results of such a surveillance. Unlike the United States where private investigators can have sufficient time to capture indiscretions, here we usually have less than a week. In some instances even less time.

Surveillance is being in the right place at the right time and to discreetly capture the indiscretion on video. That means that the target cannot know they are being watch or their activities are being recorded. Many of the venues in Costa Rica have ramped up security in the form of CCTV and guards. They are sensitive to videoing and will not hesitate to ask what you are doing. Thus not only does the PI need to be discreet with respect to the target, they must also be discreet and vigilant as to their surroundings.

For this reason we use teams of investigators usually comprised of two or three to carry out a surveillance. There are some PI’s that are on the web that use just one person that they subcontract the surveillance. I know of one PI that was deported from Costa Rica and is advertising services here and he can’t even enter the country. Thus it pays to vet the PI and make sure he has the experience and resources to carry out the surveillance.

Recently we had a surveillance in a resort that has extremely tight security. Many of the places that people rent are in private residences within the resort and are only accessible though a guarded gate. If you are not a guest you are denied entry. The resort is patrolled by security guards who check visitors and routinely ask them their purpose for being there. Fortunately the resort rents carts which don’t draw the attention of a roaming car. Use of the cart helps but if you remain stationary for any length of time a guard will approach you. This means that you have to be on the constant move.

Targets that are involved in an affair are sensitive to seeing the same person or car more than once. This requires that you change personnel frequently. Through diligence and perseverance usually enjoy success. Many of our clients think that capturing public displays of affection are common place. Here again targets do not perform on cue. You have to be in the right place at the right time to capture PDA’s. Investigators cannot manufacture or script such activities.

All in all if you have reasonable expectations you will not be disappointed in the results. If your expectations are those that are shown on TV programs such as “Cheaters” you will be disappointed in the results. Make sure you discuss expectations and results with you private investigator in order to make your surveillance successful.

Facebook Apps Are Spying on You

Did you know that Facebooks apps are spying on you?

Facebook image

With almost everyone having a Facebook page it is not a surpeise that the creation of Facebook apps are spying on you. Recently, I came across this information from one of my coleagues and thought I would share it on my blog. With all of the issues surrounding personal privacy this blog will tell you how to delete these apps.

Deleting Facebook Apps

Log into your Facebook account and go to settings. In the left hand margin a number of actions will be displayed. Select the one that says “Apps”. When you do the “apps” page will populate listing all of the apps that are currently active on your facebook account. Many people are surprised at the number of apps listed and had no knowledge that they were linked to thier accounts. Such apps can take your information and distribute to whomever they wish.

Many of these apps are linked to your account whe you play games or participate in contest that are published on Facebook. Once you see the apps that are likely to distribute your information such as instagram or yahoo, you can delete them by checking the “X” in the upper right hand corner of the app, thus removing it from your Facebook account.

With all of the information out there about protecting your personal information, it is always a good idea to monitor and eliminate any potential for lapses in security. As technology advances the hackers and scammers are going to use every imaginable methid they can to steal from you.

From time to time we will post information concerning methods and idea on how to protect yourseld from fruadsters and scammers. By taking a few minutes to review your facebook could save you an enormous amount of grief in the future.

Private Investigator Qualities

Private Investigator Qualities to Look For

UntitledPrivate Invcestigator Qualities you should look for before pulling the trigger. Private investigators have historically played a part of our childhood fascinations, thanks to the famous detective characters strewn across modern literature. From Sherlock Holmes to Erin Brockovich, the acute observation and the unparalleled wit of these famous private investigators makes the profession attractive to many. Always accompanied with a trusted and able assistant, detectives make use of just their intellectual abilities to nab the most unusual and crafty suspects. Among the many qualities that a detective should possess, here are some of the qualities of a good private investigator.

Knowledge: A real life detective gets a variety of assignments. They range from insurance frauds, extra marital affairs, theft reports, surveillance, and so on. Accordingly a private detective should possess an extensive amount of knowledge and experience that will help them to get the job done as quickly, smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Stealth:  A detective needs to be as inconspicuous as possible. They really cannot afford to demonstrate behavior or possess some characteristic that attracts unwanted attention. Especially in cases that require prolonged surveillance, detectives have to work in an incognito mode in order to gather as much information as possible.

Courage: This is a primary trait of private investigators. They should be really crafty and street smart. A little bit of hustling abilities are needed in order to get out of tight situations. As detectives do not really have any so called authoritative backing, they need their wit to get them out of sticky situations.

Trustworthiness: Their profession demands that clients disclose delicate information to them. Detectives need to understand and respect the importance and the trust the clients bestow by providing such information and they should not disclose it in any manner. The profession demands that client secrets be kept and any disclosure amounts to serious credibility issues, even inviting lawsuits.

Decision Making: This important trait rounds up the top quality of a private detective. The job sometimes creates situations which demand thinking on the feet and quick decision making abilities keeping the short term and long term objectives in mind. Stable conclusions based on observations that would help to resolve the case need to be taken confidently.

The qualities needed to be a detective are many. But these are some of the essential characteristics that are a must for a successful foray into this interesting profession.

 

Setting Expectations for Costa Rica Infidelity Cases

This is part 2 of a blog Setting Expectations for Costa Rica Infidelity Cases

Cheater photoIn part two of setting expectations for Costa Rica infidelity cases, we will examine some of the mechanical issues of carrying out such investigations.  With the arrival of high season just around the corner we here in Costa will see an increase in inquiries about infidelity investigations. I feel that one important part of taking on a new client is setting expectations, including for cost, process, outcome, and findings. Many clients do not understand the process, including associated costs and the timeframe for gathering relevant information. I find that by setting expectations for Costa Rica infidelity cases. it is best to provide the client with sufficient information prior to commencement in order to avoid misunderstandings in the future. The investigative process utilized in these types of cases is an art not a science and as such has to be flexible as theses situations are fluid and change rapidly.

Further Recomendations and Adivce

  1. Timelines are given a realistic approach in each case as it begins to gather momentum. Initialy however the client is advised that until the target is acquired, it will take an approximate 3 – 6 hours of observation; which establishes how the target interacts in their setting. Following this a briefing is conducted with the client to establish a time line on when the investigtor will be communicating with them during the operation.
  2. Fees, costs are presented on a case by case consultation basis, after the initial intake and objectives of the clients wants andneeds. The fee is agreed upon and a non refundable contract is then entered into with the aforementioned listed as a description of services to expect.
  3. No pictures of them in bed together. Just as it is in the United States, there are privacy laws here. Usually we restrict our photographic work to videos of coduct that is vlearly egrgious or suspicious. Catching them in the sack with each otehr is not going to happen. It is not like you see on television.
  4. No Guarantee on Results, we cannot manufacture indiscretions and investigators who say they have never been made in a surveillance have not done that many surveillances or are just not being truthful. A retainer is required and additional time or cost will be approved by the client. We will maintain communication with the client via a safe phone. Do they really want to know? What will they do when they find out?
  5. We explain that there are cases where their loved is not be cheating. As previously mentioned, certain cases because of the controlling nature of the client, their loved one may just be lying to spend more time with their friends. Whether to watch a football game or just hangout, aby thing is possible is possible. Every investigation begins with the idea that the person could or could not be cheating. By explaining to our infidelity clients that once we begin to see signs (evidence) of cheating, we follow up on those leads to confirm or disprove that they are directly associated with infidelity.
  6. Each assignment brings a different cost, outcome, results and findings and are different due to the client, their loved one and the paramour involved in the matter. With the matter of children and the potential of or outcome of domestic violence, this to will reflect in this answer.
  7. Suggest counseling. A report will be given with photos and or video.
  8. The more information they provide the more cost effective and best chance of providing results.
  9. Worse case scenario at the inception of the inquiry. By the time they call us they know the answer. They just want proof.
  10. Findings and end results. It has been my experience that not all clients are ready to accept the findings abd want additional surveillance. Sometimes they are in denial and have a difficult time believing their loved one would cheat on them.
  11. Our clients are told the expectations are entirely up to the target we surveil. It all depends on the activities that taregt is engaged in during the hours of surveillance. Targets do not perform on cue! We tell our clients that domestic investigations generally cost between $2,500 & $5,000 depending on the circumstances. We have had domestic cases where we have billed more and have always had good results.

 

 

Setting Expectations for Costa Rica Infidelity Cases

Setting Expectations for Costa Rica Infidelity Cases

Cheater photo 3With the high season just around the corner we here in Costa will see an increase in inquiries about infidelity investigations. I feel that one important part of taking on a new client is setting expectations, including for cost, process, outcome, and findings. Many clients do not understand the process, including associated costs and the time frame for gathering relevant information. I find that by setting expectations for Costa Rica infidelity cases. it is best to provide the client with sufficient information prior to commencement in order to avoid misunderstandings in the future. The investigative process utilized in these types of cases is an art not a science and as such has to be flexible as theses situations are fluid and change rapidly.

Recommendations from a Costa Rica Investigator

The final results are not always what a client wants or thinks it should be.

I have had cases where we followed people off and on for months and never caught them cheating. When you report this back to the client there are some that simply think you didn’t do your job. We always tell people, just because they may exhibit signs of cheating it doesn’t always mean they are and we can’t catch people that aren’t cheating, cheating!

 

The cost is always discussed up front,

Some people think you can catch a cheating partner in 1 hour and an investigation will only cost $100.00. Rarely do we encouter circumstances that allowed us to catch a cheater within the first moment of beginning a surveillance. Frequently, it’s difficult to get people to understand that when people cheat they don’t always meet with their lover daily or even every week. So sometimes it takes a little time to discover what they are doing. Time is money! Remeber a cheater never performs on cue!

 

Results to show they are or are not cheating. I am not in the bisiness of manufacturing fabrications to show someone is cheating. I have actually had clients that have requested that I set the target up with a hooker and capture the encounter on video. Obviously I am not in the extortion business either.

 

I let the client know that I will do everything in my power to bring resolution to their problem.

Sometimes they are just wrong, and there is nothing going on. PI work is 50% luck and 50% skill. I have to be in the right place at the right time and have the knowledge to do a proper and professional job once the situation presents itself. I also emphasize as I said earlier, targets of surveillance never perform on cue. It is important once the surveillance is undertaken that the client maintain a demeanor that is consistent with their normal behavior as to not alert or raise suspicion of the target

 

Depending on the signs that raised suspicion and habits 2-3 weeks. I explain our steps to provide results depending on the questionable behavior. Optional steps moving forward after confirmation such as attorneys or counseling. The majority of surveilance here is 3-6 days. It is expensive and a budget ranging from $1,200-$5,000 should be expected. Additionally there will be expenses that are not covered in the professional fees.

I generally tell my clients that it’s difficult to uncover infidelity with less than 10 hours of surveillance. Its possible, but not likely. I suggest a minimum of 20 hours of surveillance. Assuming I’m only using one investigator on the case, that will cost a client around $3000. A thorough Costa Rica infidelity investigation will run a client a minimum of $3000. We like to have a consultation with the client prior to the surveillance in order to mete out the details of the case (surveillance schedule, physical descriptions, photographs, etc). I cannot guarantee results and we take a full retainer up front.

Timeline 1-3 days of surveillance.

No guarantees that we will find anything. Will not induce the subject into making contact. Provide them with our hourly rate and mileage rates.

I let my clients know what to expect up front so as they do not get unreasonable expectations. Cost is one of the first thing we discuss.

Every client is given a realistic set of expectations as to what my inquriry can legally engage in

That is in some cases when they ask for “off the radar” information; it is explained that in the course of conducting an investigation it serves the client’s best interest in utilizing a legally sound practice and methods. This allows all information harvested to be admissible and shared between both parties.

Cold Case Missing Persons in Costa Rica

Cold Case Missing Persons in Costa Rica Private Investigations

Missing Person Barbara  Barbara Struncova a Czech Republic citizen has been missing from her residence in Tamarindo since the early morning hours of December 5, 2010. According to sources close to Struncova, she attended a party with friends on the night of Dec. 4 and returned home around 1a.m. on the morning of Dec. 5. She has not been seen since.On the night of Dec. 4, Struncova, 31, went to a party with several friends who were visiting from the Czech Republic. She was accompanied by her boyfriend, U.S. citizen Bill Ulmer, who sources say returned home early from the party claiming that he was frustrated by his inability to communicate with the Czech visitors. Struncova’s friends report that around 1 a.m. on the morning of Dec. 5, she returned to her residence, where she lived with Ulmer and four other roommates.

“At 1 a.m. that night we watched her walk inside the house,” said a source close to Struncova who asked to remain anonymous. “By 7 a.m. that morning, Dec. 5, Bill woke up and told us that Barbara had left with her friends in the middle of the night to go to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica.”

In the days following her disappearance, worried members of Struncova’s family contacted her friends in Tamarindo. The last time family members heard from her was Dec. 4.

Struncova’s belongings are still in her Tamarindo residence.

2. Cold Case Missing Persons in Costa Rica

Missing Person Kim Paris When the family of Kim Paris contacted me it had been almost 11 days since her disappearance. She had allegedly left a note at the hotel (Latitude 10) where she and her husband Gabriel Orozco were resident managers that she was going shopping. During my investigation into this there were unverified spottings of Kim after the day of her disappearance.  Several things about this disappearance made me question the stories I had been told. The fact of the matter was if Kim was the victim of a crime there are almost limitless places to dispose of the body and cover any potential evidence and or witnesses. Lacking resources and assistance it was challenging to search the area and the locals were of no assistance.

Kim Paris, is a dual citizen of France and Canada, moved to Santa Teresa from Montreal at the age of 33. She arrived with her boyfriend, Gabriel Orozco, whom she married in Costa Rica in January 2010.

The reason that I am posting this information again is in hopes that id someone stumbles across skeletel remains they remember this young woman who disappeared and has yet to be found. Also this is in the same general area of the disappearance of Barbara mentioned above.

Costa Rica and “Mickey Finn”

Coming to Costa Rica and “Mickey Finn”

A social media working girl had a lot more on her mind than friendship, Costa Rica investigators say.

A Costa Rica woman woman prowled for victims on the social networks and then arranged for an intimate rendezvous according to Costa Rica Private Investigator, Cody Gear.

Colombian Woman 2

Our client as well as several others, I imagine took the bait. The woman was a “mickey finn” scammer who quickly spiked the drink of her new male victim and then clean out the apartment or house. The Judicial Investigating Organization (OIJ) suspects she obtained at least $15,000 in jewelry in one case. OIJ suspects the same woman of commiting the sane crime against another man where she took almost $10,000 in cash.

Costa Rica and “Mickey Finn”

Many who come here in search of establishing a relationship with a women are susceptable to this type of scam. The problem here is that these women are using some type of drug to incapacitate the victim in order to carry out their theft. Many of the men who visit here are older and many have health conditions that places them in peril if they are drugged with the wrong type of medication.  By taking up an ad on a person that is offering an intimate relationship, that no one knows, is like a crap shoot. You may or may not survive it.

News reports that OIJ Agents said they located some of the items when they searched the woman’s home in Desamparados Tuesday. When OIJ agents searched the woman’s home in Desamparados Tuesday, agents said they located some of the items. She faces charges of aggravated robbery and attempted murder.

This is another example in a long line of examples of scammers who prey upon the unsuspecting. More often than not the the victim is an expat. Most victims say they were overcomed by sudden drowsiness after taking one or more women to their apartment.

Costa RIca Private Investigator Log

Costa Rica Private Investigator Log;  July 2019

The Costa Rica Private Investigator log for the month of July saw several cases that came to from all over the United States. Below is a few of the cases we handled in August.

Costa Rica Private Investigator log for July 3; Domestic case involving a suspected cheating husband who had booked a vacation with his “buddies” in Jaco. Told his wife that they were going to fish for Marlin. Wife suspicious as his trips to Costa Rica were becoming more frequent and she didn’t like some of his “buddies”. Surveillance began at the airport and wound up in Jaco at the Beatle Bar which has been recently remodeled and opened for business again. The group migrated to the Cochal, a favorite watering hole for partying and shopping for the weekend girl friend. Sure enough the target wasn’t at the Cochal for more than an hour when he latched onto a stunning professional working girl probably 25 years of age and he was off to the hotel. Whole thing captured on video.

Costa Rica Private Investigator log for July 5; Bigamy/domestic case where in an American man had married a Colombian woman in the States and was going through a nasty divorce. He knew she had spent time in Costa Rica and wanted her background checked. A due diligence check revealed that the Colombian was married to a Costa Rica National. She had been married to him for over eight years and was married to the Costa Rica National at the time she married the American.

Costa Rica Private Investigator log for July 9; Land Fraud case involving a fraud in the inducement from a developer that collected money from investors on a beach front condominium development in Coco (Northwest Costa Rica). Developer took money from investor after convincing investor that his money was going for an unimpeded ocean view from the 5th floor of a 10 floor condominium in Coco. Due diligence revealed that no such development had been approved on a one story model. In Costa Rica all developments must have licenses and be approved by the government. Investors money gone but we were able to get a lien on the property in order for the investor to recapture from his loss.

Costa Rica Private Investigator log for July 17; Lottery scam reported by an elderly woman in Florida. This lady is 87 years old and was contacted by someone purporting to be an agent with the United States Department of Consumer Affairs. (No such organization) The agent told her she had won 2nd prize in a lottery and that in order for her to collect her check of $987,000 she needed to send $5,000 to Jose Gonzalez via Western Union in Costa Rica to cover the cost and expenses in transferring the winnings to her. He gave her a telephone number with a 305 exchange and when she called it a person answered the phone “United States Department of Consumer Affairs, how may help you”. She asked for the agent was transferred to the same person who called her. He assured her this was a legit. She sent the $5,000 and anothe $87,000 over a three month period. This is a SCAM. If you win the lottery no one will ever call you! I referred this nice lady to the U.S. Postal service who has agents in the United States who are working with the Costa Rica authorities to bust these miserable and despicable scammers.

These are a few of the cases we handled for the month of July. If you or if you know someone who need private investigator services in Costa Rica call or visit us at www.codygear.com 

Are you having doubts about what you are being told? Do you have that gut feeling that something is not right?

Directories Offering PI Services in Costa Rica

Beware of Directories Offering PI Services in Costa Rica

CG logoThere are several directories offering PI services in Costa Rica. These are nothing more than clearing houses for a web entrepreneur to get a percentage by referring you case to one of their members. More than often the members of such directories have to do nothing to obtain the referral except joining the directory and paying a small subscription fee. The directories in turn do no or little due diligence and refer your case to someone they know nothing about. Recently I was curious and call one that is prominently displayed in the Google organic search and learned that it was a call center located in the western United States. When I inquired as to who was the PI in Costa Rica the CSR couldn’t tell me.

Directories offering PI Services in Costa Rica look professional and glitzy

Remember all that glitters is not gold. I have seen several of these sites and they all use the same format. They advertise professional investigators in all parts of the world. Think about that. The major PI firms in the world are Pinkertons, Wakenhut, and Wells Fargo. None of these prestigous firms pass their clients to anyone that is not thouroughlyvetted.

When you have a problem that needs the attention of a tried and trued professional private investigator, you are rolling the dice when you use a directory in the selection process. Most of the directories want to be the intermediator between you and the PI. The reason? They want their cut of the fees. They know that if you deal directly with the PI they will receive nothing. What do the directories bring to the table? Nothing but names and referrals of who they know nothing about.

When your problems are such that you need a reliable and professional PI, do you due diligence and vet the PI your self. What kind of experience, education and training doe the PI have to accomplish your objecties? Are those qualifications verifiable? Last year there was a PI in Costa Rica who advertised that he was a former federal agent, a former Navy Seal along with a myriad of other unverifiable puffery. He was apprehended by the Immigration Service of Costa Rica and was deported for being in Costa Rica illegally. He is now in Nicaragua offering PI services in Costa Rica, a country he is forbidden to enter. HE IS ALSO A MEMBER OF SEVERAL OF THESE DIRECTORIES!

If you need or want aprofessional and reliable private investigator contact us. We have verifiable qualifications and references. We are available 24/7 to serve you.

 

Dealing with a Cheating Spouse in Costa Rica

Dealing with a Cheating Spouse in Costa Rica

Cheater photoI have many clients that ask me what do I do when dealing with a cheating spouse in Costa Rica? Have you just recently learned or recently become suspicious  that your spouse is or has been cheating on you? If you have concrete proof, you may want to confront him or her right away. Of course, it is your decision to do so, but there are a few important points that you will want to take into consideration first. After all, calling out a cheating spouse is a major step, but is it one that you are ready to take? Has he all of a sudden take a real interest in travelling to Costa Rica alone? Is he being untruthful with you as to his destinations, hotel and transportation?  All of these are signs of infidelity which you need answers.

When looking to confront a cheating spouse, it is important to know that you can do so at just about any point in time. If you are ready to confront your spouse now, go ahead and do so. If you would prefer to wait, like until you are ready to start divorce proceedings, be sure to wait. Although it may be difficult to stand the sight of your significant other, it is important to proceed with caution. It is always best to have proof in the form of a photo or video to show them in the event of denial. Remember a picture is worth a thousand words.

One of the best times to confront your spouse is when you have concrete proof. Did you seem them cheating? Were they having \*\*\* or just out to dinner? What about documentation? Do you have pictures or video of your spouse having inappropriate actions with another? Do you have credit card receipts or cell phone bills that point towards an affair? If you do, you may be ready to confront your spouse. Unfortunately, too many men and women make the mistake of jumping the gun.

Although there is a good chance that you may choose to forgive your cheating spouse, you may also wish to terminate the relationship. Until you are ready to start divorce proceedings, it is a wise idea to not say anything. Many men and women feel comfort and peace of mind when they are first able to get their life in order before they spring a divorce on their husband or wife.

Another sign that you may be ready to confront your cheating spouse is if you are ready to leave the home if you have to. With that being said, it is important to not leave in certain circumstances. Is the home in your name? Do you help to pay the bills or do you pay most of them? Do you have children? If so, you may want to refrain from uprooting your whole life. Instead, make your cheating spouse leave. Just know that they may refuse to do so right away.

As previously stated, it is a wise idea to get your affairs in order before confronting a cheating spouse and asking them for a divorce. You will want to place a good focus on your finances. Are you in good financial standing? Does most of your money belong to your spouse or is it in their control? If so, you may want to wait. Unless you have a good and secure network of friends and family members, it is important to make sure that you can financially survive on your own, especially if you have children.

The best time to confront a cheating spouse is when you know it is safe to do so. Does your husband or wife have violent tendencies? If so, be sure to keep the kids away. Next, consider confronting them in public or have a trusted friend, relative, or the police on hand. For your safety, never confront a cheating spouse who has been drinking or who has used drugs. This is likely to increase the chance of violence. Confronting your spouse and ending your relationship should be important to you, but please don’t put yourself at risk.

Since there are no guarantees that cheating could be going on, even with the above mentioned signs present, additional steps should be taken. These steps can and should include monitoring cell phone calls, viewing the cell phone bill, or hiring a private investigator. Never confront your husband or wife without the proper proof. Be sure to get solid evidence of cheating, otherwise you could be creating a whole new problem in your relationship.