Why you shouldn’t throw out your boarding pass

Never discard your boarding pass

CG logoWhenever we fly, it’s a necessity to have a boarding pass to board the airplane.

We protect them with our lives to make sure we have it readily available, but what do we usually do with them once the flight’s over?? Some leave it on the airplane; others tuck it in their pockets and put it down: others leave in the back of the seat in front of them when the exit the airplane, forgetting their whereabouts once we are done with them. I never realized that being so careless with the whereabouts of my boarding pass could potentially get me into so much trouble!

The reason? According to ‘Krebs on Security”, there’s a ton of personal information encrypted on the boarding pass. Once someone gets a screen shot of the bar code on the boarding pass you’ll be shocked at how much an unscrupulous person can discover about you: personal email addresses, home addresses, and phone numbers. From there, they can gain access to financial and banking information. Watch the video below and learn about the risks and damage you face by being careless with your boarding pass.

https://youtu.be/jM4_iz3RqE8

Take precautions to protect your boarding pass

In this day and age of perpetual technological advances and the unlimited use of smart phones your personal information is under constant bombardment from the bad guys.

Even digitally copied on your own cell phone or tablet puts you at risk of it being scanned and all of your personal information is available to the person making the search.

The best advice is that you keep it in your possession until after the flight and then when you return to your home or office make sure it is destroyed. Don’t put it in the trash and never post it to your social media.

 

 

Someone is Missing in Costa Rica

If someone is missing in Costa Rica, do not waste any time initiating an investigation. The longer you delay, the greater the chances that they may never be found.

Missing personI have had several calls to investigate the disappearance of people who were visiting Costa Rica and all of them have failed to find the missing person. The main reason for this was the lack of effort from the earliest known moment that the person went missing. Unlike the United States where there are all kinds of alerts for missing or endangered people, Costa Rica has no viable system in place to alert people of the missing person.

Why it is Important to Report someone missing in Costa Rica Immediately

Almost everyone here is busy scratching out a living and really do not have time to stop what they are doing to volunteer for a search. Such was the case recently when a woman came up missing in Guanacaste under suspicious circumstances. We were not retained until three weeks after the initial disappearance.

Having prior law enforcement experience I know the value of early response to a reported missing person. Because of earlier response time to such reports many of the missing were located. The others who were found to be the victims of a crime, the earlier response assisted in bringing those responsible to justice to answer for their deeds.

In Costa Rica the law enforcement is understaffed and under resourced. They lack the adequate resources and equipment to undertake a search for a missing person. Much of Costa Rica is endowed with lush tropical forest and jungles that lure many inexperienced and novice hikers to explore their beauty. Unaware of the lack of communication once in these areas and being poorly equipped, many of the best hikers get lost.

 

Dangers in the jungles range from Jaguars to over thirty nine species of poisonous snakes, not to mention crocodiles and scorpions. Medical response and medical facilities are spread out and it could take hours in some instance to get to a medical facility. Once there of course, there is a concern that they will have the necessary equipment and staff to treat the injury.

Thus the need to report a missing person and contact someone here in Costa Rica to start looking for that person will play a vital part in finding and returning the missing person.

Costa Rica Fraud Alert: Private Property Registry in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Fraud Alert:

Private Property Registry in Costa Rica (PPR)

Real Estate FraudWe here at Cody L. Gear and Associates, have learned of a service provided to owners of private property in Costa Rica. The name of this service is Private Property Registry (PPR) and currently protects over 15,000 properties in Costa Rica.

 

 

How PPR Works

According to information we obtained from Fijatevos.com each night the PPR robot connects to the National Registry’s data feed and downloads the day’s transactions. Once the data is generated, the company’s software takes over, and the data is analyzed and compared to the previous day’s snapshot. By 1:30 am a report is generated detailing any change whatsoever to any property related to one the company’s clients. At 5:30 am this report is reviewed by the company’s legal department. Each change is analyzed to determine whether it is innocuous or whether it represents a possible threat to the client. On average, about 90 changes are detected and 1 is deemed a threat to be taken seriously.

At this point, the PPR legal team notifies the client by email, telephone or fax. The client can specify the preferred method of contact, or also additional contacts – such as the client’s personal lawyer. At this point the client will confirm that it is a legitimate change, for example they have taken out a loan or sold the property. If the change is not authorized, the client or PPR can take action immediately.

Registry Procedures Explained

How You and PPR Can Use Them to Protect Your Property from Changes

The National Registry is required by law to follow certain procedures when updating their records. The first step is that a lawyer, or their assistant, will present documents requesting the change to the registry. Upon this presentation a notation is made on the property records regarding the proposed change.

The following step in the process is for a registry bureaucrat to review the documents presented to determine if they are valid and if there are any errors in the descriptions or clauses. If they are deemed valid and correct, then the change is approved and entered into the registry. A key factor here is that by law a change may not be submitted and approved the same day. While normally there is a 7 to 10 day delay in this process, when schemers and shysters have obtained cooperation from an unscrupulous registry employee, then the changes are pushed through rapidly.

The PPR system takes advantage of this mandated time delay. The automated software reports annotations overnight. This means that if a change is recorded or noted, the property owner or PPR may submit a document opposing the change the same business day, which will effectively freeze the process and obligate the registry to determine the validity of the documents that were submitted requesting the change.

PPR Services and Pricing

The PPR offers 2 types of service. The first level is called Monitor and Notify, which costs $143 per year. You, and anyone you specify, will be notified in the event of any change to your property. The notification is sent by email, fax and telephone as soon as the PPR legal department determines that there is a problem. If you have more than one property in Costa Rica, you can get a package that will monitor up to 8 properties for $384 per year.

The higher level service is called Maximum Security, and includes the first level plus an automatic procedure for stopping the transaction in the registry. It costs $250 annually. When you activate this service, you sign a power of attorney that allows the PPR legal department to file a prepared statement in the registry on your behalf. The statement opposes any change to your property information in the registry, which effectively stops the transaction. Once this document is filed, the registry is required to investigate both claims and provide additional documentation for proceeding with the change. In the case of fraudulent claim, this alone will stop the perpetrators cold.

For more information concerning and other services available to protect your investments in Costa Rica,call Cody L Gear and Associates at 321-218-9209

Finding a Person, Place or Thing in Costa Rica

Persons, Places and Things in Costa Rica

information logo 1Finding a Person, Place or Thing in Costa Rica? Hunting for a missing person, or simply trying to locate someone? Need to find an address or asset in Costa Rica? Whatever the reasons are for looking, you have come to the right place for fast, reliable, trustworthy and affordable professional help in locating someone. Searching for a location in Costa Rica? A bigger challenge than most realize. Trying to recover an asset? Costa Rica is rife with fraud and the laws here actually help the scammers hide assets.  There are many reasons why you may need to locate someone, find a place or locate a thing. We will help you do so.

We are not a “People Finder Instant Search” database company that provides you with old, outdated public record information. We are a professional private investigation agency physically located in Costa Rica (Not Nicaragua) that specializes in finding people, quickly and cost effectively. We have access to data, resources and other information that allow us to get you the result you want, not excuses. Why pay someone who is not here to find information you already have? When you work with the private investigators in our firm, you will find that the more information you have about the target, the less it will cost you. Our basic locate investigations take as little as two hours of investigative time and fewer than 50% take more than that amount to complete. Of course verification of the location and identifying the target as being there has added costs.

Obviously, some people are more difficult to locate than others.  Costa Rica is known as the land of the wanted and the unwanted. Those wanted by law enforcement, hiding from creditors, drug users and others require more work to locate than the average person. We encourage you to tell us as much as possible about the person we are trying to locate ahead of time so we can give you an accurate perspective about the time and cost required. As the most trusted private investigator in Costa Rica we have reunited adoptees with birth parents, locate people that are in need of medical assistance and tragically locate missing persons, either the victim of a drowning or of a crime.

We have investigated the disappearance of people due to suspicious circumstances and the recovery of the remains when they have fell victim to a crime or a drowning. It is reported that there are more deaths here from drowning than from automobile accidents. The Government here is not user friendly and getting assistance to look for someone is difficult at best.

What makes our missing person and people locate services stand out from the crowd?

  • Our firm is a Private Investigator Agency, not a database search company
  • We provide 50 years of professional experience and judgment
  • We tell you where all of information we provide came from
  • There will be an actual investigator to speak with about your locate investigation
  • Our locate investigations are conducted by investigators, not databases.
  • You will be given a detailed report of our findings
  • Our relationship with you is strictly CONFIDENTIAL

If you find that you need more than just a simple locate or person search, our background check services will give you all the information you will need about someone’s background. Our firm is a full service private detective agency able to bring the full assets of our agency, with international and domestic resources, to the table.

Missing Persons in Costa Rica

What to do in Locating Missing Persons in Costa Rica

Missing personLocating missing persons in Costa Rica is much different from methods and techniques used in the United States. There are numerous people that have gone missing in Costa Rica and have to date have not been found. It is important that if you find yourself in this situation, you understand that the authorities here neither have the resources or the motivation to find the missing person. The one thing that is absolutely necessary is get someone involved to start looking for the missing person. The longer the time the greater the chance that the person will not be located. Here are some tips.

 

1st Thing to do in Locating Missing Persons in Costa Rica

The first thing you should do in locating missing persons in Costa Rica is to report the incident to your local law enforcement agency. When you do so give them as much information as humanly possible. Although the local law enforcement agency will have little to lend to the search and recovery of the missing person, it is one of the first things that the American Embassy in Costa Rica will ask you. Do not delay in making the missing person report to the police. All of the cases that we have handled have had considerable time lapse between the disappearance and reporting the person missing. Each moment that passes with nothing being initiated to locate the persons further reduces the chances of the person being found.

2nd Thing to do in Locating Missing Persons in Costa Rica

Call the American Embassy in Costa Rica. If you are calling from the States dial 011-506-2519-2000 and ask for extension 2453. Alternatively if it is after business hours or the weekend, send an email to acssanjose@state.gov and provide all of the information about the missing person including but not limited to; photographs, flight itinerary, hotel reservation, date of arrival, anticipated date of departure, photographs, and the reason you suspect the person is missing.

3rd Thing to do

It is necessary that the missing person be reported as missing to the Judicial Police in Costa Rica. They are commonly referred to as OIJ. If you call them be prepared to have someone who speaks Spanish as there are no resources for English. The Costa Rica Law requires that an immediate member of the missing persons family report the incident. They will not accept the missing person report from a third party. This must be done in person by the immediate family member. Thus be prepared to make arrangements for the immediate family member to travel to Costa Rica to make the report.

Alternatively, an immediate family member can go to the nearest Costa Rica Consulate and report the person missing. They will need the same information as previously outlined for the American Embassy. This will further delay the missing person investigation as the bureaucracy of the Costa Rica government moves slowly.

The Last thing to do

Probably the most important of all is do not procrastinate in reporting the missing persons in Costa Rica. Also, equally important retain the services of a professional and reliable private investigator to begin searching immediately.  The longer the time in retaining the services of such a professional only means that the trail will colder by the minute. Years of experience has taught me that it is imperative to get on this search as soon as possible.

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.