Your wallet isn’t just a convenient place to store money and your driver’s license. It can also be filled with credit cards, debit cards, family photos, and other important information. Before you lose your wallet and face the difficulty of replacing the items, you may want to take these steps.
Take a proactive approach to protecting your wallet:
1. Make a list of everything in your wallet. By creating a list, it will be easier to replace the missing items if something happens to your wallet. It’s important to write down everything, even the pet photos, so you’ll know what you might want to replace later. Consider making more than one copy of the list. Keep a version in a safe deposit box. The list will need to be easily accessed, so keeping an extra copy at home will help you too.
2. Write down account numbers and phone numbers. Credit cards and debit cards often have toll free phone numbers on the back that can help you. But if these numbers are in your missing wallet, they aren’t much help. By writing down the phone numbers and account numbers, it will be much easier and quicker to prevent fraudulent charges and order replacement cards. Even better, make copies of all of your cards. If you have access to a copy machine, you may want to make copies of all of the cards in your wallet.
3. Never keep your Social Security card in your wallet. It’s safer to leave your Social Security card at home. Thieves can use this information to steal your identity and wreak havoc with your financial life for a long time. Unless you’re going to a meeting or appointment that requires you to bring a Social Security card, it’s not necessary to carry it in your wallet. You can leave it in a safe place and have one less thing to worry about. You also want to avoid putting your Social Security number on cards such as driver’s licenses. If you have the option to opt out of sharing your number, take it. By reducing the amount of personal information you carry in your wallet, you’ll make it more difficult for thieves to steal your identity.
4. Make copies of your pictures. The pictures in your wallet can be just as valuable as the cards and money. The memories and messages they represent are difficult to replace.
5. Avoid attaching your keys to your wallet. Keep your keys separate from your wallet. If one gets lost, at least the other one will be safe. This will make replacing everything a simpler process.
6. Keep your PIN numbers and passwords out of your wallet. From your email account to your social media profiles, you have multiple passwords to remember. Although it’s not easy to memorize or keep track of all of the passwords you need, you don’t want to carry them in your wallet. Keep them in a separate, safe place. If your wallet disappears, and your PIN numbers or passwords are in there, thieves will have easy access to your accounts. Also, by leaving your PIN number within easy access to thieves, your bank might not even cover the fraudulent charges that were made with PIN numbers. You may not be able to stop every instance of your wallet getting lost or stolen. However, you can be prepared for the possibility and take steps to reduce the negative impact if it happens.
7. Always remember to PROTECT YOURSELF!
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Skip Smasher To Shut Down!
After 18 years in business, Skip Smasher, the data source used by many skiptrace professionals will shut down for good. According to an email to all their subscribers, Robert Scott, the founder if Skip Smaher Inc. blamed “a number of new consumer data privacy laws” on his reason for closing doors. Visitors to Skipsmasher.com are met with a plain white screen with nothing more than their trademarked stern-faced man looking even more pissed! After logging in, the user sees a gracious thank you from Scott and a link to a FAQ page that offers no more than included in his notification email. “Unfortunately, the additional new burdens make continuing Skip Smasher both impractical and unprofitable” Scott writes in the newly established shut-down FAQ’s.
Users have until December 15, 2022 to use any remaining balance for searches or data. Otherwise, it's lost to what I can only assume as Scott’s retirement fund. I, for one, have used Skip Smasher ever since I became licensed in 2012 and really relied on its unique search tools.
I wish Scott the best of luck in his life without Skip Smasher, because now I begin the search for a new data provider!
Suburban's Lead Detective testified in the Superior Court of Rhode Island as an expert on police practices and procedures. He can review police reports or other documentation and offer his expert opinion as it relates to police response, official duties or police activities. Your case needs an unbiased, expert review of police documents to determine whether the police officers acted appropriately and followed the law. After conducting thousands of investigations Suburban became certified as an expert in police procedures. Suburban can analyze the data and offer as testimony whether the police response was appropriate, reasonable or necessary. These questions need to be answered:
Did the police follow the law?
Did the police follow their department's policy?
Did the police respond appropriately?
Did the police fail to act when obligated to do so?
Suburban completes this in three simple steps:
1. Review the case file including police reports, CAD reports, supplemental reports, medical examiner reports, photo's, physical evidence, witness statements, video's, audio evidence as well as any other evidence and any other discoverable evidence.
2. Suburban will put their years of experience in the public sector to identify investigative missteps made by the police, who oftentimes is the prosecutors' strongest witnesses.
3. Suburban Detective's has extensive experience testifying in open court even appearing live on Court TV in August, 2004 in Middlesex Superior Court during the Pring-Wilson murder trial. Suburban can put this experience to work for you and your firm.
What Happened to Trustify?
Several years ago a company emerged threatening to redefine the private investigation industry. The company was a glorified marketing plan that implemented a smartphone app, client website portal and new technology. The company was called Trustify. It was started by businessman Danny Boice who hired a private investigator and was upset by the service. As any good entrepreneur would, he looked at the antiquated industry and thought he could make it better. At the outset, PI’s across the country were outraged that a person who had no experience in law enforcement or investigations would attempt to turn their livelihood on its head. I remember reading intense conversations on Yahoo Group pages dedicated to security and the PI industry lament this venture.
They’re were right! According to a bizjournal.com article, eight former employees are now suing Danny Boice for violating the fair labor standards during the month of November 2018. What’s even more hysterical is the lawsuit alleges “Boice told the employees Nov. 15 he was leaving the office to go to the bank to get their paychecks, but did not return that day or the next.” These employees were terminated shortly afterward.
Trustify has not posted anything on their Facebook or Twitter page since November 19, 2018. What’s more, according to drivenforward.com a January 22 article reports Danny Boice was reportedly attempting to unload one million dollars worth of secondary shares in Trustify.
Needless to say, short of some miraculous turnaround, I think Trustify is long gone. I have to admit I’m a little disappointed only because I long thought the PI industry needed an overhaul. Unfortunately, Danny Boice was not the man to do it.
The All Important Video Evidence
I worked a case recently for a defense attorney whose client was arrested for stealing a vehicle. Apparently, the 50+ woman borrowed her daughters newly bought, used car to go to a local convenience store. This store is a national, gas/convenience store with a large parking lot and several gas pumps. When she exited the store she got into her daughters car and began to drive home. At least she thought it was her daughters car.
About a half mile down the road, a “black-n-white” got in behind her and lit her up (blue lights, of course). The cops ordered Nana out of the car and locked her up for stealing the motor vehicle. As diligent as any private investigator would be, I interviewed anybody who was willing to talk to me: the defendant, her daughter, even the cops who stopped her. Of course, the police patrol supervisor refused to talk to me which I was expecting. Ultimately, it was the patrol supervisors’ decision to send poor Nana to the clink!
Then the coup de gras: the all important surveillance footage. I dressed in my finest suit, showered and shaved and made my way to the manager's office of the convenience store. I introduced myself as a private investigator and asked whether I could view the camera footage from the day in question. The manager, as pleasant as he could, told me he could not authorize its release and I needed to contact the corporate office. From my car still parked in the lot, I spoke to a pleasant woman in the loss prevention department and explained my situation. After hearing my plight, she allowed me access.
After viewing the surveillance video I saw my 50 year old client enter the store, make her purchases and exit through a different door. Disoriented from approaching her “daughters” car from another angle, she entered a Camry that looked identical to hers. She found the keys in the center console, just where she had left them, started it up and was on her way. Coincidentally, the victim also thought it was a good idea to leave the keys in the cup holder.
In the end, the defense attorney showed the judge the surveillance footage on a motion to suppress and the case was dismissed. So, for all those rookie PI’s still learning the ropes, a good rule of thumb is to always look for the video evidence.
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