Why engage an investigator?

What additional power or authority does an investigator have over and above a member of the public? Answer – none. So why pay hard earned money to somebody to do something you have the potential to do yourself? I answer this as follows. I pay my regular mechanic to service my car yet there is no reason I couldn’t do this basic service myself. I do so because this is my mechanic’s core business; he knows his way around cars and engines; he does it day-in day-out; his operation is therefore slick, efficient and worth my investment. On having my car returned to me I have confidence and a comfort […]

Pre-employment research and verification

A sensible employer will always conduct diligent enquiries to ensure new candidates are capable of fulfilling their requirements and this is especially so when the post includes access to company finance or commercially sensitive information. Ordinarily, the only information available will be the application itself and the applicant’s CV, however, anecdotal intelligence from the applicant’s former employments or other personal contacts is particularly valuable. Generally, this is not readily available. Any vetting enquiry should have two distinct areas of focus, (i) to verify the provided information and (ii) to reveal relevant information that has not been disclosed. (i) Provided references should always be taken up. Where possible academic qualifications should […]

Passwords

How many passwords do you use? How safe is your identity if one of your passwords has been compromised and the password is known abroad? Consider the following system for remembering multiple passwords. Identify a ‘base’ password that would be built upon for each different requirement. For instance 1qaz (look at the keyboard). Then for each service required use a set rule i.e. the first two consonants followed by the first two vowels. So, for instance, the password for my linkedin account would be 1qazlnie; my google account would be 1qazggoo. Simple but effective and easily remembered. It is suggested other ideas to make the ‘service’ portion of the password […]

Phone Scams

With numerous reports in the media regarding phone scams and scammers you would have thought people would be more suspicious of unknown callers but that doesn’t seem to be the case. The amount of money lost to phone scammers has tripled in the last year, prompting a major awareness campaign to educate people further about scams and how to identify them. It is thought that unsuspecting victims have been tricked out of £23.9m in the last year, which is up from £7m on the previous year and it is reported that 58% of people had received suspect calls. This percentage was up from 41% last year [source: Financial Fraud Action]. The research […]

I Don’t Need a Document Retention Policy – Do I?

No, not unless someone is going to litigate against you or there is no reason for anybody to demand information regarding past actions your company has made. But what if they do? What if they ask for E-discovery? E-discovery has placed a significant financial burden on businesses. If you are litigated against the other side will ask for all electronic material pertinent to the matter to be produced by way of disclosure. This is not a matter that can be ignored. Failure to disclose covers penalties so, if that happened to you today could you easily recover and produce relevant documents for the other side? What’s best to be done? The […]

Minimum debt to rise before possible bankruptcy?

In 1986 the minimum debt required to trigger bankruptcy was set at £750 and the authorities are consulting as to whether this amount should be increased. Taking into account inflation the triggering value should rise to £2,000, which appears to be far more credible, although this may frustrate some creditors. Across the board, the consensus seems to be that a higher threshold should be fixed with government officials and members of the insolvency professional bodies agreeing. (If the bankruptcy threshold had been set at £2,000 there would have been 400 fewer (3% of the total) cases brought in 2013/14) Also considered ready for review and possible adjustment are Debt Recovery […]

Fraud in the Workplace!

72% of frauds affecting companies involve an insider. What is the most common profile of a fraudster committing offences within the workplace? The office worker pilfering stationery and office equipment? The young selfish buck who has little loyalty to the company and wants to get away with what he can? Neither. The 2013 report Global Profiles of the Fraudster by KPMG identified the most common profile to be an individual aged 34-35 years working in senior management having been employed for over 6 years before discovery. The Employee Fraudscape report of CIFAS reveals employee fraud increased 18% in 2013 compared with the previous year. Furthermore, the analysis indicates the recruitment stage […]

Important Changes to Bailiff Law and Regulations from 6th April 2014

From 6 April 2014 bailiffs will be known as Enforcement Agents and they need to follow a 3-stage process, as follows; 1. Compliance The enforcement agent shall give the debtor a minimum of 7 days notice of a visit to take control of goods. 2. Enforcement The enforcement agent will attend the property and take control of the goods and/or conduct activity prior to the removal of goods. 3. Sale The enforcement officer shall attend and either remove the goods for sale or prepare for the sale if the sale is to take place on the premises. Central Government has set a new fee structure, which is triggered by each […]

Top tips for protecting yourself on social media sites

As social media sites become more popular, the risks of hackers, identity thieves, phishers, spammers and other undesirables breaking into your accounts are increasing. Although it is impossible to fully protect yourself on line, there are things that you can do which will help protect yourself and make it harder for criminals to hack your account. • Use a strong password containing a mix of numbers, upper case letters and lower case letters • Do not use easy to guess passwords, such as 1234 or password • Change your password regularly • Do not use the same password for multiple sites • Use a nickname as a username, rather than […]

Insolvency Sector being brought into the 21st Century

The period of consultation between the Insolvency Service and their stakeholders in relation to the current Insolvency Rules closed on 24 January 2014, with the aim being to replace the 1986 Rules and Act with a single set of rules fit for 21st century. Graham Horne, the deputy chief executive of the Insolvency Service, states he wants to harmonize processes, such as meetings of creditors, which apply across different insolvency procedures, to make them more user-friendly. It is anticipated the review will look at ‘cutting red tape’ and: • reorganizing the rules on more logical and clearer lines • improving consistency to make the rules easier to understand • using […]