In today’s internet world it has become increasingly easier for scam artist and criminals to take advantage of individuals who are trying to break into the executive protection field. This post will provide you with some insight, ideas and common sense tactics to use when you are looking for training or employment using internet resources.
The first thing to keep in mind when searching the web is to remember the age-old saying, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
There are fraudulent businesses operating online, trying to make a fast buck off of your lack of knowledge (and your eager pursuit to find a “fast and easy way”) and if you’re not careful they will guide you down the slippery slope of deception.
If you find a job online that is offering a salary of $100,000 USD and upwards a year, your “spidey sense” should be tingling. If you contact the organization that is offering this position and they tell you that you have to pay an upfront placement fee, thank them for their time and move on. Professional, LEGITIMATE services will not ask the prospective job applicant to pay a fee (up front) of any kind. The same goes for inquiries regarding training.
If the job is for a high threat protection detail in the likes of Iraq or Afghanistan and you are asked to pay a job placement fee, again move on and thank them for their time. If you are hired to work a high threat detail overseas, the companies that hold these contracts will never ask you to pay for anything. Legitimate companies such as DynCorp, XE and Triple Canopy will pay for every aspect of your employment; travel to the jobsite, food and training. They will not ask you for fees.
So how can you protect yourself from getting ripped off? The easiest way to ensure this is to learn as much as you can about that specific company. Conduct due diligence. This means doing your research before you send anybody your money!! Look into the company, its background and the owners to the best of your ability.
1. Check with the local BBB (Better business Bureau) and find out if the organization in question has had any complaints against them.
2. Find out who is the owner of a website, this can be found at this web link; http://whois.domaintools.com , once you have the owners name you can do a Google search on him/her and see if any negative articles or information is associated with that individual.
3. Once you have the owner’s name you can also check with the Attorney General’s office representing the state where the organization is located. The Attorney General’s office houses records of businesses that are licensed in that particular state and can provide information on the company’s reputation.
4. Keep in mind that some of these bogus companies will simply shut down and then register a new company and continue on with their scam. Follow the information trail. If the owners of the company are continually going out of business and then resurfacing, something is wrong.
5. Always make phone contact with the company and ask questions, a legitimate company will be more than happy to give you answers.
6. Ask the company what type of contracts they are offering. If a firm tells you that they are working with a government contractor in Iraq for example, ask them for the project/contract tasking number and then which agency (DOD, State Department, etc.) is managing the project. By asking these questions you can contact the agency of the specific project and get verification on the tasking/contract order.
7. Check the various online Executive Protection forums and read the links. If you have a specific question about an on-line company offering employment, register with the forum and post a question to the group, you will most likely receive several responses; pay attention to the overall consensus of the answers.
8. If you come across a company that is using a g-mail or yahoo e-mail account to do business with it is most likely a scam, steer clear young Padawan.
9. If you contact a company or firm and ask them to send out some written documentation and they refuse or you never receive it, they may not be legitimate.
10. If you find a job posting for work in Nigeria working EP or high threat protection, be cautious. Most of these jobs are currently being staffed by former members of the British SAS Para’s, Royal Marine’s and members of the SBS. In the past few years Nigeria has become a hotbed of various internet scams and computer-based fraud schemes.
As with any job it is up to you to make sure that you have conducted your own due diligence and that you find out as much as you can with respect to the company offering the job or training. Be inquisitive and trust your “gut” feelings. They are rarely wrong!